Pros Rock solid engineering; sharp optics; wide zoom range
Cons Price (but who's counting?)
Summary Leica has a long tradition of designing and building great camera lenses. While the review suggested that this superzoom could do better at the wide angle end of its range, that's not a a valid criticism. Building a zoom lens that maintains its focus through the zoom range, doesn't generate spherical distortion at its wide angle setting, and provides a good response in low light settings is extremely hard. Leica put together an ideal camera for nature photography, portrait photography or other work outdoors that calls for the flexibility of a zoom lens. The image stablization feature is just icing on the cake.
I have been a big fan of the red dot after using several other digital cameras and this one is no exception. The image quality is superb and it doesn't take much to learn how to cope with the idiosyncracies of the white balance adjustment (for which Panasonic may be responsible).
If you could only carry one camera, this is a fine one to take on the road.
Pros Perfect, easy to use. A great German machine.
Cons I looked close and can't find a thing wrong with it.
Summary Over time I have had Nikons,Canons and some others. They did not get in. I did look a Leica, but the price use too high. After a long wait I got thr Leica V-Lux 1. It is the real thing. The *** copies still are not the real thing. This is a great camera.I have had my Leica for a few years and I still love it. I must have taken 20,000 phots with it. It works and looks like the day I took it out of the box.
It gets IT!
Updated on Aug 7, 2010
"Durable and extremly well crafted 10 mega pixel digital camera with a massive zoom range"on by buynshoot
Pros durable and extremly well crafted 10 mega pixel digital camera with a massive zoom range
Cons Pricey, and over-use of noise reduction software in-camera softens images
Summary Let’s cut straight to the chase with the Leica V-Lux 1: the quality of the workmanship and the sophisticated design of the camera are unquestionable. So too are the speed of the lens and its considerable 35-420mm focal range. But, at the end of the day, this unit isn’t without its faults: it’s quite expensive for a digital compact especially considering its equivalent competition and the over-use of noise reduction software in-camera softens images creating a somewhat ‘painted’ effect.
For some this will be welcomed but for others, impressive styling and a long list of features may not be enough to compensate for an overall lack of sharpness. As smaller images, the effect isn’t particularly noticeable but as you begin to enlarge or zoom in, an artificial smoothness does become apparent and a loss of detail, especially in the shadows, can occur.
Having said this however, the reproduction of colour in the 10mp V-Lux 1 is accurate, start up time is very fast and shutter delay is so minimal it’s barely noticeable.
The swivel LCD is an ingenious inclusion that opens up the user’s shooting possibilities tremendously. The 2-inch screen and its 180-degree swivel action (either horizontal or vertical) means you can hold the camera above your head, by your feet or at you hip and always know exactly what you are photographing. It completely takes the guesswork out of freestyle shooting that doesn’t always occur at eye level, which is a bonus for all creative photographers.
The V-Lux 1 kit comes complete with a: lens hood, 512MB memory card, battery charger and dedicated Li-ion battery, USB cable, AV cable, 143-page manual, and software (Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 and QuickTime.) It has 12x optical and 4x digital zoom along with optical image stabilization, which detects what Leica calls ‘jitter’ (camera shake) and compensates for hand movement when taking stills and video. The feature can be turned off although I’m not sure why you would ever operate without it. For movie mode especially it is an absolute must and proves very effective. And, just in case you’re not convinced of the difference image stabilisation can make, the camera will give you a demonstration!
16 different scene modes are available including: portrait, soft skin, scenery, sports, night portrait, night scenery, panning, food, party, candlelight, fireworks, starry sky, baby, snow and high sensitivity, meaning most situations are covered.
When focusing manually, a magnified preview of the centre of frame appears on screen and proves very helpful in ensuring correct focus is achieved. In some situations, auto focus may not operate correctly (e.g. in low light or scenes with minimal separation) in which case, this feature is much appreciated.
The V-Lux 1 is capable of shooting a considerable range of subjects from fine macro through to wide angle and super telephoto, and for a photographer that spends most of their time in the outdoors this camera will perform well.
Although marketed in the compact class, don’t take this as a literal description. At 14.1cm x 8.5cm x 14.2cm and 734g in weight the V-Lux 1 isn’t necessarily a unit that is easy to take with you everywhere. As mentioned, the quality of the camera body is undeniable and it certainly feels as though it would last a lifetime. The operation of the aperture and shutter speed wheels isn’t especially ergonomically friendly (at least not if you have smaller hands) and this is due also to the boxy design that remains a Leica trademark.
Options to tag your favourite images, create an in-camera slideshow or safeguard your photos from deletion are available as well as having a live histogram appear when shooting to ensure no highlights or shadows are clipped. Three of your personal custom settings can be saved to ensure that the desired recording mode can be quickly and easily set any time you pick up the V-Lux 1.
The power of the flash can be manually adjusted and its overall coverage is good. Sometimes, images shot indoors without the flash can appear muddy in the shadows and having to manually pop the flash when you want to use it may either be liked or disliked pretty quickly. The electronic viewfinder is surprisingly subpar for Leica: it is very difficult to obtain a clear preview and is quite uncomfortable to look through for any longer than a few seconds at a time. But with such a versatile swivel 2 inch LCD I would think most users will opt for this and leave the viewfinder for novelty use.
By and large, this unit is a good all-rounder with the all the stylings of a digital SLR. If you’re after a smart looking, durable and extremly well crafted 10 mega pixel digital camera with a massive zoom range then the V-Lux 1 is a very good choice.
Pros Fantastic daytime camera, decent zoom, excellent pictures. Great len
Cons Low level night pictures are dark.
Summary very good first camera
Pros Easy to use, zoom is great, great flexability
Cons Image not as good as less expensive point and shoot 5.1 mega pixle
Summary I recently inherited a Leica V-Lux 1 and have shot 30 pictures or so with it set in the 35mm aspect ratio at 8.5 mega pixles, and was not impressed with the results. When looking at the image at 200 percent there is an over-all fuzziness in the pictures. When comparing the images taken on this camera to a HP 707 Photosmart 5.1 mega pixles there is no contest- image quality goes to HP, but the flexability goes to the Leica camera. I don't know if this camera is in need of repair (causing the poor image quality), or if it is an inherit problem with the camera's processor.
I would love to download and view someone elses picture taken on a Leica V-Lux camera so I could tell if my camera just needs to be repaired (I hope this is the case as the other reviews say nice things about the camera)