Leica V-LUX 1 Review
|Full model name:||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Sensor size:||1/1.8 inch
(7.2mm x 5.3mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Extended ISO:||80 - 3200|
|Shutter:||1/2000 - 60 sec|
5.5 x 3.4 x 5.6 in.
(141 x 86 x 142 mm)
|Full specs:||Leica V-LUX 1 specifications|
Based on Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FZ50, the Leica V-LUX 1 couples a ten megapixel imager with a Leica-branded 12x optical zoom lens with MEGA O.I.S. image stabilisation. The lens yields effective focal lengths from 35 - 420mm - a moderate wide angle to a useful telephoto. ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 1600, with the option to extend this to ISO 3200 in high sensitivity mode. Images can be previewed or reviewed on a 2.0" LCD display with a better than average resolution of 207,000 pixels. For those who prefer to hold the camera to their eye, the V-LUX 1 has a 0.44" color electronic viewfinder with 235,000 pixels.
Focusing in the Leica VLUX 1 is catered for with a 1, 3, or 9-point autofocus function with AF assist lamp. Exposure modes include sixteen scene modes, such as two unusual "Baby" modes that allow you to program a date of birth in each, and then have your images tagged with your children's current ages at the time a photo is taken. Exposure variables in the V-LUX 1 are determined using an intelligent multiple, center-weighted or spot metering system, and users can tweak the exposure with +/-2.0EV of exposure compensation, in 1/3EV steps. Shutter speeds range from 1/2000 to 60 seconds - quite a bit longer than is common on many digicams - and the V-LUX 1 offers automatic or manual white balance control with five presets, and two custom white balance modes - letting you save white balance measurements for common situations for later recall. The Leica V-LUX 1 also includes a built-in five mode flash, with a range of up to seven meters at wide angle or 5.3 meters at telephoto, plus a hot shoe for external flash strobes.
The Leica V-LUX1 offers a higher than average movie resolution of 848 x 480 pixels, as well as lower-resolution 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixel options - all of which use the QuickTime MotionJPEG format common on most digicams. The V-LUX 1 draws power from a proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery pack, and records images on Secure Digital or MultiMedia cards, with a whopping 512MB Secure Digital card in the product bundle - other manufacturers could learn a thing or two from Leica about including a card that's actually useful to their customers. In addition, the VLUX1 supports the new SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) standard, which extends the maximum capacity to a theoretical 32GB (4GB cards being the largest available at the time of this writing, although 8GB cards should be available in the last quarter of 2006), with sustained transfer rates of up to six megabytes per second. There's also both USB2.0 Full (low) Speed computer connectivity - much slower than the High Speed connections on many cameras these days - and an NTSC / PAL switcheable video output to show your images on a TV, with the necessary cables included. Adobe Photoshop Elements rounds out the product bundle.
The Leica V-LUX 1 is priced at $800, some $150 above pricing for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-Z50.