Leica unveils VLux 4 superzoom, DLux 6 compact to mirror Panasonic counterparts

Leica has its more unique creations, but some of its more affordable cameras are usually upscale parallels to Panasonic models -- and that's undoubtedly true for the newly official (and previously leaked) V-Lux 4 and D-Lux 6, which respectively echo Panasonic's FZ200 and LX7 shooters. We can't object too much. That similarity gives the 12-megapixel V-Lux 4 superzoom (seen up top) a 25-600mm equivalent lens with a constant, wide f/2.8 aperture to snap bright images at long distances. The D-Lux 6, meanwhile, combines its large 1.7-inch, also 12-megapixel sensor with a 24-90mm, f/1.4-2.3 lens and that distinctive aperture control ring. What you're really getting over the Panasonic equivalents is a subtler, all-black Leica color scheme and a copy of Adobe Lightroom 4 to manage the imminent flood of photos. Photographers who don't mind knowing their luxury cameras' true roots can swing by Leica dealers in November to buy either design; we don't yet know prices, but it's safe to assume that the V-Lux 4 and D-Lux 6 will carry premiums over their more pedestrian equivalents.

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Leica V-Lux 4 and D-Lux 6

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NEW: LEICA V-LUX 4

Compact Camera for travel, wildlife and sport photography

Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) - Leica Camera presents the Leica V-Lux 4, a digital compact camera that unites a high-performance lens, outstanding imaging quality and superior speed in a compact format. With its wide range of video functions and an impressive list of features, as well as its enormous versatility and very low weight, the new model is an serious alternative to comparable SLR systems. The V-Lux 4 is ideal for shooting landscapes, architecture, sport, travel, portraits or wildlife.

The Leica V-Lux 4 features a newly designed Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 4.5–108 mm f/2.8 ASPH. 24-fold super-telephoto zoom lens with an enormous range of focal lengths equivalent to 25–600 mm in 35 mm format, ideal for all photographic situations. The constant maximum aperture of f2.8 throughout the entire zoom range distinguishes it from other cameras in this particular class. These features also make it possible to capture pin-sharp images at greater distances even under unfavorable lighting conditions. Its high speed and integrated optical image stabilizer allow the use of shorter shutter speeds that ensure fewer shots with camera shake when shooting handheld. In combination with longer focal lengths, the large initial aperture of f2.8 allows a high degree of creative freedom for experimentation with planes of focus and depth of field.

A maximum ISO sensitivity of 6400 and a new 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor ensure outstanding imaging results in all photographic situations, including unfavorable lighting conditions. Still pictures and video recordings captured by the V-Lux 4 are characterized by high dynamic range and natural, perfectly saturated colors. The camera delivers up to 12 frames per second at full resolution and captures even fast-moving subjects in richly-detailed and pin-sharp focus. The autofocus of the Leica V-Lux 4 reacts to changes within the image frame in less than a tenth of a second and makes it possible to reliably capture fast-moving subjects, making it ideal for sport photography and for shooting continuous sequences.

The new Leica V-Lux 4 features an extensive range of video functions, such as full HD video in AVCHD format with 1920 × 1080 pixels and 60 full frames per second. The entire 24-fold zoom range is available during video recording, while an integrated stereo microphone with an electronic wind noise filter guarantees a crystal-clear soundtrack. Video data can be saved in Internet-compatible MP4 format and can be uploaded to social media or mobile devices without any need for conversion.

A reliable aid for assessing subject framing and exposure settings, the new electronic viewfinder of the V-Lux 4 has a resolution of 1.4 megapixels and a 100" field of view. The new zoom function is particularly convenient, making it possible to magnify the subject. The viewfinder features dioptre correction and is a very attractive and practical alternative to assessing images on the camera monitor screen, particularly when shooting in bright light.

The 3" LCD display with 460,000 pixel resolution delivers an extremely bright, clear view and is a reliable aid to photographers in the precise composition and assessment of images. As a further aid to creative photography, the monitor screen can be freely rotated in almost any direction and lets users shoot from even the most unusual angles. Whether shooting stills or video from above their head or down close to the ground, photographers always have complete control of image assessment.

Its compact size and light weight allows for extremely easy handling of the Leica V-Lux 4 and its integrated handgrip keeps it steady at all times, even when shooting one-handed. All of its controls are clearly laid out and simple to use, such as video recording, which can be started quickly and easily at the touch of a button on the top deck of the camera.

The Leica V-Lux 4 is supplied complete with the professional still picture and video processing software Adobe® Photoshop Lightroom® 4. It will be available from Leica dealers, including the Leica Store Washington DC, beginning in November 2012.

NEW: LEICA D-LUX 6

Complete Creative Freedom Meets Timeless Design

Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) - Leica Camera presents the latest model of the successful Leica D-Lux line of compact cameras. The Leica D-Lux 6 allows for the ultimate in creative flexibility, proving to be the ideal companion anytime inspiration arises. Enabling an imaging quality that sets entirely new standards in its class, the Leica D-Lux 6 unites an exceptionally fast lens with a newly developed 1.7" CMOS image sensor that is particularly large for this compact camera format. Especially suitable for capturing vibrant art, architecture, music, fashion and design scenes, the D-Lux 6 offers a comprehensive range of features including automatic mode, manual setting options and new, Full HD video recording capability. Optional accessories, such as a new electronic viewfinder, provide even greater freedom in all areas of photography. Together with its intuitive handling concept, the classically elegant and stylish Leica D-Lux 6 proves to be a muse for compelling images.

The lens of the Leica D-Lux 6 is a newly designed and constructed Leica DC-Vario-Summilux f1.4- 2.3/4.7-17.7 mm ASPH. Allowing for an expanded wide spectrum of photographic possibilities, the Leica D-Lux 6 offers a zoom range of 24 to 90 mm (35 mm equivalent). This extremely practical range of focal lengths makes the camera particularly versatile, ideal for everything from macro shots and wide-angle architectural and landscape photography to photojournalism and portraits. In contrast to the forerunner model, the lens is faster and therefore particularly suitable for available light photography, allowing for even greater intimacy between photographer and subject. Whether in adverse lighting conditions or for conscious manipulation of depth of focus, the Leica D-Lux 6 is the perfect camera for capturing truly distinctive images. The combination of this high-performance lens and the 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor (effective 10 MP) guarantees a high dynamic range and brilliant images that reveal the world.

The new image processor of the D-Lux 6 now enables photography with sensitivities from ISO 80 to ISO 12800. Images can be viewed directly in a choice of four formats, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1, in both capture and review mode on the new 3" LCD monitor screen. The camera monitor, with a wide viewing angle and a resolution of 920,000 pixels, displays the images in superb quality before and after capture. This allows photographers to reliably and precisely assess images both during composition and after capture.

Classical elegance and the finest materials unite in the Leica D-Lux 6, characterized by clear lines and an intensely focused design. All exposed surfaces of the compact metal body are anodized in black. Only a few chromed elements set discreet counterpoints and refine the clarity of the formal vocabulary so typical for Leica. The D-Lux 6 also features an optimized handling concept with clearly laid out functions that makes the camera extremely simple to use.

The distance, shutter speed and exposure corrections can all be set with its 'clickwheel' control. The new option for setting the aperture on the lens barrel enables direct control and provides even more scope for creative composition. A second dial on the back of the camera offers manual focusing and the use of a built-in ND filter, for example to allow slower shutter speeds for intentional motion blur, despite intense light.

In addition to its program AE, an automatic exposure mode that gives users more control than full automatic mode, the D-Lux 6 also features a smart snapshot mode. With this option, the camera automatically selects the ISO sensitivity, face recognition, dynamic range adjustment and the most appropriate scene mode. The camera's integrated optical image stabilizer prevents the effects of camera shake especially in failing light or insufficiently illuminated indoor settings, and when shooting hand-held. Thanks to its new, selectable, spirit level function, precise camera alignment is now easier than ever before.

The D-Lux 6 incorporates a new, Full HD video recording capability that can be started quickly and conveniently by pressing a button on the camera's top deck. The camera records in AVCHD-Format with 1920 x 1080 pixels and 60 full frames per second for perfect rendition of even fast-moving subjects in outstanding detail. Video data can be saved in Internet-compatible MP4 format and can be uploaded directly to social media or mobile devices, for example, without any need for conversion. Crystal-clear sound recording is guaranteed by an integrated wind-noise filter that reduces undesirable noise.

A range of optional accessories further increases the versatility of the Leica D-Lux 6. The Leica EVF3 electronic viewfinder with 1.4 megapixel resolution offers particular advantages in extreme lighting situations. It can be mounted on the accessory shoe of the camera and supports Live View, a function that lets the photographer view the subject through the lens and assess the precise composition of the subject. The Leica CF 22 compact accessory flash unit provides additional options for flash exposure and fill-in flash. An accessory handgrip helps to ensure steady and safe handling of the camera. The range of accessories also features a choice of cases and bags. Camera owners can choose from a high-quality camera protector in finest leather, a classically elegant leather case and a system bag for the camera and its accessories.

The Leica D-Lux 6 will be available from Leica dealers, including the Leica Store Washington DC, beginning November 2012. The camera is supplied complete with the professional still picture and video processing software Adobe® Photoshop Lightroom® 4, an additional tool to create truly inspiring digital photography.

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