Rather different to the high-end M8.2 rangefinder, Leica's two other new cameras are aimed more at the compact digital camera snapper. The C-Lux 3 is the simpler, but still has a 10-megapixel sensor, 25-125mm zoom, optical image stabilization, face recognition and auto scene mode detection. The C-Lux 4 is a slightly more specialized beast, since its lenses are designed to take adapters to adjust the zoom range, and it has a hot shoe for either an external flash or an optical viewfinder. The C-Lux 3's due out in October, while the D-Lux 4's out later in the year, pricing
for both still to be announced is around $840 for the D, and $600 for the C. Press releases below.D-Lux 4
GERMANY - 15 September 2008 – The LEICA D-LUX 4, introduced by Leica Camera AG, Solms, is a compact digital camera with powerful optics and a comprehensive range of settings. Premiering with the camera is the wide range of accessories for additionally widening its photographic potential, offering the sophisticated user even more possibilities for creative photography. With its 1/1.63" CCD image sensor, unusually large for this class of camera, the LEICA D-LUX 4 produces images of superior quality. The LEICA D-LUX 4 sports a high-speed LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 5.1-12.8 mm f/2.0-2.8 ASPH. lens with a focal length range of 24 to 60 mm in 35 mm format. Apart from the particularly high speed, it is the ultra-short initial focal length of 24 mm that opens up new creative opportunities in a variety of situations, including landscape, architecture, travel and reportage photography. Its high speed also makes the LEICA D-LUX 4 ideal for available light exposures. Whether shooting in poor light or for selective use of field depth, the lens of the LEICA D-LUX 4 gives the photographer scope for highly individual picture composition. An integrated image stabilizer reliably protects against camera shake in all photographic situations, even in difficult light conditions. The LEICA D-LUX 4 offers a wide range of optional accessories that extend the camera's application potential: A black brilliant viewfinder with 24 mm brightline frame can be attached to the flash shoe of the D-Lux 4, enabling the photographer to view his subject without draining battery power. A slot-on compact flash unit LEICA CF 22 is also available for the LEICA D-LUX 4. Another option is an additional handgrip that makes the camera easier to hold. The camera is also prepared for photos in HDTV format: By connecting the camera's HD port to an HD television set with optional component cable, image slides can be shown in high definition. The range of accessories is rounded off with the addition of high-quality leather cases in black and brown. "With the add-on accessories, the high-speed optics and intelligent operation concept, the LEICA D-LUX 4 is a truly a "compact" system camera whose performance profile can definitely hold its own in comparison to a professional camera. The unlimited potential for creative photography, the ultra fast image processing and the compact, classic camera design give users of the LEICA D-LUX 4 extra high flexibility for capturing unique moments and unforgettable images," says Stefan Trippe, Vice President of Production and Engineering at Leica Camera AG. The LEICA D-LUX 4 features a noticeably large CCD image sensor for a camera in this class. Measuring 1/1.63" and offering 10.1 megapixel resolution, it is able to differentiate the finest details and faithfully reproduce tonal values. The new D-Lux 4 can take photos in all three formats (4:3/3:2/16:9) to suit the particular recording or playback situation. The larger sensor size makes it possible to retain the full 24 mm wide angle. The 460,000 pixel camera display has a wide viewing angle and creates an exceptionally brilliant image, enabling photographers to make a reliable and exact assessment of the picture composition both when taking the photo and when reviewing it. The additional possibility of adjusting the viewing angle ensures exceptional display viewing even for extreme camera perspectives. The high-speed zoom lens LEICA DC VARIO- SUMMICRON 5.1-12.8 mm f/2.0-2.8 ASPH. consists of eight elements (four of them aspherical) in six groups. The optics are individually matched to the camera sensor, working in harmony with the electronics and software to produce stunningly brilliant pictures in true-to-life colors. Regarding color matching, contrast and picture definition, Leica Camera AG has developed its own profile. This is consistent with the picture characteristics that are well known to Leica System Camera customers from their use in combination with professional film materials and specialist development laboratories.The reduction to the essentials and the LEICA D-LUX 4's strikingly clear and concentrated design exemplify the camera's typical Leica lineage. The ergonomic layout of the controls and intuitive operating concept make it a pleasure to handle. Focus, shutter speed, stops and exposure override can all be set manually with the joystick. For those who like photography to be less complicated, the camera integrates many improved automatic functions. When the various functions are switched on, the user simply has to press the shutter release button to obtain a perfectly exposed and focused picture. In automatic mode, the camera automatically combines many individual functions to suit the subject and the photographic conditions, controlling the O.I.S. image stabilizer, the automatic ISO control, face recognition, automatic contrast compensation and automatic choice of scene mode. Like the D-LUX 4 [C-LUX 3], the C-LUX 3 [D-LUX 4] is capable of recording videos in high definition format at the very fast 30 fps (frames per second). This resolution allows the user to display the video captured in full HD on all compatible monitors and television screens. The only limitation to the length of video is the size of the SD card. The LEICA D-LUX 4 is supplied with a battery charger, a powerful rechargeable battery and a comprehensive software package. A high-quality leather case with smart classic design is also available as an optional accessory. The LEICA D-LUX 4 will be available in a black finish at authorized Leica dealers from 2008.
GERMANY - 15 September 2008 – The LEICA C-LUX 3 by Leica Camera AG, Solms, is a new elegant and high-performance digital camera from the Leica C-LUX line. The slimline compact camera offers easy operation and a clearly structured menu for carefree photography. The LEICA C-LUX 3 has a strikingly clear design that concentrates on the essentials: capturing and reproducing images. This means that the LEICA C-LUX 3 can be used more quickly than many other models in an impromptu moment. The user is not distracted by elaborate menus and is free to react much more spontaneously. The stylish digital camera is available in two timelessly elegant colors: black and white. The color-coordinated cases of high-quality leather are a stylish accessory that make the camera a fashionable companion. Compared to the predecessor model, the LEICA C-LUX 2, the 10 megapixel LEICA C-LUX 3 offers various technical improvements. Its powerful zoom lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.4-22 mm f/2.8-5.9 ASPH. provides a wide focal length range from 25 to 125 mm (35 mm format), delivering stunning photos in true-to-nature color from wide-angle to telephoto. Starting at a focal length of 25 mm, the high-speed optics offer a virtually unique wide angle for this class of camera which is particularly useful for space-grabbing shots. Whether for landscapes, architecture photography, interior views or group photos, the LEICA C-LUX 3 can capture the whole spread of the subject with its double-sized image field. Another new feature is the 5x optical zoom that significantly enlarges the camera's telephoto range. The LEICA C-LUX 3 also integrates innovative automatic functions. When activated, the user simply has to press the shutter release button to obtain a perfectly exposed and focused picture. In automatic mode, the camera automatically combines the many individual functions to suit the subject and the photographic conditions, controlling the O.I.S. image stabilizer, the automatic ISO control, the face recognition, automatic contrast compensation and automatic choice of scene mode. Improvements have been made to the face recognition function, for example, with which focus and exposure values are automatically adjusted to the faces in the picture. As for the automatic choice of scene mode, the camera selects the most suitable for the particular exposure. "The LEICA C-LUX 3 sets new standards in the ultra compact camera segment, offering an unbeatable combination of superior technology, high-performance optics and an extra stylish exterior – available for the first time ever in white for users who like fashionable accessories. The C-Lux 3 is therefore an absolute must-have for all those who enjoy spontaneous photography and are looking for a camera that is just as flexible as they are," says Stefan Trippe, Vice President of Production and Engineering at Leica Camera AG. With a resolution of 230,000 pixels, the 2.5" camera display of the LEICA C-LUX 3 shows a brilliant image which helps the photographer compose the picture and accurately assess the result. Due to its generous size, the display can be viewed simultaneously by several people. In wide-angle mode, the display can still be optimally seen, even at a difficult viewing angles, and can be switched to extra bright Power LCD mode for visibility in extremely bright ambient light. The powerful zoom lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.4-22 mm f/2.8-5.9 ASPH. consists of seven lens elements in six groups, of which four elements are aspherical. The optics are individually matched to the camera sensor. Due to the skillful combination of optics, electronics and software, the user can enjoy high color fidelity, excellent definition and vivid contrast. With respect to the matching of color, contrast and definition, Leica Camera AG has developed its own profile around the image properties familiar to customers of Leica system cameras and their use in combination with professional film material and development. Like the D-LUX 4, the C-LUX 3 is capable of recording videos in high definition format at the very fast 30 fps (frames per second). This resolution allows the user to display the video captured in full HD on all compatible monitors and television screens. The only limitation to the length of video is the size of the SD card. A further key to successful photography is the integrated optical image stabilizer (O.I.S.) that can be activated solely for exposure or for both exposure and camera display. Through consistent compensation of small hand movements, the image stabilization reliably prevents camera shake in any situation. The LEICA C-LUX 3 also features "Intelligent ISO" automatic exposure control, which automatically detects movements of the subject and raises the film speed to ensure a fast exposure time. With this and the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilization, sharply focused pictures are always guaranteed – even in difficult light situations, such as twilight or interiors, and in the telephoto range. The LEICA C-LUX 3 has a metal body and great attention has been paid to manufacturing detail. The exclusive use of high-quality materials guarantees a reliable and robust product. The LEICA C-LUX 3 comes with a battery charger, a powerful battery, an AV, USB and AC cable as well as an extensive software package. Fashionable camera cases in a choice of black or white are also available as accessories. The LEICA C-LUX 3 will be on sale at authorized Leica dealers from October 2008.