Leica V-LUX 5 vs Sony NEX-7
The Leica V-LUX 5 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2019 and August 2011. The V-LUX 5 is a fixed lens compact, while the NEX-7 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (V-LUX 5) and an APS-C (NEX-7) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 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 5 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica V-LUX 5 and the Sony NEX-7 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. 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 the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-7 is considerably smaller (39 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 5 nor the NEX-7 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the V-LUX 5 has a lens built in, whereas the NEX-7 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 NEX-7 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the V-LUX 5 gets 350 shots out of its BP-DC12 battery, while the NEX-7 can take 430 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the V-LUX 5 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 5||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||812 g||350||n||Jul 2019||1,249|
|2.||Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Leica D-LUX 7||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Nov 2018||1,195|
|5.||Leica C-LUX||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049|
|6.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||830 g||360||n||Sep 2014||1,349|
|7.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||136 mm||97 mm||131 mm||810 g||350||n||Feb 2019||899|
|8.||Panasonic TZ95||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|9.||Panasonic LX100 II||115 mm||66 mm||65 mm||392 g||300||n||Aug 2018||999|
|10.||Panasonic FZ2000||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199|
|11.||Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||Y||Jan 2019||899|
|12.||Sony RX100 VII||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||302 g||260||n||Jul 2019||1,199|
|13.||Sony RX100 VI||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||301 g||240||n||Jun 2018||1,199|
|14.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|15.||Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999|
|17.||Sony RX1||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 V-LUX 5 was launched at a lower price than the NEX-7, 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.
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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica V-LUX 5 features an one-inch sensor and the Sony NEX-7 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NEX-7 is 215 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24MP, the NEX-7 offers a higher resolution than the V-LUX 5 (20MP), but the NEX-7 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 2.41μm for the V-LUX 5) due to its larger sensor. However, the V-LUX 5 is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 10 months) than the NEX-7, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sony NEX-7 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NEX-7 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica V-LUX 5 are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica V-LUX 5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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.
| DXO |
|1.||Leica V-LUX 5||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Leica D-LUX 7||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Panasonic LX100 II||Four Thirds||16.8||4736||3552||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Sony RX100 VII||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||21.8||12.4||418||63|
|13.||Sony RX100 VI||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|17.||Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the V-LUX 5 provides a higher video resolution than the NEX-7. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the V-LUX 5 offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the NEX-7 (2360k vs 2359k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Leica V-LUX 5 and Sony NEX-7 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 5||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Leica D-LUX 7||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|6.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Panasonic LX100 II||2764||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y|
|12.||Sony RX100 VII||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||Y||1/2000s||90.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony RX100 VI||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||Y||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The V-LUX 5 has a touchscreen, while the NEX-7 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The V-LUX 5 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the NEX-7 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the V-LUX 5 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Leica V-LUX 5 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The V-LUX 5 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the NEX-7 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The V-LUX 5 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the NEX-7 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 5 and Sony Alpha NEX-7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Leica V-LUX 5||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Leica D-LUX 7||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|9.||Panasonic LX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|12.||Sony RX100 VII||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony RX100 VI||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the V-LUX 5 offers wifi support, while the NEX-7 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The V-LUX 5 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the NEX-7 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the NEX-7 from Sony. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Leica V-LUX 5 better than the Sony NEX-7 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Leica V-LUX 5:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1240k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the NEX-7 requires a separate lens.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- 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 affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 10 months of technical progress since the NEX-7 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha NEX-7:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.70x).
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 136x97mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (430 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2011).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the V-LUX 5 is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 7 points). 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica V-LUX 5 and the Sony NEX-7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the V-LUX 5 and the NEX-7 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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.
|1.||Leica V-LUX 5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2019||1,249|
|2.||Sony NEX-7||5/5||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Leica D-LUX 7||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Nov 2018||1,195|
|5.||Leica C-LUX||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2018||1,049|
|6.||Leica V-LUX Typ 114||..||..||..||..||5/5||Sep 2014||1,349|
|7.||Panasonic FZ1000 II||..||..||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899|
|8.||Panasonic TZ95||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||Feb 2019||449|
|9.||Panasonic LX100 II||4.5/5||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||999|
|10.||Panasonic FZ2000||..||+||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199|
|11.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|12.||Sony RX100 VII||4.5/5||..||..||4/5||5/5||Jul 2019||1,199|
|13.||Sony RX100 VI||4.5/5||+ +||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2018||1,199|
|14.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|15.||Sony A3000||3/5||+||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||5/5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|17.||Sony RX1||5/5||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Leica V-LUX 5 vs Sony NEX-7
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 5||Sony NEX-7|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||25-400mm f/2.8-4.0||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2019||August 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 1,249||USD 1,349|
|Sensor Specs||Leica V-LUX 5||Sony NEX-7|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||365.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||28.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm||3.90 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2||6.57 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 16,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||81|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1016|
|Screen Specs||Leica V-LUX 5||Sony NEX-7|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1240k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica V-LUX 5||Sony NEX-7|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica V-LUX 5||Sony NEX-7|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Leica V-LUX 5||Sony NEX-7|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||430 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
136 x 97 x 131 mm
(5.4 x 3.8 x 5.2 in)
120 x 67 x 43 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||812 g (28.6 oz)||400 g (14.1 oz)|
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