120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
This Camera Does It All!,
This review is from: Leica 18176 V-LUX 40 14.1MP Compact Camera with 3.0-Inch TFT LCD (Black) (Electronics)
I hardly ever write product reviews - just restaurants. I am making an exception for this camera!
I waited quite some time to get a Leica. Some of the comments in one of the thread questions that are going on right now are insane. I am sure some of you agree...we can go on comparing products over and over until we die, so why not make some of these comparisons based off what the people have to say that actually own the item, not from just reading the nonsense people have to say when they haven't even touched the product.
Well, with that being said...so maybe some of us want the little red Leica logo on the camera, or some of us just don't care. I am in the middle. I like Leica and their technology. Their design is clean and simple, and since this is my first time owning a Leica - I am proud to show the logo.
The V-Lux 40 is an amazing little machine. I sold my Nikon D90 with three lenses, so I could buy this camera. When I found out that the zoom is better than the Nikon 70-300mm lens I had [that cost $650, whole Leica cost $700] - I couldn't help myself to find out how and why this compact point & shoot camera could do all this and more. I live in New York, and I love taking photos of buildings and architecture - the zoom is unbelievable! I am getting specific detail on beautiful old buildings with a BETTER range than the DSLR. When they say 20x optical zoom - that is what it means - and it means it adds up to 480mm.
To be honest - I would've never bought the V-Lux 40 if I wasn't able to test it out first. I was able to do so by visiting the Leica Gallery here in NYC. I was able to try all the options and learn as much as I could by having a very informational specialist help me do so.
Before I decided to part ways with my D90, I wanted to make sure that the Leica had a good macro option. Taking close-up photos is one of the most important parts of photography for me. I like to shoot flowers and bugs and zoom in on anything I can to grab detail. Taking photos of the leaves in autumn is something I have been doing for many years now, so you can see why I need a camera with a good macro.
The shutter is quick and precise, and the vibration stabilizer is phenomenal. The camera moves slightly all on its own to try and find the perfect lineup for you to shoot your shot. There is GPS - I never thought I would want to use anything with GPS integration, but living in NYC - it is actually a good idea...it makes it a great way to keep note of where you have been. Another really fun feature is that you can take a photo with the touchscreen! Yup - just like using an iPhone or alike.
I will say this - I have only had the camera for a week, and it is odd walking around the city without the bulky DSLR. I do miss my Nikon, but in time I will get used to not having it around. It is bittersweet because the Nikon was/is a great camera, but the Leica does everything and more than the D90 does.
I have not tested the video out, since I am not really into taking video, but I am quite confident that there won't be any complaints coming from me when I do get around to trying it out.
To sum all the options up right here for you in a review may be helpful:
+ Improved 14.1MP CMOS Sensor
+ 3.0" Touchscreen LCD Display
+ 20x Leica DC Vario-Elmar Zoom Lens
+ Increased AF Speed--0.1 Second
+ Optical Image Stabilization
+ 1920x1080 AVCHD Video, Can Save in MP4
+ 3D Photo Capture
+ Shoot Up to 10 fps at Full Resolution
+ GPS, DVD With Detailed Maps
+ Photoshop Elements/Premiere Elements Inc
If you do decide on purchasing the V-Lux 40, I hope you will be very happy with it! I know I am, and until the day Nikon or Canon make a significant improvement in their DSLR cameras in the price range I am comfortable in - I am perfectly fine and happy with this beautiful, little piece of technology.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 4, 2012 10:43:43 AM PDT
Nice review- I'm looking for a compact camera a few steps up from the Canon ELPH series, the high-end elph Canon S100 is $399 but has issues and being recalled. I came across the Lux 40 and Panasnoic Lumix series with the Lecia debate in between-- I'm a Lexus owner and had a camry before, so i get it. I use to carry around those big DSLR's/lens and for me, it's a pain in the neck, for general shooting I can do just as good with a decent compact then a fat DLSR.
Posted on Sep 3, 2012 6:14:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 3, 2012 6:24:38 PM PDT
Thanks for your review! I am trying to decide on the purchase of a new digital camera. In the old days, I used a number of traditional Leica cameras: rangefinders M2, M3 and M4, and also SLR Leicaflex. I liked them, but had trouble with rangefinders, as I wear glasses and I could not focus well enough. And my Leicaflex was too heavy and bulky, probably because it was an older version (which I inherited from grandparents). Then, I finally switched to Nikon FE2 with a great 50mm 1.2 lens for all my long trips around the world. I was thrilled with it! Then, in more modern days, I bought a small Canon digital elph, which was a pleasure to use. I became used to lighter cameras with fairly good results, but missed the manual controls, which I had on my Nikon FE2.
Now I want to upgrade to a digital camera that can do more than the Canon digital elph. So, I am thinking of Canon Power Shot SX40HS, which is bulkier. I've spent one week reading, studying, comparing various digital cameras of that category (so-called "bridge" cameras, which are between compact and SLR), and finally I was able, with great difficulty, to find out which camera of the Nikon Coolpix P510, Fujifilm Finepix HS25 or 30 EXR and Canon Power Shot SX40HS had the feature "exposure live LCD", meaning that one can see on the LCD liquid display how dark or how light the actual photo will be, before taking the photograph. It turns out that Canon is the only brand of those three in the same category which has this feature. Strangely, it was difficult to find out this piece of information. My little Canon digital elph also has it. One Amazon reviewer thought that Canon may own the right to that technology and may sell it to other camera companies for their higher-end categories.
So, after this long preamble, my question is whether the Leica V-lux 40 has an exposure live view LCD ("exposure simulation live preview"). Did you notice that? If you tilt the camera one way or another on the same object, does the LCD screen show different lighting and colours? And does the final photograph display what you saw on the LCD preview (before you took the photograph)?
I would love to carry a very small camera like the the Leica V-lux 40 and still obtain superb photographs with detail and good colour. But the exposure live LCD is a very important feature to me, especially when I take photos of my paintings, as lighting and colour are crucial. I would rather not guess and have to keep taking photographs "blindly". It is too time-consuming. Of course, with digital photography, I know we are becoming spoiled. It used to take so much longer to find out about the photograph results. Still, since we are comparing digital cameras and I am about to purchase one, this is an important factor in my decision.
I know the Leica LCD has "touch screen", which is nice, but this is another subject.
I would love to visit a Leica store or factory as you did, ask all of my important questions, look at the camera, feel it and have my questions answered there, but I don't live anywhere near one. And since there are very few reviews on Leica cameras these days, compared to reviews on other cameras, it is difficult to get a real idea.
I would appreciate it if you could answer my single question and add anything you found useful. Again, thank you for your review!
Posted on Oct 6, 2012 10:24:04 AM PDT
Amazon Customer says:
Would it be possible for you to load some of the zoom pictures? I am contemplating between this and the Panasonic Lumix ZX20.. I would very much appreciated, I've seen some of the shoots from the Panasonic pics that were posted on the Amazon and would like to see the difference.
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