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The second re-badged Leica compact introduced today is the C-Lux 3, essentially a Panasonic DMC-FX37. The Leica C-Lux 3 is a 10 megapixel camera with a 5x, 25-125mm zoom lens, and diminutive metal body. The Leica C-Lux 3 retails for £420 and will be available from October 2008.
Update: We have a gallery of photos of the Leica C-Lux 3 - click the continue link below…
Leica Press Release
Stylish and compact high performer: LEICA C-LUX 3 – the exclusive Leica digital camera for carefree photography
GERMANY - 15 September 2008 – The LEICA C-LUX 3 by Leica Camera AG, Solms, is a new elegant and high-performance digital camera from the Leica C-LUX line. The slimline compact camera offers easy operation and a clearly structured menu for carefree photography. The LEICA C-LUX 3 has a strikingly clear design that concentrates on the essentials: capturing and reproducing images. This means that the LEICA C-LUX 3 can be used more quickly than many other models in an impromptu moment. The user is not distracted by elaborate menus and is free to react much more spontaneously. The stylish digital camera is available in two timelessly elegant colors: black and white. The color-coordinated cases of high-quality leather are a stylish accessory that make the camera a fashionable companion.
Compared to the predecessor model, the LEICA C-LUX 2, the 10 megapixel LEICA C-LUX 3 offers various technical improvements. Its powerful zoom lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.4-22 mm f/2.8-5.9 ASPH. provides a wide focal length range from 25 to 125 mm (35 mm format), delivering stunning photos in true-to-nature color from wide-angle to telephoto. Starting at a focal length of 25 mm, the high-speed optics offer a virtually unique wide angle for this class of camera which is particularly useful for space-grabbing shots. Whether for landscapes, architecture photography, interior views or group photos, the LEICA C-LUX 3 can capture the whole spread of the subject with its double-sized image field. Another new feature is the 5x optical zoom that significantly enlarges the camera’s telephoto range.
The LEICA C-LUX 3 also integrates innovative automatic functions. When activated, the user simply has to press the shutter release button to obtain a perfectly exposed and focused picture. In automatic mode, the camera automatically combines the many individual functions to suit the subject and the photographic conditions, controlling the O.I.S. image stabilizer, the automatic ISO control, the face recognition, automatic contrast compensation and automatic choice of scene mode. Improvements have been made to the face recognition function, for example, with which focus and exposure values are automatically adjusted to the faces in the picture. As for the automatic choice of scene mode, the camera selects the most suitable for the particular exposure.
“The LEICA C-LUX 3 sets new standards in the ultra compact camera segment, offering an unbeatable combination of superior technology, high-performance optics and an extra stylish exterior – available for the first time ever in white for users who like fashionable accessories. The C-Lux 3 is therefore an absolute must-have for all those who enjoy spontaneous photography and are looking for a camera that is just as flexible as they are,” says Stefan Trippe, Vice President of Production and Engineering at Leica Camera AG.
With a resolution of 230,000 pixels, the 2.5“ camera display of the LEICA C-LUX 3 shows a brilliant image which helps the photographer compose the picture and accurately assess the result. Due to its generous size, the display can be viewed simultaneously by several people. In wide-angle mode, the display can still be optimally seen, even at a difficult viewing angles, and can be switched to extra bright Power LCD mode for visibility in extremely bright ambient light.
The powerful zoom lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 4.4-22 mm f/2.8-5.9 ASPH. consists of seven lens elements in six groups, of which four elements are aspherical. The optics are individually matched to the camera sensor. Due to the skillful combination of optics, electronics and software, the user can enjoy high color fidelity, excellent definition and vivid contrast. With respect to the matching of color, contrast and definition, Leica Camera AG has developed its own profile around the image properties familiar to customers of Leica system cameras and their use in combination with professional film material and development.
Like the D-LUX 4, the C-LUX 3 is capable of recording videos in high definition format at the very fast 30 fps (frames per second). This resolution allows the user to display the video captured in full HD on all compatible monitors and television screens. The only limitation to the length of video is the size of the SD card.
A further key to successful photography is the integrated optical image stabilizer (O.I.S.) that can be activated solely for exposure or for both exposure and camera display. Through consistent compensation of small hand movements, the image stabilization reliably prevents camera shake in any situation. The LEICA C-LUX 3 also features “Intelligent ISO“ automatic exposure control, which automatically detects movements of the subject and raises the film speed to ensure a fast exposure time. With this and the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilization, sharply focused pictures are always guaranteed – even in difficult light situations, such as twilight or interiors, and in the telephoto range.
The LEICA C-LUX 3 has a metal body and great attention has been paid to manufacturing detail. The exclusive use of high-quality materials guarantees a reliable and robust product.
The LEICA C-LUX 3 comes with a battery charger, a powerful battery, an AV, USB and AC cable as well as an extensive software package. Fashionable camera cases in a choice of black or white are also available as accessories.
The LEICA C-LUX 3 will be on sale at authorized Leica dealers from October 2008.