Leica V-LUX (Typ 114) Review

 
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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Leica V-LUX (Typ 114)
Resolution: 20.10 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1 inch
(13.2mm x 8.8mm)
Lens: 16.00x zoom
(25-400mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 125 - 12,500
Extended ISO: 80 - 25,000
Shutter: 1/16000 - 60 seconds
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.9 x 5.1 in.
(137 x 99 x 131 mm)
Weight: 29.3 oz (830 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 10/2014
Manufacturer: Leica
Full specs: Leica V-LUX (Typ 114) specifications
20.10
Megapixels
16.00x zoom 1 inch
size sensor
image of Leica V-LUX (Typ 114)
Front side of Leica V-LUX (Typ 114) digital camera Front side of Leica V-LUX (Typ 114) digital camera Front side of Leica V-LUX (Typ 114) digital camera Front side of Leica V-LUX (Typ 114) digital camera Front side of Leica V-LUX (Typ 114) digital camera

Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) Review -- First Impressions

by
Preview posted

There are two distinct types of camera in the product line of Germany's Leica Camera AG: Those which it designs completely in-house (sometimes with input from third party ergonomic and styling specialists), and those which it creates in concert with Japanese partner Panasonic. The Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) is the latter: an existing Panasonic camera, repackaged to better appeal to fans of the Leica red dot.

But oh, what a camera is the Panasonic FZ1000, the model on which the Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) is based. (For the full story, you'll want to read our in-depth review of that camera.)

With a large 1-inch, 20.1-megapixel sensor and a far-reaching, relatively bright 16x zoom lens, it's a take-anywhere camera that aims to replace your cumbersome interchangeable-lens camera and lenses with a single device that will get you the shot more often than not. In the process of rebadging the FZ1000, Leica becomes only the third company to offer a large-sensor, long-zoom camera.

The V-Lux (Typ 114) is, not surprisingly, near-identical to its Panasonic equivalent in terms of specifications, and we wouldn't be surprised if the few differences we did spot -- a lesser selection of movie modes, for example -- turn out actually to be omissions in the spec sheet rather than differences in the actual product. And so we're not going to list every minor difference, as to do so would likely be an exercise in futility.

The 20.1-megapixel Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) joins the FZ1000 as joint challengers to the Sony RX10's crown, and all three cameras are in some respects quite similar. They're each based around 20-megapixel, 1.0-inch type CMOS image sensors, for example. But the V-Lux (Typ 114) and FZ1000 differ from -- and looks in some ways to better -- the RX10 in a number of key ways.

Both the Leica and Panasonic have a significantly longer 16x zoom range, a noticeably-faster 12 frames-per-second burst capture rate and 4K video support. They also have a more versatile tilt/swivel LCD monitor, a much higher-resolution electronic viewfinder, and a wider shutter speed range.

On the flip side of the coin, they're rather bigger than their rival, especially in terms of depth. And perhaps not surprisingly, given the much greater zoom reach, they have variable-aperture lenses, where the RX10 has a constant-aperture lens. Hence, their aperture lags that of the RX10 just slightly across most of the range where both lenses overlap. Nor do the Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) and Panasonic FZ1000 provide quite the same wide-angle shooting opportunities as does the RX10, and battery life is rather lower too.

In most respects, though, the Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) looks to give you a similar feature-set to the incredibly popular Sony RX10, just with a whole lot more zoom range, and in a slightly bigger package.

Sadly for Leica fans, there is one point on which this camera simply doesn't compete. Although the RX10 once listed for US$1,300, an aggressive $900 launch price from its Panasonic rival saw Sony quickly drop its price to match. Leica haven't officially disclosed a price for their camera, but the Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) currently lists for US$1,350 from numerous retailers, making the premium for that desirable red dot some US$450.

A year ago, that pricetag might have seemed quite reasonable in comparison to the RX10 at its original launch price. Now, it's a 50% price premium for what is essentially the same product as the Panasonic FZ1000, bar the inclusion of a 3-year warranty and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (ordinarily $79 standalone from Adobe). This, then, is a camera only for Leicaphiles who're willing to overlook the significant amount of money they could save by buying the Panasonic.

At this price, it's more about the image you'll present when shooting, and rather less about the the image you'll be capturing.

Similar to the V-LUX (Typ 114) but smaller lighter larger sensor cheaper But ...
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$754.98 (58% less)

20.1 MP

Also has viewfinder

Similar size

16x zoom

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs FZ1000

$1163.33

20.1 MP

Also has viewfinder

7% larger

2x zoom (20% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs FZ2500

$1164.67

20.2 MP

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8.33x zoom (92% less)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs RX10 II

$849.00 (41% less)

20.2 MP

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25x zoom (36% more)

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$798.00 (50% less)

20.2 MP

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8.33x zoom (92% less)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs RX10

$1331.33 (10% more)

20.1 MP

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V-LUX (Typ 114) vs RX10 III

$1698.00 (30% more)

20.1 MP

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25x zoom (36% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs RX10 IV

$497.99 (140% less)

12.1 MP (66% less)

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V-LUX (Typ 114) vs FZ300

$414.67 (188% less)

20.4 MP

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41% smaller

5x zoom (68% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs HX400V

$359.98 (232% less)

12.1 MP (66% less)

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24x zoom (33% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs FZ200

$497.99 (140% less)

16.3 MP (23% less)

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23% smaller

6x zoom (73% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs WB2200F

$443.39 (170% less)

16 MP (26% less)

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52x zoom (69% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs XG-1

$549.00 (118% less)

12 MP (68% less)

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10.7x zoom (50% less)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs Stylus 1s

$397.99 (200% less)

18.1 MP (11% less)

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V-LUX (Typ 114) vs FZ80

$624.98 (91% less)

16.1 MP (25% less)

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83x zoom (81% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs P900

$353.21 (238% less)

16.2 MP (24% less)

Also has viewfinder

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35x zoom (54% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs WB1100F

$297.99 (301% less)

16.1 MP (25% less)

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18% smaller

6x zoom (73% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs FZ70

$256.95 (365% less)

16.1 MP (25% less)

Lacks viewfinder

107% smaller

4x zoom (60% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs B500

$178.00 (571% less)

20.1 MP

Lacks viewfinder

98% smaller

35x zoom (54% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs H300

$446.95 (167% less)

20.2 MP

Also has viewfinder

56% smaller

6x zoom (73% more)

V-LUX (Typ 114) vs B700

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