Leica V-LUX 2 vs Nikon D2H
The Leica V-LUX 2 and the Nikon D2H are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and July 2003. The V-LUX 2 is a fixed lens compact, while the D2H is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (V-LUX 2) and an APS-C (D2H) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 4 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 2 and the Nikon D2H? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Nikon D2H are illustrated 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 measures 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 Nikon D2H is considerably larger (139 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 2. It is noteworthy in this context that the D2H is splash and dust-proof, while the V-LUX 2 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the V-LUX 2 has a lens built in, whereas the D2H 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 D2H and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
As can be seen in the images above, the D2H has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|Leica V-LUX 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|Nikon D2H||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1070 g||2900||Y||Jul 2003||3,499|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|Fujifilm X100||126 mm||75 mm||54 mm||445 g||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199|
|Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Leica V-LUX 4||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Sep 2012||949|
|Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|Leica V-LUX 1||141 mm||86 mm||142 mm||734 g||360||n||Sep 2006||849|
|Nikon D850||146 mm||124 mm||79 mm||1005 g||1840||Y||Jul 2017||3,299|
|Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|Nikon D5100||128 mm||97 mm||79 mm||560 g||660||n||Apr 2011||749|
|Nikon D700||147 mm||123 mm||77 mm||1074 g||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999|
|Nikon D2X||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999|
|Nikon D1H||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||1200||Y||Feb 2001||4,499|
|Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 lower price than the D2H, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica V-LUX 2 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Nikon D2H an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D2H is 1189 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the V-LUX 2 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D2H offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Leica V-LUX 2 offers a higher resolution of 14 megapixels, compared with 4 MP of the Nikon D2H. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.41μm versus 9.50μm for the D2H). However, it should be noted that the V-LUX 2 is much more recent (by 7 years and 2 months) than the D2H, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V-LUX 2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its 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 Nikon D2H are 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.3 x 20.7 cm for good quality, 9.9 x 6.5 inches or 25 x 16.6 cm for very good quality, and 8.2 x 5.4 inches or 20.9 x 13.8 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 Nikon D2H are ISO 200 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-6400.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon D850||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.4||14.8||2660||100|
|Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|Nikon D700||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2303||80|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The V-LUX 2 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D2H does not. The highest resolution format that the V-LUX 2 can use is 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the V-LUX 2 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the D2H 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica V-LUX 2, the Nikon D2H, and comparable cameras.
|Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0||207||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The V-LUX 2 has one, while the D2H does not. While the built-in flash of the V-LUX 2 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The V-LUX 2 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the D2H does not have a selfie-screen.
The V-LUX 2 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D2H uses Compact Flash 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 2 and Nikon D2H and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 1||Y||mono||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D2H (unlike the V-LUX 2) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the V-LUX 2 and the D2H have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2H was replaced by the Nikon D2Hs, while the V-LUX 2 was followed by the Leica V-LUX 3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Nikon websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica V-LUX 2 better than the Nikon D2H 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 2:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (14 vs 4MP) with a 83% higher linear resolution.
- 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 1080/60i movies.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 211k dots).
- 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.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D2H requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x80mm vs 158x150mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D2H).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- 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 modern: Reflects 7 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D2H launch.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D2H:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (2900 versus 410) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2003).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the V-LUX 2 emerges as the winner of the contest (17 : 14 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 2 and the Nikon D2H 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 2 or the D2H perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews 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.
|Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|Nikon D2H||..||+ +||..||o||..||Jul 2003||3,499|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||+||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G1 X||+||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|Fujifilm X100||..||75/100||4/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199|
|Leica X Typ 113||..||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949|
|Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|Leica V-LUX 1||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||849|
|Nikon D850||+ +||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2017||3,299|
|Nikon D810||..||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|Nikon D5100||+ +||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749|
|Nikon D700||89/100||+ +||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2008||2,999|
|Nikon D2X||..||+ +||..||o||..||Sep 2004||4,999|
|Nikon D1H||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2001||4,499|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic FZ100||+||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 2 vs Nikon D2H
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 2||Nikon D2H|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2010||July 2003|
|Launch Price||USD 849||USD 3,499|
|Sensor Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Nikon D2H|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.3 x 15.5 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||361.15 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||14 Megapixels||4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4320 x 3240 pixels||2464 x 1632 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.41 μm||9.50 μm|
|Pixel Density||49.86 MP/cm2||1.11 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||200 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||40|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||18.9|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||352|
|Screen Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Nikon D2H|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||211k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Nikon D2H|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Nikon D2H|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Nikon D2H|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||2900 shots per charge|
124 x 80 x 95 mm
(4.9 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
158 x 150 x 86 mm
(6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
|Camera Weight||520 g (18.3 oz)||1070 g (37.7 oz)|
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