Leica has added two new models to the current compact range, supplementing the earlier release at Photokina of the £16,700 Titanium M9. The V-Lux 2, a 24x superzoom, and D-Lux 5, a 10MP creative compact, are priced far more sensibly while still adhering to the aesthetic quality levels Leica normally reproduce.
The D-Lux 5 has all the manual controls any DSLR user would need, from shutter and aperture through to focus, and a 24-90mm zoom lens. Thanks to an aperture of f/2 to f/3.3 the focus should be extremely rapid and the images bright, and the 1.63″ CCD is larger than an average compact sensor, making it capable of some excellent images.
Unsurprisingly the body is decidedly minimalist and retro in design, with a plain black frame and only the red Leica badge as a splash of colour. The D-Lux 5 is capable of 720p HD video, and offers a 3″ LCD with the ability to add an eletronic viewfinder to the top via a shoe.
Leica has also released a new bridge model, the V-Lux 2, which offers an impressive 24x optical zoom and 14.1MP CMOS sensor. There’s also a HD video mode, full manual controls and up to an 11 frame per second burst rate at full quality.
The 3″ LCD is hinged, allowing for it to be flipped out and rotated for low and high angle shots. This is Leica’s first foray into the superzoom market, and has all the hallmarks of being highly successful.
The V-Lux 2 and D-Lux follow the V-Lux 20 high zoom compact in being more affordable offerings from one of photography’s most prestigious brands, and much like the V-Lux 20 is extremely similar to a Panasonic compact. The V-Lux 2 closely resembles the FZ100 bridge model, even down to the spec and features list, and in a similar sense the D-Lux 5 is virtually identical to the Panasonic LX5.
The RRP of the V-Lux 2 is £675, with the D-Lux 5 being £630. More information can be found at www.leica.com.