Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium

October 19, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras | 16 Comments | |
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Leica has announced a special edition of the D-Lux 5 digital compact camera: the Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium. Featuring the same technical specifications as the regular model - including a 24-90mm equivalent zoom lens and a 1/1.63” sensor with a resolution of 10.1 megapixels - the Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium boasts an anodised silver-grey finish, and comes presented in a special set with a premium grey leather case with shoulder strap. An Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 licence is also part of the package, with the software itself being supplied via Web download. The Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium special edition set is scheduled to be available in the UK at the end of October 2011 at an SRP of £855 including VAT from authorised Leica dealers.

Leica Press Release

Versatile digital compact camera in titanium styling with luxury leather case

18 October 2011: Leica Camera AG has today announced a special edition of its successful D-Lux 5 digital camera: the Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium. This elegantly-designed compact camera, with its sophisticated, anodised silver-grey finish, comes presented in a special set with a premium grey leather case with shoulder strap, and is sure to be on every discerning photographer’s list of ‘objects of desire’ this Christmas.

Equipped with the same high-performance technical specifications as the standard Leica D-Lux 5 model, the Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium includes a fast 5.1 - 19.2mm f/2 - 3.3 ASPH. zoom lens with a focal length range from 24 to 90 mm (35 mm equivalent), suitable for a wide variety of situations including wide-angle landscape and macro photography.

The camera’s 1/1.63” CCD image sensor, with a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, is unusually large for a compact model, and is perfectly attuned to the Leica lens together with the electronics and software, producing images with outstandingly natural colour rendition, superb sharpness and high contrast.  The exceptionally fast maximum aperture makes it an ideal camera for ‘available light’ photography.

With clearly laid-out menus and straightforward operation of its comprehensive range of features and manual settings, the versatile Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium offers intuitive handling in all photographic situations, from creative image design to spontaneous reportage-style shots, as well as when using the camera’s 1,280 x 720 pixel HD movie recording feature.

The camera delivers images in 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 formats as well as 1:1, a particularly interesting format for creative composition. Furthermore, the 3” LCD screen, with its wide viewing angle and 460,000 pixel resolution, enables accurate framing and composition, as well as high quality, detailed image review.

The Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium comes with (as a download) Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 3, professional processing software that allows photographers to develop RAW image files and maintain complete control over the development process applied to their images. The high quality, complementary grey calf leather case is included in the set.

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#1 Andrew Symon

The features and functionality is really appreciable but I think they should work on its design to give it a better look.

11:21 am - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#2 Antony Shepherd

Or you could just buy a Panasonic LX5 which is exactly the same camera and less than half the price!

4:59 pm - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#3 alansky

It's true that the Leica D-Lux 5 is essentially the same camera as the Panasonic LX5, but Leica has been putting their nameplate on other manufacturer's cameras for quite a long time. One used to hear that these cameras were hand-picked by Leica from the output of the maker's assemly line to ensure that only the best units received the Leica red dot.

If this story is true, and assuming that this practice continues today, the buyers of the Leica D-Lux 5 might conceivably be getting a little extra value for their money. I agree that it's hard to justify paying more than twice the price of the LX5, but there is no question that some copies of a given camera perform better than others.

As an example, I used to own the Panasonic ZS3. I liked this camera alot, but its iso 400 image quality was very rough at 100% crop. When the ZS3 was replaced by the ZS7, I bought the upgraded model. My ZS7's image quality is so much better than the ZS3's at iso 400 that I am certain that, by a stroke of luck, I happened to receive an especially good copy of this camera. The specs of the two cameras simply cannot account for the difference in image quality.

So I'm a happy camper, but one might have to purchase and return any number of ZS7's to get one that is significantly better than the others. For those who have the means, buying the Leica version of select Panasonic cameras may be an easier way to get the best possible results from these cameras.

5:58 pm - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#4 iphone family

The M9 is much smaller, easier to use and has better lenses. Sure, DSLRs have their advantages, but I’d take a CSC or Rangefinder over a DSLR anytime.

6:28 pm - Thursday, October 20, 2011

#5 iphone family

The product page is odd, it reads like Leica is trying to make the impression that this camera is made of titanium while weaseling around that there is no actual titanium used. "titanium-anodized exterior", what does that even mean? You can anodize titanium (giving the titanium a different colour), but "titanium-anodize" something else? I bet the this camera is just a regular D-Lux 5 painted grey.

6:30 pm - Friday, October 21, 2011

#6 alansky

@iphone family:

The Leica M9 is a $7000 camera! How is it relevant to a discussion of Leica's $800 version of Panasonic's $350 point-and-shoot?

6:39 pm - Friday, October 21, 2011

#7 Schmuck basteln

Panasonic LX5 has the same features as Leica D-Lux 5 even a better price as well as I think Panasonic have a better brand image then why should anyone go for Leica D-Lux 5

8:00 am - Sunday, October 23, 2011

#8 Roderick Usher

Call me brainwashed if you like, but I own several Leicas, and have never regretted what they cost me. When I compare the results - and I do - they speak for themselves. I can't imagine allowing one of these superb cameras to sit unused in a box - maybe George Soros or some other Gazillionaire does so, but I don't. I put them to work, and the D Lux 5 is a minor miracle in itself. A very clean menu, I think, and a very sharp lens make this a superb compact, integrated system. Some say it isn't pro quality, but it actually is: I took a recent shot of Jack London's study at his Beauty Ranch in Glen Ellen, California, and every detail of the image is tac-sharp, including the keys on Jack's old typewriter! I just know that I wouldn't have gotten the same pleasing result with a Sony or Panasonic. Maybe with a full-blown Canon EOS system with its much better lens, but I am confident it would have taken at least that to accomplish what my D Lux 5 did with virtually no sweat whatsoever. R.U.

7:42 am - Thursday, November 24, 2011

#9 alansky

"I just know that I wouldn't have gotten the same pleasing result with a Sony or Panasonic".

If you believe this statement, you ARE brainwashed. Since the Panasonic LX5 is the same camera inside, how do you figure that the Leica gives you superior results? It doesn't make sense.

9:47 am - Thursday, November 24, 2011

#10 Roderick Usher

OK. Go ahead and make me wrong, if it pleases you. I also own an older Sony that I still sometimes use. It has a Zeiss lens, no less, and still can't produce the results the D Lux 5 produces. You have still yet to convince me that the Panasonic is the same in every regard. Do the same people make the lens, for example?

12:25 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2011

#11 Roderick Usher

POSTSCRIPT: I read another review, and noticed that the Leica name appears on the lens for the Pansonic "version." Well, well. If that makes me wrong, I still cling to some semblance of honor, because it is hard to imagine a better case of doing homage to the original than adopting the same lens. In this day of multinational corporations and interlocking directorates, I suppose I should have looked at yet another review before making the bold statement I made above. So - maybe I spent a couple hundred $ I didn't need to spend. I still have the original, genuine article. The competition gave it homage when it selected the same lens to be used on a product it markets under its own name. What more evidence do I need?

I like having the real McCoy. I use butter rather than margarine, because "it doesn't have to pretend to be anything else."

12:46 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2011

#12 alansky

As you have discovered, Leica designs the lenses that Panasonic uses in many of its compact cameras, including the LX5. The Leica version of this camera is simply re-badged. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Leica may also cherry-pick Panasonic's output for the best units coming off the assembly line. And you still have the pleasure of using a camera that one of the best camera makers in the world was willing to put their name on. The main thing is to enjoy taking pictures with your camera!

6:35 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2011

#13 Roderick Usher

There are a few "perks" that go with having the original. Leica makes a case for the D Lux 5 - the so-called "ever-ready" case, that is a joy to have, and use. It affords maximum protection for the camera inside, is made out of real leather, and isn't terribly expensive. I keep the setting on program mode, with the ISO selection set to AUTO: that way, I don't need to worry about exposure under lower-ligh conditions. The case has a separate compartment for the optional eyepiece, which I'd strongly urge anyone to get if they invest in this particular camera. It provides maximum control, and is a great compositional aid. Yeah, it is about money, but what else is new?

1:40 pm - Saturday, November 26, 2011

#14 Roderick Usher

"As I mentioned in an earlier post, Leica may also cherry-pick Panasonic's output for the best units coming off the assembly line." - alansky

I've heard as much, from sources I believe are reliable. Why WOULDN'T Leica do such a thing, when its own name, and 100+ years of goodwill - an intangible but nonetheless real asset - is involved? My sources also confirm that parties known to them who have used both "versions" confirm that the Pansonic's LX5 images suffer in comparison to those produced by the D Lux 5. I don't mean to plug for Leica here, I am just reporting what I've heard, again, from sources that I trust.

2:08 pm - Saturday, November 26, 2011

#15 alansky

It is certainly possible that Leica is tweaking the "LX5" units that get the Leica nameplate. All cameras and lenses exhibit slight variations, and it's reasonable to assume that the higher prices of premium brands reflect the extra time it takes to maintain the tightest possible tolerances.

7:17 pm - Saturday, November 26, 2011

#16 Roderick Usher

"...and it's reasonable to assume that the higher prices of premium brands reflect the extra time it takes to maintain the tightest possible tolerances." - alansky


Yes - and this DOES make perfect sense - If I'd spent 2 -1/2 - 3 generations in diligent, productive activity to produce an excellent product, why shouldn't I want to market the best specimens from the assembly line under my own name? That is capitalism, which many condemn, but it merely reflects the reality that nothing is for free, and if you want quality, it is going to cost you. Both Leica and Panasonic persue their own marketing schemes, and both apparently benefit from their "agreement," but in different ways. Leica gets the creme of the crop, and trades off its name, while Panasonic gets additional market share, by offering a discount, in effect.

So everybody is happy - especially me. The D Lux 5 is a terrific item to have in one's toolbox - and contrary to what some think, actually IS pro-quality, though you wouldn't think so at first. No, I wouldn't rely on it in every situation - it is designed for hand-held use, rather than a tripod - but even with that limitation, the 24-90MM range equivalent lens covers most situations, and my results are stunning in their clarity and resolution. It is "the beginning of a wonderful friendship."

8:06 pm - Monday, November 28, 2011