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on December 8, 2012
I purchased the new Leica D-Lux 6 as a replacement for my Canon S-90, which I've owned for three years. The Canon S-90 is a fantastic camera, and according to many of the reviews I've read, superior to the models that succeeded it: the S-100 and S-110. For this reason, I decided to look at other cameras rather than simply buying the latest version of the same model. While the Leica D-LUX 5 caught my attention (I had just bought a Lumix DMC-LX5 for one of my sons, who loves it), I decided not to buy it as I assumed that a new model would eventually be forthcoming. I also considered the Sony RX 100, however, I had concerns about the color palette being on the cool side based on some user feedback that I'd read. Instead, I bought a mid-size Canon model, the GX1 as this offered easier access to manual functions, a real deficiency in the S-90; however, I returned it after finding significant issues with photo clarity at longer ranges. When I saw that Leica was in fact coming out with a model to replace the D-LUX 5, I went for it.

While I haven't worked with the D-LUX 6 all that long, my initial impressions are quite positive. Keeping in mind that my basis for comparison is the Canon S-90, I find that the operational dials are intelligently placed and easy to use and the menu is also very easy to use. The camera has a nice weight and hand feel to it - maybe a little too big to put in your pocket, but it fits nicely into a small belt pouch (the leather Leica case may look great but it's not the most functional around and is very expensive). The camera operated smoothly: the recovery time between exposures is brief, it is responsive in low light situations, the focus and zoom operations are nearly flawless, and the automatic program seems to be very reliable. Thus far, I'm extremely pleased with the photos I've taken. The clarity is excellent - I'm especially impressed with the results with the zoom at mid-range and all the way out, where the S-90 can start to get a little bit muddy. The color palette is warm and natural; no concerns here at all.

While technical experts will have more substantive comments to make, and their guidance will be much more valuable to those who use their cameras in ways that reach way beyond what I do, I nevertheless can tell prospective buyers that this is a fine camera that takes very, very good pictures. In the meantime, for those who are looking for more technical information, I recommend a review posted on the red dot forum, which called the D-Lux 6 "a solid improvement over the D-Lux 5." The reviewer summarized by saying that "the D-Lux 5 was no slouch, but the improvements Leica has introduced make the upgrade an easy decision. Faster auto focus and operation, a gorgeous LCD screen, improved low light performance, better build quality, and full 1080p HD video are all I could have asked for and more. Sign me up!"
1515 comments146 of 157 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 27, 2013
I did a lot of research before I bought this camera. I was looking for a solid second camera that I could keep in my purse so that I would always have a camera on hand (something better than my iphone.) My previous portable was an old Lumix point and shoot with a crazy zoom lens. It was a good camera when I bought it in 2007 but it couldn't compare in image quality to my iphone, and the extreme zoom was too hard to get a sharp image from. The two most important factors for me are fast focusing and image quality, and the Leica is a very fast camera and the images are insane-people cant tell the difference between my Leica shots and my dslr shots, and no point and shoot I have ever owned has been able to even pretend to be as good as a dslr. I am not saying that if you buy this camera you can get rid of your dslr, but it is an excellent companion. If you are looking to grab a camera for the day and don't want to deal with your heavy dslr and all the lenses, the Leica will be able to provide a good range and will give you some gorgeous shots. I don't even think about using my iphone anymore :) The camera isn't cheap, but you should be able to get years of use out of it before you feel like you need to upgrade, and since it is a Leica, it holds its value way better than other brands, so you will be able to sell it and get more of your money back than you would with the Lumix or another brand.
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on April 16, 2013
Notwithstanding the limitations discussed below (short zoom, fussy menus, frustrating user's manual, etc.), this is a SUPERIOR compact camera for the photography hobbyist. In terms of construction, versatility, features, responsiveness, and photo quality, this camera is a winner. (The fact that this camera ships with an Adobe Lightroom license underscores that it is a serious piece of photographic equipment that is intended to yield images that will satisfy demanding, recreational photographers.) I think that the typical purchaser will be proud to own and to use this camera for many years to come.


(1) Your money will be wasted on this camera if you are "merely" looking to buy an outstanding point-and-shoot camera. This camera is designed to please the enthusiast who will spend the necessary amount of time required to learn how to master its controls and menus, and who will take advantage of the post-production processes that are available in Adobe Lightroom. For some people, this type of commitment will not be appealing. For others, it will be very rewarding -- particularly if you save your images as RAW files. But let me say this: If you're not interested in learning to use Lightroom (or another sophisticated image processing program), then you are not going to get the most out of this camera. (Nevertheless, this camera shines as an easy-to-use point-and-shoot camera, if that's how you want to use it.)

(2) The 222-page instruction manual is not exactly inscrutable ... nor is it a model of clarity. To use this camera to its fullest potential, you will need to refer to the instruction manual often ... and, when you do, you will need to put your thinking cap on to make sense of what you're reading.

(3) For this price, I believe that the camera should have been equipped with an automatic lens protector. Dealing with the lens cap is no big deal, but I'd prefer not to deal with it at all.

(4) The D-LUX 6's zoom lens has proven to be perfectly adequate for casual, daily photography, but I tote a Nikon D600 with a 28-300 zoom when I'm traveling/vacationing.

(5) The flash is anemic. It's OK, but it could be better.

(6) The relationships between the camera's menus and settings, and the reasons for the strange button assignments, are probably known only to Leica/Panasonic. They don't hinder your usage of the camera, but they don't help, either.

Bottom line: This is an extraordinary camera that isn't much larger than a pack of cigarettes. And -- when you consider that it ships with an Adobe Lightroom license -- I believe that it is a fair value. (If you already own a copy of Lightroom, then I would suggest that you purchase the Panasonic DMC-LX7 camera instead.) After spending a lot of time with this camera, and capturing a couple of thousand images, I am totally pleased with its performance -- but I would have given it only 4-1/2 stars, if Amazon's rating system had allowed it, for the reasons above.

On another note: I often use the optional, external viewfinder, which is an excellent and very useful accessory. It was a worthwhile purchase for me, but its price-to-value ratio is questionable. For the price of the D-Lux 6 ($800) plus the optional viewfinder ($400), you could buy a very nice, used Nikon D7000 and a new, Nikon telephoto lens.
11 comment36 of 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 30, 2012
Speaking as a layman, I took a lot of still photos with my old digital camera and at times, I may be a long ways from home, so, like anyone taking pictures, I highly rely on my camera to take the photo I'm after. However, with my old digital, the shutter recovery from one photo to the next was slow and the camera started to fail saving some of the pictures, which was the last straw.

I made up my mind that I was going to look at one of those "overrated" cameras. Since my concern was about quality, I had to evaluate and discern which reviews were genuine and credible, and which reviews were written in mockery, or simply whining. Finally, which brand would get my money.

First, this camera appeals to the natural senses. The Leica D Lux6, has the feel and sound of quality, and the colors, well, is in the eye of the beholder. As I said earlier, I just want a quality picture when I press the button, and so far, this camera delivers pictures I expect. I will say that, as with any camera, once in a while there are some pictures that are not perfect in color, but they can be worked with, adjusted, and I'm not going home without the picture I wanted. I ordered the D Lux6 from Amazon dot com.

Cutting to the chase, I can say this camera, the D Lux6, saves me the time of being concerned with setting this and setting that, but if I need to make the time, it still gives me plenty of options to adjust specific settings, and it delivers on everything the manual says it will do.

For the past month, I compared the rear viewing screen to another camera I have, and the D Lux6 shows up better in bright outdoor shots. It is easier to make out what you're trying to take a picture of.

Lastly, I'm traveling light, I'm not dragging a bag of extra lenses and other equipment along.

I've used this camera for a year now and since then, I bought the detachable view finder from Amzon and it has been a thrill to use in any circumstance! Fantastic!
Further, I bought a Lowepro, Edit100 carry case. The camera and accessories fit just right.
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on September 9, 2013
This camera is amazing.An excellent backup camera for the heavy DSLR when you prefer not to take it with you.This camera fits in my pocket and I take it everywhere.I wanted a camera to do just that,and my iPhone camera didn't do the trick because it didn't have a zoom lens.I visited the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky to shoot the beautiful quilts, however,they wouldn't allow pictures to be taken with the exception of a wooden quilt by Fraser Smith entitled "Floating". The room was dimly lit and the picture taken from across the room without flash since it wasn't allowed. The picture, with the help of Photoshop to brighten it up, came out with great color, and detail. I blew it up to an 8x10 with no noise.I shot the picture using Raw fine quality although the camera can do both JPEG and Raw.There are so many features that aren't brought out with this camera when you read the reviews, that if you want to gather real insight as to what this gem of a camera can do, go to Amazon Books and look inside a book written by Alexander White, entitled "Photographer's Guide to the Leica D-Lux 6.Click on, "Look Inside".On page 26 you'll discover you can use an Eye-Fi memory card with it to allow you to send pictures to your iPad, iPhone, or computer,providing you have WiFi. The manual for this camera comes on a DVD and if printed would be 200 pages, but the book by Alexander White, explains how to make maximum use of these features to give you the best pictures under the circumstances-like shooting through glass.Great value in this camera.The one con is the lens cap which uses a string attached to the camera to keep from losing it. I don't find it annoying, but some people might, and if so there are "automatic" lens caps available for the D-Lux 6.I would have liked a built in view finder,but the camera comes with a hot shoe so an EVF could be added later if need be.I highly recommend you check out the book by Alexander White as it can also can help to keep you from making a purchase on a camera that if used, the seller might charge a %15 restocking fee.That's an experience they don't tell you about until after you try to return it.Great camera. I know you won't be disappointed.
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on April 26, 2013
Leica DLUX 6 10-megapixel Digital CameraThis black Leica D-Lux 6 is a treasure. It makes top quality photos and video with out any hassle. If you don't care to select your own settings you can let the camera function on its own and you'll get excellent results. I also own a Leica D-Lux-4 Safari edition. It too does a fantastic job producing quality photos and video. I bought the D-Lux 6 because you can zoom the lens while making video -- the Safari doesn't allow you to that. The D-Lux 6 allows you to program your own settings for special results. The D-Lux 6 menus are intuitive and easy to figure out. Most special is the D-Lux 6 lens, an ultra-fast Leica DC-Vario-Summilux zoom lens 4.7-17.7mm f/1.4 -2.3 ASPH. Speaking in 35mm terms the lens is comparable to a 28mm wide and zooms to a 90mm telephoto. It also is capable of micro photography.
But technical achievements aside the camera is pure quality, in both build and image presentation. Many years ago a friend of mine (Bob Schultz) who worked with me (we were news photographers then) for metropolitan daily newspapers in Los Angeles commented, " know, there's nothing like working with a piece of gear that's pure quality and that's Leica for you..." So. This is not a "rave" for Leica. Like anyone else they have their problems. And the camera has its limits - it won't say "goodnight" to you or start your car's engine. What it is is a good, solid piece of quality gear that will deliver what you need.

-- Paladin in Washington
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on April 28, 2013
This is a great little travel camera. The pictures are very sharp and detail is captured very well. I am shooting in RAW and there is a lot of room to post-process the RAW images (I use Photoshop CS6). I also shoot along with RAW, jpgs and I set the camera to shoot the jpgs in B&W. This way I can decide if I want to process the RAW into B&W photos. I shoot in "A" mode and set the aperture myself. The ideal aperture range with this particular camera is f1.4 - f4.5. Above 4.5 the images are a little fuzzy. The only negative I've found after shooting about 500 images with this little D6 is that the ISO is very poor above 200. I am now shooting at the native 80 ISO. HOWEVER, if your want a grainy film-like "look" to your photos, then do shoot at ISO 400 and process your RAW images with grainy B&W in mind. In that situation this camera will render stunning high contrast B&W images. While the price is substantial over the Panasonic version of this camera, whatever Leica has done to tweak the camera is working (I understand Leica does do a little to the menus and the processing of the computer inside this camera for a little different rendering of the sensor's info). I would add that I purchased after the fact the Panasonic electronic view finder ($160 vs. the Leica labeled exact same EVF that is priced at $400!). The EVF is a MUST in my opinion.
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on January 12, 2013
I had the DLUX 4, then the DLUX 5. I bought this one and it is well worth it. The new lens is amazing. It's faster which means "auto" is better. If you're on the fence, go ahead. Looks like the "5" but it's not
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on December 18, 2013
I've owned both the LX5 and LX7 and found them both to be excellent cameras. The progression to the LX7 was a logical step for me, as these little guys suit my needs and you can produce some amazing images with them.

I'd been contemplating the Sony RX100M II, and that camera is a beautifully built and well designed instrument, but there is just something about it that seems a slight bit removed from what a camera should feel like in my hands. That's my opinion, but it's the impression I've been left with after using one. Truly can produce images that rival a micro 4/3's in many ways, but there is just something about how the Sony line has always handled that feel less "photographic" to me. Again, my personal preferences.

Here is some history, but I think it's important to my overall opinion of this camera. I've been making images for almost 40 years, many of them with Leicas and even Minolta. Back in the 70's and 80's, Minolta was chosen by Leica to partner, develop and produce some of it's designs in Japan. The Leica CL, the smallest M series Leica ever made and the early R series Leica SLR's were all manufactured by Minolta. Later, Minolta themselves produced their own rangefinder camera (the CLE) and their own small series of lenses, but in the Leica M mount. Why does this matter? Leica's reputation for durability and quality, as well as it's place in the history of photography are indisputable. Their cameras and optics are among the finest ever produced in the world of 35mm, but also photography as a whole. So to me, any company (such as Minolta....or Panasonic) that Leica would choose to partner with has a golden endorsement.

Now, in my move to the DLUX 6 I just wanted a Leica. Plain and simple. I also convert every image I shoot with the LX7 to a .dng file, so my workflow stays unchanged. And, whether they've made changes to the .jpg processing or not has no significance to me. Did Panasonic say "hey if you design a lens for us, we can make some bodies for you, and we have an accord"? Was it a total collaboration? I don't really care. I like handling the Leica more, prefer it without the grip on the right side. Some of the controls are easier to read (especially the 4-way buttons on the back). I already own the LVF2. I enjoy the C1/C2 features, double the standard warranty, etc, etc. Never had to use Panasonic customer support, but Leica are excellent.

So on the one hand, you can enjoy almost all of the features and benefits of a far less expensive camera in the LX7, or you can pay more and own the Leica. The value of the LX7 is clear, and perhaps that of the DLUX 6 is a little harder to quantify if reasoned in the functional sense of only the camera's feature set. But with the Leica I willingly paid a premium for the name, the history, the design tweaks and a few other things. It's all down to my personal preferences and individual taste and priorities.
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on December 29, 2012
Terrific little camera. Amazing pics .. noise at high ISOs is controllable. Colors are sharp and clear. A true Leica!
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