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The Leica V-Lux 5 is a new super-zoom camera featuring a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor and a 16x optical zoom lens offering an equivalent focal range of 25-400mm and f/2.8-4 maximum apertures.

Other key features include a 2.36-megapixel OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.74x magnification, touch-sensitive LCD screen, high-speed auto-focusing, 12fps continuous burst shooting, 4K/30p video recording, 4K photo modes, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity via the Leica FOTOS app. Zoom Compose Assist has been added to help when shooting with longer focal lengths and the button layout has been revised since the previous model.

Other key features include a 2.36-megapixel OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.74x magnification, touch-sensitive LCD screen, high-speed auto-focusing, 12fps continuous burst shooting, 4K/30p video recording, 4K photo modes, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity via the Leica FOTOS app. Zoom Compose Assist has been added to help when shooting with longer focal lengths and the button layout has been revised since the previous model.

Leica V-Lux 5 Specifications

  • 20MP – 1 BSI-CMOS Sensor
  • ISO 80 – 12500( expands to 25000)
  • 24-400 mm F2.8-4 Zoom Lens
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • 2360k dot Electronic viewfinder
  • 12.0 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K (UHD) – 3840 x 2160 video

Leica V-Lux 5: Price

Check Out: Best Superzoom Cameras

Leica V-Lux 5: Build Quality

The V-Lux 5 feels familiar when held in the palm. It’s plastic (yet not overly plastic-y feeling) frame, as opposed to Leica’s more usual metal, build, suggests a deliberately budget-conscious approach this time around – and, more obviously, another collaboration with Panasonic, whose own original Lumix FZ1000 and its more recent Mark II successor this most closely resembles in terms of core lens and sensor specification.

Leica V-Lux 5: Features

The industrial-feel chunkiness, which, admittedly, we do quite like, is partly due to the Leica-crafted 16x optical zoom lens bolted on the front of this camera, providing a focal range with the 35mm film equivalent of 24-400mm on leading, with a maximum f/2.8 aperture at the optic’s widest setting. This is twinned with a one-inch sensor that we’d expect at this price, along with the ability to capture 4K video up to a respectable rate of 30 frames per second (with a built-in stereo microphone, plus the ability to add an external microphone, provided).

As we know this chip is physically bigger than the 1/2.3-inch sensor formerly found in most compacts, albeit here providing a standard-for-its-class but perfectly usable 20-megapixel resolution. That is also the first model in Leica’s bridge camera series that is compatible with Leica’s much-trumpeted Leica Fotos smartphone application, described as being ‘like a gallery in your pocket’.

Like the Panasonic near doppelganger, the standard-sized 3-inch LCD screen on the Leica V Lux 5 is articulated, meaning that it can be swung out from the body so that it faces the subject, camcorder-style. With a clear resolution of 1,240,000 dots and 100% filed of view provided, it’s also a touch screen. The alternative, of course, for those who prefer compositing images in a more traditional manner, is to utilize the OLED electronic viewfinder ranged above, which provides an even more life-like 2.36 million-dot resolution and, again, 100% field of seeing. The manufacturer suggests that said EVF has been newly developed.

A one-inch sensor has enabled Leica (or partner Panasonic) to provide a maximum sensitivity of ISO12800 to help avoid digital camera blur resulting from slower shutter speeds in low light conditions, while there is responsiveness right here too – courtesy of a 0.1-second AF acquisition. Panasonic specific technology such as ‘Post focusing’ mode is also included on this design, while there’s a vacant hotshoe for accessory flash even while there’s an integral, spring-loaded pop-up variety sitting just in front.

Leica V-Lux 5: Specifications

Body typeSLR-like (bridge)
Max resolution5472 x 3648
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ISOAuto, 80-12500 (expands to 25000)
Focal length (equiv.)24–400 mm
Max apertureF2.8–4
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,240,000
Max shutter speed1/4000 sec
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries)812 g (1.79 lb / 28.64 oz)
Dimensions137 x 97 x 132 mm (5.39 x 3.82 x 5.2″)
GPSNone

Leica V-Lux 5: Conclusion

The Leica V-Lux 5 is one of the more affordable means of owning a Leica camera – albeit one that is not quite a ‘pure’ Leica, in that it shares so much with a more mass-produced Panasonic model costing almost £300 less.

That said, we do get the covetable red Leica badge on the front and of course, Leica branded optics. Image quality, whilst not up there with the best of what compact system cameras or DSLRs can currently offer, is nevertheless pretty decent in terms of both the colors and definition delivered, with the Leica V Lux 5 being capable of better results than expected in challenging conditions, such as low light or even night time shooting (as long as the camera is resting on a steady surface).

Check Leica V-Lux 5 Price
Leica V-Lux 5 20MP Superzoom Digital Camera with 9.1-146mm f/2.8-4 ASPH Lens (Black)
  • 20 megapixel 1-inch sensor
  • DC Vario-Elmarit ASPH. 16x Zoom Lens 9.1-146 mm (25-400 mm equiv.) f/2.8-4 ASPH. lens
  • 25-400mm f/2.8-4 (35mm Equivalent) 4K video recording and 4K photo modes
  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity with Leica FOTOS
  • 2.36m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Features
Image Quality
ISO Performance
Viewfinder
Performance
Video mode
Connectivity
Value
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