Leica D-Lux 5 is also pricey for a compact DSLR camera at $800 to $900. Are you paying extra for the name and reputation? Certainly. Is it worth it? Yes, if you have the digital photography skills and experience to appreciate it and to benefit from its high-end quality and features.
- Traditional Leica design.
- Alternative picture formats: 3:2, 16:9, 1:1 and the standard 4:3 aspect ratios.
- Accepts high-capacity SDHC and SDXC memory cards.
- Approximately 400 shots from supplied battery.
- Outstanding digital photo quality.
- A large choice of manual options.
- Low-light performance, with ISO as much as 12800.
- Above-average video quality recorded at resolutions to 720p.
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software included.
- Expensive price for a compact.
- No built-in viewfinder.
- Unsatisfactory and very average user interface.
- Small amount of memory (40MB).
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This Leica, like most of the other Leica camera models, has a distinctive look that gives it a vintage feel, which attracts a certain kind of buyer. The styling is not all aesthetics, however, since it feels solid and sturdy when you grip it. The body is designed with anodized metal covers, chrome highlights and a rugged, matte black finish. The D-Lux 5 honors Leica’s classic models of the past, without looking like your great-grandfather’s camera. The various modern touches that have been added, such as a huge three-inch LCD screen and HDMI and USB outputs carefully placed behind hinged doors, complement the traditional Leica design.
Weight these good and bad points if you’re considering the D-Lux 5.
Leica D-Lux 5 DSLR Camera
The CCD sensor is certainly a highlight of the Leica D-Lux 5 DSLR camera. At 1/1.63-inch and a top resolution of approximately 10.1 megapixels, this camera produces rich colors, sharp focus, dynamic range and excellent depth of field.
Maybe, the biggest disappointment is the lack of a viewfinder; however, an electronic viewfinder can be added, for a price. Despite that, the huge LCD has a very good display quality. Detail is quite sharp, given the 460,000-pixel resolution, and colors won’t appear under- or over-saturated as they do on less expensive screens.
A big upside of owning any Leica camera is that it includes a legendary Leica lens. The D-Lux 5 comes with the Leica DC Vario-Summicron 1:2–3.3/5.1–19.2mm ASPH zoom lens. Not only is it fast, but also it has a versatile focal range of 24–90 mm (35mm equivalent). Open it wide for outstanding group and landscape photos. The 3.8x optical magnification isn't at the top end of the scale, but it’s all you’ll need in a high-end compact digital camera.
Despite the Leica look and tradition and all the above-average features for a compact, the D-Lux 5 still operates like a point-and-shoot. Point the lens and release the shutter, as intelligent-auto, face-recognition, image-stabilization and similar features kick into gear to give you excellent results. Even such exacting photographic challenges, as macros and portraits, will be easy and generate pleasing flesh tones in your portraits and striking shallow-focus effects in your macro images.
There’s little doubt that the Leica D-Lux 5 DSLR camera is a very good choice. The tougher question is “Is your wallet deep enough?” The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software, which retails from $250 to $300, should soften the blow a bit. Plus, Leica’s standard warranty is for two years. This is not a camera for everyone, but the kind of person that can appreciate the quality difference of a Leica, and is willing to pay for it.
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