Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Nikon D70
The Leica D-LUX (Typ 109) and the Nikon D70 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2014 and January 2004. The D-LUX Typ 109 is a fixed lens compact, while the D70 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (D-LUX Typ 109) and an APS-C (D70) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 12.7 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 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 Nikon D70? 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 Nikon D70 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 D70 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 Nikon D70 is considerably larger (100 percent) than the Leica D-LUX Typ 109. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D-LUX Typ 109 nor the D70 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 D70 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 D70 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||118 mm||66 mm||55 mm||405 g||300||n||Sep 2014||1,195|
|2.||Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|6.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|9.||Leica D-LUX 7||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Nov 2018||1,195|
|10.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||830 g||360||n||Sep 2014||1,349|
|11.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|13.||Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|14.||Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|15.||Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|16.||Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|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 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 Typ 109 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Nikon D70 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D70 is 100 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 D70 offers a 3:2 aspect. 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.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 offers a higher resolution of 12.7 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D70. 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 3.82μm versus 7.85μm for the D70). However, it should be noted that the D-LUX Typ 109 is much more recent (by 10 years and 7 months) than the D70, 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 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 Nikon D70 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 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 Nikon D70 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Leica D-LUX 7||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
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 D70 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 D70 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 D70 (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 0.50x), 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 Nikon D70 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.||Nikon D70||optical||n||1.8 / 130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon Rebel||optical||n||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X30||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X100T||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm X100S||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|9.||Leica D-LUX 7||2764||n||3.0 / 1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|10.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||2359||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Nikon D80||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D50||optical||n||2.0 / 130||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon D70s||optical||n||2.0 / 130||fixed||n||1/8000s||3.0||Y||n|
|16.||Nikon D100||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||2764||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D70 has one, while the D-LUX Typ 109 does not. While the built-in flash of the D70 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.
The D-LUX Typ 109 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D70 uses Compact Flash 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 Nikon D70 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Nikon D70||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Canon Rebel||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X100T||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X100S||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica D-LUX 7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|10.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D80||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Nikon D50||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon D70s||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon D100||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the D-LUX Typ 109 offers wifi support, while the D70 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 D70 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70 was replaced by the Nikon D70s, while the D-LUX Typ 109 was followed by the Leica D-LUX 7. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Leica D-LUX Typ 109 better than the Nikon D70 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Leica D-LUX (Typ 109):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.7 vs 6MP) with a 42% 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 0.50x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 130k 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 D70 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (118x66mm vs 140x111mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D70).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
- 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 prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More modern: Reflects 10 years and 7 months of technical progress since the D70 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D70:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 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 January 2004).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D-LUX Typ 109 is the clear winner of the match-up (20 : 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 Typ 109 and the Nikon D70 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D-LUX Typ 109 or the D70. 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 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.||Nikon D70||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||999|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon Rebel||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|5.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|6.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|9.||Leica D-LUX 7||..||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Nov 2018||1,195|
|10.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||..||..||..||..||..||5/5||Sep 2014||1,349|
|11.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|12.||Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|13.||Nikon D80||..||+||..||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|14.||Nikon D50||..||78/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|15.||Nikon D70s||..||..||..||..||..||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|16.||Nikon D100||..||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999|
|17.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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 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 750D vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109
- Canon 90D vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109
- Canon G3 X vs Nikon D70
- Fujifilm X-S10 vs Nikon D70
- Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Panasonic G2
- Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Sony NEX-C3
- Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Sony RX1R
- Nikon D70 vs Panasonic FZ150
- Nikon D70 vs Panasonic LX7
- Nikon D70 vs Sony HX350
- Nikon D70 vs Sony RX10 III
Specifications: Leica D-LUX Typ 109 vs Nikon D70
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||Nikon D70|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-75mm f/1.7-2.8||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2014||January 2004|
|Launch Price||USD 1,195||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Nikon D70|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||15.7 x 11.8 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||185.26 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||19.6 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.7 Megapixels||6 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4112 x 3088 pixels||3008 x 2000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.82 μm||7.85 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.85 MP/cm2||1.63 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 12,500 ISO||200 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||50|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||20.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||529|
|Screen Specs||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Nikon D70|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2764k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||1.8inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||130k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Nikon D70|
|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||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica D-LUX Typ 109||Nikon D70|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 1.0|
|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||Nikon D70|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
118 x 66 x 55 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 2.2 in)
140 x 111 x 78 mm
(5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||405 g (14.3 oz)||679 g (24.0 oz)|
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