Leica D-LUX 6 vs Panasonic L1
The Leica D-LUX 6 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and February 2006. The D-LUX 6 is a fixed lens compact, while the L1 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (D-LUX 6) and a Four Thirds (L1) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 7.4 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Leica D-LUX 6||Panasonic L1|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|24-90mm f/1.4-2.3||Four Thirds lenses|
|10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor||7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO 80-6,400 (80 - 12,800)||ISO 100-1,600|
|Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 920k dots||2.5 LCD, 207k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|11 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|330 shots per battery charge||750 shots per battery charge|
|111 x 68 x 46 mm, 298 g||146 x 87 x 64 mm, 606 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica D-LUX 6 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1? 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 6 and the Panasonic L1 is provided 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 D-LUX 6 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the L1 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 Panasonic L1 is considerably larger (68 percent) than the Leica D-LUX 6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX 6 nor the L1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the D-LUX 6 has a lens built in, whereas the L1 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 L1 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Leica D-LUX 6||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|Panasonic L1||5.7 in||3.4 in||2.5 in||21.4 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||999|
|Canon G16||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon XT||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|Fujifilm X20||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.5 oz||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|Fujifilm X10||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||4.6 in||2.6 in||2.2 in||14.3 oz||300||n||Sep 2014||1,195|
|Leica X2||4.9 in||2.7 in||2.0 in||12.2 oz||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
|Leica D-LUX 5||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Sep 2010||699|
|Leica Digilux 3||5.7 in||3.4 in||3.0 in||21.4 oz||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499|
|Olympus E-330||5.5 in||3.4 in||2.8 in||22.5 oz||750||n||Jan 2006||999|
|Olympus E-300||5.8 in||3.3 in||2.5 in||22.0 oz||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
|Panasonic FZ200||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic L10||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|Ricoh GR||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|Sony RX100 II||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
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 obviously take relative prices into account. 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 D-LUX 6 was launched at a lower price than the L1, despite having a lens built in. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 6 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Panasonic L1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the L1 is 436 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The D-LUX 6 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.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Leica D-LUX 6 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixels, compared with 7.4 MP of the Panasonic L1. 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 2.05μm versus 5.51μm for the L1). However, it should be noted that the D-LUX 6 is much more recent (by 6 years and 6 months) than the L1, 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 Leica D-LUX 6 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D-LUX 6 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic L1 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica D-LUX 6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D-LUX 6 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the L1 does not. The highest resolution format that the D-LUX 6 can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the L1 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the D-LUX 6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the D-LUX 6 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the Visoflex (Typ 020). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica D-LUX 6 and Panasonic L1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||2764||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
The Leica D-LUX 6 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.
The D-LUX 6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the L1 uses SDHC 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 6 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both the D-LUX 6 and the L1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The L1 was replaced by the Panasonic L10, while the D-LUX 6 was followed by the Leica D-LUX Typ 109. 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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica D-LUX 6 and the Panasonic L1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Leica D-LUX 6:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (10 vs 7.4MP) with a 16% higher linear resolution.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 207k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the L1 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 146x87mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the L1).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 6 months of technical progress since the L1 launch.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 330) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2006).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D-LUX 6 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 8 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 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 6 and the Panasonic L1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D-LUX 6 or the L1 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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 6||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|Panasonic L1||85/100||+||..||o||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999|
|Canon G16||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|Canon XT||80/100||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|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 Typ 109||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,195|
|Leica X2||..||..||3/5||..||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|Leica D-LUX 5||..||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Sep 2010||699|
|Leica Digilux 3||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||1,499|
|Olympus E-330||..||+||o||3.5/5||..||Jan 2006||999|
|Olympus E-300||..||+||o||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic L10||85/100||+||3.5/5||o||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|Ricoh GR||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|Sony RX100 II||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 200D vs Leica D-LUX 6
- Canon 4000D vs Leica D-LUX 6
- Canon 650D vs Panasonic L1
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Panasonic L1
- Canon SL1 vs Panasonic L1
- Canon T3 vs Leica D-LUX 6
- Canon T7i vs Leica D-LUX 6
- Leica D-LUX 6 vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Leica D-LUX 6 vs Leica X Vario
- Leica D-LUX 6 vs Pentax K-70
- Panasonic GH5s vs Panasonic L1
- Panasonic L1 vs Sony RX0 II
Specifications: Leica D-LUX 6 vs Panasonic L1
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 6||Panasonic L1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-90mm f/1.4-2.3||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2012||February 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Leica D-LUX 6||Panasonic L1|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.44 x 5.58 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||41.5152 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.3 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||7.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||3136 x 2352 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.05 μm||5.51 μm|
|Pixel Density||24.04 MP/cm2||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Screen Specs||Leica D-LUX 6||Panasonic L1|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||207k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica D-LUX 6||Panasonic L1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica D-LUX 6||Panasonic L1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica D-LUX 6||Panasonic L1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||330 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
111 x 68 x 46 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
146 x 87 x 64 mm
(5.7 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||298 g (10.5 oz)||606 g (21.4 oz)|
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