PMA 2002: Leica has today announced it's all new four megapixel digital camera the 'Digilux 1'. This camera features a 3x F2.0 - F2.5 optical zoom lens (sound familiar?), four megapixel CCD sensor, die-cast magnesium body, 3.8 frames per second continuous shooting, 2.5" 205,000 pixel LCD and SD/MMC storage. The Digilux 1 is powered by a supplied Lithium-Ion rechargeable and a slot-on LCD hood.

Leica Digilux 1 @ PMA 2002

Press release:


The digital reportage camera

The new LEICA DIGILUX 1 from Leica Camera AG, Solms is a compact digital camera for reportage photography that offers superlative optical quality, high speed and excellent mobility. Created in intensive technical cooperation with Panasonic, it combines state-of-the-art digital technology with Leica's optical expertise. Classic elements in the design and operation concept make the LEICA DIGILUX 1 a synthesis of time-tested and innovative components.

The LEICA DIGILUX 1 features a 4-million pixels CCD image sensor and a high-performance high-speed LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON f/2-2.5/7-21 mm ASPH. triple zoom lens. A large 2.5" monitor provides an excellent view of the image before and after the exposure is taken. High flexibility is offered by a 64 MB SD memory card and 3-hour power supply. The fast picture sequence of almost 4 frames per second and the extremely slight delay in shutter release enable spontaneous photography in all situations.

"As an easy-to-use digital camera with superb imaging quality, it offers the photographer a wealth of creative possibilities. And this makes it a typical Leica in every way," says Roland Wolff, Product Manager for Leica compact cameras.

The LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON f/2-2.5/7-21 mm ASPH. triple zoom is equivalent to a 33 to 100 mm lens for the 35mm format. It has a manual focusing ring and consists of eight elements in seven component groups, including two aspherical elements. The lens was individually matched to the 4 megapixel sensor. In harmony with the electronics and software of the LEICA DIGILUX 1 they produce highly dynamic, natural-color photographs. The recording and processing of the image data has been optimized with regard to the visual effect. Leica contributed high standards of quality and photographic know-how to the cooperation in this respect. The high detail resolution and definition allows outstanding enlargements to be produced in A4 format, for instance.

Photographers will welcome the short storage time and fast signal processing, which make the camera almost continuously ready for action. Series of almost four frames a second in highest JPEG quality or eight frames in two seconds with higher compression can be taken. It is also possible to record video sequences with sound, the length of which is only limited by the size of memory card. The 64 MB card supplied with the camera allows a recording time of six minutes, for example.

The 2.5" LC display of the LEICA DIGILUX 1 is 50 - 90% larger than that of comparable digital cameras. The resolution of approx. 205,000 pixels is extremely high and facilitates the assessment of the focus setting, for example. A slot-on hood reduces reflections and enables an accurate assessment of the image even in daylight. The camera also has a large, bright optical viewfinder with diopter compensation.

Power consumption is low. The camera can be used for about three hours with the display switched off, or two hours using the display. The powerful lithium-ion battery is fully recharged after two hours. A mains connector/battery charger is supplied with the camera.

The clear, modular styling of the LEICA DIGILUX 1 gives the camera a highly individual look. Its pure lines and reduction to the essentials are inherited from the clear design of Leica's legendary rangefinder cameras. "The robust and yet extremely light-weight magnesium alloy body and the classic controls accentuate its timeless elegance," says product designer Professor Achim Heine.

For exposure, the photographer has a choice of five different control modes: fully automatic, program, aperture priority, shutter-speed priority and manual. There are three exposure metering modes (selective, integral or multi-field). As well as the built-in flash with guide no. 10, it is also possible to connect a separate flash unit.

The large 64 MB SD card accommodates about 32 images at top resolution and lowest compression. At the lowest resolution and top compression, up to 484 images can be stored.

The LEICA DIGILUX 1 package also includes ADCSee and Adobe Photoshop Elements software which offer many possibilities for creative image processing.

The LEICA DIGILUX 1 will be on sale from May 2002 at LEICA stockists'.

Leica Digilux 1 Specifications

Body Die-cast Magnesium
Sensor 1/1.8" 4 megapixel CCD sensor
Lens zoom 3x, 33 - 100 mm (35 mm equiv.)
Focus distance Normal: 30 cm
Macro: 6 cm
Digital zoom Up to 2x
Image sizes  • 2240 x 1680
 • 1600 x 1200
 • 1280 x 960
 • 640 x 480
Sensitivity  • Auto
 • ISO 100
 • ISO 200
 • ISO 400
Image formats  • TIFF
 • JPEG (Fine, Standard)
Exposure modes  • Auto
 • Program
 • Aperture Priority
 • Shutter speed Priority
 • Manual exposure
Shutter speeds 8 - 1/1000 sec
Metering modes  • Multi-field
 • Integral
 • Selective
Exposure compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.25 EV steps
Bracketing 3 or 5 images
White balance  • Auto
 • Manual
 • Daylight
 • Overcast
 • Incandescent
 • Fluorescent
 • Flash
Self-timer  • 2 sec
 • 10 sec
Continuous shooting 3.8 fps max 4 images (FINE) or 8 images (STANDARD)
Movie mode  
Voice annotation mode 5 secs per image
Flash Internal - guide no. 10 (range - wide: 4.5 m, tele: 3.5 m)
Flash modes  • Auto
 • Flash On
 • Flash Off
 • Red-Eye reduction
 • Slow Sync
 • Second Curtain Sync
External flash Hot-shoe
Flash exp. compen. +/-2 EV in 0.25 EV steps
Viewfinder Optical
LCD 2.5" TFT, 205,000 pixels
Storage SD/MMC Card Slot
Connectivity  • USB 1.1
 • DC-IN
 • A/V output (PAL / NTSC)
Power Supplied Lithium-Ion 1400 mAh. Charger included.
Dimensions 127 x 83.3 x 67.4 mm
Weight (with batt) 455 g

More images

Note: we did have some sample images here, however Leica were unhappy that we had resaved them as JPEG files. As no original 'out of the camera' JPEG's exist I have chosen not to link to sample images.