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Leica D-LUX Typ 109 versus Leica CL

The Leica D-LUX (Typ 109) and the Leica CL (Typ 7323) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2014 and November 2017. The D-LUX Typ 109 is a fixed lens compact, while the CL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (D-LUX Typ 109) and an APS-C (CL) sensor. The D-LUX Typ 109 has a resolution of 12.7 megapixel, whereas the CL provides 24.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica CL

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 and the Leica CL is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the D-LUX Typ 109 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica CL
Compare D-LUX Typ 109 versus CL top
Compare D-LUX Typ 109 and CL rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica CL is notably larger (31 percent) than the Leica D-LUX Typ 109. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX Typ 109 nor the CL are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the D-LUX Typ 109 has a lens build in, whereas the CL is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Leica D-LUX Typ 109» 118 mm 66 mm 55 mm 405 g 300 n Sep 2014 1,195 i i Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Leica CL« 131 mm 78 mm 45 mm 403 g 220 n Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
Canon M6« » 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M5« » 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon G16« » 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Fujifilm X-A3« » 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 339 g 410 n Aug 2016 399 i i Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X100T« » 127 mm 74 mm 52 mm 440 g 330 n Sep 2014 1,299- i Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X30« » 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100S« » 127 mm 74 mm 54 mm 445 g 330 n Jan 2013 1,299- i Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X20« » 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X100« » 126 mm 75 mm 54 mm 445 g 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
Leica C-LUX« » 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
Leica TL2« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 399 g 250 n Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 830 g 360 n Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica X Typ 113« » 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« » 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699- i Leica D-LUX 6
Panasonic LX100« » 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D-LUX Typ 109 was launched at a lower price than the CL, despite having a lens build in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica CL

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Leica CL an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the CL is 65 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the D-LUX Typ 109 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the CL offers a 3:2 aspect.

Leica D-LUX Typ 109 and Leica CL sensor measures

With 24.1MP, the CL offers a higher resolution than the D-LUX Typ 109 (12.7MP), but the CL has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 4.21μm for the D-LUX Typ 109). Yet, the CL is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 2 months) than the D-LUX Typ 109, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the CL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

D-LUX Typ 109 versus CL MP

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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Leica D-LUX Typ 109» Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p----Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Leica CL« APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica CL
Canon M6« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon M6
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277Canon M5
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Fujifilm X-A3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X100T« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X100« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173Fujifilm X100
Leica C-LUX« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica C-LUX
Leica TL2« » APS-C 24.1 6014 40144K/30p----Leica TL2
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p----Leica D-LUX 6
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367Panasonic LX100

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica CL

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the D-LUX Typ 109 offers a higher resolution than the one in the CL (2764k vs 2360k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 and Leica CL along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Leica D-LUX Typ 109»2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Leica CL«2360 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 10.0 n n Leica CL
Canon M6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M6
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n Canon M5
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X100T« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100S« »2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X100« »1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Fujifilm X100
Leica C-LUX« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Leica C-LUX
Leica TL2« »- n 3.7 1230 fixed Y 4000 7.0 n n Leica TL2
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Leica D-LUX 6
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100

Both the D-LUX Typ 109 and the CL are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The D-LUX Typ 109 replaced the earlier Leica D-LUX 6, while the CL does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica CL

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 better than the Leica CL or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Leica D-LUX (Typ 109):

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2764k vs 2360k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the CL requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (118x66mm vs 131x78mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (300 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2014).


Advantages of the Leica CL (Typ 7323):

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 12.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 41%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D-LUX Typ 109 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the CL comes out slightly ahead of the D-LUX Typ 109 (9 : 8 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.

D-LUX Typ 109 08:09 CL

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D-LUX Typ 109 or the CL. 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 why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Leica D-LUX Typ 109»--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195 i i Leica D-LUX Typ 109
Leica CL«----4/5 Nov 2017 2,795 i i Leica CL
Canon M6« »-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i Canon M6
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i Canon M5
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399 i i Fujifilm X-A3
Fujifilm X100T« »Rec81/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,299- i Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i Fujifilm X30
Fujifilm X100S« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299- i Fujifilm X100S
Fujifilm X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X100« »-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
Leica C-LUX« »----- Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
Leica TL2« »--4/5-4/5 Jul 2017 1,950 i i Leica TL2
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »----5/5 Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
Leica D-LUX 6« »--4/5-4/5 Sep 2012 699- i Leica D-LUX 6
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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