Leica V-Lux 40 first look – luxury compact camera with 20x zoom
What is the Leica V-Lux 40?
Leica cameras are as well-known for their huge price tags as their quality, and while the V-Lux range is at the more affordable end of the scale, it still doesn’t come cheap.
Costing around £550, the V-Lux 40 is a compact digital camera that costs twice as much as its almost identical to the Panasonic Lumix TZ30, but it is much cheaper than the rest of the Leica range, which begins around the £1,500 mark.
Which? tests digital cameras for a wide range of factors including picture quality, ease of use, focusing and shutter delay. See which models perform the best in our digital camera reviews.
Five things we like about the Leica V-Lux 40
- It has a 20X optical zoom
This is a huge zoom for a compact digital camera and means you can get detailed pictures of subjects without having to get really close to them.
- It’s got a good wide angle
According to Leica the wide angle is equivalent to 24mm on a 35mm camera. This means you can get lots into shots – ideal for indoor photos or landscapes.
- It can take 60 still photos in a second
In burst mode it can take up to 10 photos a second at full resolution or an impressive 60 photos a second in high speed mode – although this will restrict resolution to 3.5Mp
- It has 14.1 effective megapixels
The CMOS sensor has one of the highest resolutions you will find in a compact digital camera, so you will be able to blow up your pictures as large as you like. Full HD, 1080p video recording is another highlight, letting you shoot video that will look good on a HD TV screen.
- You can use it to find landmarks
As well as featuring GPS for tagging photos locations, the camera comes with a DVD featuring maps of popular cities than can be uploaded to the camera to help you find your way around.
Tim’s impressions of the Leica V-Lux 40
The big difference between the V-Lux 40 and V-Lux 30, which it replaces, is the size of the optical zoom. This has been increased from 16X to 20X.
This is a very large zoom for a compact camera and is all the more impressive considering it retracts completely within the casing, allowing the camera to fit into a small and easy to carry case.
Ultimately though, the V-Lux 40 has the same specs as the much cheaper Panasonic TZ30 and it’s difficult to recommended the V-Lux 40 because of this.
Leica does offer different software (including how the image is processed), a 2 year warranty and access to training with the use of the camera, but I don’t think this justifies doubling the price.
The Leica badge adds some prestige you won’t get from the Panasonic version, and for many the V-Lux range will be their only chance of affording this aspirational brand, but when it comes down to it you can buy the same camera for half the price from Panasonic.
What makes a Which? Best Buy digital camera?
These are just our first impressions of the Leica V-Lux 40 based on a short amount of hands-on time. Before Which? can recommend any product, we send it to our labs to be scientifically tested. Check our how we test digital cameras page for an in-depth look at what we do at the lab. Watch the video below to see what makes a Best Buy digital camera.
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