Leica Digilux 3 vs Nikon D3200
The Leica Digilux 3 and the Nikon D3200 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2006 and April 2012. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (Digilux 3) and an APS-C (D3200) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 7.4 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Leica Digilux 3||Nikon D3200|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Four Thirds lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1600||ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5" LCD, 207k dots||3.0" LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||4 shutter flaps per second|
|750 shots per battery charge||540 shots per battery charge|
|146 x 87 x 77 mm, 606 g||125 x 96 x 77 mm, 505 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica Digilux 3 and the Nikon D3200? 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 Digilux 3 and the Nikon D3200 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The D3200 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), 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 Nikon D3200 is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Leica Digilux 3. Moreover, the D3200 is markedly lighter (17 percent) than the Digilux 3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Digilux 3 nor the D3200 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 compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (Digilux 3) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3200).
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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Leica Digilux 3»||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499||Leica Digilux 3|
|Nikon D3200«||125 mm||96 mm||77 mm||505 g||540||n||Apr 2012||599||Nikon D3200|
|Canon 30D« »||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||Canon 30D|
|Canon 350D« »||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899||Canon 350D|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica M8« »||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||591 g||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499||Leica M8|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||141 mm||86 mm||142 mm||734 g||360||n||Sep 2006||849||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Nikon D5600« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300« »||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3100« »||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599||Nikon D3100|
|Olympus E-330« »||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500« »||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-300« »||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic L10« »||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599||Panasonic L10|
|Panasonic L1« »||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||999||Panasonic L1|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 D3200 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the Digilux 3, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica Digilux 3 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Nikon D3200 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D3200 is 59 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 Digilux 3 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D3200 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24.1MP, the D3200 offers a higher resolution than the Digilux 3 (7.4MP), but the D3200 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.85μm versus 5.51μm for the Digilux 3). Yet, the D3200 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 7 months) than the Digilux 3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon D3200 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3200 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20 inch or 76.4 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16 inch or 61.1 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.1 x 13.3 inch or 50.9 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica Digilux 3 are 15.7 x 11.8 inch or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inch or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inch or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica Digilux 3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3200 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..||Leica Digilux 3|
|Nikon D3200||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/30p||24.1||13.2||1131||81||Nikon D3200|
|Canon 30D||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||none||21.5||10.8||736||59||Canon 30D|
|Canon 350D||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||none||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon 350D|
|Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica M8||APS-H||10.4||3936||2630||none||21.1||11.3||663||59||Leica M8|
|Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Nikon D5600||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3100||APS-C||14.2||4608||3072||1080/24p||22.5||11.3||919||67||Nikon D3100|
|Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55||Panasonic L10|
|Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..||Panasonic L1|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D3200 indeed provides for movie recording, while the Digilux 3 does not. The highest resolution format that the D3200 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Digilux 3 and the D3200 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D3200 has a higher magnification than the one of the Digilux 3 (0.53x 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 Digilux 3 and Nikon D3200 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Leica Digilux 3|
|Nikon D3200||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D3200|
|Canon 30D||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 30D|
|Canon 350D||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 350D|
|Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica M8||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/8000s||2.0||n||n||Leica M8|
|Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0||207||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Nikon D5600||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3100||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3100|
|Olympus E-330||optical||n||2.5||215||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-300||optical||n||1.8||134||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic L10||optical||n||2.5||207||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L10|
|Panasonic L1||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L1|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Digilux 3 and the D3200 write their files to SDXC cards. The D3200 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 Digilux 3 and Nikon D3200 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica Digilux 3|
|Nikon D3200||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3200|
|Canon 30D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 350D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 350D|
|Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica M8||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M8|
|Leica V-LUX 1||Y||mono||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Nikon D5600||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3100||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3100|
|Olympus E-330||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-300||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic L10||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L10|
|Panasonic L1||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L1|
Both the Digilux 3 and the D3200 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D3200 was replaced by the Nikon D3300, 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 and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Leica Digilux 3 better than the Nikon D3200 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Leica Digilux 3:
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 540) on a single battery charge.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2006).
Advantages of the Nikon D3200:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24.1 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 84%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x 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 (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 101g or 17 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 7 months of technical progress since the Digilux 3 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3200 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 3 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 Digilux 3 and the Nikon D3200 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Digilux 3 and the D3200 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
The review scores listed above should be treated 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 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.
- Canon 4000D vs Leica Digilux 3
- Canon 650D vs Nikon D3200
- Canon 7D vs Nikon D3200
- Canon G5 X vs Leica Digilux 3
- Canon M vs Nikon D3200
- Canon XS vs Nikon D3200
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Panasonic S1H
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Panasonic ZS70
- Nikon D3200 vs Nikon Z50
- Nikon D3200 vs Panasonic G6
- Nikon D3200 vs Panasonic GH1
- Nikon D3200 vs Pentax K-1
Specifications: Leica Digilux 3 vs Nikon D3200
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 Digilux 3||Nikon D3200|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2006||April 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1499||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Nikon D3200|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.2 x 15.4 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||357.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||27.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||7.4 Megapixels||24.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3136 x 2352 pixels||6016 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.51 μm||3.85 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||6.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-12800 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||81|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1131|
|Screen Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Nikon D3200|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||207k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Nikon D3200|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Nikon D3200|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica Digilux 3||Nikon D3200|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||540 shots per charge|
146 x 87 x 77 mm
(5.7 x 3.4 x 3.0 in)
125 x 96 x 77 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||606 g (21.4 oz)||505 g (17.8 oz)|
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