Leica V-LUX 3 vs V-LUX 4
The Leica V-LUX 3 and the Leica V-LUX 4 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in December 2011 and September 2012. Both the V-LUX 3 and the V-LUX 4 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Leica V-LUX 3||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|25-600mm f/2.8-5.2||25-600mm f/2.8|
|12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-3200 (100-6400)||ISO 100-3200 (100-6400)|
|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)|
|12 shutter flaps per second||12 shutter flaps per second|
|410 shots per battery charge||540 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 81 x 95 mm, 540 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 3 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica V-LUX 3 and the Leica V-LUX 4. 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 Leica V-LUX 4 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 3. Moreover, the V-LUX 4 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the V-LUX 3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 3 nor the V-LUX 4 are weather-sealed.
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.
|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 V-LUX 4«||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Sep 2012||949||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||4.6 in||2.9 in||2.6 in||19.5 oz||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||Canon G1 X|
|Canon SX40« »||4.8 in||3.6 in||4.3 in||21.2 oz||380||n||Sep 2011||429||Canon SX40|
|Canon SX30« »||4.8 in||3.6 in||4.3 in||21.2 oz||370||n||Sep 2010||429||Canon SX30|
|Fujifilm X100« »||5.0 in||3.0 in||2.1 in||15.7 oz||300||n||Sep 2010||1,199||Fujifilm X100|
|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|
|Panasonic FZ200« »||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Jul 2012||599||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic FZ100« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||19.0 oz||410||n||Jul 2010||499||Panasonic FZ100|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the V-LUX 3 and the V-LUX 4 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the V-LUX 4 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the V-LUX 3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 Leica V-LUX 3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The Leica V-LUX 4 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon SX40||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX40|
|Canon SX30||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX30|
|Fujifilm X100||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/30p||22.9||12.4||1001||73||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Panasonic FZ200||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.1||10.8||114||37||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic FZ100||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ100|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).
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 3 (1312k vs 202k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica V-LUX 3 and Leica V-LUX 4 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon SX40||202||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||1/3200s||10.3||Y||Y||Canon SX40|
|Canon SX30||202||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.6||Y||Y||Canon SX30|
|Fujifilm X100||1440||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Panasonic FZ200||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic FZ100||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ100|
Both the V-LUX 3 and the V-LUX 4 have zoom lenses built in. The V-LUX 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 and Leica V-LUX 4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon SX40||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX40|
|Canon SX30||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX30|
|Fujifilm X100||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X100|
|Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Panasonic FZ200||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ100|
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 3 does not feature such a mic input.
Both the V-LUX 3 and the V-LUX 4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The V-LUX 3 was replaced by the Leica V-LUX 4, 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica V-LUX 3 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 3:
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in December 2011).
Reasons to prefer the Leica V-LUX 4:
- 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 (9 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the V-LUX 4 is the clear winner of the contest (6 : 1 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 3 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 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 3 or the V-LUX 4 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 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.
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 use the search menu 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 5DS vs Leica V-LUX 3
- Canon M6 vs Leica V-LUX 3
- Leica M10 vs Leica V-LUX 3
- Leica V-LUX 3 vs Nikon D2X
- Leica V-LUX 3 vs Nikon D5
- Leica V-LUX 4 vs Nikon D2X
- Leica V-LUX 4 vs Olympus E-620
- Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic FZ82
- Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic G1
- Leica V-LUX 4 vs Ricoh WG-60
- Leica V-LUX 4 vs Sony A6600
- Leica V-LUX 4 vs Sony NEX-3N
Specifications: Leica V-LUX 3 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 Model||Leica V-LUX 3||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||December 2011||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 949||USD 949|
|Sensor Specs||Leica V-LUX 3||Leica V-LUX 4|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||1.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||42.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-3200 ISO||100-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-6400 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Leica V-LUX 3||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots||1312k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica V-LUX 3||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||12 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 3||Leica V-LUX 4|
|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 3||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||540 shots per charge|
124 x 81 x 95 mm
(4.9 x 3.2 x 3.7 in)
125 x 87 x 110 mm
(4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
|Camera Weight||540 g (19.0 oz)||588 g (20.7 oz)|
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