Leica announces new V-Lux 20!

Leica Camera AG has announced the LEICA V-LUX 20, a 12.1 effective megapixel digital compact camera with a powerful 12x optical zoom lens and built-in GPS tagging*, making it ideal for recording special memories when travelling – wherever you are in the world.

The integrated, high-performance LEICA DC-VARIO-ELMAR 4.1-49.2mm f/3.3-4.9 ASPH. zoom lens with a focal range of 25-300mm (35mm equivalent) means the V-Lux 20 is perfect for any photographic situation. Whether shooting expansive landscapes, detailed close-ups or shots of distant subjects using the super-telephoto setting, the V-Lux 20 captures them all in breath-taking quality.

The V-Lux 20 is the first Leica camera to feature GPS tagging. For anyone travelling regularly – whether on exotic safaris, family beach holidays or even those important business trips – this innovative feature allows photographers to record the exact geographical co-ordinates of their location (in the Exif data of each photo) automatically, as well as the local time for every shot, ensuring the user always has a useful and accurate record of their trip. In addition, the V-Lux 20 can display the names of interesting sightseeing locations from a total of 500,000 ‘points of interest’ across 73 countries.

The built-in GPS feature also makes archiving and organising photos quick and easy, during or after a trip. Furthermore, for photographers posting images on social networks, image portals or map sites such as Google Maps or Google Earth, the data automatically reveals exactly when and where the photos were taken.*

For those who want to make movies as well as still images, the LEICA V-LUX 20 enables movie recording in HD quality. Its intelligent automatic features, such as face recognition, automatic scene modes and smart exposure, are all available in movie mode, together with the camera’s zoom functions.

The V-Lux 20’s generous three inch LCD display has a diagonal of 7.5cm and a resolution of 460,000 pixels, and offers an extremely bright, sharp view for precise composition and framing of shots, as well as accurate quality control for captured shots in playback mode.

Beautifully styled in a matt black finish, the V-Lux 20 has been designed with simple, ergonomic controls and user-friendly menus, and offers fully automatic functions for those who prefer to ‘point and shoot’. It also provides a complete range of manual shutter speed and aperture settings for more creative freedom and image control. In addition, the integrated image stabilisation assists the photographer by reducing the chance of blurred pictures, whether due to camera shake or difficult lighting conditions. The compact dimensions and light weight of the camera also make it easy to pack into a bag or rucksack, or simply carry in a pocket, so users can ensure the LEICA V-LUX 20 is with them on every trip.

Accessories and software

The LEICA V-LUX 20 includes Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for quick and easy image editing. A high quality brown leather case for the camera is available as an optional accessory from authorised Leica dealers.

Pricing and availability

The LEICA V-LUX 20 will be available in the UK from May 2010 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. The suggested retail price of the LEICA V-LUX 20 is £495. The optional brown leather case has an SRP of £70.

Notes

* GPS tagging may not function in China and neighbouring regions. Strength of satellite signal reception depends on location, and when restricted, positioning data may be recorded inaccurately or not at all.

For further information, high resolution images or products for review, please contact Jenny Hodge at [email protected] or call 07920 291920.

LEICA V-LUX 20: Technical data

Lens Leica DC-Vario-Elmar 4.1-49.2mm f/3.3–4.9 ASPH. (25-300mm, 35mm equivalent) 10 elements in 8 groups (3 aspherical surfaces)

Optical zoom 12x

Digital zoom 4x

Focusing:

Modes Normal/Macro, Macro Zoom, Pre-focusing (On/Off), Continuous focusing (On/Off), AF-tracking

Metering modes Face detection / AF tracking /11 field / 1 field high speed /1 field / spot

Focusing range:

P/A/S/M 50cm (wide angle) / 2m (tele) – ∞

Macro / Intelligent

Auto / Movie 3cm (wide angle) / 1m (tele) – ∞ (5×–8× corresponds to 2m – ∞)

Scene modes May differ from the ranges above

Sensor 1/2.33” CCD with 14.5 MP (effective pixels: 12.1 MP)

Resolution:

Still images 4:3 format (max. 12 MP) 4000 x 3000 pixels (12 MP) / 3264 x 2448 pixels (8 MP) / 2560 x 1920 pixels (5 MP) / 2048 x 1536 pixels (3 MP) / 640 x 480 pixels (0.3 MP)

3:2 format (max. 11.5 MP) 4176 x 2784 pixels (11.5 MP) / 3392 x 2264 pixels (7.5 MP) / 2656 x 1768 pixels (4.5 MP) / 2048 x 1360 pixels (2.5 MP) / 640 x 424 pixels (0.3 MP)

16:9 format (max. 10.5 MP) 4320 x 2432 pixels (10.5 MP) / 3552 x 2000 pixels (7 MP) / 2784 x 1568 pixels (4.5 MP) / 1920 x 1080 pixels (2 MP) / 640 x 360 pixels (0.2 MP)

Movies 4:3 format VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG); QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG)

16:9 format WVGA: 848 x 480 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG); HD format: 1280 x 720 pixels 60 fps (QuickTime Motion JPEG)

Recording file format:

Still images JPEG (based on Exif 2.21 standard)/DPOF-compatible

Still images with sound JPEG (based on Exif 2.21 standard) + QuickTime

Movies QuickTime Motion JPEG

Exposure control:

Exposure modes Program mode (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter priority (S), Manual setting (M) / Snapshot / Custom / Scene / Movie / Clipboard

Exposure compensation Increments: 1/3 EV steps, setting range: ±2 EV

Scene modes Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self Portrait, Scenery, Panorama Assist, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Candlelight, Baby 1, Baby 2, Pet, Sunset, High Sens., High-Speed Burst, Flash Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo, Pin Hole, Film Grain, High Dynamic (Standard, Artistic, B/W), Photo Frame

Metering modes Multi-field / Centre-weighted / Spot

White balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shadow / Tungsten / Manual setting

Sensitivity Auto / 80 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600

Shutter speeds 60 s–1/2000 s, (Starry Sky mode: 15s / 30s / 60s)

Continuous shooting mode:

Series frequency Slow: Frequency 2.3 fps; Fast: approx. 10/6 fps (Release-/Shutter Priority)

Number of recordable pictures Slow: max. 5/3 (Standard/Fine); Fast: approx. 15 using the internal memory, immediately after formatting / max. 100 using memory card (depending on card used and settings; 4:3: 3 MP, 3:2: 2.5 MP, 16:9: 2 MP)

Flash:

Modes Auto, Auto with pre-flash (red-eye reduction), Auto with slower shutter speeds and pre-flash, On, Off

Range (with ISO AUTO and maximum wide angle setting) Approx. 60 cm – 5.3 m

Self timer 2s/10s delay

LCD display 3” TFT LCD, approx. 460,800 pixels

Field of view: approx. 100 %, automatic brightness adjustment

GPS Registration of geographical data: Latitude and longitude of images taken, display of country/region, state/province/county, city/town, landmark.

Reception frequency: 1575.42 MHz (C/A code)

Geographical coordinate system: WGS84

Microphone/Speaker Stereo/mono

Recording media:

Internal memory Approx. 15MB

Compatible memory cards SD / SDHC / SDXC

Interfaces:

HDMI Mini HDMI cable (type C)

AV OUT / Digital dedicated jack (14-pin) Digital: USB 2.0 (High Speed) Analogue Video / Audio: NTSC/PAL FBAS (switchable in menu), Audio line output (Stereo)

Printer compatibility PictBridge

Operating temperature/ humidity 0–40 °C / 32-104 °F / 10–80 %

Battery (Lithium-ion):

Voltage/capacity 3.6 V / 895 mAh (300 pictures according to CIPA standards)

Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 103 x 62 x 33mm

Weight Approx. 218g (with memory card and battery)

Accessories included Battery charger (Leica BC-DC 7)

Battery (Leica BP-DC 7)

Wrist strap

AV cable

USB cable

Software DVD (Adobe Photoshop Elements 8)

CD with full instructions (PDF)

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27 thoughts on “Leica announces new V-Lux 20!

  1. It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. where do i find the firmware update of the v-lux 20. i tried looking for it at the leica website, but couldn’t find it. please help. Thanks.

  3. ack. does anyone know how to turn off the built-in memory? I’ve checked the memory cards to ensure it is unlocked yet w each card, all empty, all unlocked, I’m told that pictures will be recorded to built-in memory.

    It seems like it should be a good feature but so far, it’s bugging me (since built in memory is full and I’m cordless at the moment.)

    Any counsel? with thanks. [email protected]

  4. I needed a superior point and shoot for those times when you do. Additionally, sometimes my arthritis prevents me form utilizing my Canon 40D and lenses. This being said, and despite the fact that I sort of wanted the D Lux 4, I received the Lx3 as a 60th birthday gift, and I will treasure it always. It has the Leica lense , and it really takes beautiful photos. It is a little gem, and actually, it felt better in my hands than the D-lux 4. I love it, and the excellent , independent camera guide book for the D Lux 4 is spot on for the L x3. (the lx3 in box instruction book was the wors i have seen in over 30 years of photography. I suspect my opinion about the Lx 3 would apply to the V-Lux 20 vs. the Zs7. Leica is the standard by which all others are measured, but for a point and shoot, its country cousin is just fine. I did receive a very nice custom made Lumix leather case that looks and feels EXACTLY like the Leica case.

  5. @ Elaine…

    Why so upset? The d-lux3 (or Lx3) was a good cam last october and still is. It opens at f2 for indoor shots or in the twilight. I would not waste any of my swearing credits on this one. How many samples of the former v-lux were actually sold? I don’t think Leica really expects a big demand, they are just trying to answer to those who tought the D-lux was lacking a longer lense (I prefer wide over tele so the d-lux was perfect for me). I like what I read about the GRIII above but on a P&S I prefer to have the flexibility of a zoom, fixed is for the M8.2. Anyways… A digital contax g2 would be it for me (dual AF).

  6. As mentioned, the V Lux 20 is just a rebadged Panasonic Lumix ZS7 (TZ10) at a nearly twice the price.

    I bought a ZS7 last month, not knowing a Leica version was to come. The ZS7 is a very nice camera. Great images at base ISO, but poor high ISO performance as expected from something with such a small sensor, and the HD video quality is actually excellent in good light. GPS tagging is an excellent feature for the those who travel.

    I don’t understand why The V Lux 20 is handicapped with the omission of the more efficient and very good AVC HD Lite 720p codec. With the ZS7/TZ10, you can choose between motion jpeg 720p or AVCHD Lite. On the V Lux 20, you’re limited to the former when recording HD video. Does Panasonic have exclusive rights to the codec or something?

  7. Played with one yesterday at the Leica Roadshow. I was thoroughly unimpressed. A camera that goes for $700 HAS to have RAW support. It would be acceptable for $400 but not more IMO.

  8. Competing with Canikons in this category is not really a losing proposition. Leica probably spent minimum to no amount of money with the R&D of this camera. So other than paying some money to Pany to rebadge the camera, any money Leica makes is “gravy.” That being said, I used to own the Pany TZ5, and it was an excellent camera. I sometimes regret giving that up to get the Canon S90.

  9. @Dave S. Have a search in the older articles as Steve has done some great micro 4/3rd verses M9 comparisons. Another comparison he did was compare the image quality of the Leica M lens on the Olumpus Pen with the normal 4/3rds lens and the Leica M lens (perhaps unsurprisingly) was superior.

  10. I would agree I think with most of the comments posted, one point i would make though would be to try the ricoh gr digital cameras, I own the gr 3 and it’s amazing, I actually feel that if some of the icons of yesteryear were alive and kicking it would certainly be one of these they would be shooting with..the price is reasonable and they are just so portable.

    I don’t subscribe to the boring argument regarding the sensor and high iso, it’s like anything you use, nothing is perfect. Using one of these gems will hone your skills as a photographer and make you think about the image, Ricoh have always excelled at this type of camera their film variants were stunning and I used one regularly.

    I take my GR3 everywhere, why? because it will slip into my jeans pocket, it has snap focus, great file choice, you can customise its functions and that new f 1.9 lens is absolutely blinding. The quality of files it has produced both raw and j peg have blown me away, the new sensor is a significant improvement on what was in my gx 100, and I thought that was excellent.

    So be adventurous and fiscally minded, buy the bargain of the century, I’ll guarantee you will not regret it and no, I do not have any affiliation to Ricoh.

  11. No reason to buy this camera, as others have noted. The sensor is the size of a pencil eraser. It’s a straight licensing deal — Leica pimping out its red dot logo (and its credibility) to sell lesser cameras.

    For someone who wants a point-and-shoot, just buy the Micro 4/3 GF1 from Panasonic/Lumix instead. The image quality is tremendous, and the 20mm 1.7 is excellent. I have seen phenomenal images taken with this thing. You can also use your Leica lenses on it (35mm and up) with an adapter. It is basically as close as we’re ever going to get to a digital Leica CL. And Leica is already making lenses for the 4/3 mount (a sweet 45mm MACRO lens from Leica itself).

    BTW, Steve, I’d love to see you test out Leica lenses on your micro 4/3 and compare them to the M9…

  12. should also mention that as i work in a camera shop ive used the panasonic version of this a lot, and dont even dream of having any manual control of anything, it just isint practical. This is for rich people to buy there wives or the other way around, nothing more.

  13. Elaine, if you ask me, that would be the Canon S90. My wife uses it and I do like the performance and its “somewhat” simple features (especially the rotating control ring around the base of the lens). It doesn’t do HD video but you can shoot raw and ISO 3200 is certainly usable. Not great (unless you’re doing b&w) but usable. Tough to find one of these little ones shining at high ISO.

  14. Max. LOL! All I want is a sweet P&S that has AF and RAW, and good ISO in low light. Too much to ask, I guess.

    Yeah, digital has become a pain in the butt at times.

  15. Come on Elaine…you CANNOT have everything, you know. If they give you all of that now what the heck are they going to sell in 12-18 months to stay in business? :)
    That’s why digital saved the camera-world…can’t improve a film camera anymore and keep people buying every new model.

  16. Why can’t they give the sensor size in a manner that can be understood without the use of a calculator.

    This is what they say: “Sensor 1/2.33”.

    That calculates into a diagonal of just under 11 millimeters.
    Go figure why they don’t tell you.

  17. But it doesn’t shoot RAW or DNG! WTF! It would have been perfect except for that! I like the X1, but it is a fixed lens. I like the D-Lux 4, but it is an older camera. So, what do us Leica fans use for RAW P&S shots?

  18. What’s up with the post on a digital point and shoot? I thought this site converted to a “film only” site. Just kidding.

    Looks like a sweet camera.

  19. I don’t know…except for those who just HAVE to have a Leica, why do they bother? Competing with Canon, Nikon and Pentax, in this category, can only be a money losing game and I can’t see anything that would entice me to buy one of these…especially when another newer and “supposedly” better one will be out in 12 months anyway.

    The best point and shoot in my book…a Contax T2. It doesn’t make coffee or do laundry but it has an uncanny ability to turn out great pictures, assuming I put some effort into it.

    Sorry guys…when I see an announcement for the latest and greatest digital I get all revved up :)

  20. It’s interesting to note that one can get a superior LCD, and assuredly a more stable build in a camera that costs $1400 less than the X1. Leica really needs to re-think it’s linear progression of value/cost, because they are sending some strange mixed signals with regards to the quality of components being offered in their lines.

  21. Looks like a nice point-and-shoot travel camera!
    As the former D-Lux the new V-lux 20 is build by Panasonic and equal to the new Panasonic DMC-TZ10. There is no Leica logo on that one, but it will probably save you some money!

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