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Leica's C-Lux 1 digital camera. Courtesy of Leica, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Leica unveils C-LUX 1 digicam
(Tuesday, April 4, 2006 - 19:48 EDT)

Leica Camera AG has announced a new digital camera model that mirrors an existing camera from its partner, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co.

The new Leica C-LUX 1 is the equivalent of Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FX01 digital camera, a compact six megapixel model with image stabilized 3.6x optical zoom lens. Changes between the two models are mostly in terms of the product bundle, where Leica's variant ships with a larger 64MB Secure Digital card in place of Panasonic's 16MB card, and Leica includes Adobe's Photoshop Elements 4.0 software in place of the ArcSoft bundle provided by Panasonic. The camera body is essentially identical other than product logos, and the absence of the oval trim piece on the front of the Panasonic which serves to provide a grip for your fingers.

As with the DMC-FX01, the C-LUX 1 lens is branded as a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit, and offers a useful 28mm wide angle to 102mm telephoto. There's no optical viewfinder, with a large 2.5" 207k pixel LCD display being provided as the sole method of framing and reviewing images instead. ISO sensitivity ranges from 80 to 400, with the ability to extend to a maximum of ISO 1600 in high sensitivity mode. Other features include an 848x480 movie mode (plus a choice of lower resolutions), SD / MMC card storage, Lithium Ion battery, and a generous selection of scene modes.

The Leica C-LUX 1 will ship in May, priced at $495 - $145 more than Panasonic's version of the camera which shipped last March.

Leica C-LUX 1
Leica's C-Lux 1 digital camera. Courtesy of Leica, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeCompact
Model NumberC-LUX 1
Dimensions3.7 x 2.0 x 1.0"
94.1 x 51.1 x 24.2mm
Weight160.0 g
5.6 oz
Planned Price$495.00
Planned AvailabilityMay 2006
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/2.5" CCD
6.37 megapixels (total)
6.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Aspect Ratio4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions2816 x 2112 (5.9 megapixels)
2816 x 1880 (5.3 megapixels)
2816 x 1584 (4.5 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)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
LCD2.5", 207,000 pixels
100% field of view
Playback Zoom16.0x max
3.6x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length4.6 - 16.8mm (actual)
28 - 102mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture RangeF2.8 (wide) / F5.6 (tele) - ???
Focusing System1, 3 or 5 point; spot with AF assist lamp
Focusing RangeNormal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.0" - infinity (5.0 cm - infinity)
ISO Sensitivity80, 100, 200, 400, 800*, 1600* (high sensitivity mode)
Shutter Speed60 - 1/2000 second
Metering ModesI ntelligent Multiple
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Halogen, Manual1, Manual2, Manual
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Auto / Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync. / Red-eye Reduction, Forced On / Off
Range: ISO auto: 0.6 - 4.0m (Wide), 0.3 - 2.0m (Tele)
Scene ModesPortrait, soft skin, landscape, sport, night portrait, night landscape, self-portrait, food, party, candlelight, fireworks, starry sky, snow, baby1, baby2, high sensitivity
Digital Zoom4x
Self TimerYes, 2 or 10 seconds
Time LapseNo
Movie FormatQuickTime MotionJPEG with audio
848x480 and 320x240
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Recording MediumSD/MMC
File SystemComplies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatJPEG
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 Full (LOW) Speed
OtherDC In
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary
Product Bundle
SoftwareAdobe Photoshop Elements 4.0, Quicktime Movieplayer
Battery / ChargerProprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory64.0MB SD Memory card
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo
More Photos
Leica's C-Lux 1 digital camera. Courtesy of Leica, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Leica's C-Lux 1 digital camera. Courtesy of Leica, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Leica's C-Lux 1 digital camera. Courtesy of Leica, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Leica C-LUX 1 Debuts

Enjoy Photography the Easy Way with Leica's Smallest Digital Camera

ALLENDALE, N.J. -- The LEICA C-LUX 1 from Leica Camera is the first model in a new line of Leica digital compact cameras. Complementing the established LEICA D-LUX series, the new LEICA C-LUX line features an ultra compact design and fully retractable optics. The smallest Leica digital compact camera to date, the LEICA C-LUX 1 sports a powerful LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT f/2.8-5.6/4.6-16.8 ASPH zoom lens with a wide focal length range of 28 - 102 mm in 35mm format for brilliant photographs with accurate color rendering from wide angle all the way to telephoto. The LEICA C-LUX 1 offers a generous selection of modes to suit different photographic situations, giving the photographer the flexibility he needs to take successful pictures. An optical image stabilizer is integrated to counteract camera shake even in difficult light conditions. The camera's 2.5" display enables sharper picture composition before the photograph is taken and allows a quick assessment of the results immediately afterwards.

"With its ultra compact dimensions of only 2 x 4 inches, the LEICA C-LUX 1 easily fits into any bag or pocket and is therefore the ideal companion for everyday use, leisure pursuits, travel or any other occasion. Thanks to its extremely short shutter delay and precise autofocus measurement, it can be relied upon to capture valuable, unique moments and above all, spur-of-the-moment snapshots. The powerful battery provides power for up to 320 photos, supporting the concept of carefree photography," says Marius Eschweiler, Product Manager for Compact Cameras at Leica Camera AG.

Featuring a resolution of 207,000 pixels, the camera display gives a brilliant preview of the photograph, allowing accurate assessment before and after the photograph is taken. The large monitor enables several people to look at the image together and the high quality resolution allows a crisp, unblurred image even from angle. To spare the battery, the display can also be switched to a darker, low-energy mode without sacrificing the exceptional image quality.

The powerful LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 1:2.8-5.6/4.6-16.8 ASPH triple zoom lens consists of seven elements (four of which are aspherical) divided into six groups. With a maximum aperture of 2.8 and a wide focal length range of 28 to102 mm in 35mm format, the LEICA C-LUX 1 offers numerous possibilities of image composition. In the wide-angle range, for example, interior shots or group photos can be captured in their entirety at the shortest focal length setting of 28mm - an almost unique feature for this class of camera. The optics have been individually tuned to the camera sensor. Together with the electronics and software they are designed for natural color rendering, excellent definition and high brilliance.

Another feature that contributes to the excellent quality photography is the integrated image stabilizer (O.I.S) which can be switched to photograph only or can be set to both the photograph and display image. The image stabilization feature effectively prevents blurred photos, in spite of what the photographic situation may be, by consistently compensating for small hand movements. This and the high-sensitivity mode with up to ISO 1600 ensure that pictures are always sharply defined, whether in twilight, indoors or in the zoom range.

The LEICA C-LUX 1 has a strikingly clear and concentrated design; qualites that capture the timeless elegance typical of a Leica. The LEICA C-LUX 1 is designed with slightly rounded sides for comfortable handling and clearly arranged controls for easy maneuvering and simple operation. To ensure a reliable and durable product, only high-quality metal has been used to create the body of the camera. The LEICA C-LUX 1 is offered in both black and silver metal body housings.
The LEICA C-LUX 1 comes with a 64 MB SD memory card, a battery charger, a powerful battery, an AV, USB and AC cable and an extensive software package (Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Quicktime Movie Player). Choice of accessories include, an AC adapter (for connecting the camera directly to the mains), spare battery and three different camera cases made of high-quality leather.

The LEICA C-LUX 1 also offers a simple solution for digiscoping (photography through a scope) in the form of the Leica digital adapter. Instead of the bulky and expensive equipment that is often necessary for such applications, this solution requires only the compact digital camera connected to the eyepiece of a LEICA TELEVID scope with the adapter. The LEICA C-LUX 1 then becomes a camera with an extremely large focal length range for ambitious bird and nature watchers, producing frame-filling digital pictures of impressive, unvignetted quality. The large 2.5" display of the LEICA C-LUX 1 is perfect for assessing the picture area and composition when digiscoping. The optical image stabilization feature ensures precise nature photos even in poor light and extreme conditions.

The LEICA C-LUX 1 will be available through select Leica authorized dealers in May 2006 for $495 retail. Customers will be able to choose between a black and a silver chrome finish.

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