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Leica V-LUX 1 Comparison Review

The Leica V-LUX 1 is a fixed lens compact camera that was officially introduced in September 2006 and is equipped with a 1/1.8-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 10 megapixel.

camera

Is the Leica V-LUX 1 a good camera? The V-LUX 1 has a Camera Elo of 1001. This rating puts the V-LUX 1 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the V-LUX 1 also ranks below average. – Well, the Leica V-LUX 1 is more than 15 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2006.

Headline Specifications
Leica V-LUX 1
Fixed lens compact camera
35-420mm f/2.8-3.7
10 MP, 1/1.8" Sensor
480/30p Video
ISO 100 - 1 600 (100 - 3 200)
Electronic viewfinder (235k dots)
2.0 LCD, 207k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
2 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge
141 x 86 x 142 mm, 734 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Leica V-LUX 1 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Leica V-LUX 1 vs credit card front
V-LUX 1 versus credit card top view
V-LUX 1 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Leica V-LUX 1 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 141 mm 86 mm 142 mm 734 g 360 n Sep 2006 849i
2.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
3.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
4.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699i
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Sep 2010 699i
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
9.
 
Leica X1 124 mm 60 mm 32 mm 306 g 260 n Sep 2009 1,995i
10.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Leica V-LUX 1 was launched in the US market at a price of $849. 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.

Leica V-LUX 1:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Leica V-LUX 1 features a 1/1.8-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.8. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Leica V-LUX 1 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Leica V-LUX 1 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
2.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
3.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
4.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p........
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p........
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
9.
 
Leica X1 APS-C 12.2 4272 2856none........
10.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
11.
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The V-LUX 1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the V-LUX 1 can use is 480/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Leica V-LUX 1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 1235 n2.0 / 207 tilting n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
2.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
3.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
9.
 
Leica X1none n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y

The LCD screen on the Leica V-LUX 1 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD can be tilted vertically to facilitate odd-angle shots in landscape orientation. This tilting design is often preferred, for example, by street photographers to a fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment, as it is more unobtrusive during shooting than a screen that flips out to the side.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the V-LUX 1

One convenient feature of the V-LUX 1 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection comparison

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 V-LUX 1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 1Ymono / mono---2.0---
2.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 4Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica X1Y- / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic FZ1000Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-

The V-LUX 1 has a zoom lens built in (7.4-88.8mm f/2.8-3.7), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 35 to 420mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the V-LUX 1. 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 1............ Sep 2006 849i
2.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
3.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
4.
 
Leica D-LUX 6........4/54/5 Sep 2012 699i
5.
 
Leica V-LUX 4............ Sep 2012 949i
6.
 
Leica V-LUX 3............ Dec 2011 949i
7.
 
Leica D-LUX 5........4.5/54/5 Sep 2010 699i
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 2............ Sep 2010 849i
9.
 
Leica X13/5....+..4/5 Sep 2009 1,995i
10.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
11.
 
Panasonic FZ10004/5+ +..82/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica V-LUX 1 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the V-LUX 1.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the V-LUX 1 based on?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the V-LUX 1?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the V-LUX 1 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

Does the Leica V-LUX 1 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the V-LUX 1 use?

The camera gets its power from the BP-DC5, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Leica V-LUX 1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 35-420mm f/2.8-3.7
    Launch Date September 2006
    Launch Price USD 849
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.8" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.14 x 5.36 mm
    Sensor Area 38 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 8.9 mm
    Crop Factor 4.8x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3 648 x 2 736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.95 μm
    Pixel Density 26.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 480/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1 600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3 200 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 235k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 2.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 207k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    V-logging Friendliness Front-flip possible
    Touch Input No touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 2 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BP-DC5 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 141 x 86 x 142 mm
    (5.6 x 3.4 x 5.6 in)
    Camera Weight 734 g (25.9 oz)

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