Leica V-LUX 1 vs Olympus E-30
The Leica V-LUX 1 and the Olympus E-30 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2006 and November 2008. The V-LUX 1 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-30 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.8-inch (V-LUX 1) and a Four Thirds (E-30) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 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 V-LUX 1 and the Olympus E-30? 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 V-LUX 1 and the Olympus E-30 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-30 is notably larger (26 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 1 nor the E-30 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the V-LUX 1 has a lens built in, whereas the E-30 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 E-30 and their specifications 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. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 1||5.6 in||3.4 in||5.6 in||25.9 oz||360||n||Sep 2006||849|
|2.||Olympus E-30||5.6 in||4.3 in||3.0 in||24.7 oz||750||n||Nov 2008||1,299|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||5.1 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||22.6 oz||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|4.||Leica X Vario||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.7 in||24.0 oz||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|5.||Leica D-LUX 6||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 4||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Sep 2012||949|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.7 in||19.0 oz||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 5||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Sep 2010||699|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 2||4.9 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||18.3 oz||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|10.||Leica X1||4.9 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||10.8 oz||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995|
|11.||Nikon D80||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|12.||Olympus E-600||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.9 oz||500||n||Aug 2009||449|
|13.||Olympus E-620||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|14.||Olympus E-520||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699|
|15.||Olympus E-410||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|16.||Olympus E-510||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|17.||Panasonic FZ1000||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 V-LUX 1 was launched at a lower price than the E-30, despite having a lens built in. 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.
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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica V-LUX 1 features a 1/1.8-inch sensor and the Olympus E-30 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-30 is 492 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.8 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
With 12.2MP, the E-30 offers a higher resolution than the V-LUX 1 (10MP), but the E-30 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 1.95μm for the V-LUX 1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the E-30 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 1 month) than the V-LUX 1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V-LUX 1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-30 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-30 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20.2 x 15.1 inches or 51.2 x 38.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16.1 x 12.1 inches or 41 x 30.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.4 x 10.1 inches or 34.1 x 25.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica V-LUX 1 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica V-LUX 1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-30 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Olympus E-30||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.4||530||55|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|4.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|5.||Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Olympus E-600||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.5||10.3||541||55|
|13.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|14.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|15.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|16.||Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The V-LUX 1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-30 does not. The highest resolution format that the V-LUX 1 can use is 480/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the V-LUX 1 has an electronic viewfinder (235k dots), while the E-30 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica V-LUX 1 and Olympus E-30 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0||207||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|4.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|5.||Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
One feature that is present on the E-30, but is missing on the V-LUX 1 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The V-LUX 1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the E-30 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-30 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the V-LUX 1 only has one slot.
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 Olympus E-30 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Leica V-LUX 1||Y||mono||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the V-LUX 1 and the E-30 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The V-LUX 1 was replaced by the Leica V-LUX 2, while the E-30 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 Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica V-LUX 1 better than the Olympus E-30 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Leica V-LUX 1:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 480/30p movies.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the E-30 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (141x86mm vs 142x108mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2006).
Advantages of the Olympus E-30:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- 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.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 360) out of a single battery charge.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the V-LUX 1 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-30 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 8 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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 V-LUX 1 and the Olympus E-30 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the V-LUX 1 or the E-30 perform in practice. 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], 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 V-LUX 1||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||849|
|2.||Olympus E-30||..||..||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2008||1,299|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|4.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|5.||Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|6.||Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949|
|7.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|8.||Leica D-LUX 5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||699|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|10.||Leica X1||3/5||..||+||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995|
|11.||Nikon D80||..||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|12.||Olympus E-600||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Aug 2009||449|
|13.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|14.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|15.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|16.||Olympus E-510||..||89/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|17.||Panasonic FZ1000||4/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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, 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Leica V-LUX 1 vs Olympus E-30
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 V-LUX 1||Olympus E-30|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||35-420mm f/2.8-3.7||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2006||November 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 849||USD 1,299|
|Sensor Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Olympus E-30|
|Sensor Format||1/1.8" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.14 x 5.36 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||38.2704 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||8.9 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.95 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||26.08 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||480/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||55|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||530|
|Screen Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Olympus E-30|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||98%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||235k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||207k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Olympus E-30|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Olympus E-30|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Olympus E-30|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
141 x 86 x 142 mm
(5.6 x 3.4 x 5.6 in)
142 x 108 x 75 mm
(5.6 x 4.3 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||734 g (25.9 oz)||701 g (24.7 oz)|
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