Leica V-LUX 1 vs Panasonic LX7
The Leica V-LUX 1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2006 and July 2012. Both the V-LUX 1 and the LX7 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.8-inch (V-LUX 1) and a 1/1.7-inch (LX7) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 10 megapixels.
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7? 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 Panasonic LX7 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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.
The LX7 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the V-LUX 1 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX7 is considerably smaller (38 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 1. Moreover, the LX7 is substantially lighter (59 percent) than the V-LUX 1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 1 nor the LX7 are weather-sealed.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 1||141 mm||86 mm||142 mm||734 g||360||n||Sep 2006||849||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249||ebay.com|
|6.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699||ebay.com|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Sep 2012||949||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica D-LUX 5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Sep 2010||699||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849||ebay.com|
|12.||Leica X1||124 mm||60 mm||32 mm||306 g||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic GF3||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||n||Jun 2011||549||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499||ebay.com|
|Note: 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 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 LX7 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 41 percent) than the V-LUX 1, 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 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. 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 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 Panasonic LX7 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the LX7 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.8 and 4.65. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The LX7 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
Even though the LX7 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 10 megapixels. This implies that the LX7 has a lower pixel density and marginally larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 2.05μm versus 1.95μm for the V-LUX 1), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the LX7 is much more recent (by 5 years and 10 months) than the V-LUX 1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 are ISO 80 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||18.4||9.5||-727||29|
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|6.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|7.||Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||19.8||10.8||-303||43|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.8||11.1||501||43|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.7||11.0||430||42|
|10.||Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||19.5||10.4||-583||39|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||19.4||10.7||321||39|
|15.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.5||10.0||573||50|
|16.||Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.1||459||50|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the LX7 provides a better video resolution than the V-LUX 1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Leica is limited to 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), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX7 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the LX7 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica V-LUX 1, the Panasonic LX7, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0 / 207||tilting||n||1/2000s||2.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|6.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Leica X1||none||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon D80||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic FZ1000||2359||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic GF5||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Panasonic GF3||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.2/s||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The Panasonic LX7 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the V-LUX 1 and the LX7 have zoom lenses built in. The V-LUX 1 has a 35-420mm f/2.8-3.7 optic and the LX7 offers a 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Leica, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX7 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The V-LUX 1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the LX7 uses SDXC 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 V-LUX 1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica V-LUX 1||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Leica X1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D80||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic FZ1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Panasonic GF5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic GF3||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the V-LUX 1 and the LX7 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 LX7 was followed by the Panasonic LX10. Further information on the features and operation of the V-LUX 1 and LX7 can be found, respectively, in the Leica V-LUX 1 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic LX7 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica V-LUX 1 and the Panasonic LX7? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Leica V-LUX 1:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- 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).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 480/30p).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 207k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.4 vs f/2.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 141x86mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 436g or 59 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (41 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 10 months of technical progress since the V-LUX 1 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LX7 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 7 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 Panasonic LX7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the V-LUX 1 and the LX7 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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599||ebay.com|
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249||ebay.com|
|6.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2012||699||ebay.com|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica D-LUX 5||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||699||ebay.com|
|11.||Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849||ebay.com|
|12.||Leica X1||3/5||..||..||+||..||4/5||Sep 2009||1,995||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon D80||..||+||..||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic FZ1000||4/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic GF3||3/5||82/100||..||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499||ebay.com|
|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.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu 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.
- Canon 300D vs Panasonic LX7
- Canon D60 vs Panasonic LX7
- Canon R3 vs Leica V-LUX 1
- Canon T4i vs Leica V-LUX 1
- Contax N Digital vs Panasonic LX7
- Fujifilm X-E2S vs Leica V-LUX 1
- Leica TL2 vs Panasonic LX7
- Leica V-LUX 1 vs Nikon D3300
- Leica V-LUX 1 vs Panasonic FZ80
- Leica V-LUX 1 vs Pentax 645Z
- Nikon D70s vs Panasonic LX7
- Panasonic LX7 vs Sony A5100
Specifications: Leica V-LUX 1 vs Panasonic LX7
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||Panasonic LX7|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||35-420mm f/2.8-3.7||24-90mm f/1.4-2.3|
|Launch Date||September 2006||July 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 849||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Panasonic LX7|
|Sensor Format||1/1.8" Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.14 x 5.36 mm||7.44 x 5.58 mm|
|Sensor Area||38.2704 mm2||41.5152 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||8.9 mm||9.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.95 μm||2.05 μm|
|Pixel Density||26.08 MP/cm2||24.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||480/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||50|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||20.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||147|
|Screen Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Panasonic LX7|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||235k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||207k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Panasonic LX7|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Panasonic LX7|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Panasonic LX7|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
141 x 86 x 142 mm
(5.6 x 3.4 x 5.6 in)
111 x 68 x 46 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||734 g (25.9 oz)||298 g (10.5 oz)|
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