Leica D-LUX 5 vs Nikon P950
The Leica D-LUX 5 and the Nikon Coolpix P950 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and January 2020. Both the D-LUX 5 and the P950 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (D-LUX 5) and a 1/2.3-inch (P950) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 15.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Nikon Coolpix P950? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Nikon P950 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon P950 is considerably larger (115 percent) than the Leica D-LUX 5. Moreover, the P950 is substantially heavier (271 percent) than the D-LUX 5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX 5 nor the P950 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the D-LUX 5 gets 400 shots out of its BP-DC10 battery, while the P950 can take 290 images on a single charge of its EN-EL20a power pack. The power pack in the P950 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Leica D-LUX 5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Sep 2010||699|
|2.||Nikon P950||140 mm||110 mm||150 mm||1005 g||290||n||Jan 2020||799|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|4.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|5.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|6.||Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|9.||Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||141 mm||86 mm||142 mm||734 g||360||n||Sep 2006||849|
|11.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349|
|12.||Nikon A1000||114 mm||72 mm||41 mm||330 g||250||n||Jan 2019||429|
|13.||Nikon P1000||146 mm||119 mm||181 mm||1415 g||250||n||Jul 2018||999|
|14.||Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|15.||Olympus XZ-1||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499|
|16.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D-LUX 5 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the P950, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica D-LUX 5 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Nikon P950 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the P950 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.4 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The D-LUX 5 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the P950 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the D-LUX 5. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 2.14μm for the D-LUX 5). However, it should be noted that the P950 is much more recent (by 9 years and 3 months) than the D-LUX 5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the P950 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon P950 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the P950 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica D-LUX 5 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica D-LUX 5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix P950 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||19.5||10.4||-583||39|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|4.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|6.||Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||19.8||10.8||-303||43|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.7||11.0||430||42|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||19.4||10.7||321||39|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||18.4||9.5||-727||29|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the P950 provides a better video resolution than the D-LUX 5. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Leica is limited to 720/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the P950 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the D-LUX 5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the D-LUX 5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica D-LUX 5, the Nikon P950, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon P950||2359||n||3.2 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Leica X1||none||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0||Y||n|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0 / 207||tilting||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y|
|12.||Nikon A1000||1166||n||3.0 / 1036||tilting||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Nikon P1000||2359||n||3.2 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Nikon P900||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Olympus XZ-1||optional||n||3.0 / 614||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
The Nikon P950 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the D-LUX 5 and the P950 have zoom lenses built in. The D-LUX 5 has a 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3 optic and the P950 offers a 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Leica and Nikon provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Nikon has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The D-LUX 5 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D-LUX 5 and the P950 write their files to SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Leica D-LUX 5 and Nikon Coolpix P950 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon P950||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica X1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|12.||Nikon A1000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|13.||Nikon P1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|14.||Nikon P900||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Olympus XZ-1||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic LX5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the P950 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D-LUX 5 does not provide wifi capability.
The P950 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the D-LUX 5 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D-LUX 5 was succeeded by the Leica D-LUX 6. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Nikon websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Nikon P950? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Leica D-LUX 5:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
- More compact: Is smaller (110x65mm vs 140x110mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 734g or 73 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix P950:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/60p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 9 years and 3 months of technical progress since the D-LUX 5 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P950 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 9 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Nikon P950 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D-LUX 5 or the P950 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Leica D-LUX 5||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||699|
|2.||Nikon P950||..||..||3/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2020||799|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|4.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|5.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|6.||Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|9.||Leica X1||3/5||..||..||+||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||849|
|11.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349|
|12.||Nikon A1000||..||+ +||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||429|
|13.||Nikon P1000||..||+||3.5/5||73/100||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2018||999|
|14.||Nikon P900||..||..||..||77/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|15.||Olympus XZ-1||4/5||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||499|
|16.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 4000D vs Nikon P950
- Canon G1 X vs Leica D-LUX 5
- Canon M50 vs Leica D-LUX 5
- Canon M6 vs Leica D-LUX 5
- Canon SX420 vs Nikon P950
- Hasselblad X1D vs Nikon P950
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Leica D-LUX 7
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Nikon D3
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Nikon D5300
- Nikon D3500 vs Nikon P950
- Nikon D5600 vs Nikon P950
- Nikon P950 vs Olympus E-PL9
Specifications: Leica D-LUX 5 vs Nikon P950
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Leica D-LUX 5||Nikon P950|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-90mm f/2.0-3.3||24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5|
|Launch Date||September 2010||January 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Nikon P950|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.85 x 5.89 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||46.2365 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.8 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.14 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||21.59 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Nikon P950|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||90%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Nikon P950|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||7 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Nikon P950|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Nikon P950|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
110 x 65 x 43 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
140 x 110 x 150 mm
(5.5 x 4.3 x 5.9 in)
|Camera Weight||271 g (9.6 oz)||1005 g (35.5 oz)|
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