PW

Leica Digilux 3 versus Canon 30D

The Leica Digilux 3 and the Canon EOS 30D are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2006 and February 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (Digilux 3) and an APS-C (30D) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 7.4 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 8.2 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 Digilux 3 vs Canon 30D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica Digilux 3 and the Canon 30D. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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 – the Digilux 3 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica Digilux 3 vs Canon 30D
Compare Digilux 3 versus 30D top
Compare Digilux 3 and 30D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 30D is notably larger (20 percent) than the Leica Digilux 3. Moreover, the 30D is markedly heavier (30 percent) than the Digilux 3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Digilux 3 nor the 30D are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (Digilux 3) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (30D).

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)
Leica Digilux 3» 5.7 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 21.4 oz 750 n Sep 2006 1,499- i
Canon 30D« 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i
Canon 60D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 3.1 in 26.6 oz 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 7D« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 2.9 in 30.3 oz 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i
Canon 40D« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon XT« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i
Leica V-LUX 1« » 5.6 in 3.4 in 5.6 in 25.9 oz 360 n Sep 2006 849- i
Leica M8« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499- i
Olympus E-330« » 5.5 in 3.4 in 2.8 in 22.5 oz 750 n Jan 2006 999- i
Olympus E-500« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.6 in 16.9 oz 750 n Sep 2005 599- i
Olympus E-300« » 5.8 in 3.3 in 2.5 in 22.0 oz 750 n Sep 2004 799- i
Olympus E-1« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 26.0 oz 750 Y Jun 2003 1,699- i
Panasonic L10« » 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599- i
Panasonic L1« » 5.7 in 3.4 in 2.5 in 21.4 oz 750 n Feb 2006 999- i

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 30D was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the Digilux 3 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 Digilux 3 vs Canon 30D

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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 Digilux 3 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon 30D an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the 30D is 50 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.6. The sensor in the Digilux 3 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the 30D offers a 3:2 aspect.

Leica Digilux 3 and Canon 30D sensor measures

With 8.2MP, the 30D offers a higher resolution than the Digilux 3 (7.4MP), but the 30D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.42μm versus 5.51μm for the Digilux 3) due to its larger sensor. However, the Digilux 3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the 30D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

Digilux 3 versus 30D MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica Digilux 3» Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----
Canon 30D« APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
Canon 7D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364
Canon XT« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162
Leica V-LUX 1« » 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p----
Leica M8« » APS-H 10.4 3936 2630-21.111.366359
Olympus E-330« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----
Olympus E-500« » Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448-----
Olympus E-300« » Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448-----
Olympus E-1« » Four Thirds 4.9 2560 1920-----
Panasonic L10« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955
Panasonic L1« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----
The Digilux 3 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The 30D lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Leica Digilux 3 vs Canon 30D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The Digilux 3 and the 30D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica Digilux 3 and Canon 30D along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera 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
Leica Digilux 3»optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 30D«optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n
Canon XT« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n
Leica V-LUX 1« »235 n 2.0 207 swivel n 2000 2.0 Y Y
Leica M8« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 2.0 n n
Olympus E-330« »optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 4000 3.0 Y n
Olympus E-500« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Olympus E-300« »optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Olympus E-1« »optical Y 1.8 134 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n
Panasonic L10« »optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n
Panasonic L1« »optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n

Both the Digilux 3 and the 30D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 30D was replaced by the Canon 40D, while the Digilux 3 does not have a direct successor.

Review summary: Leica Digilux 3 vs Canon 30D

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica Digilux 3 and the Canon 30D? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Leica Digilux 3:

  • More compact: Is smaller (146x87mm vs 144x106mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 179g or 23 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the 30D).

ilogo

Advantages of the Canon EOS 30D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (8.2 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2006).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 30D emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 4 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.

Digilux 3 04:06 30D

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the Digilux 3 or the 30D handle or perform in practice. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Leica Digilux 3»----- Sep 2006 1,499- i
Canon 30D«HiRecHiRecrevrev- Feb 2006 1,399- i
Canon 60D« »Rec79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i
Canon 7D« »HiRec84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i
Canon 40D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i
Canon XT« »80/100HiRecrevrev- Feb 2005 899- i
Canon 20D« »-HiRec-rev- Aug 2004 1,499- i
Leica V-LUX 1« »----- Sep 2006 849- i
Leica M8« »-HiRec--- Sep 2006 5,499- i
Olympus E-330« »-Recrev3.5/5- Jan 2006 999- i
Olympus E-500« »76/100HiRec--- Sep 2005 599- i
Olympus E-300« »-Recrevrev4.5/5 Sep 2004 799- i
Olympus E-1« »-Recrevrev- Jun 2003 1,699- i
Panasonic L10« »85/100Rec3.5/5rev4/5 Aug 2007 599- i
Panasonic L1« »85/100Rec-rev3.5/5 Feb 2006 999- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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? 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. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

vs

    You are here  »   »