Leica D-LUX 5 vs Olympus E-PM1
The Leica D-LUX 5 and the Olympus PEN E-PM1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2010 and June 2011. The D-LUX 5 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-PM1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (D-LUX 5) and a Four Thirds (E-PM1) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Leica D-LUX 5||Olympus E-PM1|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|24-90mm f/2.0-3.3||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor||12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|720/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)||ISO 100-12,800|
|Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0 LCD, 460k dots||3.0 LCD, 460k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||5.5 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|400 shots per battery charge||330 shots per battery charge|
|110 x 65 x 43 mm, 271 g||110 x 64 x 34 mm, 265 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Olympus PEN E-PM1? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Olympus E-PM1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The E-PM1 can be obtained in six different colors (black, silver, brown, pink, purple, white), while the D-LUX 5 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PM1 is somewhat smaller (2 percent) than the Leica D-LUX 5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX 5 nor the E-PM1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the D-LUX 5 has a lens built in, whereas the E-PM1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the E-PM1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Leica D-LUX 5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Sep 2010||699|
|Olympus E-PM1||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|Leica V-LUX 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995|
|Leica V-LUX 1||141 mm||86 mm||142 mm||734 g||360||n||Sep 2006||849|
|Olympus E-PM2||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||269 g||360||n||Sep 2012||499|
|Olympus E-P3||122 mm||69 mm||34 mm||369 g||330||n||Jun 2011||799|
|Olympus E-PL2||114 mm||72 mm||42 mm||362 g||280||n||Jan 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL3||110 mm||64 mm||37 mm||313 g||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL1||115 mm||72 mm||42 mm||334 g||290||n||Feb 2010||599|
|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.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
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. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica D-LUX 5 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Olympus E-PM1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-PM1 is 389 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.4 and 2.0. 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.
With 12.2MP, the E-PM1 offers a higher resolution than the D-LUX 5 (10MP), but the E-PM1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 2.14μm for the D-LUX 5) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the E-PM1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the D-LUX 5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-PM1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-PM1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20.2 x 15.1 inches or 51.2 x 38.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16.1 x 12.1 inches or 41 x 30.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.4 x 10.1 inches or 34.1 x 25.6 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 Olympus PEN E-PM1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-PM2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.2||932||72|
|Olympus E-P3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51|
|Olympus E-PL2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55|
|Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|Olympus E-PL1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the E-PM1 provides a better video resolution than the D-LUX 5. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Leica is limited to 720/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D-LUX 5 and the E-PM1 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. However, optional viewfinders – the EVF1 for the D-LUX 5 and the VF-2 for the E-PM1 – are available as accessories. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica D-LUX 5, the Olympus E-PM1, and comparable cameras.
|Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0||207||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D-LUX 5 has one, while the E-PM1 does not. While the built-in flash of the D-LUX 5 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D-LUX 5 and the E-PM1 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 Olympus PEN E-PM1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 1||Y||mono||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the D-LUX 5 and the E-PM1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D-LUX 5 was replaced by the Leica D-LUX 6, while the E-PM1 was followed by the Olympus E-PM2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Olympus websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Leica D-LUX 5 or the Olympus E-PM1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Leica D-LUX 5:
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the E-PM1 requires a separate lens.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).
Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN E-PM1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/60p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (9 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-PM1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 Olympus E-PM1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D-LUX 5 or the E-PM1. 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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Leica D-LUX 5||..||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Sep 2010||699|
|Olympus E-PM1||86/100||71/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon G7 X||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|Fujifilm X20||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|Fujifilm X10||..||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|Leica X1||..||+||..||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995|
|Leica V-LUX 1||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||849|
|Olympus E-PM2||..||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|Olympus E-P3||83/100||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799|
|Olympus E-PL2||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL3||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PL1||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599|
|Panasonic LX5||+||73/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 200D vs Leica D-LUX 5
- Canon G15 vs Olympus E-PM1
- Canon G9 X vs Leica D-LUX 5
- Canon SX60 vs Leica D-LUX 5
- Fujifilm X-E3 vs Olympus E-PM1
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Panasonic FZ300
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Panasonic GF6
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Panasonic GX9
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Panasonic LX100
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Ricoh GR II
- Olympus E-P3 vs Olympus E-PM1
- Olympus E-PM1 vs Sony A7R IV
Specifications: Leica D-LUX 5 vs Olympus E-PM1
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||Olympus E-PM1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-90mm f/2.0-3.3||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2010||June 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Olympus E-PM1|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.85 x 5.89 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||46.2365 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.8 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.14 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||21.59 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||52|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||499|
|Screen Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Olympus E-PM1|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Olympus E-PM1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||5.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board 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||Olympus E-PM1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Olympus E-PM1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
110 x 65 x 43 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
110 x 64 x 34 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
|Camera Weight||271 g (9.6 oz)||265 g (9.3 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.