Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality

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Jim in NV New Member • Posts: 1
Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality

First time poster but long-time reader.

I currently use a D-Lux 7 as my travel camera and sometimes for street & automotive photography.  I also use a Hasselblad X1D-50C for landscapes and anything that would get printed.  Have a Nikon D810 for my real estate, automotive, and night sky work.

I've generally been happy with the D-Lux 7.  The images are sharp, color is good, and it's easy to use and carry around when travelling.  Most of the images get posted online.

Lately I've been considering a CL with the 18-56mm lens.   The main reasons for changing are the bigger APS-C sensor and the ability to use different lenses.  I have an Elmarit-R 35mm f/2.8 that could be used with an adapter, although it would have a 50mm equivalent on the CL.

Looking at CL images online (FWIW) I'm not totally convinced the image quality would be that much better to make the change worth it.  Like the D-Lux 7, these images would also mainly be posted online.

Has anyone used both of these and compared the image quality?  My Leica dealer here in Las Vegas has said I could come down to the store and take some shots on a CL with my own SD card.  I could then take them home and process them on my own PC & software.   I'll be doing this in the next week or so.  Pretty nice of them I think and they just may get a sale.

Meanwhile, let me know if you have any thoughts on this.  Thx.

Leica CL Leica D-Lux 7
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nlk10010 Regular Member • Posts: 255
Re: Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality
1

At one point I had the D-Lux 7, CL and Leica Q.

Evaluation of image quality is subjective, all I can tell you is from my perspective it was CL > Q > D-Lux 7. The CL was closest to my M10, I liked it that much and I definitely saw a difference compared to the D-Lux 7, which lacks in High-ISO performance (as IMO did the Q, which I no longer have). But for web posting I'm not sure there's a heck of a lot of difference.

The CL is light and offers interchangeable lenses, but it still isn't as portable as the D-Lux 7, which has the great advantage it's still going to be easier to take with you everywhere and increases the likelihood you'll get the shot. However, if you want to buy another camera and need the various focal lengths, I think the CL would be an excellent choice. Yes it's APS-C but if you're not into agonizing over each pixel then it doesn't matter.

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 nlk10010's gear list:nlk10010's gear list
Leica D-Lux 7 Leica M10 Sony a9 Fujifilm X-T3 Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH +7 more
DKG
DKG Regular Member • Posts: 199
Re: Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality
1

I have the CL and the LX100 MkII. Would do a comparison if my Lumix wasn't loaned out at the moment. I use the CL with the 23mm, the 35mm and the 18-56mm.

Using RAW, the CL with 18-56mm stands head-and shoulders above the LX100 MkII for image quality when pixel-peeping and, for me, has that difficult to describe 'Leica look' when standing back and viewing normally. The CL with Leica lenses also beats all my m4/3 and APS-C systems in these respects (Fuji, Oly, Sony). But the little Lumix slips in my jacket pocket whereas the CL doesn't, even with the 23mm and that compactness is important for me.

The crispness, very high resolution and 24MP of the CL + 18-56mm allows cropping which effectively outreaches the tele end of the Lumix at the same pixel dimensions if that's important for you.

I would say that the difference should be noticeable even in online sizes.

David

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Sony RX1R II Leica CL Fujifilm X-T30 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R +4 more
LeicaEye
LeicaEye Veteran Member • Posts: 3,747
Re: Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality

Jim in NV wrote:

First time poster but long-time reader.

I currently use a D-Lux 7 as my travel camera and sometimes for street & automotive photography. I also use a Hasselblad X1D-50C for landscapes and anything that would get printed. Have a Nikon D810 for my real estate, automotive, and night sky work.

I've generally been happy with the D-Lux 7. The images are sharp, color is good, and it's easy to use and carry around when travelling. Most of the images get posted online.

Lately I've been considering a CL with the 18-56mm lens. The main reasons for changing are the bigger APS-C sensor and the ability to use different lenses. I have an Elmarit-R 35mm f/2.8 that could be used with an adapter, although it would have a 50mm equivalent on the CL.

Looking at CL images online (FWIW) I'm not totally convinced the image quality would be that much better to make the change worth it. Like the D-Lux 7, these images would also mainly be posted online.

Has anyone used both of these and compared the image quality? My Leica dealer here in Las Vegas has said I could come down to the store and take some shots on a CL with my own SD card. I could then take them home and process them on my own PC & software. I'll be doing this in the next week or so. Pretty nice of them I think and they just may get a sale.

Meanwhile, let me know if you have any thoughts on this. Thx.

Aloha, there is no doubt the CL + Leica Lenses will out perform the D-Lux7. The difference is portability plus costs..If the cost is not an issue & portability is within your guidelines - it's a no brainer.. In fact I have a CL and couple of Leica lenses in a Cart as we speak, my issue is, I already have enough photographic equipment to satisfy all my requirements.. The purchase would be a purely "Want not Need" addition.. L

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Tom Joad New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality
1

I have a Nikon D850 and the LX100ii but I have not used the CL. Buying the LX100ii which is very close to a Lecia D-Lux has changed my perspective on "how good is good enough". I also thought about a CL and thought I would comment on my decision process.

In practical terms, owning the LX100ii has made me think more carefully about when I need the extra resolution and other capabilities of the Nikon D850 (and by inference, a slightly larger camera like a CL). On similar subjects that don't need a particular focal length available only on the D850, without pixel peeping I generally cannot tell the difference between the two cameras.

The Leica CL should give you a little more resolution than a D-Lux at higher shutter speeds.  But will it be enough to matter?  Pixel peeping is fun, understandable and a guilty pleasure but is not that useful in evaluating overall image quality. Because of the dynamics of visual acuity a photo that seems sharp on my Mac Retina will look sharp (at normal viewing distance) blown up to almost any size. I find the LX100ii to have very impressive image quality. For about 50% of my images I find the Lx100ii more than good enough vs. the Nikon D850.

The D-Lux has image stabilization, the CL doesn't. IMO a small camera's purpose is to enable shots that are more ad hoc, and image stabilization directly addresses that use.

Phrased differently, IMO if I purchased a CL, I would still want to keep my LX100ii for the IS and convenience.  So the CL gives me not enough capability to matter.

All that said, image quality is subjective. You should absolutely take your dealer up on his offer to let you take comparison images. I would also suggest you evaluate the image as a whole without pixel-peeping. Or at least, weight the overall image more important in your evaluation than the peeped-pixels.

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athensGA Contributing Member • Posts: 593
Re: Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality

nlk10010 wrote:

At one point I had the D-Lux 7, CL and Leica Q.

Evaluation of image quality is subjective, all I can tell you is from my perspective it was CL > Q > D-Lux 7. The CL was closest to my M10, I liked it that much

That’s a bold damn statement right there, bud. Not doubting you, mind. I thought my previous Q had better iso performance than my current fuji x100v, which probably has a similar chip to the cL and a lens that is at least in the ballpark. Regardless unless one wants to adapt m lenses, the lens roster for the cl is slim .

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LeicaEye
LeicaEye Veteran Member • Posts: 3,747
Re: Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality

athensGA wrote:

nlk10010 wrote:

At one point I had the D-Lux 7, CL and Leica Q.

Evaluation of image quality is subjective, all I can tell you is from my perspective it was CL > Q > D-Lux 7. The CL was closest to my M10, I liked it that much

That’s a bold damn statement right there, bud. Not doubting you, mind. I thought my previous Q had better iso performance than my current fuji x100v, which probably has a similar chip to the cL and a lens that is at least in the ballpark. Regardless unless one wants to adapt m lenses, the lens roster for the cl is slim .

Surely the Sensor is only part of the equation..   L

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athensGA Contributing Member • Posts: 593
Re: Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality

Leica Eye wrote:

athensGA wrote:

nlk10010 wrote:

At one point I had the D-Lux 7, CL and Leica Q.

Evaluation of image quality is subjective, all I can tell you is from my perspective it was CL > Q > D-Lux 7. The CL was closest to my M10, I liked it that much

That’s a bold damn statement right there, bud. Not doubting you, mind. I thought my previous Q had better iso performance than my current fuji x100v, which probably has a similar chip to the cL and a lens that is at least in the ballpark. Regardless unless one wants to adapt m lenses, the lens roster for the cl is slim .

Surely the Sensor is only part of the equation.. L

No way!?!?

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Ricoh GR III Fujifilm X100V Fujifilm X-T1
Le Chef Regular Member • Posts: 103
Re: Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality

I still own a DL109 and it’s a useful compact camera. But I also own a CL and the difference is very easy to see, particularly if you shoot RAW and process in LightRoom. There’s a lot more range to play with in terms of being able to pull out detail from shadows or highlights. I don’t own a Q or Q2 but both beat the CL hands down in terms of detail recovery.

The CL offers lots of flexibility and there are more than enough lens options available outside of TL lenses. And that’s before you use manual “M” lenses.

My DL109 still gets used, but specifically when I want something pocketable and want to control the image while shooting, otherwise just get an iPhone which has better resolution.

Strangefinder
Strangefinder Contributing Member • Posts: 782
L family compact lenses Re: Leica CL vs. D-Lux 7 Image Quality
2

athensGA wrote:

nlk10010 wrote:

At one point I had the D-Lux 7, CL and Leica Q.

Evaluation of image quality is subjective, all I can tell you is from my perspective it was CL > Q > D-Lux 7. The CL was closest to my M10, I liked it that much

That’s a bold damn statement right there, bud. Not doubting you, mind. I thought my previous Q had better iso performance than my current fuji x100v, which probably has a similar chip to the cL and a lens that is at least in the ballpark. Regardless unless one wants to adapt m lenses,

the lens roster for the cl is slim .

I’m surprised that this is still the perception of the L family lens options.

Some people may not be interested in Sigma and Panasonic lenses, yet there are many options in the size+weight range of the TL lenses.

Sigma has also made a point to release eight (8) highly compact lenses. The old APS-C f/1.4 trio of 56mm, 30mm and 16mm. And the all-metal "I series" with aperture rings: 24mmF3.5 demi-macro 225g cupcake; 45mmF2.8 225g cupcake; 35mmF2 330g compact; and high-performance 65mmF2 at 405g.

Personally, I am awaiting the Sigma C 28-70mmF2.8 (470g)

These are not the only ones, of course. Panasonic has the 350g S 20-60mmF3.5-5.6, and is now releasing f/1.8 compact primes. Also, some of the lenses designed without compact intentions are also light enough for some circumstances.

The L family has more accessible high quality native lens options than any system, except perhaps E mount if Tamron and Sigma are counted (though for the L family there is direct co-operation between Leica, Sigma and Panasonic rather than a mere semi-open-protocol.)

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