A few days ago, I posted on the digital camera forum here about why I felt justified spending more to get a Leica D-Lux 5, http://www.photo.net/digital-camera-forum/00YEaC and, for the most part, I was slammed for having more money than common sense for getting a camera which is ostensibly a Leica-rebranded Panasonic Lumix LX5. So I had a simple shootout between my Nikon D300, 16-85 DX and the Leica D-Lux 5. Nothing too complex. Here's how I tried to create a level playing field: - Nikon at widest zoom setting of 16 mm, equivalent to 24mm FX versus Leica at widest zoom setting also equivalent to 24mm FX. - both lenses set at one stop below widest, hence Nikon at f5, versus Leica at f2.8 - both set at Aperture Priority mode - both set for Deep Shade color balance - both focused on the left-hand side of the large green bush I attach 3 photos, and you should be able to tell which by my description. 1) Nikon JPEG, no post processing except slight sharpening. I consider a sharpened Nikon JPEG to be a level playing field compared to an unsharpened Leica JPEG because Nikon JPEGs are reputed to be slightly soft, as I've heard. 2) Leica D-Lux 5, darkening to match Nikon image, and extra saturation to try to match Nikon's green in the grass lawn. 3) Leica D-Lux 5, no post processing The Nikon D300's color seemed almost artificial and heavy. Look at the part underneath the large tree - it is virtually dumped into black. Look at the other dark areas - underneath the left tree, and underneath the central bush. Whereas in the Leica image you can make out shadow detail in those same areas. For me, the Leica with saturation post-processing captures the ambient light that I saw when standing in the garden, whereas the Nikon seems ... almost garish. In the dark shade areas in the Leica photo, you can see plenty of shadow detail. Sure, with some post processing of RAW Nikon files, I'm sure you could draw out the shadow detail - but this quick test compares the Nikon vs Leica JPEGs using the barest amount of post-processing. I've had a series of Nikon DSLRs from the D70, D80 and D300 - am have been accustomed to seeing that sort of color, but now that I've seen the Leica colors, I don't think I can go back to using the D300.