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Leica announces D-LUX 4
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, September 15, 2008 - 19:23 EDT)

The new Leica D-LUX 4 is a rebadged equivalent to the Panasonic LX3, which was announced some eight weeks ago.

Expected to ship by the end of 2008, the Leica D-LUX 4 is externally very similar to the Panasonic camera, with the main difference being the removal of the slightly raised hand-grip. The Leica D-LUX 4 has a 10.1 megapixel image sensor, DC Vario-Summicron 2.5x zoom lens with 24mm wide angle, and a 3.0" LCD display. An optional external viewfinder can be attached to the D-LUX 4's flash hot shoe.

The Leica D-LUX 4's lens has a maximum aperture from f/2.0 to f/2.8, and the camera also offers an 11-point autofocus system with single-point "high speed", face detection and autofocus tracking modes. ISO sensitivity ordinarily ranges from 100 to 3200, and the D-LUX 4 is capable of shutter speeds from 1/2000 to 60 seconds. The Leica D-LUX 4 also offers three metering modes, eight white balance settings, and no less than twenty three scene modes. Creative types will enjoy the D-LUX 4's manual and aperture- / shutter-priority modes.

Other features of the D-LUX 4 include a five mode flash strobe, Raw and JPEG file formats, high definition movies with sound, Secure Digital storage, 50MB of built-in memory, and both USB and NTSC video output (plus optional high-def component video). Power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion battery, and pricing for the Leica D-LUX 4 has not been disclosed at this time.

For more details, read the official specs and press release below, or visit our Leica D-LUX 4 preview.

Leica D-LUX 4
General
Camera Type Compact
Manufacturer Leica
Model Number D-LUX 4
Dimensions 4.3 x 2.3 x 1.1"
108.7 x 59.5 x 27.1mm
Weight 228.0 g
8.0 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/1.63" CCD
11.30 megapixels (total)
10.10 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions 3648 x 2736 (10.0 megapixels)
3776 x 2520 (9.5 megapixels, interpolated)
3968 x 2232 (8.9 megapixels)
3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)
3168 x 2112 (6.7 megapixels)
3328 x 1872 (6.2 megapixels)
2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2656 x 1768 (4.7 megapixels)
2784 x 1568 (4.4 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
2112 x 1408 (3.0 megapixels)
2208 x 1248 (2.8 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 3 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 3.0", 460,000 pixels
Lens
Lens Type LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON, 8 elements in 6 groups, 4 aspherical elements
2.5x optical zoom
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 5.1 - 12.8mm (actual)
24 - 60mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.0 (wide) / f/2.8 (tele) - f/8.0
Focusing System Multi-area with face detection and tracking with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.4" - infinity (1.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity< td> Auto, High Sensitivity Auto (1600-6400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Shutter Speed 60 - 1/2000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes Intelligent Multiple, Center-Weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Sun, Overcast Sky, Shade, Flash, Halogen, White Set 1, White Set 2, 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: 0.8 - 8.3m; Tele: 0.3 - 5.9m (ISO Auto)
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait, Soft Skin, Self-Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night Portrait, Night Lanscaspe, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Sunset, High sensitivity, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo, High-speed Series, Flash Series, 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 CCD-RAW, 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 M mory 50.0MB built-in memory
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
 

Original Source Press Release:

New: LEICA D-LUX 4

The first digital Leica compact camera with system character

The LEICA D-LUX 4, introduced by Leica Camera AG, Solms, is a compact digital camera with powerful optics and a comprehensive range of settings. Premiering with the camera is the wide range of accessories for additionally widening its photographic potential, offering the sophisticated user even more possibilities for creative photography. With its 1/1.63“ CCD image sensor, unusually large for this class of camera, the LEICA D-LUX 4 produces images of superior quality.

The LEICA D-LUX 4 sports a high-speed LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 5.1-12.8 mm f/2.0-2.8 ASPH. lens with a focal length range of 24 to 60 mm in 35 mm format. Apart from the particularly high speed, it is the ultra-short initial focal length of 24 mm that opens up new creative opportunities in a variety of situations, including landscape, architecture, travel and reportage photography. Its high speed also makes the LEICA D-LUX 4 ideal for available light exposures. Whether shooting in poor light or for selective use of field depth, the lens of the LEICA D-LUX 4 gives the photographer scope for highly individual picture composition. An integrated image stabilizer reliably protects against camera shake in all photographic situations, even in difficult light conditions.

The LEICA D-LUX 4 offers a wide range of optional accessories that extend the camera’s application potential: A black brilliant viewfinder with 24 mm brightline frame can be attached to the flash shoe of the D-Lux 4, enabling the photographer to view his subject without draining battery power. A slot-on compact flash unit LEICA CF 22 is also available for the LEICA D-LUX 4. Another option is an additional handgrip that makes the camera easier to hold. The camera is also prepared for photos in HDTV format: By connecting the camera’s HD port to an HD television set with optional component cable, image slides can be shown in high definition. The range of accessories is rounded off with the addition of high-quality leather cases in black and brown.

“With the add-on accessories, the high-speed optics and intelligent operation concept, the LEICA D-LUX 4 is a truly a “compact” system camera whose performance profile can definitely hold its own in comparison to a professional camera. The unlimited potential for creative photography, the ultra fast image processing and the compact, classic camera design give users of the LEICA D-LUX 4 extra high flexibility for capturing unique moments and unforgettable images,“ says Stefan Trippe, Vice President of Production and Engineering at Leica Camera AG.

The LEICA D-LUX 4 features a noticeably large CCD image sensor for a camera in this class. Measuring 1/1.63“ and offering 10.1 megapixel resolution, it is able to differentiate the finest details and faithfully reproduce tonal values. The new D-Lux 4 can take photos in all three formats (4:3/3:2/16:9) to suit the particular recording or playback situation, and is also capable of shooting in TIFF format.  The larger sensor size  makes it possible to retain the full 24 mm wide angle. The 460,000 pixel camera display has a wide viewing angle and creates an exceptionally brilliant image, enabling photographers to make a reliable and exact assessment of the picture composition both when taking the photo and when reviewing it.  The additional possibility of adjusting the viewing angle ensures exceptional display viewing even for extreme camera perspectives.

The high-speed zoom lens LEICA DC VARIO- SUMMICRON 5.1-12.8 mm f/2.0-2.8 ASPH. consists of eight elements (four of them aspherical) in six groups. The optics are individually matched to the camera sensor, working in harmony with the electronics and software to produce stunningly brilliant pictures in true-to-life colors. Regarding color matching, contrast and picture definition, Leica Camera AG has developed its own profile. This is consistent with the picture characteristics that are well known to Leica System Camera customers from their use in combination with professional film materials and specialist development laboratories.  The reduction to the essentials  and the LEICA D-LUX 4’s strikingly clear and concentrated design exemplify the camera’s typical Leica lineage. The ergonomic layout of the controls and intuitive operating concept make it a pleasure to handle. Focus, shutter speed, stops and exposure override can all be set manually with the joystick. For those who like photography to be less complicated, the camera integrates many improved automatic functions. When the various functions are switched on, 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 many individual functions to suit the subject and the photographic conditions, controlling the O.I.S. image stabilizer, the automatic ISO control, face recognition, automatic contrast compensation and automatic choice of scene mode.

Like the C-LUX 3, the D-LUX 4 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.  

The LEICA D-LUX 4 is supplied with a battery charger, a powerful rechargeable battery and a comprehensive software package. A high-quality leather case with smart classic design is also available as an optional accessory. 

The LEICA D-LUX 4 will be available in a black finish at authorized Leica dealers from 2008.

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