Best Leica Compact Cameras Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Planning an outdoor adventure? If so, you will need a quality brand compact camera for the trip. That is because you will from time to time, have to capture those memorable moments. Being simple and easier to engage, they will come in handy.
Many brands and manufacturers engages in the production of these items. Of all these brands, it is the Leica that is by far one of the most outstanding. That is because their range of models are simpler to comprehend and additionally, these cameras can deliver some pretty awesome outcomes, with all factors considered.
It is for this reason that we have dedicated this entire review to the leading models in its range. We have sampled ten of the best Leica compact cameras. We will look into their finer details. In particular, we will point out the unique benefits you stand to gain from each of them.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 8 hrs of research
Variable image formats
- D-LUX 7
- V-LUX (Typ 114)
- SL (Typ 601)
- D-LUX (Typ 109)
- V-Lux (Typ 114)
- Q 24.2
- 18488 C Typ112
- DLUX 6
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Leica Compact Cameras
Variable image formats
Capturing images is one thing. Transmitting the image to a target is yet another task altogether. Add this to the limited storage spaces most of them have and the end result is often disastrous. The C- Lux model is designed to overcome both.
That is because it allows for real-time transmission of the images and videos captured. As you are about to note, a number of factors converge to make this possible. It is a device you badly want to lay your hands on.Read more
Its flagship trait, as has already been hinted, is the seamless connectivity. This is to mean that it has the ability to transmit images and videos to a remote location in real time. But how is this possible?
Well, the gadget supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity features. With it in your hands, you will not have to make do with too much disk space. You will also be able to capture unlimited pictures and quality videos.
The pace at which it displays images is pretty fast. It does this at a whopping 10 frames per second. Other than being fast, the device also manages smooth and continuous shooting at full resolution.
In light of this, expect this model to deliver to you robust image outcomes. They are generally devoid of any blurs or distortions which are characteristic of the images of other competing models. What a nice way to spend your money?
Cost and Value
Two main traits stand out in this camera. These are the sensor and the 4K video recording capability. It is these two main factors that are responsible for its high value. Courtesy of the 20.2 MP 1-inch MOS sensor, the device generates the digital images.
The 4K video recording, on the other hand, is responsible for the high resolution of the resulting images. It is this aspect that brings about the clear images which are breathtaking to behold. This camera is readily available for ordering.
2. D-LUX 7
Full metal housing
One focal length
Lacks a viewfinder
The Leica models are very sensitive to light. Indeed, the quality of the images they deliver is dependent on the intensity of the light at the time of use. For your convenience, you will want a ‘universal device.’
This is basically one that can deliver the necessary outcomes under all lighting conditions. Look to no other than Leica D-Lux 7 if you looking for a camera that will deliver . Read through to find out how suitable it is.Read more
17 MP 4/3rds Sensor
Its ability to capture clear images under all light conditions draws from the 17 MP 4/3rds sensor. Being responsive, this sensor generates high-quality images. It provides a photography tool regardless of the prevailing illumination levels.
You can choose this model for your liking if you travel mostly in the dark. That is where most other brands fail or do a poor job.
Optical Image Stabilization
It is not uncommon for your device to fidget and compromise the quality of the images generated. The manufacturers of this one understand this fact only too well. That is why they have fitted the optical image stabilizer.
Thanks to this feature, incidences of shaking and fidgeting are kept to an absolute minimum. This way, you get to obtain sharper and clearer imagery. These are definitely breathtaking to the eyes!
Cost and Value
In all, this model confers value which others are not suited. These are the comfortable sensitivity range and a touchscreen LCD unit. As a matter of fact, it commands an ISO rating of 25600, which is considered great.
Keying in the necessary commands is simple. You will rely on a 3-inch 1.24-million dot touchscreen LCD to do this. This way, you will not encounter those hassles that normally happens with ordinary brands.
3. V-LUX (Typ 114)
UHD video capability
32x intelligent zoom
If you have attempted photography, you will agree that capturing images while on the go is no easy feat. More often than not, the images are blurred and are often scanty in details.
You need a special brand of camera for this very role. Needless to say, such a model has to be optimized for speed and agility. Of all the ones under consideration, it is the Leica V-Lux that closely mirrors that expectation.Read more
Moderately Fast Aperture
Standing tall is it's moderately fast aperture. Its speed is what allows the device to respond promptly to light impulses. This combines with the ISO 120-12500 natural sensitivity range to manage unparalleled performance.
Even when cruising at top speeds, you will still be able to capture clearer details. This is not to mention its awesome performance even in moments of low illumination. Therefore, you have a solution for better pictures.
50 Frames-per-second Transmission
Apart from being able to capture pictures at great speeds, this device also displays them at an equally faster rate. Its rate is an impressive 50 frames-per-second. Obviously, a higher display rate is more advantageous.
That is because the images appear still and devoid of any blurs or distortions. You can observe some details that are lacking in many other photographs. The electronic shutter further seals the deal.
Cost and Value
Some unique features are present in this model. It is able to achieve results that other photographers may only dream of. The 32x intelligent zoom lets the lens capture more details than the standard device can manage.
The LCD screen lets you review the photos before you upload or transmit them. In case those images are substandard, you have the freedom to take better shots and discard them altogether. Is this not a guarantee of great shots?
4. SL (Typ 601)
2GB internal buffer
Modern imaging technology
Price is on the high-end
Sometimes still pictures may never tell the whole story. This is where videos come in. They capture and display more details than ordinary still images. Though most gadgets may capture images, none is as good at taking quality shots like the Leica SL.
That is because this model is primarily intended for that very job. It contains unique sets of features which makes it better at performing this job. Find out more about them by digging deeper into this mini-review.Read more
UHS-II and UHS-I standard SD Card Slots
To capture the videos, the device relies on the UHS-II and UHS-I standard SD card slots. Unlike ordinary gadgets, these slots are built into the system. This spares you from the need to pack them every now and then.
You also get to enjoy instant recording. Whenever the situation so demands, you just have to activate the system, and there you have it! The gadget also has a multimedia output port for smooth transmissions.
Slow Motion Capability
Another striking feature is the slow motion capability. It lets you replay the images you captured earlier, but in a slower frame-per-second rate. This way, you get to behold details which might ordinarily escape your attention.
Closely related to this is the fact that it possesses the standard and full high definition picture formats. They also go a long way in enhancing the quality and clarity of the images.
Cost and Value
This is the model to look up to if you spend much of your time in the wild. That is because its outer casing is built for harsh weather. It is weather-resistant; courtesy of the milled aluminum body.
Further increasing the overall value is the existence of a GPS. While out in the wild, you will rely on it to enhance your navigation. That is because it will keep you well in check.
5. D-LUX (Typ 109)
Greater depth of field
Less noise-resolution output
Expandable ISO range
Do you mostly engage in panoramic photography? If you do, the one you choose has to be optimized to detect and display capture depth as well. The Leica D-Lux is the one we suggest for you lay your hand on for such applications.
As you are about to note in this mini-review, this model type has some depth-related traits. Follow through to see how these traits bring about depth. This way, you will know what to expect from it too.Read more
We started out by stating that this item can detect depth. Well, this stems from its stereoscopic capability. With regards to this feature the device is able to separate objects on the foreground and the background to bring about the illusion of depth.
While at it, the device eliminates blurs and other issues which may compromise the quality of the final images. For this reason, it spares you from those inaccurate visions and associated problems.
17.3 x 13.0 mm Sensor
The task of converting light rays into electric signals is managed by the 17.3 x 13.0 mm sensor. This one goes beyond merely capturing and converting the rays of light. It also enhances the illusion of depth.
It is further accompanied by a wide aperture that lets in sufficient quantities of light. Through this feature, it can handle different types of lighting conditions. You will find it handy both in light and dark conditions.
Cost and Value
You will derive more value from this very model. With an effective ability to gather light per pixel, the final images shall naturally be of better quality than those of competing brands.
This combines with the high resolution to magnify the details of large panoramic landscapes. Chances of there being any complications while making use of the photos are hence greatly suppressed. All you will have are crystal clear photographs.
6. V-Lux (Typ 114)
Outstanding picture quality
Versatile and compact
Practical by nature
No optical stabilizer
Short battery life
If your search for the right photography tool is driven by the need to capture outdoor activities, sports, and travels, you do not have to waste time on ordinary brands. The Leica V-Lux is the one to purchase and make do with. All its parts and components facilitate this role.
Among these are a wider field of view, faster actions, and the ability to capture many details. It even allows you to zoom in and capture those otherwise tiny details.Read more
Huge Optical Zoom Lens
As noted, this model has the ability to zoom in on your image. To do this, it relies heavily on the huge optical zoom lens. The lens is faster and more responsive. As such, it wastes none of your time.
The beauty of this photography device is that it requires minimal attention on your part. The auto-focus feature relieves you of the need to direct it to a target yourself. Instead, it detects an object of interest automatically via the auto-focus functionality.
To add to that, its auto-focus is faster than that of most ordinary gadgets. Expect it to be more responsive and to perform better on the whole.
Cost and Value
Compared to other gadgets of its kind, this one offers superior advantages. The integrated high resolution 2.36 MP organic light emitting diodes electronic viewfinder in particular, stands tall. You can never miss out on your targets with this feature.
Next comes in the 4K state-of-the-art video technology. You have the capability to capture only high quality and crisp. clear images with this one at hand. These two features will definitely give you a better reason to prioritize this device.
7. Q 24.2
Optical compensation system
Photo and video
Poor video quality
Streets, landscapes, and architectural designs are ordinarily complicated. Capturing and showcasing these tiny details is never easy or possible with common cameras. You have to choose a model that is meticulous.
The Leica Q 24.2 is quite attentive to those tiny details. As such, it is more likely to yield you the outcome you wish for. The mini-review that follows will explain the finer details and what makes this model best suited for the job.Read more
28 MM Focal Length
The focal length with this model is long. It measures 28 mm. The comfortable length lets you capture more details than you would otherwise. It is this feature that suits the model for the uses stipulated above.
Furthermore, it sees to it that the details are accurate. The possibilities of encountering an difficulty while attempting to interpret your images are decreased.
3-inch TFT LCD Monitor
Lastly comes the LCD monitor. The aim of this feature is to let you preview your images before taking the final shots. You will have time to make any final changes prior to accepting the last shot.
Further to that, the monitor also has a touchscreen capability. This basically lets you key in commands and controls via the sensitive screen. Its high resolution of 1,040,000 pixels finally closes the deal.
Cost and Value
Many manufacturers of cameras boast of physical tangible traits. Not so with this one. Instead, it provides you qualitative advantages which others lack. First and foremost being all the features you require to express yourself photographically.
Coupled with this is the manufacturer’s philosophical. This one has a bearing on innovation which is hell-bent on rewriting the rules and history of photography. As such, expect this model to perform better than many others.
8. 18488 C Typ112
7x optical zoom
28-200 mm equivalency
Requires prior expertise
The Leica 18488 C is not your ordinary photography device. Even though it bears some similarities and has very features, its capacity is somewhat extended. It may, in fact, play the role of a high-performance, yet slim gadget.
With regards to this, it is able to showcase the precise dimensions and speeds of objects it captures. You have no room for confusion or misinformation. Only clear and precise end results.Read more
Comprehensive Range of Focal Lengths
One outstanding aspect of this device is the many focal lengths it can accommodate and operate in. These range from the true wide-angle to the telephoto. With this awesome capability, it is possible for you to achieve uniquely great pictures.
You come up with richer quality photos. It comes packed with facts and loads of information which are lacking in images that are captured by alternative models.
Compact and Stylish
On the whole, this gadget is both compact and stylish. These two traits allow it offer added benefits over and above its core functionality. You may, for instance, want to use it to enhance your interior décor.
Being small in size, you can easily slide it in your camera bag or other storage devices. This way, you can carry it easily to the most remote part of the world. Deploying it for use is also simpler.
Cost and Value
Setting this device over and above its peers is the extra-large optical zoom. It is 7 times the normal and has a 35 mm format equivalency of 28-200 mm. Due to this, this model delivers high-quality images that are richer in details.
A screen also exists on it which primarily showcases the soft copy of the images captured. It measures 3.0 inches and embodies both the TFT and LCD quality. This is not to mention the 921k-dot resolution. This device is available for purchase.
Long battery life
Shorter recharge times
Color or monochrome
In some unique cases, capturing and transmitting images and videos may never be sufficient. You may choose to alter the quality of the images prior to transmitting or storing them. Not every photography tool you choose,
unfortunately, may let you do this.
The Leica Sofort is appropriately designed for the job. The core reason here is that it does allow for photo editing. The mini-review below displays more of its traits.Read more
Built-in Electronic Flash
It contains a built-in electronic flash. The role of this flash is to illuminate the object that you are intent on capturing. Inasmuch as it is bright, it is not as intense. That means that you will not imperil the eyes of those whom you target.
The flash also operates on varying modes. These are automatic, with the ‘forced on and off’ feature. You have the option of selecting how to make use of it.
As noted, this gadget gives you the freedom to edit the photographs before downloading them. It goes without saying that you will have to possess some photo-editing skills to be able to leverage this capability.
That aside, this tool makes you give off awesome visual creativity. It also cuts down the time and money you may otherwise spend to outsource these services elsewhere. Why would you forfeit the benefits?
Cost and Value
To make your operation completely worry-free, the model comes with a 2-year limited warranty. The responsibility is on the manufacturer to take care of any damages or losses which might arise within this time.
Add the easy-to-operate menu navigations and icons. The end results are care-free, expedited applications, with all factors considered. This is the model for trying out various photography tricks and styles. If you are a starter, you will find it even more suited for your use.
10. DLUX 6
Newly developed sensor
Brilliant image quality
Limited image formats
Prone to fidgeting
Are you a creative person? Take hold of the Leica Dlux 6 and elevate your creativity to the next level. That is because it is packed with many outstanding features geared towards taking stellar photos. With these, it is possible for you to significantly upgrade the appearance of your pictures.
Furthermore, this model itself brings about many other benefits. In particular, its video recording capability is above the cut. Lastly, it is in and of itself, an upgrade of older versions.Read more
You will find this gadget highly versatile. It incorporates two major functions. These are the full high-definition video recording capability and many manual setting options.
These two are the ones that will grant you the added freedom to manipulate your images as you so wish. You have the capacity to navigate successfully. Nothing will be too hard for you.
Engaging various parts and components are also simplified. That is due to the intuitive handling which it offers entirely. The functions you need to do so are clearly laid out.
Apart from allowing for easy use, intuitive handling also makes possible for creativity. If you happen to be an experienced photographer, this is a feature you want to make use of. It also cuts down production costs considerably.
Cost and Value
This model incorporates both premium materials and classic elegance. It lets you enjoy those awesome benefits but at a fraction of the total cost. Simply put, you get more for less!
Only strong and high-quality materials adorn the structural makeup of this camera. It is entirely black and is breathtaking to the eyes! If you place it strategically in your room, it will be the envy of other photographers
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Memory card slot- Each Leica model is designed with a universal card slot. This enables you to have several cards for different uses. With some models, you are being provided with a card along with the camera itself.
Autofocus feature- Your aim is to get the best focus without the noise. You can take pictures of animals without spooking them. Moreover, this feature is very fast with these models.
Sensor- There is an advanced sensor with a resolution – which is very effective.
Focus lens- These models come with a clear quality lens. This enables you to take crisp, accurate pictures.
Battery- The batteries that come with these cameras have a good capacity to hold the charge for many hours. They are also removable, enabling you to carry an extra battery for emergencies. This makes it useful for long hours of use.
Charger- You is being provided with an external charger, which charges your battery at a fast, safe rate.
Neck strap- Carrying items in your hands for long durations can become tiresome. But with these devices, you are being provided with a strap which makes taking photographs a lot easier. All you have to do is hang it onto your neck or shoulders, and you are good to go.
Charging cable- All models come with a multipurpose charging cable. Apart from charging, it serves to transfer files directly from your device to your PC.
Front lens cap- The front lens is very sensitive. The precision of your images will depend on the clarity. For safety assurance, they come with a cap for covering the lens after use.
Instruction manual- Handling the device can get challenging at times. Each device comes with a specific manual for guiding you on how to work it. The instructions are simple and easy to understand.
Cover- This serves to secure this device from dust and mechanical damage. After use, it is recommended to put it back in its cover.
During adventures and tours, we tend to carry a lot of luggage, which generally puts a strain on our back. To ease your burden, these devices are made to be very lightweight. They weigh less than a pound, making them very portable. This enables you to carry your device along with you on long distances without feeling tired.
Get yourself one and have a great time exploring and recording memories in the form of pictures. Also, it’s small in size and fits in your bag or purse when not in use. The accessories are that accommodated are made into considerable sizes. Therefore, it will not consume too much space in your pocket.
The surface area is made of metal. It is not a dense type of metal. In fact, it’s light in weight with sturdy quality. The material has a good finish to make it look appealing and elegant.
The viewfinder, focus lens, and the LCD screen (if it’s present) is glass. To give it a good grip, the middle part of the casing has a leathery finish.
Ease of Use
These devices are designed to make their use very simple. This begins with the size. They are pocket-friendly; therefore, carrying them is simple. Also, they fit perfectly in your hand, enabling you to handle with ease.
Taking photos using your hands as support requires steadiness. This can only be possible through using a model which is light. These devices are very light despite them being metallic on most of their surfaces. This allows you to hold it firm and steady at any angle when taking photos.
The viewfinder location is located on the left side upper corner. This allows you to use your right eye which has a good focus. Also, it prevents you from brushing your nose against it when ready to take pictures.
The front lens has a ring which has a rough edge for a good grip when manually setting the focus. Or, on the upper part of the device, it has a button which automatically focuses for you.
The basic control buttons are on top of the device. They are all placed on the right side since most people use their right fingers to control the settings. This makes it easy to switch from one setting to another without interchanging hands.
Below it, there is housing which holds both the battery and the memory card slot. It has a cap which slides open to access the card and battery. At the center of the base, there is a slot. This allows you to attach it to a tripod stand for steadiness when taking images if you wish.
These models are being designed to work either manually or in automatic mode. Both modes are fully functional with exceptional quality. To make this possible, they have a menu where you set your preferred mode before use.
Moreover, you have the option of selecting whether to take a photo or a video recording. To give you the best quality, they come with a range of aspect ratios. This allows you to set the dimensions of the images. The ratios provided are the standard and the ones that are popularly used at various platforms. With it, there is no hassle of cropping images. You just take your shots and upload.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
• They take clear images which are precise.
• They have a portable weight.
• With their outstanding quality, the price is fair.
• They are durable and resistant to corrosion.
• They are small in size, therefore pocket-friendly.
• Come with many accessories that you can access easily.
Despite reliability, they can fail due to various reasons. These include manufacturer error and poor maintenance. The following tips will help you in keeping your model in the best working condition.
1. Secure it from sand and dust. They may cause damages to the moving parts. You can blow away dust gently to prevent it from getting into your device through the loose openings. Also, avoid pressurized air.
2. Secure it from liquids such as water. This can render your device ineffective.
3. Avoid touching the lenses and the LCD screen by all means. Oils that are on the skin can cause serious damages to them. Use microfiber to clean if you accidentally touch it.
4. Lenses have the capacity to focusing on sun rays. Avoid pointing the device directly towards the sunlight. This will damage the sensor of the image.
5. Use the recommended liquids in your instructions for cleaning. In this case, use a few drops and not too much - as it can also damage the device.
6. Avoid exposure to hot and humid conditions. This can seriously cause damage.
7. Use straps to secure the device in your hand when taking images. This will prevent any accidental slips that may seriously damage it.
8. When storing the device, keep it away from humid, hot and dusty areas. Also, remove the batteries to prevent any chance of corrosion.
Cleaning the sensor is best done by effectively using the brand detection feature of M’s dust. You remove the dust by using a sticky pad and rubber.
Using the Pentax sensor cleaning kit can be effective. The dust is being sucked out by a tube vacuum which is tiny in size. Despite being time-consuming and requiring patience and effort, you will have a positive outcome.
The introduction of Leica 1 was introduced in 1925, even though the first creation of the 35mm compact camera dated back to 1913. The delay was as a result of WW1. By the time of the first production, other brands of the 35mm had hit the market. Despite that, it emerged as the most famous compared to other brands.
Together with other types of 35mm compact models, they placed a foundation of the 35mm film. It was categorized as the high-end standard for still photography models. The first generation Leica is now highly collectible.
The 35mm revolutionized the photography industry. When compared to the heavy plated design, they brought the convenience of moving around at ease when taking pictures. The heavy plate designs were heavy to carry around. This limited the number of images taken.
Below is the summary of guidelines you can follow when looking for the best model:
1. Consider what you need to take pictures of. Will it require you to travel or to stay put?
2. What have you set aside as the budget? This is the amount of money you are willing to spend on a camera.
3. Do you have experience in photography? What type of features will you need it to have?
4. How many pictures will you need? This determines the storage capacity of the card.
5. What is the size of your hands? Ensure you get a size that will fit comfortably if your hands are big.
6. Will you need to upgrade your model? If yes, pick one which has an upgrade option.
7. Will you need control over your photos? This determines whether the images will get processed automatically or done manually.
Other Factors to Consider
The bottom line is the high-quality material used in their development. The metal is highly resistant to corrosion and rust. This ensures that your device will last with you for a long time. Also, it is hard and lightweight. This enables easy carriage and protection from mechanical damage.
The images which are taken are exceptional. They are full of precision and clarity. These are being achieved by the combination of high-end technology and first-class optics. It proves that the best result which is outstanding is not a matter of size, but of quality and skills.
The manufacturing basis is on the focus of making these models outstanding among others. This is through making them pocket-friendly for availability during special moments. Additionally, they capture the moment with utmost clarity and accuracy.
Despite their size, the price is on the high end. Nevertheless, you could choose from alternative types or brands. But we must admit, you will not have the quality status which comes from owning the Leica brand. These models prove to be a premium brand due to the compacted zoom capability and the lens which are well fixed.
Despite their exceptional quality, the pricing standards set by the manufacturer are fair. They are well designed to ensure you have a memorable experience in your tours and travel. But these experiences can also apply in your daily personal use. Get yourself one today and experience their outstanding performance!
They have a wide range of accessories to makes their use even more impressive. They include: leather (casing, strap and protector), auto lens cap, rope straps soft pouch, and others add-ons. With these, you will experience photography at a higher level.
They are well styled by offering a choice of major colors. The label is a red color that is located at the front. Some designs are purely black. Others are being designed with black tops and bottom, and the middle being grey.
The blend of these colors adds a fine finish which portrays a classic look. The colors and the body design blends well, resulting with an exquisite look. The logo is well-designed to stand out from a distance with a certain cachet.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do they come with an optical image stabilizer?
No, but this feature is being compensated with the ability to take several images at once. If you shoot images at a still posture, be sure the images will have precision and clarity.
q: Can the lens be interchanged?
No. This is not a device where the lens can be interchanged. This is because it has a fixed type of lens.
q: Where are they being manufactured from?
The devices are manufactured in Germany. Therefore, they have an assurance in the general quality and performance they provides.
q: How long does the battery hold a charge?
It holds a charge for a considerable number of hours. Just ensure that after every use, you switch it off to conserve the power. The manufacturer has a guarantee of ensuring that you will not run out of power during best moments. As an added tip, ensure your device is fully charged before leaving home.
q: What is behind their popularity?
This is because the models have a robust construction feature. This combines well with their quality optics that is outstanding. Also, they offer a full resolution with a mirror-less rangefinder. This enables them to operate stealthily.
q: Why are they the best for travel?
They are versatile in their performance of taking photography. They take quality clear images in bright and shaded areas. They fit perfectly in your palm and is lightweight. This makes them portable and easy to handle. They come with a variety of accessories which makes them more useful. Last but not least, there is no noise when taking photos. Therefore, they will not be a nuisance to the people around you.