Pre-Photokina 2006: The second new Leica digital camera is the V-LUX 1, clearly based on Panasonic's DMC-FZ50 this camera has virtually identical specifications; a ten megapixel CCD, a 12x optically image stabilized lens (with mechanically linked zoom), a tilting 2.0" LCD monitor, electronic viewfinder, flash hot-shoe and full manual controls. The V-LUX 1 is supplied with a 512 MB SD card. (While this camera is based on the DMC-FZ50 it has had image processing adjustments as defined by Leica).

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Press Release:

Universal and high-performance:
LEICA V-LUX1 compact digital camera with extreme focal length range for ambitious photographers

Leica Camera AG, Solms is exhibiting the new LEICA V-LUX 1 at photokina in Cologne  (26th September to 1st October 2006).  The LEICA V-LUX 1 is a digital compact camera which combines high-performance optics and outstanding picture quality in a compact camera body.  The camera offers 10 million pixels and a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 1:2.8-3.7/7.4-88.8 ASPH lens with an extremely wide range of focal lengths from 35 to 420 millimetres, thus commanding universal capability for the small picture system.  From spacious landscape shots, filigree macro close-up shots through to photos of far distant objects in super telephoto mode, the lens with its 12 times zoom creates outstanding picture results in all photographic situations.  The integral picture stabiliser gives the user additional protection against camera shake, even under difficult lighting conditions.  The LEICA V-LUX 1 has a tilting 2.0“ TFT display for optimum picture checking.  Thus the photographer is assured of secure control even in difficult situations for photography and gains additional possibilities for picture composition by means of unusual camera perspectives.  A variety of manual settings, including a diverse subject program for many photographic situations, round out the creative composition possibilities of the LEICA V-LUX 1.

“The LEICA V-LUX 1 is a real all-rounder for every photographic situation.  The camera combines the best features of two different digital camera systems: the capabilities of a mirror reflex camera with the handy size of a compact camera.  This makes the LEICA V-LUX 1 a compact all-in-one solution, which loses nothing in picture quality comparison with a digital mirror reflex camera and is superior to it in handiness.  The large range of focal lengths offered by the LEICA V-LUX 1 means that fiddly lens changing is eliminated.  The camera is thus both flexible and quickly ready for use, the risk of dirt of the sensor is avoided and the scope of photographic equipment is concentrated into a compact and light-weight digital camera“ says Marius Eschweiler, Product Manager for digital compact cameras at Leica Camera AG. 

The high-performance LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 1:2.8-3.7/7.4-88.8 ASPH zoom lens comprises 14 lenses in 10 groups.  With a maximum aperture of 2.8 and the particularly large range of focal lengths, the LEICA V-LUX 1 offers versatile picture composition possibilities for brilliant photos with true-to-life colours.  The focussing and zoom ring on the lens is easy to use and permits concentration to be devoted to the subject.  The optics are individually matched to the camera sensor.  Together with the electronics and the software they enable pictures with natural colour reproduction, excellent sharpness and high brilliance.  In relation to colour matching, contrast and picture definition, Leica Camera AG has developed its own profile.  This is oriented to the picture characteristics that are well known to Leica System Camera customers from their use in combination with professional film materials and specialist development laboratories.

The 2.0“ large camera display of the LEICA V-LUX 1 has a resolution of 207,000 pixels, enabling it to generate an exceptionally brilliant picture, allowing the photographer to make a reliable and exact assessment of the picture composition both when taking the photo and when reviewing it.  An additional feature for checking the picture in particularly difficult situations – such as when photographing above your head – is the tiltable TFT display, which can be set to almost any angle.  In addition, it creates further possibilities for picture composition by unusual camera perspectives, such as a worm’s-eye view.  To reduce the load on the rechargeable battery, the display can also be switched to a darker low-energy mode, without having to sacrifice the outstanding picture quality.

Further security for a successful picture is derived from the integral protection against camera shake (O.I.S.), which can be switched on and off at any time.  This reliably protects against camera shake in all photographic situations, since small movements of the hand are systematically compensated.  Whether at twilight, during indoor shots, for snapshots or in zoom operation – the result is always a sharp picture without the need for a tripod.

The picture signal processor used in the LEICA V-LUX 1 ensures quick picture signal processing and saving within the camera.  This allows the LEICA V-LUX 1 to be used quickly, reliably and spontaneously at any moment.  The LEICA V-LUX 1 with its wide range of technical features is ideally suited to photographing the world of nature.  In super-tele mode its magnification is equivalent to 10 power binoculars.  The optical picture stabilisation gives shake-free pictures of the natural world even in poor lighting and extreme conditions.  This combined with the quick response time of the shutter are just what are required for a spontaneous picture.  The camera is thus an ideal addition to the equipment of naturalists and birdwatchers.

The LEICA V-LUX 1 is supplied with a 512 MB SD card, a battery charger, a powerful rechargeable battery and a comprehensive software package  (Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 (PC)/3.0 (Mac), Quicktime Movie Player).  Further accessories available include a mains adapter (for direct power supply to the camera from the mains), a spare rechargeable battery and two types of high-quality camera case.  The sporty Cordura case is particularly hard-wearing, whilst the newly developed neoprene case is both practical and purpose-designed.  Both camera cases securely protect the products against damage.

Leica V-LUX 1 specifications

Sensor

• 1/1.8" Type CCD
• 10.4 million pixels total
• 10.1 million effective pixels
• Primary (RGB) color filter

Image ratios • 4:3 (default, CCD native)
• 3:2
• 16:9
Image sizes
(4:3 ratio)
• 3648 x 2736
• 3264 x 2448
• 2560 x 1920
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
Image sizes
(3:2 ratio)
• 3600 x 2400
• 3248 x 2160
• 2560 x 1712
• 2048 x 1360
Image sizes
(16:9 ratio)
• 3584 x 2016
• 3072 x 1728
• 1920 x 1080
Movie clips • 848 x 480 (16:9), 30 / 10 fps
• 640 x 480 (4:3), 30 / 10 fps
• 320 x 240 (4:3), 30 / 10 fps
• With audio
• Maximum movie clip size 2 GB
File formats • RAW
• JPEG (EXIF 2.2): Fine / Standard
• MOV (Movies, Motion JPEG codec)
Image processor Venus Engine III
Lens • LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT
• 35 - 420 mm equiv. (12x zoom)
• F2.8 - F3.7 (minimum aperture F11)
• 14 elements in 10 groups (3 aspherical, 1 ED lens)
• Non-extending / internal zoom
• Mechanical linked zoom ring
• Focus-by-wire focus ring
• 55 mm lens thread
Image stabilization • Optical, "MEGA OIS"
• Modes: 1 (all the time), 2 (at shutter release only)
Conversion lenses Yes (screw on front of lens; 55 mm thread)
Digital zoom

• 2x or 4x
• "Extra optical zoom" for smaller sizes (13.4x 8m, 17.1x 5m, 21.4x 3m)

Focus • AF / AF Macro / Manual (switch on dial)
• Continuous AF On/Off
• Manual Focus (Ring)
• One-shot AF
AF area modes • 1 point
• 1 point high-speed
• 3 point
• 3 point high-speed
• 9 point
• Spot
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance
(wide / tele)
• Normal: 30 / 200 cm - Infinity
• Macro: 5 / 200 cm - Infinity
Modes

• Auto
• Program (with shift)
• Aperture Priority
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
• Scene
• Moving Image
• Playback

Scene modes • Portrait
• Sport
• Night-time landscape
• Night-time portrait
• Fireworks
• Party
• Snow
• Self-portrait
• Meal dishes
• High-speed mode
• Baby 1
• Baby 2
• Lovely skin
• Candle-light
• Starry sky
• Landscape
Metering • Intelligent Multiple
• Center weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200 (High sensitivity mode)
Exposure compensation • +/- 2.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing • 3 frames
• 0.3 to 1 EV steps
Shuttter speed • Auto: 1/4 - 1/2000 sec
• Program AE: 1 - 1/2000 sec
• Aperture/Shutter priority: 8 - 1/2000 sec
• Manual mode: 60 - 1/2000 sec
Aperture • Wide: F2.8 - F11
• Tele: F3.7 - F11
AE Lock • Half-press shutter release
• AE-Lock button
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Halogen
• Flash
• Manual 1
• Manual 2
White balance fine tune Yes (except Auto)
Self timer 2 or 10 sec
Continuous shooting • Full resolution: 2 or 1 fps
• Full resolution: max 5 images (standard mode), 3 images (fine mode)
• Infinite consecutive (unlimited but slower shooting rate)
Image parameters • Contrast (Low, Standard, High)
• Sharpness (Low, Standard, High)
• Saturation (Low, Standard, High)
• Noise reduction (Low, Standard, High)
Color Effect • Cool
• Warm
• Black & White
• Sepia
Flash • Built-in (manual pop-up)
• Modes: Auto, Auto red-eye reduction, Slow sync, On/Off
• Range: 0.3 - 7.0 m (W), 0.3 - 5.3 m (T)
• External flash via hot-shoe
• Flash exposure compensation (+/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps)
Flash hot-shoe • New TTL hot-shoe
• Compatible with: DMW-FL500 (GN50), DMW-FL360 (GN36) external flash
Orientation sensor Yes
Viewfinder • 0.44" EVF (electronic viewfinder)
• 230,000 pixels
LCD monitor • 2.0" TFT LCD
• 207,000 pixels
• Flip down and twist
Record review 1 sec / 3 sec / Zoom
Playback • 2x / 4x / 8x / 16x magnification
• 9 / 16 / 25 thumbnail index
• Image rotation
• Slideshow
• Resizing
• Trimming
• Protection
• DPOF setting
Connectivity • USB 1.1
• A/V out
• DC-IN
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • Secure Digital card, SDHC card, MMC card
• 512 MB SD card supplied
Power • 710 mAh, 7.2V Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
• Charger included
Weight (no batt) 668 g (1.5 lb)
Weight (with batt) 734 g (1.6 lb)
Dimensions 141 x 86 x 142 mm (5.5 x 3.4 x 5.6 in)