Leica continues tradition of re-branding Panasonic cams with V-Lux, D-Lux

We've seen plenty of interesting rebrands in past years. Leica's perhaps the most prolific manufacturer to redesign housings and jack up a camera's price, but Hasselblad is also guilty of trying to pass off a competitor's cam as its own, with the $10,000 Solar. Leica's own recreations are hardly as egregious -- select photographers certainly don't mind paying a few hundred dollars more for what's arguably a better-looking camera from a more premium brand, making this year's V-Lux and D-Lux a reasonable purchase for some. That first model is based on the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, while the D-Lux is a deluxe version of the LX100, which squeezes a powerful Micro Four Thirds sensor into a surprisingly compact body.

The challenge, of course, comes down to pricing. If you opt for the generally identical Panasonic models, you'll pay much less. Panasonic's FZ1000 costs $899, for example, though Leica's pricing its equivalent at €1,100 (about $1,425). The LX100, meanwhile, will also run you $899, compared to €995 (nearly $1,300) for the Leica D-Lux model. If you can afford to look past that discrepancy, you'll end up with a great (perhaps better) looking alternative to two of the most powerful point-and-shoots on the market. The V-Lux hits shelves next month, while you'll need to wait until November to pick up a D-Lux.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.