Leica slaps D-Lux 5 badge on Panasonic LX5, hitches up the price (update)

What has a 1/1.63-inch CCD sensor capable of 10.1 megapixel stills, a 3.75x DC Vario-Summicron lens, and 720p AVCHD Lite video? The Panasonic LX5? Why yes, it does, and so does this carbon copy that Leica just unveiled, the D-Lux 5. Much as with the identikit LX3 and D-Lux 4 before them, the new 5 models share pretty much everything apart from brand name, accessories bundled in the box, and that all-important price tag. If you opt for the red circular logo above, you'll have to dish up £630 ($983), whereas the LX5 -- which was criticized for being pricey at launch -- can now be had for around £355 ($554). Feel free to peruse our gallery of D-Lux 5 shots below while pondering the "value" on offer here.

Update: We just got word that Leica's already priced the D-Lux 5 for a stateside release -- find it for the slightly-more-reasonable-but-not-quite price of $799 when it ships this October.


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Leica announces the LEICA D-LUX 5: Versatile compact camera with full creative control for the discerning photographer

Photokina, Cologne, 21 September 2010: Leica Camera AG has announced the LEICA D-LUX 5 – a high-performance compact digital camera with full creative control.

Successor to the acclaimed D-LUX 4, the LEICA D-LUX 5 offers a faster LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 5.1 - 19.2mm f/2 - 3.3 ASPH. lens with an extended range of focal lengths equivalent to 24 to 90mm in 35mm format. Together with its comprehensive range of features and manual settings, the versatile LEICA D-LUX 5 offers a broader spectrum of photographic options – from macro and wide-angle architecture and landscape photography to reportage and portrait photography. The camera's 1,280 x 720 pixel HD video function in memory-saving AVCHD-Lite format, and a full range of optional accessories, open up a world of photographic opportunities for the discerning photographer.

Peter Kruschewski, product manager for Digital Compact Cameras at Leica Camera AG, said, "Thanks to its ultra-fast image processing, simple handling and compact form, the LEICA D-LUX 5 is a truly unique compact camera with system character. It offers users endless opportunities for creative photography and allows photographers to capture the most spontaneous, fleeting moments as unforgettable pictures."

The LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 5.1 - 19.2mm f/2 - 3.3 ASPH. zoom lens offers an extremely practical range of focal lengths. In addition, its exceptionally fast maximum aperture makes it an ideal camera for 'available light' photography. Whether in difficult lighting conditions, or for conscious manipulation of depth of field, the LEICA D-LUX 5 is the perfect camera for capturing truly distinctive images.

Featuring a particularly large CCD for a compact camera, the D-Lux 5's 1/1.63" sensor is finely tuned to produce the highest quality images from the LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 5.1 - 19.2 mm f/2 - 3.3 ASPH. lens. Combined with the camera's electronics and firmware, it guarantees brilliant high-contrast images with natural colour rendition and superb sharpness. Also contributing to its exceptional image quality, the D-LUX 5's pixels are considerably larger than that of other compacts.

The D-LUX 5 delivers images in 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 formats as well as 1:1, a particularly interesting format for creative composition, in both capture and review mode. The camera's 3" LCD monitor has a wide viewing angle and a resolution of 460,000 pixels, displaying images in superb detail, and allowing photographers to assess images precisely both during composition and after capture.

The LEICA D-LUX 5 is characterised by clear lines and a stylish, uncomplicated design in an elegant black matt finish. Its formal simplicity, clear and intuitive controls, and a focus on essential features, are typical of all Leica cameras.

Users can enter manual settings quickly and easily using the D-LUX 5's innovative 'clickwheel' located at the back of the camera. It also offers numerous automatic functions for effortless photography that guarantee the user perfectly exposed and sharp images by simply pressing the shutter release. The camera's automatic functions control the O.I.S. image stabiliser, automatic ISO selection, face recognition, automatic contrast compensation and automatic scene mode. The 1280 x 720 pixel HD video function is started simply by pressing a button on the top of the camera.

Software and accessories
The LEICA D-LUX 5 is supplied with the Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 3, professional image processing software that allows photographers to 'develop' RAW image files from the CCD, to obtain the highest image quality and maintain complete control over the development process applied to their images.

A full range of optional accessories is available for the D-LUX 5, including a LEICA EVF1 electronic viewfinder, which is particularly useful when shooting under extreme lighting conditions. Mounted on the accessory shoe, it enables 'Live-View', allowing the photographer to view the subject through the lens and assess the precise composition of an image. The LEICA CF 22 flash unit provides photographers with additional options for flash exposure and fill-in flash, while a handgrip helps to ensure steady and safe handling of the camera. A choice of optional bags and cases is also available, ranging from an elegant leather case with shoulder strap, a stylish, soft leather pouch, and an ever-ready camera case with a grip and a viewfinder case attached to the carrying strap.

Pricing and availability
The LEICA D-LUX 5 will be available in the UK from October 2010 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair:, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at The suggested retail price of the LEICA D-LUX 5 is £630 including VAT. Accessories are priced as follows (SRP including VAT):
Leica D-Lux 5 EVF1 electronic viewfinder - £270
Leica D-Lux 5 ever-ready case - £135
Leica D-Lux 5 brown leather case - £90
Leica D-Lux 5 soft leather pouch - £62
Leica D-Lux 5 handgrip - £62
Leica CF 22 flash unit - £225