Leica V-LUX 4 Comparison Review
The Leica V-LUX 4 is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in September 2012 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 12 megapixel.
Is the Leica V-LUX 4 a good camera? The V-LUX 4 has a Camera Elo of 1761. This rating puts the V-LUX 4 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the V-LUX 4 ranks among the top 40 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Leica V-LUX 4|
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 3 200 (100 - 6 400)|
|Electronic viewfinder (1312k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 460k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|12 shutter flaps per second|
|540 shots per battery charge|
|125 x 87 x 110 mm, 588 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Leica V-LUX 4 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Leica V-LUX 4 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.
|Leica V-LUX 4||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Sep 2012||949|
|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||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon SX50||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon SX40||4.8 in||3.6 in||4.3 in||21.2 oz||380||n||Sep 2011||429|
|Leica X Vario||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.7 in||24.0 oz||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Leica D-LUX 6||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|Leica V-LUX 3||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.7 in||19.0 oz||410||n||Dec 2011||949|
|Leica V-LUX 2||4.9 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||18.3 oz||410||n||Sep 2010||849|
|Panasonic FZ200||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic FZ150||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Leica V-LUX 4 was launched in the US market at a price of $949. 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 with a 35mm slide
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Leica V-LUX 4 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Leica V-LUX 4 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.
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.
| DXO |
|Leica V-LUX 4||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon G1 X||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60|
|Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The V-LUX 4 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the V-LUX 4 can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the V-LUX 4 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1312k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.46x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica V-LUX 4 and comparable cameras.
|Leica V-LUX 4||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y|
|Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y|
One convenient feature of the V-LUX 4 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Leica V-LUX 4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G1 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the V-LUX 4 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
The V-LUX 4 has a zoom lens built in (4.5-108.0mm f/2.8-2.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 25 to 600mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the V-LUX 4 handle or perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Leica V-LUX 4||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||949|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||+||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G1 X||+||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799|
|Canon SX50||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|Canon SX40||+||..||4.5/5||5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429|
|Leica X Vario||..||..||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|Leica V-LUX 3||..||..||..||..||..||Dec 2011||949|
|Leica V-LUX 2||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2010||849|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Leica V-LUX 4 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the V-LUX 4.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the V-LUX 4 based on?
The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the V-LUX 4?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200.
Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the V-LUX 4 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
Does the Leica V-LUX 4 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
Does the Leica V-LUX 4 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).
Which battery does the V-LUX 4 use?
The camera gets its power from the BP-DC12 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, 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.
|Camera Model||Leica V-LUX 4|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-600mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 949|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 000 x 3 000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3 200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 6 400 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1312k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||BP-DC12 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||540 shots per charge|
125 x 87 x 110 mm
(4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
|Camera Weight||588 g (20.7 oz)|
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