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Leica V-LUX 3 versus Panasonic FZ200

The Leica V-LUX 3 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in December 2011 and July 2012. Both the V-LUX 3 and the FZ200 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Leica V-LUX 3 vs Panasonic FZ200

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica V-LUX 3 and the Panasonic FZ200. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the V-LUX 3 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Leica V-LUX 3 vs Panasonic FZ200
V-LUX 3 versus FZ200 top view
V-LUX 3 and FZ200 rear side

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ200 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 3. Moreover, the FZ200 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 FZ200 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the V-LUX 3 gets 410 shots out of its BP-DC9 battery, while the FZ200 can take 540 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ rgt) 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 no 2011 949discont. check
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft) 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 no 2012 599discont. check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 no 2014 549 latest check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 no 2014 799 latest check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 no 2012 799discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 no 2012 429discont. check
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 no 2010 1,199discont. check
Leica D-LUX 6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 no 2012 699discont. check
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 no 2012 949discont. check
Leica D-LUX 5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 no 2010 699discont. check
Leica V-LUX 2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 18.3 oz 410 no 2010 849discont. check
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 YES 2015 599 latest check
Panasonic LX7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 no 2012 499discont. check
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 no 2011 499discont. check
Panasonic FZ100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 no 2010 499discont. check

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The FZ200 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 37 percent) than the V-LUX 3, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

Sensor comparison: Leica V-LUX 3 vs Panasonic FZ200

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 Panasonic FZ200 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the V-LUX 3 and the FZ200 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the FZ200 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 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.

V-LUX 3 versus FZ200 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 19.1 10.8 114 37
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 14.2 4608 3072 1080/60p 19.2 10.8 127 39
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 3120 1080/30p 21.5 10.8 581 58
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 3264 1080/24p 21.7 10.8 644 60
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/24p 20.3 11.2 179 47
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4288 2848 720/30p 22.9 12.4 1001 73
Leica D-LUX 6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736 1080/60p - - - -
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p - - - -
Leica D-LUX 5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736 720/60p - - - -
Leica V-LUX 2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240 1080/60i - - - -
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 4K/30p 19.3 11.0 97 38
Panasonic LX7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736 1080/60p 20.7 11.7 147 50
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 19.4 10.9 132 40
Panasonic FZ100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240 1080/60i - - - -

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

Feature comparison: Leica V-LUX 3 vs Panasonic FZ200

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 FZ200 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the V-LUX 3 (1312k vs 202k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica V-LUX 3 and Panasonic FZ200 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 swivel no 2000 12.0 9.5 YES
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft) 1312 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4000 12.0 13.5 YES
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 922 no 3.0 922 swivel no 2000 6.4 5.5 YES
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 5.2 6.8 YES
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 922 Swivel no 4000 1.9 7 YES
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 461 swivel no 2000 2.2 5.5 YES
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 5.0 9 no
Leica D-LUX 6 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 11.0 8.5 YES
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1312 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4000 12.0 13.5 YES
Leica D-LUX 5 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 2.5 7.2 YES
Leica V-LUX 2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 swivel no 2000 11.0 9.5 YES
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 12.0 8.8 YES
Panasonic LX7 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 11.0 8.5 YES
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 swivel no 2000 12.0 9.5 YES
Panasonic FZ100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 swivel no 2000 11.0 9.5 YES

Both the V-LUX 3 and the FZ200 have zoom lenses build in. The V-LUX 3 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 optic and the FZ200 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Both the V-LUX 3 and the FZ200 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 FZ200 was followed by the Panasonic FZ300.

Review summary: Leica V-LUX 3 vs Panasonic FZ200

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica V-LUX 3 better than the Panasonic FZ200 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Leica V-LUX 3:

  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in December 2011).

Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200:

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1312k vs 202k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (540 versus 410) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (37 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the FZ200 emerges as the winner of the match-up (5 : 2 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.

V-LUX 3 02:05 FZ200

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the V-LUX 3 or the FZ200. 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Leica V-LUX 3 (⇒ rgt) - - - - - 2011 949discont. check
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft) HiRec 80/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 599discont. check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 75/100 4/5 - 4.5/5 2014 549 latest check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 799 latest check
Canon G1 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 79/100 Rec 76/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 799discont. check
Canon SX50 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 72/100 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2012 429discont. check
Fujifilm X100 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 75/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 5/5 2010 1,199discont. check
Leica D-LUX 6 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4/5 - 4/5 2012 699discont. check
Leica V-LUX 4 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - - - 2012 949discont. check
Leica D-LUX 5 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 - 4/5 2010 699discont. check
Leica V-LUX 2 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - - - 2010 849discont. check
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 599 latest check
Panasonic LX7 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 75/100 Silver 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2012 499discont. check
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 76/100 Silver 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2011 499discont. check
Panasonic FZ100 (⇒ lft | rgt) 84/100 Rec - 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2010 499discont. check

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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 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. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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