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Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic FZ200

The Leica V-LUX 4 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2012 and July 2012. Both the V-LUX 4 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 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 versus Panasonic FZ200
Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ200
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
25-600mm f/2.8 25-600mm f/2.8
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400) ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 6,400)
Electronic viewfinder (1312k 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
540 shots per battery charge540 shots per battery charge
125 x 87 x 110 mm, 588 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 4 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica V-LUX 4 and the Panasonic FZ200 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic FZ200
Compare V-LUX 4 versus FZ200 top
Comparison V-LUX 4 or FZ200 rear

In this particular case, the Leica V-LUX 4 and the Panasonic FZ200 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. Moreover, the two cameras also share the same weight. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 4 nor the FZ200 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
2.
 
Panasonic FZ200 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 830 g 360 n Sep 2014 1,349i
8.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Sep 2012 699i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ330 132 mm 92 mm 117 mm 691 g 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i
13.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 FZ200 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 37 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 FZ200 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 FZ200 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. 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-FZ200 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

V-LUX 4 versus FZ200 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
2.
 
Panasonic FZ200 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
7.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........
8.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p........
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
12.
 
Panasonic FZ330 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738
13.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........

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).

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The V-LUX 4 and the FZ200 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 1312k dots. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica V-LUX 4, the Panasonic FZ200, and comparable cameras.

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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
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic FZ2001312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 1142359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
8.
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic FZ3301440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
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 FZ200 have zoom lenses built in. Both optics have identical focal length range and aperture specifications (4.5-108.0mm f/2.8-2.8). Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the V-LUX 4 and the FZ200 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

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-FZ200 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic FZ200YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ330YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
13.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---

Both the V-LUX 4 and the FZ200 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ200 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ300, 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.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica V-LUX 4 better than the Panasonic FZ200 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica V-LUX 4:

  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200:

  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (37 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (1 points each). 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 4 01:01 FZ200

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica V-LUX 4 and the Panasonic FZ200 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 FZ200 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
2.
 
Panasonic FZ2003/5+ +80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
7.
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114........5/5 Sep 2014 1,349i
8.
 
Leica X Vario3/5....4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
9.
 
Leica D-LUX 6......4/54/5 Sep 2012 699i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
11.
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ330..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i
13.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499i
14.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
15.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. 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:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic FZ200:
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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Leica V-LUX 4 vs Panasonic FZ200

    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 FZ200
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-600mm f/2.8 25-600mm f/2.8
    Launch Date September 2012 July 2012
    Launch Price USD 949 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ200
    Sensor Technology BSI-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 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 37
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 19.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.8
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 114
    Screen Specs Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ200
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x 0.46x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1312k dots 1312k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ200
    Focus 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 UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ200
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica V-LUX 4 Panasonic FZ200
    Battery Type BP-DC12 DMW-BLC12
    Battery Life (CIPA)540 shots per charge540 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 125 x 87 x 110 mm
    (4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
    125 x 87 x 110 mm
    (4.9 x 3.4 x 4.3 in)
    Camera Weight 588 g (20.7 oz) 588 g (20.7 oz)

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