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Leica V-LUX 2 vs V-LUX 4

The Leica V-LUX 2 and the Leica V-LUX 4 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and September 2012. Both the V-LUX 2 and the V-LUX 4 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The V-LUX 2 has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the V-LUX 4 provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica V-LUX 2 versus Leica V-LUX 4
Leica V-LUX 2 Leica V-LUX 4
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 25-600mm f/2.8
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400) ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1312k dots)
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
11 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
410 shots per battery charge540 shots per battery charge
124 x 80 x 95 mm, 520 g 125 x 87 x 110 mm, 588 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Leica V-LUX 4? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Leica V-LUX 4 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Leica V-LUX 2 vs Leica V-LUX 4
Compare V-LUX 2 versus V-LUX 4 top
Comparison V-LUX 2 or V-LUX 4 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica V-LUX 4 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 2. Moreover, the V-LUX 4 is markedly heavier (13 percent) than the V-LUX 2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 2 nor the V-LUX 4 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the V-LUX 2 gets 410 shots out of its BP-DC9 battery, while the V-LUX 4 can take 540 images on a single charge of its BP-DC12 power pack.

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, 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica V-LUX 2 4.9 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 18.3 oz 410 n Sep 2010 849i
 
Leica V-LUX 4 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon SX40 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 380 n Sep 2011 429i
 
Canon SX30 4.8 in 3.6 in 4.3 in 21.2 oz 370 n Sep 2010 429i
 
Canon SX20 4.8 in 3.5 in 3.4 in 21.2 oz .. n Aug 2009 399i
 
Leica X Typ 113 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Leica V-LUX 3 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 1 5.6 in 3.4 in 5.6 in 25.9 oz 360 n Sep 2006 849i
 
Panasonic FZ150 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic FZ100 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 V-LUX 2 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 11 percent) than the V-LUX 4, 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Leica V-LUX 2 and Leica V-LUX 4 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the V-LUX 2 offers a higher resolution of 14 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the V-LUX 4. This megapixels advantage translates into a 8 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the V-LUX 2 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.41μm versus 1.53μm for the V-LUX 4). Moreover, it should be noted that the V-LUX 4 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the V-LUX 2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica V-LUX 2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the V-LUX 2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica V-LUX 4 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica V-LUX 2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica V-LUX 4 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.

V-LUX 2 versus V-LUX 4 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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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
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
 
Leica V-LUX 1 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........

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 V-LUX 4 provides a faster frame rate than the V-LUX 2. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the V-LUX 2 is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the V-LUX 4 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the V-LUX 2 (1312k vs 202k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica V-LUX 2 and Leica V-LUX 4 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
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(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
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Leica V-LUX 1235 n 2.0 207 swivel n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
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.

Both the V-LUX 2 and the V-LUX 4 have zoom lenses built in. The V-LUX 2 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 optic and the V-LUX 4 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the V-LUX 2 and the V-LUX 4 write their files to SDXC cards. The V-LUX 4 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the V-LUX 2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity 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 2 and Leica V-LUX 4 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Leica V-LUX 1Ymonomono---2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the V-LUX 4 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The V-LUX 2 does not feature such a mic input.

Both the V-LUX 2 and the V-LUX 4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The V-LUX 2 was replaced by the Leica V-LUX 3, while the V-LUX 4 was followed by the Leica V-LUX Typ 114. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Leica V-LUX 2 or the Leica V-LUX 4 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Leica V-LUX 2:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14 vs 12MP) with a 8% higher linear resolution.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 68g or 12 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (11 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2010).


Reasons to prefer the Leica V-LUX 4:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1312k vs 202k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 410) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 11 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the V-LUX 4 emerges as the winner of the match-up (7 : 4 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

V-LUX 2 04:07 V-LUX 4

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Leica V-LUX 4 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, 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 shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the V-LUX 2 or the V-LUX 4. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon SX40+..4.5/55/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
 
Canon SX30+ +..3.5/54.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
 
Canon SX20+ +73/100..4/54/5 Aug 2009 399i
 
Leica X Typ 113....3.5/5..4/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
 
Leica V-LUX 1.......... Sep 2006 849i
 
Panasonic FZ150+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
 
Panasonic FZ100+..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica V-LUX 2:
Check Ebay offers
Leica V-LUX 4:
Check Ebay offers

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Leica V-LUX 2 vs Leica V-LUX 4

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Leica V-LUX 2 Leica V-LUX 4
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 25-600mm f/2.8
    Launch Date September 2010 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 849 USD 949
    Sensor Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Leica V-LUX 4
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 14 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4320 x 3240 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Leica V-LUX 4
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 1312k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Leica V-LUX 4
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 12 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Leica V-LUX 4
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Leica V-LUX 4
    Battery Type BP-DC9 BP-DC12
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge540 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 80 x 95 mm
    (4.9 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    125 x 87 x 110 mm
    (4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 oz) 588 g (20.7 oz)

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