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Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic FZ150

The Leica V-LUX 4 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and August 2011. Both the V-LUX 4 and the FZ150 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 4   Panasonic FZ150
Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ150
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
25-600mm f/2.8 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2
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 (1312k dots) Electronic viewfinder (202k 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
540 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
125 x 87 x 110 mm, 588 g 124 x 82 x 92 mm, 528 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica V-LUX 4 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150? 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 4 vs Panasonic FZ150

The physical size and weight of the Leica V-LUX 4 and the Panasonic FZ150 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic FZ150
Compare V-LUX 4 versus FZ150 top
Comparison V-LUX 4 or FZ150 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ150 is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 4. Moreover, the FZ150 is markedly lighter (10 percent) than the V-LUX 4. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 4 nor the FZ150 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the V-LUX 4 gets 540 shots out of its BP-DC12 battery, while the FZ150 can take 410 images on a single charge of its DMW-BMB9 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 4» 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
 
Panasonic FZ150« 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
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 SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
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
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
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 6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Sep 2012 699- i Leica D-LUX 6
 
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 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 FZ100« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
 
Panasonic LX5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 FZ150 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 47 percent) than the V-LUX 4, 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 4 vs Panasonic FZ150

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 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. 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 4 and Panasonic FZ150 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 4 and the FZ150 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 1 year) than the FZ150, 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 4 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

V-LUX 4 versus FZ150 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 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 4» 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 4
 
Panasonic FZ150« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
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
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Leica X Vario« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 6« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p----Leica D-LUX 6
 
Leica V-LUX 3« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Leica V-LUX 3
 
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 FZ100« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Panasonic FZ100
 
Panasonic LX5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241Panasonic LX5

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. 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 4 vs Panasonic FZ150

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration 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 FZ150 (1312k vs 202k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica V-LUX 4 and Panasonic FZ150 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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 4»1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 4
 
Panasonic FZ150«202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
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
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Leica D-LUX 6
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX 3
 
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 FZ100« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ100
 
Panasonic LX5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y Y Panasonic LX5
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 4 and the FZ150 have zoom lenses built in. The V-LUX 4 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the FZ150 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the V-LUX 4 and the FZ150 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 FZ150 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic FZ150

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 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 4»YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 4
 
Panasonic FZ150«Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Leica X Vario« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 6« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica D-LUX 6
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 3
 
Leica V-LUX 2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica V-LUX 2
 
Panasonic FZ200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic FZ100« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic FZ100
 
Panasonic LX5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX5

It is notable that the V-LUX 4 has a microphone port, which is missing on the FZ150. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Both the V-LUX 4 and the FZ150 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ150 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ200, 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 and Panasonic websites.


Review summary: Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic FZ150

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica V-LUX 4 and the Panasonic FZ150? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of 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: Can take more shots (540 versus 410) on a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year after the FZ150).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150:

  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (47 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2011).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the V-LUX 4 is the clear winner of the match-up (7 : 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. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

V-LUX 4 07:02 FZ150

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica V-LUX 4 and the Panasonic FZ150 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the V-LUX 4 and the FZ150 in practical situations. 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 4 vs Panasonic FZ150

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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 4»----- Sep 2012 949- i Leica V-LUX 4
 
Panasonic FZ150«+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon SX60« »+ +75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
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
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »----5/5 Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
 
Leica D-LUX 6« »--4/5-4/5 Sep 2012 699- i Leica D-LUX 6
 
Leica V-LUX 3« »----- Dec 2011 949- i Leica V-LUX 3
 
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 FZ100« »+-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
 
Panasonic LX5« »+73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica V-LUX 4:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic FZ150:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic FZ150

    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 4 Panasonic FZ150
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-600mm f/2.8 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2
    Launch Date September 2012 August 2011
    Launch Price USD 949 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ150
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS 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
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 40
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 19.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 132
    Screen Specs Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ150
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x ..x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1312k dots 202k 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 4 Panasonic FZ150
    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 UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ150
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ150
    Battery Type BP-DC12 power pack DMW-BMB9 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)540 shots per charge410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 125 x 87 x 110 mm
    (4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
    124 x 82 x 92 mm
    (4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 588 g (20.7 oz) 528 g (18.6 oz)

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