Leica V-LUX 30 Review

4.0
July 4, 2011 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.

Inevitably perhaps on the Leica V-LUX 30, snapshot camera - indeed any digital camera - bugbears such as purple pixel fringing between areas of high contrast and blown highlights are visible upon close examination, with the real possibility still of getting a soft shot when handheld shooting near the telephoto end of the zoom even in broad daylight. And if there is any loss of sharpness visible towards the corners of the frame when shooting at maximum wideangle it's very slight at best, and largely unnoticeable if shooting natural landscapes. Generally the level of detail captured is very good, if not quite outstanding. As with any travel zoom, the broader than average focal range becomes a real bonus and tool in your arsenal, giving a wide variety of possible framing choices within a second - so you're more likely to get the shot you want.

Colours are naturalistic and, we found, vivid enough on default 'standard' colour setting. There's also the option if so desired to boost these further via the actual 'vivid' picture mode setting, which keeps things within the realm of possibility/realism. In terms of low light performance, a top selectable ISO setting of ISO1600 suggests not exactly reaching for the stars in terms of ambition and, in fact, noise intrudes at ISO400 and above under close inspection. So in that respect capping matters at ISO1600 here seems wise rather than churlish.

Noise

There are 5 ISO settings available on the Leica V-LUX 30. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (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)

   

Focal Range

The Leica V-LUX 30's 16x zoom lens provides a versatile focal length of 24-384mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

24mm

384mm

Chromatic Aberrations

The Leica V-LUX 30 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 V-LUX 30 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 V-LUX 30 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 (384mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (384mm)

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

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