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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.

Headline Specifications
Leica V-LUX 3   Leica V-LUX 4
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 charge540 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.

Body comparison: Leica V-LUX 3 vs V-LUX 4

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.

Size Leica V-LUX 3 vs Leica V-LUX 4
Compare V-LUX 3 versus V-LUX 4 top
Comparison V-LUX 3 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 (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.

Concerning battery life, the V-LUX 3 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica V-LUX 3» 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949- i 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- i 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 i i 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- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X100« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
 
Leica X Vario« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Sep 2010 699- i Leica D-LUX 5
 
Leica V-LUX 2« » 4.9 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 18.3 oz 410 n Sep 2010 849- i Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic FZ100« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499- i 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica V-LUX 3 vs V-LUX 4

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.

Leica V-LUX 3 and Leica V-LUX 4 sensor measures

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.

V-LUX 3 versus V-LUX 4 MP

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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Leica V-LUX 3» 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 4« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 4
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X100« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173Fujifilm X100
 
Leica X Vario« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p----Leica D-LUX 5
 
Leica V-LUX 2« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic FZ100« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----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).

 

Feature comparison: Leica V-LUX 3 vs V-LUX 4

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.

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
Camera
Model
 
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« »- 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 SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X100« »1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Fujifilm X100
 
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y Leica D-LUX 5
 
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 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 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.

 

Connectivity comparison: Leica V-LUX 3 vs V-LUX 4

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.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica V-LUX 3»Ystereo---mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 4«YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 4
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X100« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Fujifilm X100
 
Leica X Vario« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Leica D-LUX 5
 
Leica V-LUX 2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic FZ100« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---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.


Review summary: Leica V-LUX 3 vs V-LUX 4

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.

V-LUX 3 01:06 V-LUX 4

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.

Expert reviews: Leica V-LUX 3 vs V-LUX 4

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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica V-LUX 3»----- Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 4«----- Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Fujifilm X100« »-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
 
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 5« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2010 699- i Leica D-LUX 5
 
Leica V-LUX 2« »----- Sep 2010 849- i Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« »+ +80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ150« »+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic FZ100« »+-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

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.

Leica V-LUX 3:
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 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.

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    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 Specifications
    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 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 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 Magnification ..x 0.46x
    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
    Autofocus 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
    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 3 Leica V-LUX 4
    Battery Type BP-DC9 power pack BP-DC12 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge540 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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