Leica V-LUX 3 vs Olympus E-30
The Leica V-LUX 3 and the Olympus E-30 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in December 2011 and November 2008. The V-LUX 3 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-30 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (V-LUX 3) and a Four Thirds (E-30) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 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 3 and the Olympus E-30? 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 3 and the Olympus E-30 are illustrated 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 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 Olympus E-30 is considerably larger (53 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 3 nor the E-30 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the V-LUX 3 has a lens built in, whereas the E-30 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-30 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 3||124 mm||81 mm||95 mm||540 g||410||n||Dec 2011||949||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-30||142 mm||108 mm||75 mm||701 g||750||n||Nov 2008||1,299||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 G1 X||117 mm||81 mm||65 mm||534 g||250||n||Jan 2012||799||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429||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 2||124 mm||80 mm||95 mm||520 g||410||n||Sep 2010||849||ebay.com|
|10.||Olympus E-600||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||535 g||500||n||Aug 2009||449||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus E-620||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||521 g||500||n||Feb 2009||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus E-520||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||535 g||750||n||May 2008||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Olympus E-510||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||538 g||750||n||Mar 2007||799||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599||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 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 3 was launched at a lower price than the E-30, 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 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica V-LUX 3 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Olympus E-30 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-30 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.
With 12.2MP, the E-30 offers a higher resolution than the V-LUX 3 (12MP), but the E-30 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 1.53μm for the V-LUX 3) due to its larger sensor. However, the V-LUX 3 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 1 month) than the E-30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V-LUX 3 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its 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 corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-30 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (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.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.7||11.0||430||42|
|2.||Olympus E-30||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.4||530||55|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|4.||Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.8||11.1||501||43|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||19.4||10.7||321||39|
|10.||Olympus E-600||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.5||10.3||541||55|
|11.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|12.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|13.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|14.||Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|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 also of capturing video footage. The V-LUX 3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-30 does not. The highest resolution format that the V-LUX 3 can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the V-LUX 3 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the E-30 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 3, the Olympus E-30, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Olympus E-30||optical||Y||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon SX50||202||n||3.0 / 461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon SX40||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||10.3/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon SX30||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.6/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Olympus E-600||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Olympus E-620||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Olympus E-520||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Olympus E-410||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Olympus E-510||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic FZ200||1312||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|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.|
One feature that is present on the E-30, but is missing on the V-LUX 3 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.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 V-LUX 3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-30 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-30 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the V-LUX 3 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 3 and Olympus E-30 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-30||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon G1 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon SX50||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon SX40||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon SX30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Olympus E-600||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Olympus E-620||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Olympus E-520||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-410||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-510||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic FZ200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the V-LUX 3 and the E-30 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 E-30 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the V-LUX 3 and E-30 can be found, respectively, in the Leica V-LUX 3 Manual (free pdf) or the online Olympus E-30 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica V-LUX 3 and the Olympus E-30? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Leica V-LUX 3:
- 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 1080/60p 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 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the E-30 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x81mm vs 142x108mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the E-30).
- 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 3 years and 1 month of technical progress since the E-30 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-30:
- 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.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 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 November 2008).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (12 points each). 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 3 and the Olympus E-30 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the V-LUX 3 or the E-30. 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 (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 3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949||ebay.com|
|2.||Olympus E-30||..||..||..||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2008||1,299||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G1 X||5/5||+||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429||ebay.com|
|8.||Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949||ebay.com|
|9.||Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849||ebay.com|
|10.||Olympus E-600||..||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Aug 2009||449||ebay.com|
|11.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||..||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699||ebay.com|
|14.||Olympus E-510||..||89/100||..||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||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 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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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, 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D C vs Olympus E-30
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Leica V-LUX 3
- Canon G5 X vs Olympus E-30
- Canon M10 vs Leica V-LUX 3
- Canon SX740 vs Olympus E-30
- Canon T7i vs Olympus E-30
- Leica V-LUX 3 vs Olympus E-450
- Leica V-LUX 3 vs Olympus E-500
- Leica V-LUX 3 vs Panasonic GH4
- Leica V-LUX 3 vs Sony A7 II
- Olympus E-30 vs Panasonic G9
- Olympus E-30 vs Panasonic L10
Specifications: Leica V-LUX 3 vs Olympus E-30
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||Olympus E-30|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||December 2011||November 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 949||USD 1,299|
|Sensor Specs||Leica V-LUX 3||Olympus E-30|
|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||12 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||55|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||530|
|Screen Specs||Leica V-LUX 3||Olympus E-30|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||98%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica V-LUX 3||Olympus E-30|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica V-LUX 3||Olympus E-30|
|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 3||Olympus E-30|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
124 x 81 x 95 mm
(4.9 x 3.2 x 3.7 in)
142 x 108 x 75 mm
(5.6 x 4.3 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||540 g (19.0 oz)||701 g (24.7 oz)|
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