Photography Reviews

The Leica V-Lux 40 Digital Camera: Classic Journeys Deserve a Classic Name in Photography

Lest you forget, Leica is one of the oldest and most revered names in optics and camera making; and the company is not about to be overwhelmed by the flood of products from Canon, Sony, Nikon and others, during early 2012. Leica’s new V-Lux 40 Digital Camera, introduced May 11, 2012, is another example of Leica’s timeless design philosophy and extraordinary attention to optical quality.

Read real customer reviews of the Leica V-Lux 40 here.

The camera body doesn’t have Leica’s classic rangefinder lines, but its minimalist look is both modern and still seems to be a reminder of Leica’s past. Leica has clearly entered the V-Lux 40 into the travel digital camera sweepstakes and it has all the comparative features to be a worthy option to the equivalent Nikon, Canon, Fujifilm and Panasonic models.

As with all these compact cameras, size is an essential element of its convenience. The Leica V-Lux 40 is within the dimensions and weight range of its competitors at 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.1 inches (105 x 59 x 28mm) and 7.4 oz. (210g). Even with its advanced functions and capabilities, the V-Lux 40 is pocket-sized and purse-sized. Another traveler-desired feature that the V-Lux 40 includes is a super-zoom lens. In this case, a Leica DC Vario-Elmar 4.3–86mm f/3.3–6.4 ASPH 20x optical-zoom, with a 24–480mm focal length equivalence in 35mm format. The traveler, or any digital photography enthusiast, is able to capture the full complement of images, from wide-angle landscapes, perfectly framed portraits at mid-focal lengths and distant objects at the far end of the range.

Leica’s optical performance is legendary, but the addition of a 15.3-megapixel 1/2.33” CMOS sensor means this camera could be a legend in the making, especially in low-light shooting situations. Image quality is excellent, even at ISO 3,200; and subjects in motion are more likely to be quickly and precisely captured with an auto-focus system that kicks into action at 0.1 seconds.

A 3-inch, 460,000-dot touchscreen LCD display also ensures that you’ll have a clear, crisp view of your colorful, detailed compositions, immediate access to all menu functions and playback perfection to check and share your images. The Leica V-Lux 40 Digital Camera has the performance power to drive a burst mode of 10 frame per second at full resolution.

Leica knows the traveler and active digital photographer wants video technology that captures moving subjects with great detail, so the V-Lux 40’s 1080p video records at a faster-than-typical 50 fps in the AVCHD format. An exciting capability of this camera is saving video clips in MP4 format, making it easy to share them via social media or mobile devices because you avoid the conversion step.

A “travel” digital camera without a GPS unit is not complete. The module in the V-Lux 40 gives the globe trekker all he or she needs with a standard location and time stamp as well as identifying and showing nearby landmarks and sights (one million “points of interest”) that shouldn’t be missed. This camera also serves as a “tour guide” when the maps on the accompanying DVD are loaded into the camera via an SD card. You can easily follow the directions on the maps to find new views and areas to photograph.

The Leica V-Lux 40 Digital Camera is available for pre-order from B&H Photo Video at the time of the writing of this PhotographyTalk article. The camera is priced at $699.00 and can be found at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=leica+v-lux+40&N=0&InitialSearch=yes.

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