Leica C-Lux Camera Review – A High Quality Compact Camera
A recently introduced fixed-lens camera from Leica, the C-Lux is a compact model featuring a 20 MP CMOS sensor. Designed to be a multi-purpose, compact and portable camera, the C-Lux boasts advanced features like long 15x optical zoom, 4K video recording, maximum ISO sensitivity of 25,600, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, 10fps continuous shooting, built-in electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch touchscreen LCD. With a focal range of 8.8 to 132 mm, the camera lets you capture photos in a variety of genres including wildlife, landscape, street, events and portraits.
In this post, we look at the features, performance, pros and cons of the Leica C-Lux camera to help you decide if it is the right model for you.
Design and Construction
The C-Lux comes in Leica’s classic retro design and is offered in two color options – Light Gold and Midnight Blue. The moment you hold the camera in your hand, the look and ergonomics impress you. It feels luxurious and looks attractive. It is a lightweight model at 340g and is compact enough to be carried easily in a handbag.
It has a metallic body with plastic back panel and rubberized strip on the front for grip. There is also a rubber pad at the back for resting the thumb. These grips let you use it for hours without pain or sweat. The build quality is sturdy.
One of the best features of the camera is the customize lens ring. The ring adjusts the focal length of the lens by default but can be customized to control the aperture value or manual focus. This is an amazing feature for those who frequently shoot in aperture priority or focus manually as it saves you time and effort spent in switching between aperture values.
A 3 inch TFT LCD touchscreen lies at the back of the camera along with the 0.21 inch LCD viewfinder. The touchscreen is quite responsive and allows you to touch and focus while capturing photos and videos. The screen also features a special repellent coating which prevents any smears and fingerprints. A pop-up flash is concealed at the top center and can be used by sliding a key. The back also consists of three function buttons to be used as per custom convenience.
With a range of focal length between 24mm to 360mm, the camera delivers excellent quality at both ends. The images appear to be crisp and sharp between 24 and 200 mm and get somewhat soft after 200mm focal length.
However, it gives outstanding results even at 360mm when shooting in daylight. The crispness reduces as the light decreases. This is why this camera is a good choice for you if you shoot a lot in the daytime and require a longer range of focal length. The camera optics let you shoot images in good color quality.
The real performance test of a camera is always in low light conditions. The ISO performance of the camera is excellent up to 1600 and it offers sharp details without noise. You can notice apparent grains in the photos beyond 1600 ISO. The camera offers an amazing performance while shooting video in low light conditions. It works well even at 1600ISO.
One of the most appealing features of the C-Lux camera is its 15x zoom lens. The camera captures impressive detail at full zoom and offers quick focusing. In low light conditions, farther objects appear somewhat fuzzy and focusing takes some time.
Considering the fact that Leica is known for its monochrome photography, it is no surprise that C-Lux impresses with its image quality in monochrome mode. With one of the best in class sensors, the camera produces completely different images capturing excellent contrast and dynamic range.
The innovative touch-to-focus feature is quite handy and reliable. The speed of focus is also satisfactory with minimal focus hunting in low-light conditions as well. When you use it below 200mm in low light, the camera’s focusing gets slower and hunting begins.
One of the most important advantages of using a small sensor camera is the availability of fantastic features. Leica C-Lux offers useful features like choosing from various AutoFocus modes like subject tracking, Face/eye detection, custom multipoint, precision, single area and more based on what you shoot.
The burst mode of this camera works brilliantly and you also use the 4K burst shooting option for faster performance. In this mode, it captures a 4K video clip which you can later use to select the frame you would like to save as an image.
Besides standard modes of shooting, this camera offers a mode to add filters along with a ‘Scene’ mode that provides shooting presets like soft skin, black-white, etc. An integrated panorama mode stitches together multiple images automatically as you move the camera.
There are many advanced features like the option to enable zebra pattern that highlights the lesser exposed parts, ability to increment ISO and focus peaking.
Battery life is up to 370 shots on a full charge which is quite appealing for an affordable model. The lithium battery is stored at the base of the camera and can be charged using the USB cable. Social media enthusiasts will love the camera for its ability to transfer photos and videos to sharing platforms instantly through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi using a dedicated app.
-Impressive zoom range
-Good quality of image and video in daylight
-Stylish retro design
-Not so accurate EVF
-Average performance in low-light conditions
With excellent performance and stylish design, Leica C-Lux makes a great option for frequent travelers who want a compact camera to carry with them for most of their photography jobs. If you like Leica brand and clicking in monochrome, C-Lux is the ideal choice for you.