Leica D-LUX 5 vs Panasonic LF1
The Leica D-LUX 5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and April 2013. Both the D-LUX 5 and the LF1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica D-LUX 5 and the Panasonic LF1. 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 dimensions 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 Panasonic LF1 is notably smaller (11 percent) than the Leica D-LUX 5. Moreover, the LF1 is markedly lighter (29 percent) than the D-LUX 5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX 5 nor the LF1 are weather-sealed.
The power pack in the LF1 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 want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Leica D-LUX 5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Sep 2010||699|
|2.||Panasonic LF1||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|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.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|7.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|11.||Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||141 mm||86 mm||142 mm||734 g||360||n||Sep 2006||849|
|13.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|14.||Olympus XZ-1||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499|
|15.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|16.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|17.||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.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The LF1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 29 percent) than the D-LUX 5, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the LF1 is 7 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 4.4 (D-LUX 5) and 4.5. 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 LF1 offers a higher resolution of 12 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 1.89μm versus 2.14μm for the D-LUX 5). However, it should be noted that the LF1 is much more recent (by 2 years and 7 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.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic LF1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the LF1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 are ISO 80 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|1.||Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the LF1 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.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the LF1 has an electronic viewfinder (200k 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica D-LUX 5 and Panasonic LF1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||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|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0||207||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y|
Both the D-LUX 5 and the LF1 have zoom lenses built in. The D-LUX 5 has a 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3 optic and the LF1 offers a 28-200mm f/2.0-5.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Leica provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Panasonic, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D-LUX 5 and the LF1 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||Y||mono||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the D-LUX 5 has a hotshoe, while the LF1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The LF1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. 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 Panasonic websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica D-LUX 5 or the Panasonic LF1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Leica D-LUX 5:
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2010).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/60p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More compact: Is smaller (103x62mm vs 110x65mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 79g or 29 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- 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 device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (29 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 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 LF1 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 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 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 Panasonic LF1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D-LUX 5 and the LF1 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.||Panasonic LF1||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|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.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|6.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|7.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|11.||Leica X1||3/5||..||+||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995|
|12.||Leica V-LUX 1||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||849|
|13.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|14.||Olympus XZ-1||4/5||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||499|
|15.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|16.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||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 assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Leica D-LUX 5 vs Panasonic LF1
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||Panasonic LF1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-90mm f/2.0-3.3||28-200mm f/2.0-5.9|
|Launch Date||September 2010||April 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Panasonic LF1|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.85 x 5.89 mm||7.6 x 5.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||46.2365 mm2||43.32 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.8 mm||9.5 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.14 μm||1.89 μm|
|Pixel Density||21.59 MP/cm2||27.70 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||52|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||20.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||211|
|Screen Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Panasonic LF1|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||200k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Panasonic LF1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-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||Panasonic LF1|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica D-LUX 5||Panasonic LF1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||250 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)
103 x 62 x 28 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
|Camera Weight||271 g (9.6 oz)||192 g (6.8 oz)|
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