Leica might be the kind of company that considers itself a little above the Black Friday melee, but it has announced the closest thing we’ll get to a Leica bargain – the new D-Lux 7 compact camera, which has just gone on sale for £995.
That might still sound like a hefty asking price, but three-figure tags on brand new Leicas are a rare thing. The ‘red dot tax’ is also pretty minimal when you consider that the D-Lux 7 is basically a rebadged version of the excellent Panasonic LX100 II, which costs £849 (without the red dot).
The Panasonic LX100 II is one of our favourite ‘big sensor’ compact cameras, particularly for travel and street photography, and the Leica D-Lux 7 inherits most of its talents.
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Like its Panasonic cousin, it’s built around the combination of a 17-megapixel Four Thirds sensor and a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 Leica lens, which gives you the equivalent of 3x optical zoom. The D-Lux 7 also inherits the same handy manual dials, including an exposure compensation dial, and many of Panasonic’s useful software features, including 4K photo mode for pulling still photos out of your video clips. Its electronic viewfinder is also pretty hi-res with a 2760K-dot resolution.
While it’s not exactly a sports camera, the D-Lux 7 can rattle off 11fps in continuous shooting mode (with the buffer maxing out a 33 Raw images). And you also get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for sharing snaps to your smartphone, with Leica confirming that it is supported by its rather lovely new Fotos app for iOS and Android phones.
Perhaps the only downsides are that the 3-inch touchscreen is fixed rather than tilting, which will make it a bit trickier to shoot from odd angles, and that the D-Lux 7 lacks the Panasonic LX100 II’s handy grip for keeping it steady.
Still, there is in-built optical image stabilisation to help out on that front, and the D-Lux 7 is otherwise a very well-rounded and keenly priced (at least for Leica) compact. So much so, that the German company has hailed it as “the Swiss Army knife of Leica compact cameras”.
What do you think, is the Leica D-Lux 7 something of a ‘bargain’ in Leica-land? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.
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