Leica D-Lux 7 Review

January 7, 2019 | Mark Goldstein |

Leica D-Lux 7 Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 17 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Leica D-Lux 7 is obviously notable this time around for, like its Panasonic LX100 II near-doppelganger, squeezing a Four Thirds sensor, more usually found in an interchangeable lens mirror-less camera, into a relatively compact body.

One might conclude that this would immediately deliver a markedly better image quality than the average compact with a physically smaller imaging chip and you might be right, save for the fact that said sensor is, in this model, out of necessity married to a relatively modest – in terms of size – Leica manufactured lens. Thus results are, to our eyes, neither as sharp as an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera with the same sensor, nor an APS-C DSLR you could alternatively get for the price.

As long as you can avoid the effects of camera shake if shooting hand held, low light performance is however impressive for a camera of this size, with softening of detail to limit the appearance of image noise only really visible in the very top two ISO settings (ISO 12500 and 25000 equivalent).

Generally colours are naturalistically rendered with just the right amount of contrast and visual punch applied. On dull wintry days with featureless skies the camera tends to underexpose but this is nothing out of the ordinary. On the whole we were satisfied with the results rather than being blown away by them. And, of course, someone buying this as a convenient sized premium snapshot to take with them on their travels will no doubt be so too.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Leica D-Lux 7. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW file formats.

JPEG RAW

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)
iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

ISO 25000 (100% Crop)

ISO 25000 (100% Crop)
iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg

Focal Range

The Leica D-Lux 7's 3.1x zoom lens offers a fairly versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples.

24mm

focal_range1.jpg

75mm

focal_range2.jpg

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. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Macro

The Leica D-Lux 7 offers a macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 3cm away from the camera when the lens is set to 24mm 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

macro.jpg

Night

The Leica D-Lux 7's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography.

Night

night.jpg