Not to be confused with the affordable V-LUX 20 compact, the V-LUX 2 follows on from where the V-LUX 1 went four years ago—namely, mahoosive-zoom territory. In true Leica fashion, it's basically a pricier version than Panasonic's FZ100.
A 24x zoom lens is the crowning glory of the V-LUX 2, in this case it's a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.5 - 108 mm f/2.8 - 5.2 ASPH. The 14.1MP sensor can shoot video in 1080i at 30fps, and there's a rotating 3-inch LCD screen for that extra price justification.
The US pricing hasn't been confirmed for the V-LUX 2, however if it's a direct conversion from the UK's £675 (doubtful, admittedly), then expect to see it around the $1,050 mark when it hits in October. If your budget is half that, then check out Panasonic's version for $500. [Leica]
Leica announces the LEICA V-LUX 2
The super-zoom compact for travel and nature photography
Leica Camera AG has announced the LEICA V-LUX 2, combining a high-performance 24x super-zoom lens and outstanding image quality with a sleek and compact body. Equipped with a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.5 - 108 mm f/2.8 - 5.2 ASPH. lens, a 3'' rotating LCD display and a wide variety of video functions in 1080i-AVCHD Full HD,
the V-LUX 2 is ideal for almost any photographic situation.
The V-LUX 2's 24x optical super-zoom lens offers an enormous range of focal lengths equivalent to 25–600 mm in 35mm format. Whether shooting expansive landscapes, finely detailed macro studies at short distances, or far-away objects, people or animals with a super-telephoto setting, the LEICA lens captures them all in breathtaking quality.
Peter Kruschewski, product manager for Digital Compact Cameras at Leica Camera AG, said, "The V-Lux 2's versatile lens and compact form make it the ideal camera for the ambitious travel and wildlife photographer. In certain shooting situations, having to change lenses can be frustrating, especially when a quick reaction is required. Thanks to the V-LUX 2's large range of focal lengths, this compact camera has the ability to capture almost all moments of life. The V-LUX 2 is an interesting alternative to comparable SLR systems. Compact and lighter, it also significantly reduces the weight and volume of photographic equipment when travelling."
A newly developed 14.1 MP CMOS image sensor tuned to perfection enhances the high-performance LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.5 - 108 mm f/2.8 - 5.2 ASPH. zoom lens. In combination with the camera's electronics and firmware, the sensor guarantees brilliant, high-contrast images with natural colour rendition and superb sharpness.
The LEICA V-LUX 2's 3" LCD display has a resolution of 460,000 pixels and can be twisted and turned in almost any direction, making it easy for photographers to compose pictures from even the most unusual or challenging angles. When shooting stills or videos from over their heads or close to the ground, photographers using the V-LUX 2 are always in full control.
In addition to offering an integrated stereo microphone with an electronic wind noise filter that guarantees a crystal-clear soundtrack, the entire 24x zoom range is available during video recording. The LEICA V-LUX 2 is the first Leica digital compact to feature video capture in 1080i-AVCHD Full HD.
One of the world's fastest consecutive-shooting cameras, the LEICA V-LUX 2 features high-speed burst shooting capability: bursts of 11 frames per second at the full resolution of 14.1 MP, or 60 frames per second with a resolution of 2.8 MP.
Characterised by a compact design and extremely simple handling, the V-LUX 2's integrated handgrip and light weight allows photographers to shoot one-handed. The camera controls are clearly laid out, ensuring fast and simple operation. For instance, video recording can be started quickly and easily at the touch of a button on the top plate of the camera.
The LEICA V-LUX 2 is supplied with a comprehensive suite of software. Adobe® Photoshop® Elements® 8 provides users with a comprehensive and versatile image editing solution that offers viewing, organisation, administration and a wide range of processing options for still images and video recordings. Also included is Adobe® Premiere® Elements® 8, an easy-to-use package offering video processing for movies recorded by the V-LUX 2 in AVCHD format, and also enabling the creation of professional audio and video effects.
Pricing and availability
The LEICA V-LUX 2 is scheduled to be available in the UK from October 2010 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351.
A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk.
The suggested retail price of the LEICA V-LUX 2 is £675 including VAT. An outdoor case will be available for the V-LUX 2 at an SRP of £135 including VAT.
LEICA V-LUX 2: Technical specifications
Lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.5 - 108 mm f/2.8 - 5.2 ASPH. (wide-angle f2.8 - f8 /
telephoto f5.2 - f8 ) / corresponds to 25 - 600mm, 35mm equivalent focal length
Modes Normal/Macro, continuous focusing (On/Off)
metering modes Face detection/AF-tracking/23 field/1 field (flexible/scalable)
P / A / S / M 30cm (wide-angle) / 2m (tele) - ∞
1cm (wide-angle) / 1m (tele) - ∞
Scene modes May differ from the ranges above
Sensor 1/2.33" CMOS with 15.1MP (effective 14.1MP)
Still pictures 4:3 format: 4320 x 3240 pixels (14MP)/3648 x 2736 pixels (10MP)/3072 x 2304 pixels (7MP)/2560 x 1920 pixels (5MP) /2048 x 1536 pixels (3MP)/640 x 480 pixels (0.3MP)
3:2 format: 4320 x 2880 pixels (12.5MP) /3648 x 2432 pixels (9MP) /3072 x 2048 pixels (6MP) /2560 x 1712 pixels (4.5MP) /2048 x 1360 pixels (2.5MP) /640 x 424 pixels (0.3MP)
16:9 format: 4320 x 2432 pixels (10.5MP) /3648 x 2056 pixels (7.5MP) /3072 x 1728 pixels (5.5MP) /2560 x 1440 pixels (3.5MP) /1920 x 1080 pixels (2MP) /640 x 360 pixels (0.2MP)
1:1 format: 3232 x 3232 pixels (10.5MP) /2736 x 2736 pixels (7.5MP) /2304 x 2304 pixels (5MP) /1920 x 1920 pixels (3MP) /1536 x 1536 pixels (2MP) /480 x 480 pixels (0.2MP)
4:3 format VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 30fps (Motion JPEG)
QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels, 30fps (Motion JPEG)
16:9 format 848 x 480 pixels, 30fps (Motion JPEG)
1280 x 720 pixels, 30fps (Motion JPEG)
Full-HD 1920 x 1080 pixels, 60i (AVCHD)
High-Speed 320 x 240 pixels, 220fps (Motion JPEG)
Still pictures RAW/JPEG (based on Exif 2.3 standard)/ DPOF-compatible
Still pictures with sound RAW/JPEG (based on Exif 2.3 standard) + QuickTime
Movies AVCHD/QuickTime Motion JPEG
Exposure modes Program mode (P), Aperture priority (A), Speed priority (S), Manual Setting
Exposure compensation Increments: 1/3 EV steps, setting range: ±3 EV
Scene modes Advance Scene mode
Portrait mode: Normal, Soft Skin, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative
Scenery mode: Normal, Nature, Architecture, Creative
Sports mode: Normal, Outdoor, Indoor, Creative
Close-up: Flower, Food, Objects, Creative
Night Portrait: Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illuminations, Creative Panorama Assist, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Flash Burst, Panning, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo, Photo Frame, High Speed Movie
My Color Mode Expressive / Retro / Pure / Elegant / Monochrome / High Dynamic / Dynamic Art / Dynamic B&W / Silhouette / Pinhole / Film Grain / Custom
Happy (only in iA mode)
Metering modes Multi-field/Centre-weighted/Spot
White balance Auto/Daylight/Cloudy/Shadow/Tungsten/Manual setting /Manual measurement
Shutter speeds 60s-1/2000s, (Starry Sky mode: 15s/30s/60s)
Continuous shooting mode (max. number of pictures / max. resolution)
Series frequency 2B/s: 100 / 14MP
5B/s: 100 / 14MP
11B/s: 15 / 14MP
Number of recordable pictures 40B/s: 50 / 5MP
60B/s: 60 / 3.5MP
Video mode 2/5/10B/s: 40 / 3.5MP
Modes Auto, Auto with pre-flash (to reduce red-eye effect), Auto with slower shutter speeds and pre-flash, On, Off
Range (with ISO AUTO and maximum wide-angle setting) Approx. 30cm – 9.5m
Self-Timer 2/10 s delay
Monitor 3.0" TFT LCD, approx. 460,000 pixels
Field of view: approx. 100%, automatic brightness adjustment
View finder Colour LCD, approx. 202,000 pixels
Field of view: approx. 100%, adjustable to ±4 diopter
Microphone/ Speaker Stereo/mono
Internal memory Approx. 40MB
Memory cards SD/SDHC/SDXC
HDMI HDMI: Mini HDMI cable (type C)
AV OUT/DIGITAL Digital: USB 2.0 (High Speed)
Dedicated jack (14-pin) Analogue Video/Audio: NTSC/PAL FBAS (switchable in menu), Audio-line-out (stereo) MIC/REMOTE: 2.5mm Ø -jack
Printer compatibility PictBridge
Operating temperature/ humidity 0-40°C / 10-80%
Voltage/capacity 7.2 V / 895mAh (410 pictures according to CIPA standards)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 124 x 80 x 95mm
Weight 520g (with memory card and battery)
Included in the box Camera with lens cap, battery charger (Leica BC-DC 9), battery (Leica BP-DC 9), lens hood, carrying strap, AV cable, USB cable, CD with full instructions (PDF)
Software Adobe® Photoshop® Elements® 8, Adobe® Premiere® Elements® 8