Leica V-LUX 1 vs Sony RX100
The Leica V-LUX 1 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2006 and June 2012. Both the V-LUX 1 and the RX100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.8-inch (V-LUX 1) and an one-inch (RX100) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 20 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Leica V-LUX 1||Sony RX100|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|35-420mm f/2.8-3.7||28-100mm f/1.8-4.9|
|10 MP, 1/1.8" Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|480/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)||ISO 100-6400 (100-25600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (235k dots)||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|2.0" LCD, 207k dots||3.0" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|360 shots per battery charge||330 shots per battery charge|
|141 x 86 x 142 mm, 734 g||102 x 58 x 36 mm, 240 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica V-LUX 1 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100? 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 Sony RX100 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 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 Sony RX100 is considerably smaller (51 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 1. Moreover, the RX100 is substantially lighter (67 percent) than the V-LUX 1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 1 nor the RX100 are weather-sealed.
The power pack in the RX100 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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.
|Leica V-LUX 1»||5.6 in||3.4 in||5.6 in||25.9 oz||360||n||Sep 2006||849||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Sony RX100«||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||Sony RX100|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.3 oz||235||n||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X« »||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||529||Canon G9 X|
|Leica Q Typ 116« »||5.1 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||22.6 oz||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica X Vario« »||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.7 in||24.0 oz||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850||Leica X Vario|
|Leica D-LUX 6« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Sep 2012||699||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica V-LUX 4« »||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Sep 2012||949||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Leica V-LUX 3« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.7 in||19.0 oz||410||n||Dec 2011||949||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Leica D-LUX 5« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Sep 2010||699||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Leica V-LUX 2« »||4.9 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||18.3 oz||410||n||Sep 2010||849||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Leica X1« »||4.9 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||10.8 oz||260||n||Sep 2009||1,995||Leica X1|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||Nikon D80|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||5.4 in||3.9 in||5.2 in||29.3 oz||360||n||Jun 2014||899||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony RX100 III« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||Sony RX100 II|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The RX100 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 24 percent) than the V-LUX 1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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 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 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 Sony RX100 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX100 is 205 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.8 and 2.7. The sensor in the V-LUX 1 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX100 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 20MP, the RX100 offers a higher resolution than the V-LUX 1 (10MP), but the RX100 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 1.95μm for the V-LUX 1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RX100 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 8 months) 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 Sony RX100 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RX100 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.4 x 18.2 inch or 69.5 x 46.3 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.9 x 14.6 inch or 55.6 x 37.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.2 inch or 46.3 x 30.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica V-LUX 1 are 18.2 x 13.7 inch or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inch or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inch 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Sony RX100||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63||Canon G9 X|
|Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78||Leica X Vario|
|Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Leica X1||APS-C||12.2||4272||2856||none||..||..||..||..||Leica X1|
|Nikon D80||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||none||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Panasonic FZ1000||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.9||12.6||474||69||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67||Sony RX100 II|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the RX100 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.
Beyond 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 RX100 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica V-LUX 1 and Sony RX100 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0||207||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Sony RX100||none||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y||Canon G9 X|
|Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X Vario|
|Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Leica X1||none||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0||Y||n||Leica X1|
|Nikon D80||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Panasonic FZ1000||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10||1440||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 II|
Both the V-LUX 1 and the RX100 have zoom lenses built in. The V-LUX 1 has a 35-420mm f/2.8-3.7 optic and the RX100 offers a 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Sony provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Leica, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The RX100 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The V-LUX 1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the RX100 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica V-LUX 1||Y||mono||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Sony RX100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G9 X|
|Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Leica Q Typ 116|
|Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Vario|
|Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 6|
|Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica D-LUX 5|
|Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Leica X1||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X1|
|Nikon D80||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Panasonic FZ1000||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Sony RX10||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 II|
It is notable that the V-LUX 1 has a hotshoe, while the RX100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the V-LUX 1 and the RX100 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 RX100 was followed by the Sony RX100 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica V-LUX 1 better than the Sony RX100 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
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 swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or 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.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- 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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
- 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.
- 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 (1229k vs 207k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 141x86mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 494g or 67 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (24 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 8 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 RX100 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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 Sony RX100 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the V-LUX 1 or the RX100 perform in practice. 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.
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 250D vs Sony RX100 VII
- Canon 760D vs Leica V-LUX 1
- Canon T6 vs Sony RX100 VI
- Leica V-LUX 1 vs Panasonic G1
- Olympus E-520 vs Sony RX100 III
- Olympus E-PL1 vs Sony RX100 VII
- Olympus E-PL9 vs Sony RX100
- Panasonic FZ82 vs Sony RX100 VII
- Panasonic L10 vs Sony RX100 VII
- Panasonic ZS200 vs Sony RX100 III
- Sony A7 III vs Sony RX100 V
- Sony H400 vs Sony RX100 IV
Specifications: Leica V-LUX 1 vs Sony RX100
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||Sony RX100|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||35-420mm f/2.8-3.7||28-100mm f/1.8-4.9|
|Launch Date||September 2006||June 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 849||USD 649|
|Sensor Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Sony RX100|
|Sensor Format||1/1.8" Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.14 x 5.36 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||38.2704 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||8.9 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.95 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||26.08 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||480/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-3200 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||66|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||390|
|Screen Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Sony RX100|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||No viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||235k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||207k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Sony RX100|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000/s||1/2000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||2 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Sony RX100|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica V-LUX 1||Sony RX100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
141 x 86 x 142 mm
(5.6 x 3.4 x 5.6 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||734 g (25.9 oz)||240 g (8.5 oz)|
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