2008 Photokina Tradeshow
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Leica announces C-LUX 3
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, September 15, 2008 - 19:10 EDT)

The Leica C-LUX 3 is a rebadging of the Panasonic FX37 which preceded its announcement by some eight weeks.

Expected to ship this October, the Leica C-LUX 3 is externally almost identical, and has a sensor resolution of 10.1 effective megapixels from a 1/2.33" CCD image sensor. Leica has coupled this to an image stabilized, DC Vario-Elmarit branded 5x optical zoom lens with a 25mm wide angle. There's no optical viewfinder, with the Leica C-LUX 3 including only a 2.5" LCD on which images and videos must be framed and reviewed. The Leica C-LUX 3's lens has a maximum aperture from f/2.8 to f/5.9 across the zoom range, an 11-point autofocus system with single-point "high speed", face detection, and autofocus tracking modes, and ISO sensitivity from 100 to 1600.

Shutter speeds from 1/2000 to 8 seconds are possible in the Leica C-LUX 3, which uses variable multi-field metering. There's also six white balance settings, twenty five scene modes, and a five mode flash strobe. The Leica C-LUX 3 can capture 30 fps movies with sound at high definition resolution, and stores images and movies on Secure Digital or MultiMediaCards or 50MB of built-in memory. Connectivity options in the C-LUX 3 include USB and standard definition video output, while power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion battery.

Pricing for the Leica C-LUX 3 has not been disclosed. For more details, browse the press release and specifications below, or read our Leica C-LUX 3 preview.

Leica C-LUX 3
General
Camera Type Ultra Compact
Manufacturer Leica
Model Number C-LUX 3
Dimensions 3.8 x 2.0 x 0.9"
95.8 x 51.9 x 22.0mm
Weight 126.0 g
4.4 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.33" CCD
10.70 megapixels (total)
10.10 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions 3648 x 2736 (10.0 megapixels)
3648 x 2342 (8.5 megapixels)
3648 x 2056 (7.5 megapixels)
3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)
3072 x 2048 (6.3 megapixels)
3072 x 1728 (5.3 megapixels)
2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2560 x 1712 (4.4 megapixels)
2560 x 1440 (3.7 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
2048 x 1360 (2.8 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.5", 230,000 pixels
Playback Zoom 16.0x max
Lens
Lens Type LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT, 7 elements in 6 groups, 4 aspherical lens elements
5x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 4.4 - 22.0mm (actual)
25 - 125mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 (wide) / f/5.9 (tele) - f/8
Focusing System 11-point with face detection and tracking with AF assist lamp
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.0" - infinity (5.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
ISO Sensit vity Auto, High Sensitivity Auto (1600-6400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speed 60 - 1/2000 second
Metering Modes Intelligent Multiple
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Sun, Overcast Sky, Shade, Halogen Lighting, White Set , Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Auto+Anti-red-eye, Long-time Synchro+Anti-red-eye, Flash always, Flash off; 1st /2nd shutter curtain
Range: Wide: 0.6 - 6.0m, Tele: 1.0 - 2.8m (ISO Auto)
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self-Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High sensitivity, Underwater, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo, Hi-Speed Burst, Flash-Burst, Film Grain, Pin Hole
Digital Zoom 4x
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 10 seconds
Movie Format QuickTime Motion JPEG with audio
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC, Built-in
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Other DC Input
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary
Product Bundle
Battery / Charger 1 x Proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 50.0MB built-in memory
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) complia t Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
 

Original Source Press Release:

Stylish and compact high performer: LEICA C-LUX 3 the exclusive Leica digital camera for carefree photography

The LEICA C-LUX 3 by Leica Camera AG, Solms, is a new elegant and high-performance digital camera from the Leica C-LUX line. The slimline compact camera offers easy operation and a clearly structured menu for carefree photography. The LEICA C-LUX 3 has a strikingly clear design that concentrates on the essentials: capturing and reproducing images. This means that the LEICA C-LUX 3 can be used more quickly than many other models in an impromptu moment. The user is not distracted by elaborate menus and is free to react much more spontaneously. The stylish digital camera is available in two timelessly elegant colors: black and white. The color-coordinated cases of high-quality leather are a stylish accessory that make the camera a fashionable companion.  

Compared to the predecessor model, the LEICA C-LUX 2, the 10 megapixel LEICA C-LUX 3 offers various technical improvements. Its powerful zoom lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.4-22 mm f/2.8-5.9 ASPH. provides a wide focal length range from 25 to 125 mm (35 mm format), delivering stunning photos in true-to-nature color from wide-angle to telephoto. Starting at a focal length of 25 mm, the high-speed optics offer a virtually unique wide angle for this class of camera which is particularly useful for space-grabbing shots. Whether for landscapes, architecture photography, interior views or group photos, the LEICA C-LUX 3 can capture the whole spread of the subject with its double-sized image field. Another new feature is the 5x optical zoom that significantly enlarges the camera’s telephoto range.

The LEICA C-LUX 3 also integrates innovative automatic functions. When activated, the user simply has to press the shutter release button to obtain a perfectly exposed and focused picture. In automatic mode, the camera automatically combines the many individual functions to suit the subject and the photographic conditions, controlling the O.I.S. image stabilizer, the automatic ISO control, the face recognition, automatic contrast compensation and automatic choice of scene mode. Improvements have been made to the face recognition function, for example, with which focus and exposure values are automatically adjusted to the faces in the picture. As for the automatic choice of scene mode, the camera selects the most suitable for the particular exposure.

“The LEICA C-LUX 3 sets new standards in the ultra compact camera segment, offering an unbeatable combination of superior technology, high-performance optics and an extra stylish exterior – available for the first time ever in white for users who like fashionable accessories. The C-Lux 3 is therefore an absolute must-have for all those who enjoy spontaneous photography and are looking for a camera that is just as flexible as they are,” says Stefan Trippe, Vice President of Production and Engineering at Leica Camera AG.

With a resolution of 230,000 pixels, the 2.5“ camera display of the LEICA C-LUX 3 shows a brilliant image which helps the photographer compose the picture and accurately assess the result. Due to its generous size, the display can be viewed simultaneously by several people. In wide-angle mode, the display can still be optimally seen, even at a difficult viewing angles, and can be switched to extra bright Power LCD mode for visibility in extremely bright ambient light.

The powerful zoom lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.4-22 mm f/2.8-5.9 ASPH. consists of seven lens elements in six groups, of which four elements are aspherical. The optics are individually matched to the camera sensor. Due to the skillful combination of optics, electronics and software, the user can enjoy high color fidelity, excellent definition and vivid contrast. With respect to the matching of color, contrast and definition, Leica Camera AG has developed its own profile around the image properties familiar to customers of Leica system cameras and their use in combination with professional film material and development.

Like the D-LUX 4, the C-LUX 3 is capable of recording videos in high definition format at the very fast 30 fps (frames per second). This resolution allows the user to display the video captured in full HD on all compatible monitors and television screens. The only limitation to the length of video is the size of the SD card.  

A further key to successful photography is the integrated optical image stabilizer (O.I.S.) that can be activated solely for exposure or for both exposure and camera display. Through consistent compensation of small hand movements, the image stabilization reliably prevents camera shake in any situation. The LEICA C-LUX 3 also features “Intelligent ISO“ automatic exposure control, which automatically detects movements of the subject and raises the film speed to ensure a fast exposure time. With this and the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilization, sharply focused pictures are always guaranteed – even in difficult light situations, such as twilight or interiors, and in the telephoto range.

The LEICA C-LUX 3 has a metal body and great attention has been paid to manufacturing detail. The exclusive use of high-quality materials guarantees a reliable and robust product.  

The LEICA C-LUX 3 comes with a battery charger, a powerful battery, an AV, USB and AC cable as well as an extensive software package. Fashionable camera cases in a choice of black or white are also available as accessories.

The LEICA C-LUX 3 will be on sale at authorized Leica dealers from October 2008.

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