D-Lux 4

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by tonmestrom, May 17, 2009.

  1. before anyone asks yes, I've checked the archives. Has anyone had a bit more experience by now with either the D-Lux 4 or the LX3 because I want to get one but I'm wondering if there's another difference apart from the price. Also as I like to have a viewfinder are they any good?
    Advice appreciated.
  2. Hi Ton,
    As I liked a lot shooting with my wife's D Lux3, now I've got the D Lux4, titanium coloured. I know price is higher than the black version, but when you look at the D Lux4 case prices, this coloured version has its own case included. And its a very nice compact camera.
    I bought it last friday, May 15, 2009. Hope to put a few images on my gallery soon. What drived my attention on it was the wider lens face to the D Lux3, a real improvement, I don't need a bigger zoom range.
    I'm not going to buy the viewfinder as I find it too expensive and obtrusive. My option will be the flash, have already ordered it.
  3. bms



    those cameras are gems. Call me a snob but I mainly bought the D-LUX for the design ;)
    However, from what I have read online, the JPEG conversion works better on the D-LUX 4. Only having one of the two (and not knowing anyone with th LX3), I cannot really compare, and I mainly shoot RAW. The LUX comes with a version of Capture One, which was helpful because the RAWs were not supported by other software initially - I think OS X still does not support it.
    As for the viewfinder, it was too expensive for me, but I have toyed with an ldl Yashica Electro one and if you shoot wide angle, it helps. I may want to get the Panasonic view finder in the future.
    Another great feature (I think) is the flash hotshoe. The little pop up flash is pretty useless, but I attached my Nikon speedlight to it, bounced it and that works (obviously not in TTL)
  4. Differences, apart from price, are the in-camera jpeg processing, the bundled photo software, and in the U.S. at least, the warranty ... and mustn't forget the red dot. :)
    I realize, Ton, that you are not in the U.S. But that warranty difference may not be trivial. In the U.S., the DLux4 now has a 3 year Leica warranty (evidently extended from the original 2 year upon registration). Panasonic used to have one year parts, and 90 days labor, but now has 1 year parts and labor.
    In the U.S. the Panasonic has evidently become a difficult camera to find. Not sure why.
    (I have neither camera, so can't comment upon the impact of the difference in jpeg handling.)
  5. thanks all.
    as you know there is a lot of information out there as well as contradictory reviews so I'm glad to get some answers here.
    Jose, I hardly ever use a flash so that would not be a consideration. Besides, as I understand it the D-Lux handles noise very well. Yes, the viewfinder is horribly overpriced but I don't see myself shooting photo's from a screen. The titanium doesn't do a lot for me to be honest.
    Design can be a beautiful thing Benjamin and appreciating that is hardly snobbery. Software is not a real consideraton for me, I got everything I need.
    Michael, the sole reason why I'm looking at these is that I want to have a P&S that shoots RAW. I bought a Nikon P5100 for my wife last year. Nice camera but no RAW. So how it handles JPEG is not really important for me. I checked though on the warranty and as far as I can tell it's three years over here as well. And yes, there's the red dot ;-)
    While I can afford both I'm still wondering if all this justifies a price difference that's almost double. Some thinking to do I guess.
  6. Ton,
    I have the LX3 and I like it very much.
    - Image quality is a lot higher compared to usual P&S cameras. The low ISO (80-100) images are comparable with the ISO 200 - 400 images of common DSLRs. Higher ISO values are not much of use. Still, I guess you can squeeze perfect B&Ws even from its ISO 800 images.
    - It has almost all the manual controls one my require.
    - The lens is fast and is of very high optical quality.
    - It is really small!
    - Candid shots are really easy. (Just remember to make the battery saving arrangements beforehand).
    - The controls are too small.
    - The mode dial turns too easily.
    - The LCD screen is difficult to see under sun and it makes you more noticeable. (I believe you will end up buying the viewfinder attachment because of that).
    - The camera grows large with an attached filter (due to the size of the adapter).
    - The cap is not the most ergonomically sound solution to protect the lens.
    - Background blur is possible only for the macro work due to the small size of the sensor. (More DOF even under low light may be plus for you, however).
    Looking for your new images with it, if you decide to get one :)
  7. thanks Bulent. I'm sure gonna get one, just haven't decided which one yet. What you say is just why I want to get a viewfinder to begin with. Also I think it will save on battery power. In this case the increase in DOF I consider to be an advantage.
  8. I have the LX3. I'm not concerned about the warranty. By the time this camera is 2-3 years old, I expect to buy a better model anyway.
    I thought I'd like a viewfinder, too. But the price was a little off-putting to me. I don't want to spend half as much again as the LX3 cost just to get a viewfinder that's only sorta right when I'm at 24mm equivalent and useless the rest of the time.
    I'm not usually shooting with the full sun to my back. If it's sunny, I'm usually shooting somewhat into the sun. That probably helps. I haven't had a problem getting an idea of what I'm shooting by cranking the LCD brightness way up. In fact, I have that as one of the 4 saved custom modes: ISO 80 and LCD as bright as it can be.
    ISO 1600 sucks. Even when converted to black and white.
    ISO 800 corresponds to what I'd see in 35mm film at ISO 1600. It's usable. Much more pleasing in B&W than color.
    I've had my LX3 a few weeks, and I'm very pleased with it.
    I find the pop-up flash perfect to add just a little bit of fill. I'm pleased that you can set exposure compensation for the flash. I dialed mine to -1 2/3, and I'm happy.
  9. LX3 seems to be a good all around P&S. The Summicron lens is sharp. The D-Lux 4 and LX3 controls are small and you need to make sure that they are not accidentally changed.
    I use the LX3 as a back-up camera and as a polaroid substitute. Most of my work with the LX3 is done with a Voigtlander 28mm external viewfinder (used). Still looking for a used 50mm VF. Here are some test shots I did during a storm yesterday and later in the evenning after the storm had passed.
  10. LX3 through the fog.
  11. After storm in evening.
  12. [​IMG]
    Old farmhouse wash basin, Hartland VT - Leica D-Lux 4
  13. I've been looking for one as well. But as Michael pointed out, they're pretty scarce in the US, unless you want to pay way
    over list. In fact, recently on Amazon, the LX3 was priced at $749 while the D-Lux4 was $699.
  14. just did a quick check. The LX3 is widely available over here with a bottom price of € 388,00 which would translate into $ 525,00.
    The D-4 on the other hand comes to € 695,00 which translates into $ 940,00. Quite steep. Your price of $ 699,00 would be € 517,00. That are some serious differences.
    Thanks all. Maybe we could set up a business Brad ;-)))
  15. I have the D-lux 4, for about 4 months now. After I bought it, only on one occasion did I used another camera, and that one was for the tele end of a super-zoom. That's probably more significant than any words I could use to describe how I feel about the camera.

    I decided to buy to D-Lux 4 over the LX3 after reading many comments about them. My overall feeling is that there are real differences but the differences were being played down for fear of being branded snobbish. Those who do own both and came out saying the D-Lux 4 was better were being roasted everywhere. I decided to buy the D-lux 4. I will not answer to any challenges on this statement because this is my own judgement.

    I only want to add one more thing, for your overall consideration of whether to buy it. Before I used the D-lux 4, I have used about 7 previous models of Panasonic P&S cameras, over a period of about 6 years. That means I am very familiar with the Panasonic menu system and its style of controls.
  16. Thanks Nee. Stating that one is better than the other can hardly be described as being snobbish but I know what you mean. Just like you I've read many comments about them. However, these contradict eachother quite regularly. It's to be expexted of course so asking here is always a good idea.
  17. The D-Lux 4 is an amazing little camera. Here is a great example of what this thing can do
    PS, Jim's images are all Jpegs.
  18. I don't have the D-Lux 4 but I do have the D-Lux 3 which I use whenever I need a small point and shoot that I can easily conceal. I was able to borrow a friend's LX-3 though when he complained to me that it was difficult to get background blur. Playing around with it, I discovered that it's a bit similar to the D-Lux 3 especially when you want background blur. Just set it at a wide aperture, a fast shutter speed and use manual focus instead of auto. I may be wrong but I've tried it on both cameras and it works alright for me.
  19. Hello Ton,
    I have had an LX3 for a bit over a month now.
    Like you, any software advantage with the Lux 4 would be lost on me.
    If one really wants, Panasonic sells a 4 year extended warranty for $100 so I can't see and Lux advantage.
    I like the little "bump" grip on the LX3...I understand Leica will sell you a grip should you so desire.
    Bulent, you are right about the buttons...the biggest problem..the only one I've had is with the joystick...I usually shoot in aperture priority, moderate aperture...f4. My right thumb sometimes nudges to joystick and I discover I've been at f8 (minimum aperture) for some time...often this means shutter speeds slower than I would prefer. It's something I need to keep an eye on.
    Eric, you are right, high ISO color is bad, B&W better...
    Ton, I'm the guy from Street and Doc asking you about NL and Queen's Day. I'm back now. When I get my act together I plan to put a few up. Thanks for your advice. And you were so right, Bruges is an "open air museum."
    Usually shoot RAW but here was playing with the LX3's "Dynamic B&W" jpeg mode.
  20. Flat light
  21. Lx-3 is a bit cheaper than Nikon D60 with the kit 18-55 3.5-5.6 zoom. Which camera will give sharper images? (a cheap zoom or summicron?) And which is better - D60 at ISO800 or LX-3 at ISO200 ? (we consider 2.8 and image stab.)
    I am afraid of too soft low resolution zooms like cheapest pentax and canon 18-55.
  22. Benjamin,
    That SB 900 must be quite a sight on a D-Lux 4!
    Do you put the flash on the camera or mount the camera beneath the flash?
  23. I know it's a different camera entirely but purely for IQ for a compact digital, the Sigma DP-1 or the DP-2 coming out will blow everything else away. Beautiful RAW files, 12X18 prints look great, very useable ISO up to 800. DSLR size sensor in a small package.
  24. bms


    indeed, the SB-900 is bigger than the D-LUX 4!!! Flash was on camera. I have not repeated the exercise, but I was at a party and had both things handy. Light was dim. Have not tried the Pop-up for fill, but I will....
  25. I've had an LX-3 for about 3 months. This was my first Panasonic, and the interface and lack of a viewfinder took a bit of getting used to. I continue to be disappointed in the lack of support for the RAW files in Aperture. As I've gotten used to the camera, though, my shots have steadily improved. I am genuinely impressed by it. It is not a replacement for a DSLR, but it's a whole lot easier to carry around when I don't want or need the extra weight. For macros, in particular, it's fantastic.
    For samples and info, I would check here:
    Given current prices, I'd go with the Leica, as the included software is better. I paid $407 for my LX-3 when I bought it on Amazon; at that price, I don't think the additional cost of the Leica is worth it. But, that's just my opinion, and take it for what you paid for it. The most frustrating issue I've had is that I have not found that any of the accessories are available at any price (from reputable resellers like B&H, Adorama, etc.), which has been frustrating as I am interested in the wide angle converter and the case. You can always find things on eBay, but you'll overpay, and I'm not sure the sellers are always providing what they say they're selling me.
    In short, though, I don't think there is a bad decision to be made here. Go witch whichever one feels better in your hand or that you like better.
  26. For accessories try to visit the internet-shop of Panasonic itself - I have checked, they sell (except flashes but they promised to start selling them)
  27. Thanks to all of you, especially since I get more reactions than I expected. Makes my choiche easier AND harder for sure.
    Joe, of course I remember. Was in Amsterdam myself during the day. Watch your e-mail.
    Ray, you're not making this any easier ;-) I had a quick look at the Sigma DP2 and it sure looks promising. At 41 mm it looks like a handy camera for streetwork as well. However, given the fact that each image takes 3 pixels the MP needs to be divided by 3. Wonder how that translates in larger prints. Also the lens is a big question mark for me. You know a bit more?
    Just got back from shooting and took my wife's P5100 with me. Here are some of the worked on JPEG's. Doesn't look half bad but somewhat larger prints, forget it.
  28. Ton, the Sigma DP1 has a 28mm equivalent fixed lens, the DP2 41mm. The main issue with the DP1 is slow RAW processing, so after a shot forget about another exposure for several seconds. The DP2 is supposed to have a faster write time, but I haven't seen a full review on it. I've never used autofocus on the DP1- there is manual focus with a numbered distance dial on the back of the camera that works fine for me and avoids shutter delay. The camera works well as a point & shoot and better with an added external viewfinder. I assume with the DP2 41mm equivalent you'd definitely need a finder in bright light, and manual focus would be more difficult because of less depth of field. Color and black and white conversions are excellent with the DP1 although color washes out a bit at higher ISO's. The camera has limitations in handling but you won't find better image quality in a compact. Sean Reid has a good review of the DP1.
  29. Thanks Ray. As it happens the DP2 is launched over here tomorrow, talk about timing. I was planning to have a look next weekend anyway so it's one more to check out. Thanks for that, appreciate it. A lot. Either way, I´m not gonna use either one without a viewfinder.
    Just saw the price of the DP2. List is going to be € 599,00 which is $ 811,00. Not too bad.
  30. Here are a couple samples from the DP1:
  31. The black & white was printed 12X18 inches and looks great, and I've still to print it on my best paper.
  32. one last one:
  33. that's quite impressive Ray, thanks.
  34. Ton,
    I am similarly in the market. My list is narrowed down to the D-Lux 4, the DP2 and the Canon G10. I will be curious to hear what you ultimately select, and then to hear your impressions on its use after you shoot with it for a bit.
    The person in me who hates to buy outdated technology wonders if I should wait until September to see what new will be coming out, and to get more hands on reviews from owners of the DP2.
    Good luck with whatever you buy!
  35. Ton,
    Voigtlander makes a very nice 40mm finder which should work well on the DP2.
  36. By the way, although those are just screen jpgs, for what it's worth, checking my files- they were all ISO 400.
  37. Bruce - I was deciding between those same three cameras and ended up buying a panasonic LX3 a few weeks ago.
    I've been very happy with it so far. This is my first camera with image stabilization, and I've been very impressed with the results at 24mm-e, f/2, 1/8th second. Subject motion aside, that's let me take pictures in very dim surroundings with good results.
    Photos in good light are great too. For me, it came down to the size (the G10 isn't really pocketable), lens speed (f/2 lets me avoid the noisy high-isos), wide angle (having 24mm-e is really great for indoor, macro, and landscapes).
    If your priorities are different, your mileage may vary. I think the image quality is good (but not fantastic) from either the g10 or D-LUX 4 (LX3). From samples I've seen, the DP2 produces better files, but you lose the flexibilty of a zoom, if that's important to you.
    I don't own a dedicated video camera, so the video capabilities of the D-DUX4 were also a selling point. I don't use the video that often, but it's nice to have for the occasional family scene. The videos from the D-LUX 4 are a lot better than the g10, and WAY better than the DP2.
  38. I took the LX3 with me on a recent holiday and used it everyday. It certainly replaces a high end film compact for me, say a T2 or T3, and a major advantage is that it is unobstrusive and you don't stand out. Best results from raw but jpegs are up to scratch as well. Output is more film like than digital.
    All shots here taken with lx3
  39. I had the same dilemna and i went with the D-Lux 4. There is different software and a longer warranty with the Leica. So it is a bit more than a red dot, but not a tremendous amount. I also do like the Leica finish bit more.
    However, the current big difference is that availablity of the Panasonic is non-existant. Sure it says $460 at B&H,which is $240 less than the Leica, but they are out of stock. Same with Adorama and every other reputable dealer that I know of.
    It's available over Amazon... for $639, the same price as the D-Lux4.
  40. Since obtaining my D-Lux 4 I've used both of my Olympus flashes on it. An FL-50 (which is huge compared to the camera) and a much smaller FL-36R. Both operate fully, as in the built in flash head zooms in and out with the lens. Read somewhere that Panasonic makes the flash units for Olympus, thus it makes sense that it should work on a 'Panasonic' camera.
  41. Aaron,
    Thanks for your input, and for sharing your experience with the LX-3.
    I have a Nikon D200, which I use when getting the best quality is the issue. I do always like to have a P&S too for those times when I do not want to lug the D200 around, or don't want to get it out of the camera bag for a shot. There are also those times when my wife can put up with my taking shots with a P&S, like at dinner in a restaurant, when she does not like the D200 being a guest at the table. We cycle year round, and the P&S is a lot easier to quickly take out and put away than is the D200 in a Lowepro backpack I use when we ride.
    I did take a walk today at lunch and held and tried the D-Lux 4, and talked with the sales people about it and the LX-3, and also about the G-10. They mentioned the warranty difference, a reference to the images on the Leica being better than those from the Panasonic, and the image processing in the Leica being better than the Panasonic. As for the G10, they confirmed what I had read that Canon just crammed too many megapixels on to the small sensor in that camera, so its images were not perceived to be as good.
    I do need to think about the fixed focal length, versus zoom lens issue. That might make the DP2 a no go for me. I know that when I have used a P&S in the past, I have always used the zoom in composing my shots. While there are many instances when you can "zoom' with your feet, there are others when a zoom is needed - such as in street photoraphy when you don't want to get completely in someone's face.
    I do own a dedicated video camera, but only seem to get it out when I am with my granddaughter. I rarely used the video feature on my Canon SD850 IS (which I gave to my son in March), and when I have after transferring the files to my computer, rarely ever go back to look at, or use them.
    So, for me, being able to shoot in RAW, the best possible sensor for a cameras of this size, having as much manual control as possible, and as little start up time and shutter lag as possible are the primary drivers for me. What I would really love is an advance P&S with at least an APS-C sized sensor, and better yet, with a full frame 24 x36 sensor. Maybe someday?
    I will look forward to hearing Ton how you come out on your decision, and to then hear about, and see the quality of the images you get and your experience with your choice.
    Thanks to all,
  42. I thought it would be nice for LX3/D-lux4 to have a variangle LCD screen to make it easy to shoot overhead and at the waist levels. However, the ad says that their screens can be viewed from extreme angles. For those who own one of these cameras, do you miss the lack of a variangle screen?
  43. Eric, I think adding a variangle LCD screen will add cost to LX3/DLUX4. FZ30/FZ50 has such
    a screen. I have taken more than ten thousand photos with FZ30, only used the variable angle feature less then ten times.
  44. DPreview.com has a side by side comparison feature that is quite helpful when comparing specs of different cameras. I just did one for the D-LUX 4, LX3, G10 and DP2. Not sure if this link will work, but this is the link that resulted from my comparison: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare_post.asp?method=sidebyside&cameras=canon_g10%2Cleica_dlux4%2Cpanasonic_dmclx3%2Csigma_dp2&show=all
  45. I have had the LX3 for several months. This is a brilliant little camera, beautifully made, and as far as I can tell the same as the DLux4 apart from price. It will become a classic like the Fuji F30. The 24-60mm f2.0 lens gives a very usable range and is wide than any other available I believe. I shoot RAW all the time and this is fine with ACR 5.2. The screen is hard to see in bright light and I use the excellent Voigtlander 21mm v/f which seems to approximate well to the 24mm field of view (I have not tried using a Voigtlander 24 v/f) and is much cheaper than the Panasonic version. Great as a street camera. Both pix of Covent Garden have been printed at 10x17 inches.
  46. and another. Forgot to mention that there is a difference between the Dlux4 and LX3 which in my view favours the LX3 - the latter has an integral handgrip which adds greatly to the ergonomics. It does however mean that the LX3 will not fit in the pretty DLux4 case.
  47. "The 24-60mm f2.0 lens gives a very usable range and is wide than any other available I believe."
    Ricoh GRD with adapter sold as an accessory is 21mm equivalent.
    Any of these point & shoot cameras is fine for computer / internet screen display, it's when you get into printing that I think the Sigma would make a fairly significant difference for a discerning photographer.
  48. only used the variable angle feature less then ten times.​
    I still keep my old Nikon 5400 b/c it has the variable angle screen, which I use frequently. I use it to aim the camera one way while facing the other to take picture of people without having them notice me. I can shoot overhead over the crowd, objects on the ground, etc. I can set up the camera on a small tripod on any object and can still find an angle to frame the shot. I did order the LX3, however, as I image the compact size of the LX3 will come with compromises.
  49. thanks again for all your input which I very much appreciate. Was my original question/quest about the D-Lux4/LX I'm definetely going to have a look at the Sigma DP2 that Ray advised. The plan was to check them out Saturday. That will now depend on the availability of the DP2. Thanks as well for the advice on the Voigtlander viewfinder. Hadn't thought of that.
    Will supply feedback in due course.
    Happy shooting to all of you,
  50. Paul:
    It certainly replaces a high end film compact for me, say a T2 or T3, and a major advantage is that it is unobstrusive and you don't stand out.​
    I couldn't agree more. One of the reasons I went with the silver model of the LX3 is because it looks like every other crappy P&S. Most P&S cameras are not black. I've been looking for several years for a replacement for my Nikon 35Ti. I'd say this does the trick nicely.
    Any of these point & shoot cameras is fine for computer / internet screen display, it's when you get into printing that I think the Sigma would make a fairly significant difference for a discerning photographer.​
    I've made a couple 8x10 prints and one 10x15 so far. The quality is less than what I get from a Canon 5D. I'd go so far as to say just judging by detail and tones, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in a print from either one. The depth of field will give it away. :)

  51. Ton,
    Please let us know how your camera shopping and testing goes. Anxious to hear what you liked, and did not like, and what you ultimately purchase.
  52. Supposedly more LX3 stock will be in (in the US) 1st week of June. The price should be back to close to normal then.
    That's the cam I'm waiting for...
  53. "It does however mean that the LX3 will not fit in the pretty DLux4 case", the DLUX4 case is a holster case, while LX3 has a LTM Leica style eveready case, which, imo is more convenient.
  54. "It does however mean that the LX3 will not fit in the pretty DLux4 case", the DLUX4 case is a holster case, while LX3 has a LTM Leica style eveready case, which, imo is more convenient.​
    Only if you can find one, Martin. Have been wanting one for months, since I got my LX-3... I love the case, but can't find it in stock anywhere!
  55. Ton, not sure if this is of much help but the LX2 I had was horrible iso 400 above with smearing of the image to smooth out the noise. I haven't touch the thing after a week or 2. I hope the Lx3 is better but i was scarred by the earlier version..
  56. Only if you can find one, Martin. Have been wanting one for months, since I got my LX-3... I love the case, but can't find it in stock anywhere​
    The'yre easy to get from Japan on eBay
  57. I realize the review of the DP2 is just one person's opinion, but that's rather disappointing.
  58. Just an FYI that firmware update v1.3 will be out on 6/1 for the LX3:
    Click here.
  59. Any idea what the firmware fixes?
  60. "So I was surprised and disappointed with the DP2’s tinny, hollow build quality. I fully expect that a 3-foot fall to the pavement would instantly disintegrate a DP2 into a parts list. The DP2 just does not feel like a substantial camera."
    I just read this from the above link on the DP2 and thought to myself, "How do people come up with this stuff?" It's a prime example of why I so distrust reviews on the internet to get a clear evaluation of equipment. Pretty soon an otherwise excellent camera is drowned by rumor and hearsay. I've always thought that particularly with the DP-1, it was almost like a conspiracy against Sigma.. Or maybe it's just that people want ease of use above all else and just like to pick apart little issues. At any rate, I can't think of any camera I'd want to drop onto pavement from 3 feet, can you?
  61. >>> Any idea what the firmware fixes?

    From the above link:

    "Version 1.3 improves auto white balance and general performance of the camera. It also rectifies minor operational issues.

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