Leica announces $749 V-LUX 30 compact camera

You know the drill: Panasonic introduces a perfectly capable camera, and a few months later Leica tweaks a few angles, paints it black, and slaps its iconic logo on its own version of it -- admittedly, changes that make all the difference in terms of design. In this case it's the Panasonic ZS10 that's gotten revamped as Leica's new V-LUX 30, a followup to its V-LUX 20 compact. At $749, this is actually one of Leica's more affordable offerings, but that will still only buy you the exact same guts as its $400 (or less) Panasonic counterpart: a 15.1 megapixel sensor (14.1 effective), 16x optical zoom, 1080i video recording, a 3-inch LCD 'round back, and built-in GPS for geotagging. Head on past the break for the complete press release, and look for the camera to be available in June.

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Leica Camera announces a new digital compact camera, the Leica V-Lux 30. A universal camera for carefree photography, this newest addition to the Leica portfolio is an ideal companion for all life's situations from this summer's family vacations to backyard barbeques. Equipped with a 15.1 MP sensor (14.1 effective), high performance Leica lens with extended 16x zoom range, built-in GPS capabilities and a new 3D mode, the V-Lux 30 guarantees images of unmatched brilliance.

One of the most outstanding features of the V-Lux 30 is a video recording mode that offers performance comparable to that of digital camcorders. A particular highlight of the video mode is its efficient, 1080i-AVCHD-Full-HD, recording format with the entire 16x zoom range available during video recording and an integrated stereo microphone with an electronic wind noise filter guarantees a crystal-clear soundtrack.

The built-in GPS feature makes archiving and organizing photos quick and easy, during or after a trip. When travelling, the V-Lux 30 can also display the sightseeing highlights of the immediate neighborhood (1,000,000 so-called "Points of Interest"). Furthermore, for photographers posting images on social networks, image portals or map sites such as Google Maps or Google Earth, the data automatically reveals exactly when and where the photos were taken.*

As a compact camera for the whole family, the V-Lux 30 achieves ease of use along with timelessly elegant styling. A new 3" LCD touch screen allows many camera features to be controlled for the first time by touching the screen with a fingertip. Images on the screen are displayed with outstanding brilliance with a display resolution of 460,000 pixels. The V-Lux 30 also features a new 3D mode to allow users to realize fascinating, creative images in addition to its numerous automatic features and manual setting options.

The Leica V-Lux 30 retails for $749.00 and will be available beginning June 2011.

* It is possible that GPS tagging may not function in the People's Republic of China and neighboring regions. Satellite signal reception may be impossible, depending on the location. In such cases, the positioning data may be recorded inaccurately or not at all.