Leica V-LUX 30 Review

July 4, 2011 | Gavin Stoker | |

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#1 Paul Parkinson

I’m confused. In the review you say this costs £550 plus £80 for a nice case. The “Lowest Price” box (currently) says £739.99. What does this camera cost?

4:03 pm - Monday, July 4, 2011

#2 Roger

So how about a direct comparison of picture quality of the Leica & Panny?

It seem like these are identical cameras with different badges.

As for the price - try Google!


4:36 pm - Monday, July 4, 2011

#3 Daemonius

Oh my.. output of this thing is so so terrible.. How can anyone in right mind buy it?

5:40 pm - Monday, July 4, 2011

#4 Tina Edwards

Why is it that so many comments on this website dismissed the new Pentax Q, some in what I’ll simply call ‘colourful’ language, when this camera has a similar sized sensor, a fixed lens and an equally hefty price tag?

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to wait until the Pentax camera’s been given a fair test before writing it off? The Pentax Q has an impressive spec. even with a small sensor. It also has detachable lenses including an F1.9 prime and looks likely to be truly compact and versatile.

If I was going to be tempted by either of these cameras I know which one I’d go for. Why does Leica feel the need to offer bundled software with the V-Lux? If it’s a good camera surely it should sell on its own merits?

I suspect that photos from both these cameras will look equally good at A4 or less. My bridge camera has the same size sensor and makes good prints at A4. My old 6 megapixel Olympus compact also produced pretty good prints at this size.

It seems to me that there are too many ‘know-it-all’ snobs giving off heavy whiffs of testosterone on a lot of photography review websites!

6:53 pm - Monday, July 4, 2011

#5 Andrew Powell

Tim, you are comparing basically two of the worst values you can get for a compact camera. But even this one I’d much rather have. Believe it or not a fixed lens is a good thing, you know, so you don’t have to change lenses to get what you want? And you get 24-384mm focal length, how many lenses would you need to get that on the Pentax? And how much extra would those lenses cost you? Probably $1000 at least.

But the Leica is a ripoff too because it’s the same camera as the Panasonic ZS10 which only costs $350, and that is basically the high end of the travel zoom market as far as price is concerned. Now compare that with the Pentax Q which costs $800 for the body and $1000 for lenses and image quality won’t be much different because of the same compact sized sensor, and you tell me what’s better. If you’re going to spend $1800 on gear then get a micro 4/3 or a DSLR lol.

7:45 pm - Monday, July 4, 2011

#6 Sceptical

Where is the market for this? What sort of a lunatic would pay this kind of money for what’s nothing more than a repackaged TZ20?

8:24 pm - Monday, July 4, 2011

#7 Garry

I don’t see 550 quids worth of IQ there, far from it.

10:39 pm - Monday, July 4, 2011

#8 Tina Edwards

Since there are no comments posted by anyone called ‘Tim’ I suppose Andrew Powell’s comment was meant for me. Andrew, my name is Tina and I’m female.

My main point concerned some of the strident criticisms I’ve seen of the Pentax Q’s sensor size when the camera hasn’t yet been put to the test.

I also like fixed lens cameras. I own several, including a superzoom. It isn’t a Leica and didn’t cost anything like a Leica. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a camera simply for its name or prestige value. However, I understand that there are people who would, and do, and that’s their choice.

My other point is that for people who are content to print photos at A4 or under there are a lot of cameras out there that will produce good prints.

I agree that the Pentax Q is overpriced. I said this. I wouldn’t expect it to compete with a DSLR or a four thirds camera either. However, as a concept it might provide greater choice within the compact camera market.Some people might like the option of a very small camera with a variety of very small lenses.

The Leica, however, doesn’t offer a new concept. It’s a fixed lens superzoom, of which there are many, equally good, at more reasonable prices, for what’s on offer. 

If the price were to come down, and it probably will,the Pentax Q might add a new dimension to the high end compact market (and before someone says it - I know that these have larger sensors).

I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss the camera simply on account of its sensor size. All I’m saying is that it might be wise to wait and see how it performs.

10:55 pm - Monday, July 4, 2011

#9 Andrew Powell


Very sorry about reading your name wrong, my mistake.

If the Pentax provides at least as good IQ as large sensor compacts like the Panasonic LX 5 or Canon S95, and priced at $400-500 with $50-100 lenses, then it could be a viable competitor, since you would get more focal length flexibility than the fixed lens cameras.

Honestly though, I’d rather they invest their energy into creating an m/43 or APS-C sized sensor system to compete with other mirrorless systems. If it was priced similarly to the Q system, it would get a lot of interest.

I think the reason the Q system is so unappealing to most people, regardless of price, is that people use compact cameras for snapshots so they want a fixed lens, not having to change lenses all the time. Also when the zoom lenses are attached the camera is not really compact anymore. If they were doing more serious photography they would want better image quality that presumably you would need a larger sensor to get (at least m 4/3 sized).

1:44 am - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#10 joe

The Panasonic TZ20 (same as the Leica V-LUX 30 except for the faceplate) is always last in image quality comparing with the HX9V and SX230. 

See http://hx9v.blogspot.com/2011/03/sony-hx9v-vs-panasonic-zs10-tz20-vs.html

Leica-V-Lux-30 ISO 160 original quality and size dead center crop

The Leica V-LUX 30 and the Pentax Q are both cameras for noobs with money to burn.

“If you thought the buying a Leica-V-Lux-30 for $750 was the ultimate in stupidity, Pentax can top that by a wide margin.
How about around $1350 for a camera with the same 1/2.3” 12MP BSI CMOS sensor (made by Sony) as the Canon SX230, a f/1.9 47 mm “prime lens” ($799 as kit with the Pentax Q) a f/2.8 to f/4.5 3x zoom lens ($299) and a non zooming optical viewfinder ($249).
Now we top this with a WALL-E look alike flash and the name of Star Treks weirdo number one -  John de Lancie - better known as Q.
A character who thought much higher of himself than the rest of the galaxy did.
We have a winning combination for the loony of the year award.
That is more than for a Sony A77 with a 3 x zoom lens and way more than for a Sony A65 with a 3 x zoom lens!”

10:12 am - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#11 moi

The IQ just isn’t there, and thus actually this little box does a great disservice to the red dot prestige image.

11:52 am - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#12 Tina Edwards


You have a right to your opinions, I respect that and I don’t particularly want to play verbal ping pong over this. However, a lot of amateur photographers take their photography seriously even if they only have compact cameras with small sensors.

Professional photographers or ambitious amateur enthusiasts are obviously going to choose cameras with larger sensors to maximize detail in their photos etc. for most of their work.

Having said that - even professional photographers use cameras with smaller sensors. I read a magazine interview with Charlie Waite a while ago in which he explained that he often uses an LX3(possibly the LX5 by now!) instead of his DSLR in his work. No one’s going to dispute that he’s a serious photographer are they?

I suppose it’s a matter of personal perspective and preference for many (as well as available cash!)

1:21 pm - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#13 HM

Did you even read this review, in particular about WHAT comes in the package with the Leica version?  This Leica version comes with the Adobe PS Elements 9 and Premier Elements 9, already INCLUDED. So you’re basically paying the higher price for those. Try buying those separately with the ZS10 - the price is similar.

4:45 pm - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#14 Jollyboy

OK so Leica can justify the price of their premium product to a certain extent, but how can they justify charging so much for a relatively basic travel snapper?

And no, including bottom end photo software does nothing to justify the price. Anybody who has an interest in digital photography already has something similar.

Like previous low end Leicas the main market for this thing will be people who have to have the “right” brand of everything no matter what. You know the sort, they drive a Boxster rather than a 911.

5:37 pm - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#15 peter

And -don’t forget that the iconic Leica deserved its laurels by build quality and handy-ness. In the twenties and thirties the best quality pictures where still made on huge film plates. Leica’s inventive use of cine-film produced a revolution in photography and photojournalism.
So it comes to what you want: the camera at hand when you see the picture of your imagination, or the best camera, lens, sensor, flash, tripod to produce a still life that is an emanation of nature…

6:16 pm - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#16 Daemonius

I would be wiser, to buy second hand compact (FZ38/FZ50?) and then Adobe PS Elements 9 and Premier Elements 9. Cause you are not going to have to use this SW with V-Lux 30, you cant improve it.

6:27 pm - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#17 HM

“Anybody who has an interest in digital photography already has something similar.”

Yes, a PREVIOUS version! Duh!
Compared to the PREVIOUS version of this camera, which came with a PREVIOUS version of the software. Duh.

6:52 pm - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#18 Warren Lyons

This camera only serves to prove something I already knew about the world of consumer goods; be it cars, clothes, cameras, or furniture, one is usually better off buying the high end product from a lower end manufacturer than the other way around

7:12 pm - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#19 Eduard


I could not agree more with you. Most of the people giving comment here probably never made an enlargement over A4. I have used about 30 cameras in my life; film (Mamiya 645, Olympus OM, Minolta), digital SLR (Sony), digital hybrid(Fuji) and digital compact (Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Samsung, Casio). Currently I am using Samsung WB650 and Samsung WB210. I am printing on a high end plotter ($20,000) at A0, which is 16 times larger than A4. And the results from the compact 12 Mpix WB650 (24-360mm) and 16 Mpix WB210 (21mm+24-288mm) actually are stunning and I am not the only one saying that. Even in Macro setting. Good thing with these compacts is that distortion and chromatic aberration are already corrected in camera. Exposure, White Balance and Focussing is all done very well, only the WB650 is too slow and the WB210 sometimes has an unsharp top left corner. Maybe this is exemplary. And of course in the dark both show noise and it is difficult to get blurry backgrounds. But my point is that most people will not need an SLR at all and would be far better off with a compact that they can carry always with them. Also without being told, they could not see the difference in a print between an SLR and a compact. And if they still need more versatility, than smaller usually is better, so the Pentax Q could be very interesting indeed.

8:08 am - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

#20 Antonio86

Dear Leica.

I require from you a metal box, with an optical viewfinder. A camera. I have no use for LCD displays.

I require a dial to adjust shutter speed. Aperture should be set by the lens employed.

This contraption is called a camera.I want a camera that will work in the field. Like your M2 and your M3. Reliable. Trust. They work.

When you produce such a beast, I might consider purchase.

Meantime, may I suggest that you re-direct your marketing strategy from well-heeled Yanks without any photographic nous, to working photogs.

In other words, Leica: Stop wanking.

10:35 am - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

#21 Daemonius

Sometimes I feel that best cameras were already made. For me, give me digital R6.2 and I will be happy.. :D (digital in this case would mean, that it would had sensor instead of film .. I dont need anything else, no LCDs, automatics etc.)

Preferably with ability to change fast to analog back. :D

2:28 pm - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

#22 jeeson joseph

Nice blog and beautiful pics.

6:20 am - Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#23 Harry Schneider

There are well to do people that wear Rolex watches, drive Mercedes cars and listen to Elac or Canton loudspeakers. That is the group that would buy a Leica.It is called class and that is often a misunderstood concept for some.

6:10 pm - Thursday, August 11, 2011

#24 Paya

It seems like everyone is against this camera just because its branded. to me it having more optical zoom than the Panasonic and having the 3D capability are just fun added bonuses. I’m not a professional photographer, but someone who enjoys taking photos from nature or on friendly gatherings. I have had digital cameras since 90s from D-link to canon to sony. I believe camera technology is pretty mature and when you get one, you don’t need to upgrade for at least 3-5 years for someone like me! So IMO is built quality matters.

I gave my last camera, a Canon, to a friend to take a capture from us! when got it back, the lens didn’t move!!! and it broke! the camera functionality and photo quality was still satisfying, but they are of no use when broken!

As a replacement I was thinking of a Sony Alpha NEX-C3, with more zoom. But 2 things made me think to spend more on Leica rather than the sony’s super-zoom camera! first, I have experienced all the others breaking in a while, specially from the lense side, and this sony has a huge lense which would mean more chance of breaking! plus, the built quality of the leica seems to be better. second, the Leica is more compact and thus I can carry it easier and in more places than I would with the Sony. Please forget the being for or against the brand, and suggest me if you find the built quality of this camera better than the rest of the pack.

P.S: off topic, but since everyone here are so against purchasing stuff by the brand, how many of you hold an iPhone?

11:23 am - Saturday, October 1, 2011

#25 Akemi-M

I own a Leica M9, D-Lux 5, D-Lux 4, and several Nikon DSLRs, plus a whole bunch of Leica M and Nikkor optics.  I also purchased this V-Lux 30, for my wife.  I am quite impressed with this camera, and in the hands of a capable photographer it is essentially almost all you would need. 

Last year, on a trip to China, I only took my D-Lux 4.  While my friend was busy lugging around his backpack full of Canon gear, I was busy shooting.  He missed so many great opportunities switching lenses, and by intimidating people when he would point a 70-210 f/2.8 in their general direction.  The images I got back were outstanding, and I did not miss any of my other gear.  There are times when less is more.

For travel, ease of use, light weight, and great image quality, the V-Lux series and D-Lux series cannot be beat (IMO).  Would I use it for serious portraits, wildlife, sports, or a wedding…absolutely not.  But then again, I would not use a hammer if I really needed a screw driver.  Cameras are tools/toys that work best when you understand their limitations and learn how to creatively exploit them.

My point is:  It depends on the skills of the photographer, and your budget.  Buy what you can afford, learn how to use it well, and have no regrets.

10:38 pm - Sunday, November 6, 2011

#26 donflush

I have to say this is the best looking pocket camera on the market right now. Someone gave me this as a gift recently. I was thinking about exchanging it for something better but after tons of research I still can’t find one. Good looks aside, this thing takes really smooth zoom-friendly videos. As for image quality, maybe it’s not as good as a DSLR but I doubt it’s worse than S95 or a Panny or XZ-1. Someone with more experience on Pocket Cameras are welcome to correct me on that. If there’s a point-n-shoot with a more elegant look and better image quality and takes zoom-video, I’d love to know.

7:05 pm - Thursday, November 24, 2011

#27 knight6

I have only a question;  Is the wide angle at 24mm really the same width of field as my old Canon A1 24mm lense which cost me $1200?  I need a real equivalent to that 35mm in wide for indoor architectural functions,  and a fast shutter response with no delay for catching son ski racing at each pole
(the toughness and small size obviously become critical in my environments at 8000’ & up) doest this camera meet those needs, and do any of the above discussed competition have the equally wide and short shutter response in same camera?
Let me know. Thanks.  Knight6

7:51 am - Saturday, December 3, 2011

#28 Babs


Thank you so much for this comment!! I am thinking of buying a Leica - I’d like to have a nice P&S besides my Canon 5D Mk II. But reading all the reviews on the net I got the idea that had to be a genuine fool to even consider buying a Leica. Thanks for clearing this hurdle for me!
So, now I just have to make up my mind about the V-lux 30 or the D-lux 5….

2:20 pm - Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#29 George

Everybody misses the point,comparing their “big ones” to this camera, It is a travel zoom put it in your pocket and take non intrusive shots while on your travels, There is nothing more ridiculous than professional photographers wandering around Saigon loaded to the brim with tons of equipement smurking at travellers who are getting priceless candid shots of the locals.

5:24 am - Wednesday, January 18, 2012

#30 LoCo Bob

I am a semi-professional photographer who primarily uses a 5D MKII with L series or Zeiss glass. When I started looking to replace my S95 as a scouting and carry along camera, my demands were pretty impossible. I wanted a point and shoot that delivered Canon DSLR/Zeiss quality with the full feature set for under $800. I tried all of the recommended cameras, including 4/3s. (I ruled the latter out once I realized that I would be duplicating my existing kit. Duh!)

The only P&S I could find with equal or better IQ to the S95 was the V-LUX 30. The wider zoom lens made it a slam dunk, since I work both in the studio and outside in the mountains of Colorado. Why the Leica over the Lumix equivalent? Piece of mind and an extra year warranty.

I will use them both over the short term and see if I made a mistake. At least I can sell the one I don’t keep. :)

2:55 am - Thursday, January 26, 2012

#31 barbara

We already had a Nikon D90 but found it difficult to keep from breaking when we were traveling.  It’s been in the shop 3 times already due to sand from Egypt deserts, water from Peruvian rain forests, and just being dropped off the back of a stroller too many times.  We needed a pocket size camera for traveling that wasn’t so complicated that my husband could use it.  We took your advice and purchased this Leica camera.  He’s not a good photographer, but this takes decent enough photos so that even he’s proud to show off what he’s done with them.  It makes a good back up camera and I love that it can do so much without changing lenses.  Very easy to operate.  The only problem we’ve had with it is red eye once in awhile.  I think we’re going to have fun traveling with this camera!

6:21 pm - Wednesday, March 7, 2012

#32 S. El-Said

Had many Nikons including the coolpix s9300. Could not resist getting the Leica. Ordered it. Can’t wait to compare the two.
Anyone has tried both? Conclusions?
Will come back when I get my hands on it.

7:47 am - Monday, June 4, 2012

#33 Dave01

I have just bought a V-Lux 30; it’s an ex demo, mint condition and complete.
It cost me less than my LX5.
Just wanted a point and shoot. (I used to have a TZ10.)
So, why the Leica badged version? Well, why not!
I prefer the look to the ‘Pany’ version and it comes with 2 years warranty.
(For the record, I do have a couple of real Leicas.)

3:54 pm - Wednesday, May 8, 2013

#34 S. El-Said

OK, I have had the Leica for a couple of months.
One phrase. Probably he best point and shoot
Camera around.
Add to that the super design.
The winner.

8:48 pm - Wednesday, May 8, 2013

#35 Mark

If you want resell on a compact camera, you invest in the name, that’s Lecia. If you want resale on DSLR, you invest in lens, not the body. It’s that simple.

7:55 pm - Monday, June 3, 2013

#36 Barral

Very bad “customer service”
I bought it two years ago, V-Lux 30 (more than 600€)and I liked it. There has appeared a few times on the optical dust grains. I bring my camera to Paris 75016 who sends it in Germany for cleaning. Germany’s response is that the change in the optical would be too expensive to launch the repair and that cleaning can not be done. That is to say the customer must keep his problem!
This means that there are design flaws in devices sold to more than 600 € in the world leader in optics.
I don’t highly recommend this model giving a negative image of Leica and I will try another manufacturer of camera. What a shame after a couple of years with Leica

11:12 am - Monday, September 30, 2013

#37 Rick

Get to know how to set this camera up and you will find that it will exceed your expectations.

Here in 2016, it is my go to camera….....pics blow me away at any zoom setting.

did i say know your settings…..

5:16 pm - Friday, August 26, 2016

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hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, wide-angle, beginner, manual, touch-screen, touchscreen, touch screen, 14 megapixel, travel-zoom, travel, 24mm, prosumer, 1080i, GPS, 3D, 16x zoom, full HD, V LUX 30, VLUX 30, V-LUX 30, Leica V-LUX 30 Review, VLUX30, V-LUX30

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