VLUX 114: Initial Review after Owning for One Month

Started Jan 10, 2016 | User reviews thread
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Vetteran
Vetteran Senior Member • Posts: 1,484
VLUX 114: Initial Review after Owning for One Month
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I'm not a "bridge camera" fan although they are relatively popular. Most users purchase them primarily because of their convenience regarding range of focal lengths and lack of need to carry multiple lenses, and of course, the weight savings.

My basis of comparison regarding digital Leicas are my D2, DLUX4, X1, and XV. It's been years since I used M's and they were M6 and MP cameras. My reference point is not the newer digital M's. So my comments needs to be put into perspective.

Bridge cameras are generally a compromise in performance particularly in IQ. I found that the VLUX 114 offers all of the convenience features of traditional bridge cameras, but with very good IQ, and almost approaching the XV, but not the X1 if one shoots in RAW. JPGs OOC are very, very good and have are very accurate like other Leicas.

The thing I noticed and appreciated the most on the VLUX 114 was not the focal length (25-400mm), but the relatively fast lens (2.8-4.0), and particularly the very wide ISO range which makes shooting under almost any circumstances a breeze; especially in available light. Additionally, the AF is fast and spot on. Virtually no hunting or missed focus such as on my XV and X1.

As you know, the VLUX 114 is a clone of the Panasonic FZ1000 (I prefer the phrase "shares the same DNA"). The result is a very flexible and customizable camera with features such as 4K video and Leica Shuttle where you can transfer your images directly to tablet or smartphone via Wifi or a direct bridge. I purchased the Leica over the Panasonic as I prefer the Leica JPGs much more and I have seen the difference in JPGs between the cameras that share both lineages and i see a noticeable difference with the Leicas. Plus I got a great price so the difference wasn't great.

For those of us who are critical of the Panasonic-Leicas, I'll say this. In my experience, the Panasonic-Leicas are generally more reliable than any Leica I have owned (R4, R7, R8, M6, MP and the aforementioned cameras), there are very, very few software or firmware related glitches, and they focus spot on; unlike virtually every AF Leica with the exception of the T, Q, and SL (from what I read).

Prior to purchasing the VLUX 114, I was not a video fan. However, the quality and convenience of the video of this camera is really astounding. Some say it's "broadcast quality" although I wouldn't know. You may not have enjoyed shooting video in the past, but you will with this camera.

As I mentioned previously, the still photo IQ is very good on this camera. I would argue that it easily meets the expectations and standards of any Leica user except under the most extreme scrutiny. YMMV.

Finally, the most overwhelming and appealing quality of this camera is that it's just FUN to use, and with high IQ. If you're in search of the "Leica religuous experience" using this camera; you will get it. However, it won't be as hard (or as expensive) as with the typical Leica.

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Warm regards and very respectfully,
VETTRAN
My travel blog:www.midlifetravels.com

 Vetteran's gear list:Vetteran's gear list
Leica Digilux 2 Leica X1 Leica X Vario Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) +6 more
Leica V-Lux (Typ 114)
20 megapixels • 3 screen • 25 – 400 mm (16×)
Announced: Sep 14, 2014
Vetteran's score
4.5
Average community score
4.0
bad for good for
Kids / pets
unrated
Action / sports
great
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
excellent
Flash photography (social)
okay
Studio / still life
great
= community average
Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) Leica V-LUX 1 Leica X1 Ricoh Caplio R7 Ricoh Caplio R8
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