Leica D-Lux 7 Camera Review
Leica Camera recently announced their latest compact D-Lux compact camera, now available for pre-order online and in authorized dealers. The new camera is called Leica D-Lux 7 which features a 17MP Four Thirds MOS sensor that provides a sensitivity range up to ISO 25600 along with an 11-fps continuous shooting rate and UHD 4K30p video recording.
At close examination, the new Leica D-Lux 7 has basically the same features as the recently announced Panasonic Lumix LX100 II camera. Despite minor cosmetic differences and mark up for Leica brand, both cameras host Leica DC Vario-Summilux f/1.7-2.8 lens with a focal range that equates to 24-75mm in 35mm format size. Leica lens has nine aperture blades with bold Leica lettering on the lens front.
Overall both cameras are sleek, lightweight and easy to operate offering many features that smartphones can’t deliver in terms of image quality and creativity among them is image stabilization and optical zoom that gives perfect framing options for a variety of shooting scenarios.
Leica Vario-Summilux Lens
Leica DC Vario-Summilux f/1.7-2.8 found on the new Leica D-Lux 7 camera offers a 24-75mm equivalent focal length range which allows for framing options for different scenarios. For example, the lens can be retracted to its 24mm equivalent focal length in the 35mm format to capture landscape, architecture and offer many options for wide angle photography.
On the opposite end of the zoom range, 75mm focal length (in 35mm equivalent) will serve as a wonderful portrait lens. The best part of having such a useful focal range is that the camera weighs in at a fraction of a lens in 24-70mm focal length in full frame. This means you can carry this lens all day and even place it in your coat pocket without being burdened down with excessive weight and size.
The built-in DC Vario-Summilux 3.1x zoom lens with a 24-75mm equivalent focal length range is not limiting as a fixed lens camera with only a single focal length but offers different focal lengths for the desired framing.
Leica D-Lux 7 camera offer image stabilization for capturing beautiful video at 4K or HD as well as stills even the lighting conditions are not ideal. Considering that the new Leica D-Lux 7 will most likely be used in one-handed operations having image stabilization will deliver better results especially at the longer end of the zoom range of the lens.
Travel-friendly size and easy-to-use design of the new Leica D-Lux 7 camera comes with a 2.76m-dot electronic viewfinder and a 3.0″ 1.24m-dot rear touchscreen LCD. This means compositions for images can be done through the LCD screen or the viewfinder. Taking into consideration that this new Leica camera is aimed at the younger generation who have grown up with smartphones and touchscreen picture snapping the new Leica D-Lux 7 camera will serve as a suitable gateway to more capable camera upgrade.
Leica D-Lux 7’s 17MP Four Thirds MOS sensor sits perfectly as a camera that provides high resolution for Instagram and other social media apps which can be cropped or reframed for instant sharing through Wi-Fi connectivity. Most smartphone cameras offer 12MP or less resolution so a bump in image resolution will provide an instant crispness and better color resolution thanks to Leica D-Lux 7’s excellent color science.
The benefit of 17MP Four Thirds MOS sensor also become more apparent under less than ideal lighting conditions. Firstly, the overall noise management delivers much-improved pictures for sharing online or with friends without the need to apply any noise reduction. More importantly, the new Leica D-Lux 7 offers an ISO range of up to 25600 which means the images straight out of the camera will look far superior to any smartphone snaps.
If you are an Instagram user you already know that the app is designed around a square format or 1:1 ratio which has been upgraded to include other formats. Leica D-Lux 7 camera offers multiple aspect ratios 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1 while maintaining the same field of view. What that means is that you no longer have to go through different apps to crop your image to fit it on to social media apps, you can now easily transfer your pictures directly to your smartphone and upload it without needing to crop.
UHD 4K Video Recording
Since online video sharing platforms and social apps have become the mainstream, the demand for smartphone and camera manufacturers to deliver high-quality video has become the key selling point for the devices. In the case of Leica D-Lux 7, the camera not only provides very respectable image quality in the video but offers an impressive UHD 4K video recording option in either 30p or 24p frames rates at 100 Mb/s in the MP4 format.
But for most users, a Full HD 1080p 60 fps would be most welcomed as the slow-motion footage has been ubiquitous in almost all online and social media platforms; thanks to Leica D-Lux 7 both MP4 and AVCHD formats for Full HD is available for instant uploading with beautiful color profiles.
Unfortunately, the new Leica D-Lux 7 camera does not come with external audio jack input to record audio through an external mic which means the new Youtubers and bloggers will have to be content with the built-in camera mic for sound. As a compact camera, Leica D-Lux 7 can be handy as a second camera or on a gimbal for recording visuals to accompany travel videos for Youtube.
4K PHOTO Modes
Leica D-Lux 7 camera offers three options for capturing images in bursts or what can be referred to as a hybrid video/stills option. Basically, the camera allows capture of 4K stills at 30 fps shooting rate and a frame can be selected as a still image. The result is an 8MP file size image that can is more than sufficient for online sharing and social media upload. But that is not all; there are other ways to ensure capturing of the decisive moment.
Burst: In this mode, you can continuously record stills images until the buffer is exhausted to capture the fast-moving action with autofocus.
Pre-Burst: As the name suggests this pre-burst mode is designed to help you capture that decisive moment by recording images one second before and after the shutter button is released. The result is 60 frames of recorded images to help you select the best frame for that critical moment of capture.
Burst (S/S): this mode is very similar to video recording where you get to pause and select a frame which is considered to be your single 8MP frame.
Leica D-Lux 7 camera is a compact camera that is both lightweight and ergonomically designed to be operated in one hand. Unfortunately, for Youtubers and bloggers, there is no articulating screen, but the camera provides a host of other features that make up for the fixed LCD screen.
- An electronic viewfinder that has a 2.76m-dot resolution for clear eye-level viewing, even in bright sunlight.
- Rear 3.0″ 1.24m-dot LCD features a touchscreen design for intuitive menu navigation, image playback, and for selecting AF points while shooting.
- Included hot shoe-mounted external flash can be used to provide additional illumination when working in low-light conditions.
- In-camera charging of the BP-DC15 lithium-ion battery is supported via an optional USB-connected power bank or when connected to a computer or AC adapter.
External chargers are an absolute necessity with this camera due to the small battery size.
Leica D-Lux 7 comes with a built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The camera can work in conjunction with the Leica FOTOS app for seamless wireless sharing as well as remote camera control from a linked iOS or Android device.
- Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, when used in conjunction with the Leica FOTOS app for iOS and Android, permits sharing imagery directly to a linked mobile device and also enables remote control over the D-Lux 7 and remote shooting via a live view image.
- Post Focus allows users to select the point of focus after an image has been taken. An electronic shutter function avails a top shutter speed of 1/16,000 sec. to better enable working in bright conditions and with wider aperture settings.
Leica D-Lux 7 Key Features
Multi-aspect ratio 17mp Four Thirds Sensor (21.7mp total pixels), 1.33inch
24-75mm equivalent f/1.7-2.8 Leica lens, 9 aperture blades
Power Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
3inch, 1240K dot touch-screen
EVF, 2760K dot, 0.73x magnification, eye-detection
Aperture / Shutter control dials
Exposure compensation dial (+/-3)
Manual Focus Assist / Focus Peaking
4K video recording, 4K photo priority mode (30fps)
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth built-in
11fps continuous shooting (max 33 images raw)
Dual-axis electronic level
3cm macro focus
Leica D-Lux 7 Key Features
- Multi-aspect ratio 17mp Four Thirds Sensor (21.7mp total pixels), 1.33inch
- 24-75mm equivalent f/1.7-2.8 Leica lens, 9 aperture blades
- Power Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
- 3inch, 1240K dot touch-screen
- EVF, 2760K dot, 0.73x magnification, eye-detection
- Aperture / Shutter control dials
- Exposure compensation dial (+/-3)
- Manual Focus Assist / Focus Peaking
- 4K video recording, 4K photo priority mode (30fps)
- Wi-Fi / Bluetooth built-in
- 11fps continuous shooting (max 33 images raw)
- Dual-axis electronic level
- 3cm macro focus
Leica D-Lux 7 is an excellent camera for anyone who wants to own a compact camera. The best news is that to use this camera you don’t even need basic photography knowledge or skill. The new Leica D-Lux 7 camera offers excellent autofocus and results that would require no post processing nor compositional skills.
If you are in the market for a compact camera that does not break the bank and offers good quality images, well, Leica D-Lux 7 might be just the perfect match. It comes with the well-known Leica Camera name and the red dot on the front. Below is a link to pre-order the new Leica D-Lux 7 camera just in time for the holidays.
Leica D-Lux 7 camera is best bought online from an authorized dealer and often the online retailers have better prices due to low stocking fees. Here is the link for the best price on Leica D-Lux 7 camera.
Best Prices on other Leica Cameras:
For my upcoming 2019 photography workshops, here are the links
I hope you have enjoyed this article.
Camera Review Team
From Leica: Wetzlar, 20th November 2018. Introducing the new and improved Leica D-Lux 7: the high-performance compact camera from Leica Camera AG featuring a fast Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9–34 mm f/1.7–2.8 ASPH. zoom lens (equivalent to 24–75mm in 35mm format). The new Leica D-Lux 7 boasts a new, higher-resolution four-thirds sensor that delivers outstanding picture quality in all shooting scenarios. The D-Lux 7 enhances performance through numerous unique functions and features including a touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, and USB-C charging capability. The Leica D-Lux 7 is the ideal everyday companion; an extremely versatile camera that offers maximum photographic freedom for capturing unique moments with impressive quality.
The comprehensive features of the Leica D-Lux line – automatic exposure mode, manual setting options and a range of video functions – are perfectly complemented by an integrated, 2.8-megapixel, high-resolution, electronic viewfinder, a Wi-Fi module, and Bluetooth connectivity. On the back of the Leica D-Lux 7, a 1.24 megapixel 3“ LCD touchscreen display not only makes viewing pictures much easier but also means the user has easy control of the camera at their fingertips. For example, the focusing point can now be set with a simple tap on the screen and pictures can be taken without having to touch any other controls.
Inherent with all Leica cameras, the DC Vario-Summilux zoom lens of the D-Lux 7 is perfectly matched to the camera’s new sensor to deliver optimum picture quality. The fast aperture and the range of focal length make the camera particularly versatile in every situation – from portraits and landscapes to architecture, macro close-ups and street photography. With its 17-megapixel resolution and a maximum ISO sensitivity of 25600, the four-thirds sensor of the Leica D-Lux 7 is also ideal for capturing the highest-quality images in low ambient light, with natural colours and fine rendition of details.
The camera’s hardware has been improved and includes various additions to its range of functions. For example, the focus point of exposure can be changed after shooting, or several exposures with different focus points can be superimposed on each other and merged with the aid of Focus Stacking, for instance, to create a greater depth of focus in macro exposures. The camera’s capabilities have also been expanded to include video recording in 4K resolution – at a frame rate of up to 30 frames per second and 100 Mbit and in MP4 and AVCHD-format.
The Leica D-Lux 7 is the first camera in the D-Lux line that can be used together with the Leica FOTOS App which enables remote control of the camera from a smartphone and fast and easy wireless transfer of pictures from iOS or Android devices. Photographers can use numerous options for sharing their pictures directly on social media after editing and carrying out all the essential post-production work in app.
The classic look of the Leica D-Lux 7, is complemented with a range of equally stylish and practical accessories such as high-quality cases, carrying straps and a practical handgrip.