Leica V-LUX 2 vs Nikon D5500
The Leica V-LUX 2 and the Nikon D5500 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2010 and January 2015. The V-LUX 2 is a fixed lens compact, while the D5500 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (V-LUX 2) and an APS-C (D5500) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24 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 D5500? 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 2 and the Nikon D5500 is provided 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The D5500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the V-LUX 2 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 Nikon D5500 is notably larger (21 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 2 nor the D5500 are weather-sealed.
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 D5500 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 D5500 and their specifications in the Nikon 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 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|2.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|3.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|5.||Canon G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|6.||Fujifilm X100||126 mm||75 mm||54 mm||445 g||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199|
|7.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Sep 2012||949|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||141 mm||86 mm||142 mm||734 g||360||n||Sep 2006||849|
|11.||Nikon D5600||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|12.||Nikon D3400||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|13.||Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|14.||Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|15.||Nikon D5100||128 mm||97 mm||79 mm||560 g||660||n||Apr 2011||749|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|17.||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.|
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 V-LUX 2 was launched at a lower price than the D5500, 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. 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica V-LUX 2 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Nikon D5500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D5500 is 1211 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 D5500 offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 24MP, the D5500 offers a higher resolution than the V-LUX 2 (14MP), but the D5500 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.41μm for the V-LUX 2) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D5500 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 3 months) than the V-LUX 2, 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 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 Nikon D5500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D5500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica V-LUX 2 are 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm for good quality, 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 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 Nikon D5500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 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 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|5.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|7.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D5500 provides a faster frame rate than the V-LUX 2. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Leica is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the V-LUX 2 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the D5500 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 2 and Nikon D5500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X100||1440||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|7.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0 / 207||tilting||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Nikon D5600||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon D5100||optical||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Panasonic FZ100||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The D5500 has a touchscreen, while the V-LUX 2 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.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 Nikon D5500 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the V-LUX 2 and the D5500 write their files to SDXC cards. The D5500 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.
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 D5500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X100||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Leica X Typ 113||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 V-LUX 1||Y||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Nikon D5600||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|12.||Nikon D3400||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y|
|13.||Nikon D3300||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Nikon D5300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Nikon D5100||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the D5500 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the V-LUX 2 does not provide wifi capability.
Both the V-LUX 2 and the D5500 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 D5500 was followed by the Nikon D5600. 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 how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Leica V-LUX 2 or the Nikon D5500 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Leica V-LUX 2:
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D5500 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x80mm vs 124x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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 2010).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D5500:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 14MP), which boosts linear resolution by 34%.
- 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 movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 460k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (820 versus 410) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the V-LUX 2 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D5500 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Nikon D5500 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 D5500 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 (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 2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|2.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|3.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|4.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|5.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|6.||Fujifilm X100||3/5||..||..||75/100||4/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,199|
|7.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||849|
|11.||Nikon D5600||4/5||..||4/5||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|12.||Nikon D3400||4/5||+||4/5||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|13.||Nikon D3300||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|14.||Nikon D5300||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|15.||Nikon D5100||5/5||+ +||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|17.||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 are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Canon SX730 vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Fujifilm X-A7 vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Fujifilm X-T30 vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Leica V-LUX 2 vs Olympus E-600
- Nikon D50 vs Nikon D5500
- Nikon D5500 vs Olympus E-400
- Nikon D5500 vs Olympus E-520
- Nikon D5500 vs Olympus E-M5
- Nikon D5500 vs Sigma fp
- Nikon D5500 vs Sony NEX-3
Specifications: Leica V-LUX 2 vs Nikon D5500
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 D5500|
|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||January 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 849||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Nikon D5500|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||14 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4320 x 3240 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.41 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||49.86 MP/cm2||6.55 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 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||84|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1438|
|Screen Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Nikon D5500|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Nikon D5500|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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||Nikon D5500|
|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||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Nikon D5500|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||820 shots per charge|
124 x 80 x 95 mm
(4.9 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||520 g (18.3 oz)||420 g (14.8 oz)|
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