Is a Leica worth it's price tag?
August 7, 2007 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Any casual photographers using a Leica D-Lux 3?

My Canon SLR is just too big to schlep around the place so I'm looking for a compact I can use on an everyday basis. I'm no photographic genius or anything but after years of using a Lomo, buying a 'regular' compact like a Canon would only make me feel like a tourist. My search has brought me to the Leica D-Lux 3, but in lots of ways it seems like a more expensive version of any other compact, particularly its Panasonic counterpart, to which it is identical apart from the casing and the lens. If you use one, can you tell me what is special about it (apart from the brand name) to justify it's price?

Other suggestions would also be welcome!
posted by BorgLove to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I got one for Christmas last year and love it with a couple reservations. In general the photos I have taken have been great, and I love the resolution, widescreen LCD, manual controls, and just the overall feel of the camera. It is definitely small, but I wouldn't quite call it a pocket camera as the lens does stick out a bit when it is turned off.

I have noticed that the flash tends to blow things out when used in Auto and Program modes. I could probably fix this by messing around in the manual settings, but I've been too lazy so far. Supposedly the Leica version of the camera has different image processing programming than the Panasonic version, but I can't verify whether that is actually the case or not.

I am having issues with Picasa right now, but I will post some links to photos later when I get a chance.
posted by sbrollins at 9:16 AM on August 7, 2007

I chose the Panasonic over the Leica and am very happy with my choice. I have a friend who has the Leica and uses it a lot, and after using my Panasonic, he couldn't identify a single difference in the features. Looking at the resulting photos, we couldn't identify any differences in the photo quality between the cameras.
posted by seymour.skinner at 9:55 AM on August 7, 2007

I've used the Panasonic FX01 and liked it a lot. It's fast and handles nicely. The Panasonic and Leica versions of these compact cameras are basically identical; certainly the lenses are, even if there are slight differences in image processing. If you go for the Leica you're paying for the red dot, primarily.

As a side note, I imagine that with the higher megapixel count of the D-Lux 3 the higher ISO images might well be noisier (more pixels crammed onto the sensor = more noise).
posted by leebree at 9:57 AM on August 7, 2007

Have you considered a Ricoh GR? My friend swears by his.
posted by bradbane at 10:58 AM on August 7, 2007

I've heard that the Leicas have better warranties than the Panasonics.
posted by exhilaration at 11:35 AM on August 7, 2007

From Boing Boing:

The Leica branded cameras are functionally identical, but they come with a longer warranty (the Panasonic has a one-year, which is plenty for my needs, I upgrade at least that often) and cost substantially more.
posted by exhilaration at 11:37 AM on August 7, 2007

How about the Leica CM Film camera? its a compact with a lens actually made by Leica
I got one as a 'travelling' camera and the results are so good my Canon SLR has gathered dust ever since.
posted by Lanark at 2:18 PM on August 7, 2007

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