Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Digilux 3
The Leica D-LUX (Typ 109) and the Leica Digilux 3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and September 2006. The D-LUX Typ 109 is a fixed lens compact, while the Digilux 3 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The D-LUX Typ 109 has a resolution of 12.7 megapixels, whereas the Digilux 3 provides 7.4 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 (Typ 109) and the Leica Digilux 3? 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 Typ 109 and the Leica Digilux 3 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.
The D-LUX Typ 109 can be obtained in two different colors (black, grey), while the Digilux 3 is only available in silver.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica Digilux 3 is considerably larger (63 percent) than the Leica D-LUX Typ 109. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX Typ 109 nor the Digilux 3 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 built in, whereas the Digilux 3 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 Digilux 3 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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 Typ 109||118 mm||66 mm||55 mm||405 g||300||n||Sep 2014||1,195|
|2.||Leica Digilux 3||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|5.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299|
|6.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 7||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Nov 2018||1,195|
|9.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||830 g||360||n||Sep 2014||1,349|
|10.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|12.||Olympus E-330||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999|
|13.||Olympus E-500||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|14.||Olympus E-300||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|16.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|17.||Panasonic L1||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||999|
|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 Typ 109 was launched at a lower price than the Digilux 3, 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 size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The D-LUX Typ 109 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the D-LUX Typ 109 offers a higher resolution of 12.7 megapixels, compared with 7.4 MP of the Digilux 3. This megapixels advantage translates into a 31 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the D-LUX Typ 109 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.21μm versus 5.51μm for the Digilux 3). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the D-LUX Typ 109 is much more recent (by 8 years) than the Digilux 3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D-LUX Typ 109 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20.6 x 15.4 inches or 52.2 x 39.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16.4 x 12.4 inches or 41.8 x 31.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.7 x 10.3 inches or 34.8 x 26.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica Digilux 3 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 (Typ 109) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12500, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica Digilux 3 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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 Typ 109||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 7||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|16.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|17.||Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The D-LUX Typ 109 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the Digilux 3 does not. The highest resolution format that the D-LUX Typ 109 can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D-LUX Typ 109 has an electronic viewfinder (2764k dots), while the Digilux 3 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the D-LUX Typ 109 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the Digilux 3 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the D-LUX Typ 109 has a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.47x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 and Leica Digilux 3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||2764||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|2.||Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 7||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|9.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The Digilux 3 has one, while the D-LUX Typ 109 does not. While the built-in flash of the Digilux 3 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the D-LUX Typ 109 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Leica D-LUX Typ 109 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D-LUX Typ 109 and the Digilux 3 write their files to SDXC cards. The D-LUX Typ 109 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the Digilux 3 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 (Typ 109) and Leica Digilux 3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 7||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the D-LUX Typ 109 offers wifi support, while the Digilux 3 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the D-LUX Typ 109 and the Digilux 3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D-LUX Typ 109 was replaced by the Leica D-LUX 7, while the Digilux 3 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 or the Leica Digilux 3 – 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.
Reasons to prefer the Leica D-LUX (Typ 109):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.7 vs 7.4MP) with a 31% 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 4K/30p movies.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.47x).
- 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 (921k vs 207k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the Digilux 3 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (118x66mm 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 Digilux 3).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 8 years of technical progress since the Digilux 3 launch.
Advantages of the Leica Digilux 3:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D-LUX Typ 109 is the clear winner of the match-up (20 : 5 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 Typ 109 and the Leica Digilux 3 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D-LUX Typ 109 and the Digilux 3 in practical situations. 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 why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 Typ 109||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,195|
|2.||Leica Digilux 3||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||1,499|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|5.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299|
|6.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 7||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Nov 2018||1,195|
|9.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||..||..||..||..||5/5||Sep 2014||1,349|
|10.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|12.||Olympus E-330||..||..||+||o||..||Jan 2006||999|
|13.||Olympus E-500||..||76/100||+ +||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|14.||Olympus E-300||..||..||+||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|15.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|16.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|17.||Panasonic L1||..||85/100||+||..||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999|
|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. 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.
Specifications: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Leica Digilux 3
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 Typ 109||Leica Digilux 3|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-75mm f/1.7-2.8||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2014||September 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 1,195||USD 1,499|
|Sensor Specs||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Leica Digilux 3|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.7 Megapixels||7.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4112 x 3088 pixels||3136 x 2352 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.21 μm||5.51 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.65 MP/cm2||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 12,500 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Screen Specs||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Leica Digilux 3|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2764k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||207k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Leica Digilux 3|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Leica Digilux 3|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Leica Digilux 3|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
118 x 66 x 55 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 2.2 in)
146 x 87 x 77 mm
(5.7 x 3.4 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||405 g (14.3 oz)||606 g (21.4 oz)|
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