Photokina 2014: Leica D-Lux (Typ 109), First Test Shots


In our two days at Photokina, there was no way we’d miss Leica’s booth, even though we were running out of time. It’s probably one of the largest booths at the event. And one with the fewest products. For – isn’t it so? – Leica offers rather experience and stories, both incorporated in products of hard-to-match quality. And this was proven many times over the years.

We found at their booth a few new models to be launched over the upcoming period or at the beginning of next year. We tested a new model from their S series, a camera with medium-sized sensor, which is scheduled to hit the market in February or March of 2015. I have no words to describe that baby, having it in hand was heaven.

But let’s get back down to Earth. One of the new cameras we’ve tested was the Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) which at its core is a Panasonic. Leica already has joined forces with Panasonic for almost five years and will take over some of their compact models. Leica has taken the inside tech, placed it in a new body, and will start distribute it under the brand of Leica. There aren’t large differences between the same model sold by Panasonic and the ones sold by Leica. The main difference is in design and in the care for details.The price difference however translates in several hundred dollars.

However, like I already mentioned, Leica is all about brand experience and story, so there is no point debating this issue. Let’s see how the new model behave in tests.

Technical specifications-Leica D-Lux (Typ 109)

  • 13-megapixel CMOS sensor;
  • ISO sensitivity range between 200 and 25.600;
  • 24-75mm, f 1.7-2.8 lens*;
  • 3-inch LCD display with a resolution of 921.000 dots;
  • Maximum exposure time of 60 seconds*;
  • Minimum exposure time of 1/16,000 seconds;
  • Integrated Flash;
  • Wireless connectivity and NFC;
  • Weight of 405 grams.

I marked with an * the technical specifications that have drawn my attention. The 24-75mm lens is probably one of the best choices as it includes the most commonly used focal distances. You can photograph both and a landscape and a portrait or a subject at a greater distance. The even better part is the big opening of the diaphragm. At f/1.7 you get a good separation of the subject from background and a creamy bokeh. The same thing happens at 75 mm and f/2.8.

Leica D-Lux Typ 109 photokina 7
Leica D-Lux Typ 109 photokina-5
Leica D-Lux Typ 109 photokina-4

Going further, I noticed that the minimum exposure time goes all the way down to 1/16,000 from a second. A not very common shutter speed on such cameras. And the maximum time reaches 60 seconds, whereas the average value in the compact class is 30 seconds.

The new Leica D-Lux will be available at a price of about $1195.

But until then, let’s have a look at a few test shots, and also some 100% crops taken at the Leica booth.

100% Crops


1 Comment
  1. Reply Paul Hames December 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I owned a Digilux 1 which was a boxy 4.1 mp machine which I loved and regret selling it for little money. I took it round Asia and took I thought some great travel images. I will invest in the Leica D-LUX Type 109 because I’m a Publicity Photographer and need a pocket camera. Also the reason to buy the Leica over the Panasonic are: LX100 – 200 iso Leica – 100 iso. LX100 1 year warranty Leica 3 years. Also a licence of Light Room comes with the Leica D-LUX Type 109. It looks better and the resale will be better than the LX100. The only thing I can see that is to the LX100’s advantage is it has time lapse and the Leica has not. One more thing the extra money paid for the Leica will mean slightly better images too 😉 – Paul Hames Photographer & Photo Coach

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