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Customer Review

297 of 310 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leica D-Lux 5, January 15, 2011
This review is from: Leica D-LUX5 10.1 MP Compact Digital Camera with Super-Fast f/2.0 Lens, 3.8x Zoom Lens, 3" LCD Display, O.I.S. Image Stabilization (Black) (Camera)
I tired of carrying my DSLR and associated lenses, etc and decided to go to a Point and Shoot (P&S) camera. I had read a great deal and having owned a Nikon D-60 DSLR for a period of time, was concerned primarily with picture quality in going from a DSLR with large sensor to a P&S with much smaller sensor. For 3 solid months, give or take, I diligently, researched all P&S cameras as well as "mirrorless cameras" currently on the market. I went to 'handle' the cameras I was interested in (see below) and to Flickr on the internet and queried some groups regarding the cameras I was considering. I am a hobbyist when it comes to photography but, I was obsessed with getting as close to the superior photo quality of a DSLR as possible in a P&S. I finally decided on the Leica due to (what I believe to be) superior photo quality and excellent in-camera jpeg processing. I looked at the Nikon P7000...mixed but generally lower reviews within this group (I have owned a number of/and greatly respect Nikons); Panasonic LX5...which many say to be the same as the Leica (with the exception of jpeg processing); Canon G-12...which seemed ok with the exception of handling RAW production and the Canon S95...not as good in the lens department and photo processing. Both the Leica and Panasonic have a larger sensor than the rest of this group. Granted, I could have purchased any of these really good cameras, at a much lower price; but, I found the color and overall photo quality of the D Lux 5 to be best of the group I researched. I have never owned a Leica before and I while I expected it I am still shocked at the sticker price and cost of accessories. I'll not debate the pros and cons of the Panasonic LX5 versus the Leica, there is enough information in that regard published by professionals and labs, all over the internet. The warranty and the inclusion of Lightroom 3 were nice additions, to help soothe the price pain. A word about the warranty, depending on what you read the warranty goes anywhere from 2 years (what was in my box warranty) and some (see Steve Huff's excellent analysis) say 3 years. I'll admit the whole warranty process was/is confusing. I bought my camera from B&H Photo in New York and was confused when the salesman said that there was no warranty with the Leica during checkout and that I should buy an additional warranty for 2 years. Everything I had read previous to my purchase, said Leica provided a 2 year warranty and so I passed on the B&H offer, hope I am right. I am very happy with this camera. It is easy to operate, provides excellent stabilization, in-camera menus are outstanding, shoots in RAW format and is easy to carry/handle. Leica accessories are expensive though. Many of the items that fit the LX5; also, fit the Leica. The viewfinder, although with mixed reviews, is a must if you shoot in bright daylight or snowy environs. The Panasonic viewfinder is around $200.00 less than the Leica brand and supposedly fits/works the same on the D Lux 5...we'll see. My decision to buy the Leica boiled down to quality of build/pictures and reputation. Good sites to go to: stevehuffphoto.com; DPReview; CNET; bhphotovideo.com; snapshot.com; youtube and if you want to look at actual photos, taken by everyday users of the Leica D Lux 5, see the Leica groups on Flicr. Hope this helps.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 6, 2011, 10:51:48 AM PST
thedre says:
I have all kinds of cameras....a Canon5D, some hassy and contax, etc. But I carry around a panasonic DS Z5. It has some nice flexible settings and good overall sharpness. I select very low sharpening in the software. Just next to the bottom. It does not have raw. If my shots need sharpening, I'd rather use photoshop CS software instead. But my quibble with these digital cameras is just that the jpeg sharpening. The flecks of amoeba-like objects in the details. (Either that or turn down sharpness to it's lowest setting-you can't tell if it's really off, or just very low) I shoot at 12 megs. I'd like to know how to compare the quality of the images shot with this Leica DLux 5 and my camera, to se if it's worth buying for the better quality. ( What I mean is...a better and bigger sensor?) My panasonic also has a Leica lens...the 25mm with a 12x optical zoom. I have to say, the image stabilization with the zoom is excellent, and also functions in video.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2011, 7:05:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 7, 2011, 7:07:48 AM PST
Thedre, my best idea for comparison purposes, would be to go on Flickr and join/view the camera Groups for the cameras and products you wish to compare. I went down the Leica road for the reasons in my review. It is appears to me that you have skills beyond what I possess, in cameras/photography (I have never used a Hasselblad format camera for example, etc.), and so my views may be found wanting for your research. I simply tried to come as close to a great/high quality photo as I could, while using a compact P&S and the Leica did it for me. Note: I agree with your comments on West's album and James Brown at the Apollo...I saw him perform there, years ago, great soul music!
Hope this helps.
PS., the EVF for the Panasonic LX5 works perfectly on the Leica 5.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2011, 3:06:55 PM PDT
S. Davies says:
Hi - I've got the LX5 and am considering the EVF. Now that you have it, what's your opinion of the image it provides? Is it good for focusing, framing, etc? Easy or tiring to look at? How would you describe the image quality? Thanks for your help....

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2011, 6:48:36 PM PDT
Greetings - For my use, the EVF indispensible. I find the ability to frame shots, use, etc to be exceptional, as is the image quality. The EVF looks great mounted and in no-way hinders other buttons/dials or operations of the camera. I found the EVF to be an absolute must for shooting in bright light; such as snow and/or sun etc. In-fact, the first time I thought of adding it to my camera was when I had to "guess" on composing shots of my grandson in a snowy yard. I read some articles that say the EVF is a waste of money, etc; however, I find that the more I use it, the more I need to use it...hope that makes sense. The EVF is easy to install and operate. A simple push of a button on the EVF quickly and seamlessly moves your shooting view between the EVF and the camera's viewer. To me the EVF adds a much necessary dimension to the Leica. I hope this helps you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2011, 11:32:49 PM PDT
S. Davies says:
Thanks so much for your prompt and helpful reply....

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2011, 5:43:56 AM PDT
My pleasure.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2011, 11:13:41 PM PDT
John Illes says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2011, 12:04:03 AM PDT
John Illes says:
Leica 18151 D-Lux 5 Digital Camera
I only got 4-1/2 years of use out of the Panasonic-Lumix:
After 54 years; The 1957 Leica still work!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2011, 1:56:25 AM PDT
VAMPYRE XX says:
John Illes, you can't go by megapixels. It is misleading. You have to go by sensor size. Lens quality is also very important.

Sure, your 1957 Leica works but you have to use film, get the film developed, scan the film in to the computer, then you have an image. The image on a digital is instant. Film is fun but not efficient. The quality of digital is passing film now anyways. The D-Lux 5 is a great P & S camera. ...and it is not old.

Posted on Nov 25, 2011, 5:54:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2011, 5:54:47 PM PST
GB says:
Can you tell me, is the Leica still made in Germany, or has it been outsourced to Asia like so many other things? Thanks!
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