Leica C-Lux Review

A rebranded version of the Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200 model, the new Leica C-Lux travel-zoom digital compact camera is a little more affordable option than its predecessor.

The Leica C-Lux is equipped with a 15x zoom lens (equivalent to 24-360 in 35mm format), a 20-megapixel sensor, a maximum ISO sensitivity of 25,600, a 3-inch touchscreen LCD, an integrated electronic viewfinder, 10fps continuous shooting, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to record 4K video. Other features include continuous shooting at ten frames per second. Light Gold and Midnight Blue are the options for the £875/$1050 Leica C-Lux that are now available.

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Leica C-Lux Midnight Blue Wireless Digital Camera (19130), Black

Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:14 am
$1,299.99

Leica C-Lux Build Quality

The new Leica C-Lux compact camera is closely (and obviously) patterned after Panasonic’s TZ-series travel zooms. However, in place of Panasonic’s TZ-series travel zooms, the C-Lux features covetable red branding and the knowledge that it was assembled by hand. This is a quality snapshot model, as you might think, and it is ideally appropriate for those holiday getaways. It is also suitable for any other time when you don’t want to tote along that DSLR or compact system camera.

Unsurprisingly, a Leica occupies the top of the premium market segment for pocketable cameras (as suggested by including the word “Lux” in its name). The new C-Lux can be purchased in the UK for the price of £875, which is somewhat more than the almost similar TZ200 model sold by Panasonic, which can be bought for around £730. Neither option is a cheap one.

Leica C-Lux Image Quality

The Fine JPEG option at 20 megapixels was used to capture each sample photograph included in this study. This setting results in an image that is around 7 megabytes in size on average.

The Leica C-Lux has a one-inch sensor, as opposed to the average 1/2.3-inch chip previously found in most point-and-shoot cameras (which were far more affordable). This should provide a significant improvement to the camera’s image quality. Although the images are detailed, well-defined, and rich in color when viewed at the more comprehensive and mid ranges of the zoom, as with most pocket zooms, the detail starts to appear less strongly defined when viewed at the telephoto end of the zoom. When the JPEGs are examined, they lack contrast as well as clarity.

Thankfully, we also can shoot in Raw, allowing us to capture the most incredible amount of detail possible. Furthermore, as we mentioned in the main body of the review, simultaneously shooting in both of these file formats doesn’t appear to impact the camera’s performance in any significant way negatively.

However, taking portraits at the ultra-wide 24mm setting can occasionally result in somewhat elongated facial features; as a result, we discovered that we wanted/needed to zoom in just a little bit closer to the subject.

Leica C-Lux Specs

Body typeLarge sensor compact
Max resolution5472 x 3648
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ISOAuto, 125-12800 (expands to 80-25600)
Boosted ISO (minimum)80
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationOptical
Image stabilization notesHybrid 5-axis available in movie mode
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
Focal length (equiv.)24–360 mm
Optical zoom15×
Maximum apertureF3.3–6.4
AutofocusFlash Range
Digital zoomYes (2X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69″)
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Number of focus points49
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,240,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.53×
Viewfinder resolution2,330,000
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Built-in flashYes
Yes (2 or 10 secs, three shots @ 10 sec)6.80 m (at Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerMultiCenter-weighted spot
Metering modesYes (micro HDMI)
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I compatible)
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (microHDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.2 LE
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)370
Weight (inc. batteries)340 g (0.75 lb / 11.99 oz)
Dimensions113 x 67 x 46 mm (4.45 x 2.64 x 1.81″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Leica C-Lux Verdict

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Leica C-Lux Midnight Blue Wireless Digital Camera (19130), Black

Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:14 am
$1,299.99

The C-Lux seems to have it all on paper: it is a tiny camera with an extensive image sensor that promises excellent image quality, 15x optical zoom, and plenty of other capabilities. The problem is that you can have all of these features with the almost identical Panasonic ZS200/TZ200 but at a far more affordable price. If you feel you have to have the red dot praise from Leica, then the additional expenditure may be worth it. On the other hand, if you don’t care about brand snobbery, Panasonic is the better value.

Leica C-Lux FAQs

What is the Leica C-Lux equivalent to?

The Leica C-Lux and the Panasonic Lumix ZS200/TZ200 are equivalents because they both use the same image sensor and image processing and share the same body and lens construction. 

Is Leica C-Lux mirrorless?

The Leica C-Lux is a mirrorless camera; that much is true. 

Who makes Leica C Lux?

The Panasonic Lumix ZS200/TZ200 is the foundation for the Leica C-Lux, which is produced by Leica Camera AG but is built on the design of Panasonic’s Lumix ZS200/TZ200.

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