Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium Review

4.0
December 21, 2011 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

As the Leica D-Lux 5 Titanium is still closer to your snapshot camera than a digital SLR, and based on a Panasonic, familiar point and shoot camera bugbears such as purple pixel fringing between areas of high contrast inevitably creep in here.

Generally however the level of detail captured is very good. Colours stay the right side of naturalistic, though they look warmer on the camera's backscreen than they do when downloaded to the desktop, and, we found, vivid enough when the camera is left on its default 'standard' colour setting. If you're not satisfied there is always the choice of vibrant from among the film simulation modes, or 'Expressive' selectable by simply twisting the shooting mode dial to the 'My Colour mode' option.

In terms of low light performance, a top selectable ISO setting of ISO 12800 suggests ambition, even if above ISO 3200 the resolution automatically drops to three megapixels, and the user can only shoot JPEG not Raw in tandem. Otherwise, impressively, up to ISO 1600 images are clean and relatively noise free. Indeed we'd suggest that performance at ISO 1600 is the equivalent of ISO 800 on lesser compacts, including Panasonic's pretty good Lumix series. Stray above this and, perhaps inevitably, we start to run into problems, noise noticeably intruding at ISO 3200 and, as mentioned in the main body of the review, resolution falling off at higher ISO 6400 or 12800 settings. Though results at these options begin to look distinctly watercolour-like. Even so, better that slightly abstract look a sandstorm of dots.

Noise

There are 9 ISO settings available on the Leica D-LUX 5. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

JPEG RAW

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
 
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

 
 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% Crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can change the in-camera sharpening level via the Picture Adjust menu option.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Leica D-LUX 5 handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with very limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Leica D-LUX 5 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 3cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Leica D-LUX 5 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Forced Off - Telephoto (90mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (90mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Auto/Red-eye Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Forced On

Forced On (100% Crop)
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Leica D-LUX 5's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 4 seconds at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, wide-angle, 720p, hdmi, manual, RAW, 10 megapixel, prosumer, leica, lightroom, 3.8x zoom, special edition, Leica D-Lux 5 Review, titanium, d-lux 5 review, d-lux 5

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