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Leica D-Lux 3

Leica D-Lux 3The Leica D-Lux 3 is unveiled today. Essentially a re-badged version of the Panasonic DMC-LX2 (with some image processing changes), the Leica D-Lux 3 has the same 10 megapixel sensor, 28-112mm lens, 16:9 format and optical image stabilizer.

Leica Press Release

Leica Camera AG, Solms is exhibiting the new LEICA D-LUX 3 at photokina in Cologne (26th September to 1st October 2006).  The D-LUX 3 is a compact digital camera with outstandingly high-performance optics and a comprehensive range of settings.  The camera offers 10 million pixels and many technical improvements compared to its predecessor, the LEICA D-LUX 2. The high-performance LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 1:2.8-4.9/6.3-25.2 ASPH zoom lens on the LEICA D-LUX 3 permits a wide range of focal lengths from 28 to 112 millimetres in small picture format, allowing creative scope in picture composition from wide-angle through to the telephoto range.

The integral picture stabiliser gives the user additional protection against camera shake in all photography situations, even under difficult lighting conditions.  A total of three picture formats (16:9, 3:2 and 4:3) in different resolutions are available for pictures.  The display on the LEICA D-LUX 3 has been increased to 2.8“, allowing for the first time the full extent of a picture to be displayed in 16:9 format.  The image signal processor has also been improved in comparison to its predecessor model, delivering even faster image processing and saving within the camera.  This allows the LEICA D-LUX 3 to be used quickly, reliably and spontaneously at any moment.

“The LEICA D-LUX 3 is a compact camera with controls like those of a professional camera and this gives it a particularly wide creative scope.  Different picture modes from manual settings through to the subject programs for quick snapshots allow limitless possibilities for creativity in picture composition.  Together with the lightning-fast image processing and a compact camera design, the LEICA D-LUX 3 offers users particularly mobility and flexibility, to capture perfect moments in unforgettable pictures“, says Marius Eschweiler, Product Manager for digital compact cameras at Leica Camera AG.

The high-performance LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 1:2.8-4.9/6.3-25.2 ASPH zoom lens comprises nine lenses in eight groups.  With a maximum aperture of 2.8 and a large focal length range from 28 to 112 millimetres in small picture format, the LEICA D-LUX 3 offers versatile picture composition possibilities for brilliant photos with true-to-life colours.  The optics are individually matched to the camera sensor.  Together with the electronics and software, this enables picture quality with true-to-life colours, excellent sharpness and high brilliance.

In relation to colour matching, contrast and picture definition, Leica Camera AG has developed its own profile.  This is oriented to 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.

Further security for a successful picture is derived from the integral protection against camera shake (O.I.S.), which can be switched on and off at any time.  This reliably protects against camera shake in all photographic situations, since small movements of the hand are systematically compensated.  Whether at twilight, during indoor shots, for snapshots or in zoom operation – the result is always a sharp picture without the need for a tripod.

The user can operate a changeover lever on the lens at any time to change the side ratio of the photo to any one of three picture formats.  Depending on the picture format selected, the resolution varies from 10 MP (16:9), 8 MP (4:3 format) and 7 MP in the classic 3:2 Leica format.

The 2.8“ camera display supports the picture format in the 16:9 side ratio and for the first time it shows complete pictures in wide format.  With a resolution of 207,000 pixels, it creates an exceptionally brilliant display and enables photographers to make a reliable and exact assessment of the picture composition both when taking the photo and when reviewing it.  To reduce the load on the rechargeable battery, the display can also be switched to a darker low-energy mode, without having to sacrifice the outstanding picture quality.

With its technical features, the LEICA D-LUX 3 is also optimally suited for use in digiscoping – photography through a scope.  A Leica digital adapter allows the compact camera to be attached to the eyepiece of a LEICA TELEVID scope and thus becomes a camera with an extremely long focal length range for keen birdwatchers and naturalists.  The event being watched can be captured in a digital picture that fills the format in impressive quality without vignetting.  The large 2.8” monitor of the LEICA D-LUX 3 is outstandingly suitable for assessing the section whilst digiscoping – even for several people - and also for assessing the picture composition.  The optical picture stabilisation gives shake-free pictures of the natural world even in poor lighting and extreme conditions.  This combined with the quick response time of the shutter are just what are required for a spontaneous picture.

The LEICA D-LUX 3 is characterised by its clear and concentrated design.  The straight-line layout and the reduction to the essentials show the camera’s typical Leica lineage. The LEICA D-LUX 3 offers clear functions and is intuitive and secure in use, thanks to the simple operating concept.  A joystick on the rear of the camera simplifies manual focussing.

The LEICA D-LUX 3 has a metal body of aluminium.  The quality of machining lays great emphasis even on small details.  The exclusive use of high-quality materials is the basis for a reliable and robust product in use.

The LEICA D-LUX 3 is supplied with a 64 MB SD card, a battery charger, a powerful rechargeable battery and a comprehensive software package (Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 (PC)/3.0 (Mac), Quicktime Movie Player).  Further accessories available include a mains adapter (for direct power supply to the camera from the mains), a spare rechargeable battery and two types of high-quality camera case.  The sporty Cordura case is particularly hard-wearing, whist the real leather classic moulded case looks very smart.  Both camera cases securely protect the products against damage.

The LEICA D-LUX 3 is available in silver or black finish.

Technical dataLEICA D-LUX 3

  Image sensor: 1:1.65” CCD sensor with 10.4 million total pixels and 10 million effective pixels (at sides ratio 16:9).

  Image sizes: In 16:9 format optionally 4224 x 2376 pixels, 3840 x 2160 pixels, 3072 x1728 pixels or 1920 x1080 pixels (equivalent to HDTV standard).

In Leica 3:2 format optionally 3568 x 2376 pixels, 3248 x 2160 pixels, 2560 x1712 pixels or 2048 x1360 pixels.

In the 4:3 format optionally 3168 x 2376 pixels, 2880 x2160 pixels, 2304 x1728 pixels, 2048 x1536 pixels, 1600 x1200 pixels or 1280 x 960 pixels.


Video recording: In the 16:9 format optionally 1280 x 720 pixels 15 pictures/sec or 848 x 480 pixels 30 pictures/sec 10 pictures/sec

In the 4:3 format optionally
640 x 480 pixels 30 pictures/sec 10 pictures/sec or
320 x 240 pixels 30 pictures/sec 10 pictures/sec . Limited only by the capacity of the memory card,
recording includes sound.

Data recording: File formats standard pictures: RAW, JPEG (fine/standard), film: QuickTime Motion JPEG.

Storage media: SD memory card and multi-media card (64 MB SD card included).

Speed setting: Optionally automatic or manual ISO 80, ISO 100, ISO 200 or ISO 400.

White balance: Optionally automatic, for daylight, for cloudy weather, shade, halogen light, flash lighting and 2 manual settings, white balance fine adjustment in the range from -1500 to +1500 K in 150 K steps (available even for automatic setting).

Lens: LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 1:2.8-4.9/6.3-25.2 ASPH. (equivalent to 28 to 112 millimetres for the small picture system),
4 x optical zoom, focal length changes by the zoom rocker switch.

Aperture: F 2.8–F 8.0 (WW) F 4.9–F 8.0 (tele)


Optical camera shake compensation:2 operating modes: optionally
only for pictures or for
monitor display and pictures

Digital zoom: 4x

Optical camera shake compensation:2 operating modes: optionally
only for pictures or for
monitor display and pictures

Range setting: Optionally normal: 0.5m (for WW)/1.2 m (for tele) to infinity, or macro: 0.05 m (for WW)/0.3 m (for tele) to infinity.

Focussing: Optional auto-focus (optionally entire setting range or for macro), or manual with joystick; settings can be saved.
AF operating modes / range-finding optionally 9 areas (overall picture field), quicker AF with 3 areas (across the middle) or with 1 central area, 1 area, or spot

Exposure: Exposure metering: optionally multi-field metering, centre-emphasis integral metering, spot metering, setting can be saved.
Exposure operating modes: optionally automatic program mode, automatic aperture mode, aperture priority mode and manual mode
Exposure correction: selectable ±2 EV in steps of 1/3 EV.

Exposure time range: In fully automatic mode 1/4–1/2000 s, in automatic program mode: 1–1/2000 s, in automatic aperture mode and aperture priority mode: 8–1/2000 s,
in manual mode: 60–1/2000 s.

Flash: Flash operating modes optionally automatic fill-in with or without pre-flash (anti-red-eye), manual fill-in (brightening flash) with or without pre-flash, SLOW for longer exposure times (with pre-flash), flash switched off. Range (speed on auto): 0.6–4.1 m (for WW), 0.3–2.3 m (for tele).  Flash lighting correction selectable ±2 EV in steps of 1/3 EV.

Subject program: Portrait, sport, night-time landscape, night-time portrait, fireworks, party, snow, self-portrait, meal dishes, high-speed mode, baby 1, baby 2, lovely skin, candle-light, starry sky, landscape, print.

Colour effects: Optionally bluer, redder, B/W or sepia

Monitor: 2.8” TFT colour display in 16:9 format with 207,000 pixels.

Auto-release: With 2 s or 10 s delay time.

Connections: USB 2.0, DC in (power supply) and AV out.

Picture properties Contrast, colour saturation, sharpness and noise suppression.

Printer compatibility: PictBridge, DPOF

Power supply: Lithium ion rechargeable battery or by optional mains / battery charger.

Size (W x H x T): 105.7 x 58.3 x 25.6 mm

Weight: 185 g/220 g (without / with rechargeable battery, memory card and lens cap)

Scope of supply: Camera with lens cap and hand strap, 64 MB SD card, battery charger, lithium-ion rechargeable battery, A/V-cable, USB cable, comprehensive software package (Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 (PC)/3.0 (Mac), Quicktime Movie Player).

Leica D-Lux 3

Published: Friday, September 15, 2006

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Reader Comments

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    AA at 06:57pm on Friday, September 15, 2006

  2. Someone should manufacture those red leica circle logos, as an accessory to the Panasonic LX series... and get the same results!
    I bet an anodized gold version would sell well! With lizard skin inset in the finger grip too, OOPS! No finger grip!

    nick in japan at 11:52pm on Friday, September 15, 2006

  3. So many of you guys love the black Lumix – you may as well go for this, after all its about the same price as you all paid for the LX1 last year.

    Be truthful, you know you want ;-)

    Dancer at 03:44pm on Thursday, September 28, 2006

  4. Not same as LX, but very similar.
    LX2 doesn't do ISO 80. The hardware is the same.

    S.P. at 07:48pm on Sunday, October 08, 2006

  5. "Further accessories available..., a spare rechargeable battery and two types of high-quality camera case. The sporty Cordura case is particularly hard-wearing, whilst the real leather classic moulded case looks very smart. Both camera cases securely protect the products against damage."
    Are the above included in the package or are they options sold separately? If included what does the LX2 offer in this regard?

    Randy at 04:08pm on Wednesday, October 11, 2006

  6. Randy, no bling options available for the LX-2, just more noise due to the ASA 100 vs. ASA 80.... I guess! Not clear on that ASA shift they incorporated.

    nick in japan at 02:51am on Thursday, October 12, 2006

  7. i bought a LX3 a few weeks ago, macro shots are great, but any other shots i took as soft. Anyone else have the same problem?

    Happysanpper at 06:08pm on Friday, September 07, 2007

  8. I have been using my wife's for a couple of months but have tested a wide variety of shots. It is very good in sunlight and great for outdoor portraits but anything indoors or when flash is required seems to suffer. Could be due to using the various program modes for different scenes and they are just not set properly but I have heard other complaints about this camera. I will keep shooting and experimenting with it and I hope to get better results.

    Andrew at 07:39pm on Friday, September 07, 2007

  9. Comments here about D-Lux3 being able to shoot at ISO 80 are supported by many reviews but NOT by any of the official Leica product documentation....

    David Gale at 11:09pm on Saturday, March 08, 2008

  10. I've purchased this teutonic jewel, comparing this to the panasonice is a bit like saying the passat is only a Skoda with its good clothes on, it really only means that you want one.
    I'm a professional nikon user in the UK and have Press acreditation and this is going with me in my vest pocket on a shoot in Florida.
    Beleive me its superb.
    You know who you all are, "resistance is futile be Leica assimilated"

    Jack Chalmers at 04:32pm on Thursday, November 20, 2008

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