Leica V-LUX 2 vs Olympus E-420
The Leica V-LUX 2 and the Olympus E-420 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2010 and March 2008. The V-LUX 2 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-420 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (V-LUX 2) and a Four Thirds (E-420) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 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 Olympus E-420? 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 Olympus E-420 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 Olympus E-420 is notably larger (19 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 2 nor the E-420 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 E-420 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 E-420 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX20||123 mm||88 mm||87 mm||600 g||..||n||Aug 2009||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295||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 V-LUX 1||141 mm||86 mm||142 mm||734 g||360||n||Sep 2006||849||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus E-620||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||521 g||500||n||Feb 2009||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-520||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||535 g||750||n||May 2008||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699||ebay.com|
|15.||Olympus E-400||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Sep 2006||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||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 manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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 Olympus E-420 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-420 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Leica V-LUX 2 offers a higher resolution of 14 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Olympus E-420. 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 4.74μm for the E-420). However, it should be noted that the V-LUX 2 is much more recent (by 2 years and 6 months) than the E-420, 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 Olympus E-420 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 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 Olympus E-420 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
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.
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||19.4||10.7||321||39|
|2.||Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|7.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||12.8||1491||78|
|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 V-LUX 1||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||18.4||9.5||-727||29|
|11.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|12.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|13.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|14.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|15.||Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.0||10.6||127||53|
|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 V-LUX 2 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-420 does not. The highest resolution format that the V-LUX 2 can use is 1080/60i.
Beyond 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 E-420 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica V-LUX 2 and Olympus E-420 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Olympus E-420||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX40||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||10.3/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX30||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.6/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX20||202||n||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.7/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|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 V-LUX 1||235||n||2.0 / 207||tilting||n||1/2000s||2.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Olympus E-450||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|12.||Olympus E-620||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Olympus E-520||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Olympus E-410||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Olympus E-400||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Panasonic FZ100||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The V-LUX 2 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-420 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-420 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the V-LUX 2 only has one slot.
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 Olympus E-420 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.||Olympus E-420||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SX40||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon SX30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon SX20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||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.||Olympus E-450||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Olympus E-620||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-520||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-410||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Olympus E-400||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the V-LUX 2 and the E-420 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 E-420 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Olympus websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Olympus E-420? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Leica V-LUX 2:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (14 vs 10MP) with a 18% 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 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 215k 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 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the E-420 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x80mm vs 130x91mm) 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 modern: Reflects 2 years and 6 months of technical progress since the E-420 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-420:
- 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.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 410) out of a single battery charge.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2008).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the V-LUX 2 emerges as the winner of the contest (14 : 11 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 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 Olympus E-420 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the V-LUX 2 and the E-420 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-420||..||85/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX20||..||+ +||..||73/100||..||4/5||Aug 2009||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295||ebay.com|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949||ebay.com|
|10.||Leica V-LUX 1||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||849||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||..||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699||ebay.com|
|15.||Olympus E-400||..||85/100||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2006||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. 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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 2000D vs Olympus E-420
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Canon M100 vs Olympus E-420
- Canon SX510 vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Canon XC10 vs Leica V-LUX 2
- Hasselblad X1D vs Olympus E-420
- Leica V-LUX 2 vs Nikon D5600
- Leica V-LUX 2 vs Olympus E-400
- Leica V-LUX 2 vs Panasonic GF2
- Nikon D2X vs Olympus E-420
- Olympus E-420 vs Panasonic S1R
- Olympus E-420 vs Sony A99
Specifications: Leica V-LUX 2 vs Olympus E-420
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||Olympus E-420|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2010||March 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 849||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Olympus E-420|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||14 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4320 x 3240 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.41 μm||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||49.86 MP/cm2||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||56|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||527|
|Screen Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Olympus E-420|
|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||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Olympus E-420|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica V-LUX 2||Olympus E-420|
|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||Olympus E-420|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
124 x 80 x 95 mm
(4.9 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
130 x 91 x 53 mm
(5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||520 g (18.3 oz)||440 g (15.5 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.