Leica has announced the new C-LUX 1, its rebadged version of the 6-megapixel Panasonic DMC-FX01. The ultra compact C-LUX 1 features a 28mm wide angle Leica DC zoom lens and a high sensitivity setting of up ISO 1600. It also incorporates built-in optical image stabiliser and is available in black and silver finish. Aside from minor styling and bundle differences it is exactly the same camera as the Panasonic model.

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Updated 3rd April

Press Release:

Enjoy photography the easy way with Leica’s smallest digital camera

The LEICA C-LUX 1 from Leica Camera AG, Solms is the first model in a new line of Leica digital compact cameras. Complementing the established LEICA D-LUX series, the new LEICA C-LUX line features an ultra compact design and fully retractable optics. The smallest digital compact camera to date, the LEICA C-LUX 1 sports a powerful LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT f/2.8-5.6/4.6-16.8 ASPH. zoom lens with a wide focal length range of 28 – 102 mm in 35mm format for brilliant photographs with accurate color rendering from wide angle all the way through to telephoto. The LEICA C-LUX 1 offers a generous selection of modes to suit different photographic situations, giving the photographer the flexibility he needs to take successful pictures. An image stabilizer is also integrated to counteract camera shake even in difficult light conditions. The camera’s 2.5“ display facilitates picture composition before the photograph is taken and allows a quick assessment of the result immediately afterwards.

“With its ultra compact dimensions of only 5 x 10 centimeters, the LEICA C-LUX1 easily fits into any bag or pocket and is therefore the ideal companion for everyday use, leisure pursuits, travel or any other occasion. Thanks to its extremely short shutter delay and precise autofocus measurement, it can be relied upon to capture valuable, unique moments and above all, it’s instantly ready to take spur-of-the-moment snapshots. The powerful battery provides power for up to 320 photos, supporting the concept of carefree photography,“ says Marius Eschweiler, Product Manager for Compact Cameras at Leica Camera AG.

Featuring a resolution of 207,000 pixels, the camera display gives a brilliant preview of the photograph, allowing accurate assessment before and after it is taken. The large monitor enables several people to look at the image together — the view of the display is just as good from an angle. To spare the battery, the display can also be switched to a darker, low-energy mode without sacrificing the excellent image quality.

The powerful LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 1:2.8-5.6/4.6-16.8 ASPH. triple zoom lens consists of seven elements (four of which are aspherical) in six groups. With a maximum aperture of 2.8 and a wide focal length range of 28 to102 mm in 35mm format, the LEICA C-LUX 1 offers myriads of possibilities of image composition. In the wide-angle range, for example, interior shots or group photos can be taken in their full width at the shortest focal length setting of 28mm — an almost unique feature for this class of camera. The optics have been individually tuned to the camera sensor. Together with the electronics and software they are designed for natural color rendering, excellent definition and high brilliance.

Another feature contributing to successful photography is the integrated image stabilizer (O.I.S) which can be switched on either for the photograph only or for both the photograph and the display image. The image stabilization feature effectively prevents blurred photos whatever the photographic situation by consistently compensating for small hand movements. This and the high-sensitivity mode with up to ISO 1600 ensure that pictures are always sharply defined — whether in twilight, indoors or in the zoom range.

The LEICA C-LUX 1 has a strikingly clear and concentrated design. The reduction to the essentials gives the camera the timeless elegance typical of a Leica, with slightly rounded sides for comfortable handling. Intuitive use is encouraged by clearly arranged controls and a simple operation concept.

The LEICA C-LUX 1 has a metal body. A great deal of attention has also been paid to small details: to ensure a reliable and robust product, only high-quality materials have been used.

The LEICA C-LUX 1 comes with a 64 MB SD memory card, a battery charger, a powerful battery, an AV, USB and AC cable and an extensive software package (Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Quicktime Movie Player). An AC adapter (for connecting the camera directly to the mains), spare battery and three different camera cases made of high-quality leather are also available as accessories.

The LEICA C-LUX 1 also offers a simple solution for digiscoping (photography through a scope) in the form of the Leica digital adapter. Instead of the extensive and expensive equipment that is often necessary for such applications, this solution requires only the compact digital camera connected to the eyepiece of a LEICA TELEVID scope with the adapter. The LEICA C-LUX 1 then becomes a camera with an extremely large focal length range for ambitious bird and nature watchers, producing frame-filling digital pictures of impressive, unvignetted quality. The large 2.5“ display of the LEICA C-LUX 1 is superb for assessing the picture area and composition when digiscoping. The optical image stabilization facility ensures shake-free nature photos even in poor light and extreme conditions.

The LEICA C-LUX 1 will be on sale from the end of May 2006 at Leica stockists‘. Customers will be able to choose between a black and a silver chrome finish.