Leica D-LUX 2 Review

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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Leica D-LUX 2
Resolution: 8.40 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/1.65 inch
(7.8mm x 5.8mm)
Lens: 4.00x zoom
(28-112mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
Shutter: 1/2000 - 60 sec
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 4.0 x 2.2 x 1.0 in.
(102 x 57 x 25 mm)
Weight: 7.0 oz (198 g)
Availability: TBD
Manufacturer: Leica
Full specs: Leica D-LUX 2 specifications

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4.00x zoom 1/1.65 inch
size sensor
image of Leica D-LUX 2
Front side of Leica D-LUX 2 digital camera Front side of Leica D-LUX 2 digital camera Front side of Leica D-LUX 2 digital camera Front side of Leica D-LUX 2 digital camera Front side of Leica D-LUX 2 digital camera

The Leica D-LUX 2 digital camera - like Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LX1 (on which it is based) - is noteable for its use of a CCD imager with a 16:9 aspect ratio, rather than the more common 4:3 and 3:2 aspect ratio imagers found in most other digital cameras.

Of course, where 4:3 or 3:2 cameras can simply crop their output to achieve a different aspect ratio (discarding some of the image data in the process), the D-LUX 2 can do likewise, offering up 4:3 or 3:2 images from its 16:9 imager. That's not ideal on a regular basis however, because you're paying for real estate on your camera sensor that you aren't using. If you're regularly shooting 16:9 images with a 4:3 camera, 25% of your image data is being discarded. With a 16:9 sensor (all other things being equal), your camera could have been shooting images at a higher burst speed / depth since since there would be less data to transfer from the sensor, and you could have achieved better battery life since the power-hungry sensor would have been active for a shorter period.

For these reasons, this could be a rather attractive camera for anybody interested in shooting 16:9 images - for example, anybody who views their images most often on a high definition television. If you often switch back and forth between aspect ratios depending on your planned output method, however, you may want to consider which aspect ratios you're planning to use the most often. When cropping from 16:9 to 3:2 you lose 15% of your image data, though, versus 11% when going from 4:3 to 3:2 - meaning that less sensor area is wasted using a 4:3 camera to shoot 3:2 images. If you regularly shoot images for all three formats, the 3:2 sensor is going to be your best bet, simply because overall you'll be discarding the least data.

Other than the unusual choice of aspect ratio for the sensor, the Leica D-LUX 2 is also noteable for its high resolution of eight megapixels, large and high resolution 2.5" 207k pixel LCD display, and LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4x optical zoom lens. The camera offers a good range of automatic and manual controls, as well as both TIFF and RAW uncompressed formats, and stores images on Secure Digital cards. A slightly larger than average 32MB SD card in the product bundle, although this will still need supplementing immediately given the likely file size of an 8 megapixel JPEG image, let alone the TIFF or RAW images.

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