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Leica Digilux 3 versus Panasonic L10

The Leica Digilux 3 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2006 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 7.4 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 10 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 Panasonic L10

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica Digilux 3 and the Panasonic L10. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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 the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Leica Digilux 3 vs Panasonic L10
Compare Digilux 3 versus L10 top
Compare Digilux 3 and L10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic L10 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Leica Digilux 3. However, the L10 is markedly lighter (8 percent) than the Digilux 3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Digilux 3 nor the L10 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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 Digilux 3» 5.7 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 21.4 oz 750 n Sep 2006 1,499- i Leica Digilux 3
Panasonic L10« 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
Canon 30D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
Canon XT« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
Leica V-LUX 1« » 5.6 in 3.4 in 5.6 in 25.9 oz 360 n Sep 2006 849- i Leica V-LUX 1
Leica M8« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
Nikon D60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 500 n Jan 2008 629- i Nikon D60
Olympus E-420« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2008 599- i Olympus E-420
Olympus E-520« » 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 18.9 oz 750 n May 2008 699- i Olympus E-520
Olympus E-410« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
Olympus E-330« » 5.5 in 3.4 in 2.8 in 22.5 oz 750 n Jan 2006 999- i Olympus E-330
Olympus E-500« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.6 in 16.9 oz 750 n Sep 2005 599- i Olympus E-500
Olympus E-300« » 5.8 in 3.3 in 2.5 in 22.0 oz 750 n Sep 2004 799- i Olympus E-300
Olympus E-1« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 26.0 oz 750 Y Jun 2003 1,699- i Olympus E-1
Panasonic G1« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 12.7 oz 410 n Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
Panasonic L1« » 5.7 in 3.4 in 2.5 in 21.4 oz 750 n Feb 2006 999- i Panasonic L1

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The L10 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica Digilux 3 vs Panasonic L10

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Leica Digilux 3 and Panasonic L10 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the L10 offers a higher resolution of 10 megapixel, compared with 7.4 MP of the Digilux 3. This megapixel advantage translates into a 16 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the L10 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.74μm versus 5.51μm for the Digilux 3). However, it should be noted that the L10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the Digilux 3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

Digilux 3 versus L10 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 Digilux 3» Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----Leica Digilux 3
Panasonic L10« Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955Panasonic L10
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659Canon 30D
Canon XT« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon XT
Leica V-LUX 1« » 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p----Leica V-LUX 1
Leica M8« » APS-H 10.4 3936 2630-21.111.366359Leica M8
Nikon D60« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.511.456265Nikon D60
Olympus E-420« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.452756Olympus E-420
Olympus E-520« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.410.454855Olympus E-520
Olympus E-410« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.110.049451Olympus E-410
Olympus E-330« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----Olympus E-330
Olympus E-500« » Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448-----Olympus E-500
Olympus E-300« » Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448-----Olympus E-300
Olympus E-1« » Four Thirds 4.9 2560 1920-----Olympus E-1
Panasonic G1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353Panasonic G1
Panasonic L1« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----Panasonic L1
Both the Digilux 3 and the L10 offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Leica Digilux 3 vs Panasonic L10

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The Digilux 3 and the L10 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 Panasonic L10 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 Digilux 3»optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Leica Digilux 3
Panasonic L10«optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic L10
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
Canon XT« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon XT
Leica V-LUX 1« »235 n 2.0 207 swivel n 2000 2.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 1
Leica M8« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 2.0 n n Leica M8
Nikon D60« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D60
Olympus E-420« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Olympus E-420
Olympus E-520« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y Y Olympus E-520
Olympus E-410« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Olympus E-410
Olympus E-330« »optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 4000 3.0 Y n Olympus E-330
Olympus E-500« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Olympus E-500
Olympus E-300« »optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Olympus E-300
Olympus E-1« »optical Y 1.8 134 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Olympus E-1
Panasonic G1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4001 3.0 Y n Panasonic G1
Panasonic L1« »optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic L1

Both the Digilux 3 and the L10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Leica and Panasonic.

Review summary: Leica Digilux 3 vs Panasonic L10

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica Digilux 3 better than the Panasonic L10 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Leica Digilux 3:

  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 450) on a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2006).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the L10 comes out slightly ahead of the Digilux 3 (4 : 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.

Digilux 3 03:04 L10

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the Digilux 3 and the L10 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 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
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Leica Digilux 3»----- Sep 2006 1,499- i Leica Digilux 3
Panasonic L10«85/100Rec3.5/5rev4/5 Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
Canon 30D« »HiRecHiRecrevrev- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
Canon XT« »80/100HiRecrevrev- Feb 2005 899- i Canon XT
Leica V-LUX 1« »----- Sep 2006 849- i Leica V-LUX 1
Leica M8« »-HiRec--- Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
Nikon D60« »80/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Jan 2008 629- i Nikon D60
Olympus E-420« »85/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2008 599- i Olympus E-420
Olympus E-520« »87/100HiRec4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699- i Olympus E-520
Olympus E-410« »86/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
Olympus E-330« »-Recrev3.5/5- Jan 2006 999- i Olympus E-330
Olympus E-500« »76/100HiRec--- Sep 2005 599- i Olympus E-500
Olympus E-300« »-Recrevrev4.5/5 Sep 2004 799- i Olympus E-300
Olympus E-1« »-Recrevrev- Jun 2003 1,699- i Olympus E-1
Panasonic G1« »HiRec70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
Panasonic L1« »85/100Rec-rev3.5/5 Feb 2006 999- i Panasonic L1

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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? 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 you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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