Buy This Camera, Get a Free Case
For a limited time, purchase this Leica camera from Amazon.com and get a camera case for free. To qualify for the discount first add the Leica camera to your cart, and then add the camera case to your cart. The discount will display when you proceed to checkout.
12x Leica DC Vario-Elmar 1:3.3 4.9 / 4.1 49.2mm ASPH (25-300 mm) zoom lens; focal lengths from super-wide to extreme telephoto
GPS module for registration of geographical data of every shot
720p HD movie capture with 12x zoom range
Compatible with SD/SDHC/SXDC cards (not included)
You know what they say, a Panasonic ZS7 by any other name.
per one reviewer
Own Both the Leica V-Lux 20 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7, And............, June 27, 2010
Todd Krieger (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leica V-LUX 20 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Wide Angle Optical Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Electronics)
......I do notice several things the V-Lux 20 does better than the DMC-ZS7.......
The color rendering seems to be more true on the V-Lux 20 (the ZS7 has a slight "cyan" cast), fewer blown highlights (maybe the biggest drawback of the ZS7), and most-importantly- superior noise reduction. The Leica's internal NR is in my opinion comparable to the very best post-process noise-reduction products out there, including Topaz DeNoise 4. (Most point-and-shoot cameras I prefer the minimum NR setting, the Leica I prefer the default setting. I actually get better results from the camera's own NR, with either no or minimal post-processing. On the other hand, the ZS7's NR is more typical for in-camera NR, where I use the minimum settings, and then fixed with more-intense post-processing.) The video also seems to have more resolution and less highlight clipping. (Although the vertical streaks from bright lights is exactly the same as the ZS7.) The question will come down to whether these advantages justify the price difference. I say it's a close call. But if I were to sell one of the cameras, I'd sell the ZS7, only because I do think the V-Lux 20 does yield noticeably better performance, and I think it's the best mega-zoom point-and-shoot available as of right now.
- Best image quality of the currently-available mega-zoom compacts I've tried.
- Superb color rendering- Superior to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7.
- Good low-light performance (although can be improved with post processing).
- Very good resolution with videos. (Comparable to the Sony DSC-HX5V in spite of 720p specs.)
- Superb autofocus during videos. Rarely loses focus during zoom. Minimal "motor noise" during zoom.
- Fewer blown highlights relative to the Panasonic ZS7.
- Camera's internal noise reduction comparable to the very best post-process products out there.
- The long zoom range and small sensor still cause noise and low-light problems.
- Requires settings adjustments for best IQ. ("Sharpness" set to "-1" reduces "edge artifacts" without sacrificing resolution; "ISO" set to "ISOMAX1600" and "I.EXPOSURE" set to "Standard" improves low-light performance.)
- Image quality still not at a level of the Leica X1 or D-Lux 4.
- Video has exact same vertical streaking from bright lights as the Panasonic ZS7. (The Sony HX5V does not have this flaw.)
- Sample variation/quality control: Had to exchange camera due to a misaligned lens.
- Somewhat excessive "distortion correction" at widest zoom angle. Image slightly "stretched" radially toward the edges. (Although most recent compact cameras have this flaw.)
- High price a judgment call for the stated advantages. If zoom or video isn't a requisite, better IQ can be had elsewhere for the price.
Don't forget to add the overpriced Leica case $98 to the cart as it will be free with this camera. You will see $98 taken at final checkout.
"As you can see, the V-Lux 20 is the identical twin to the Panasonic ZS7. Both share the same features and both are made in the same factory."
He goes on to list his reasons to buy a Leica over a Panasonic.
"1.The Leica V-Lux 20 comes with a two year warranty. Camera breaks, just send it to Leica USA for repair. The Panasonic comes with a one year warranty. With my D-Lux 4, Leica extended the warranty to three years when I registered it. Not sure if they are doing that with the V-Lux 20 but they might be. If so, this would get you much more warranty time.
2.The Leica V-Lux 20 comes with Photoshop Elements 8. The Panny comes with unknown (to me) software, and it is not Photoshop Elements 8.
3.The Leica, to my eyes is more attractive with its sleek black body. Instead of the big LUMIX and HD AVCHD logos you just get the red dot. Clean and simple.
4.Firmware. Leica writes their own firmware for the V-Lux 20 so sometimes we see a little bit better color and IQ from the Leica.
5.Leica cameras have much better resale. Even the old Digilux 2 has now become a much sought after camera while the Panasonic version, the LC1 has not. People are paying $1000 for a well used Digilux 2 these days. Yes, I have seen them go for that much recently.
6.You gotta love Leica. They are a small company who take pride in their cameras and while this one was not made in Germany like their other cameras, it still has the Leica spirit and when you are shooting Leica you just feel good He he…
7.If you have the cash, why not? If I had the extra money I would buy the Leica but I love Leica and love what they do and what they stand for. I am all for supporting their cause of creating superb cameras that other companies are afraid to produce.
The Leica and the Panasonic are the exact same hardware made in the exact same factory by the exact same people. The differences noted by the other reviewer could simply because they have different default settings for NR et al. That doesn't preclude someone from playing with them to get the look they want.
To sum up, if you have more money than you know what to do with and need to have something with Leica on it, get the Leica. If you value money more than a label, get the Panasonic.
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