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Leica Digilux 2 4 to 5 Megapixel
Product DescriptionModern digital technology and the proven concepts of traditional analog photography are joined in a harmonious combination: Decisive photographic parameters such as sharpness, aperture, focal length and shutter speeds can be controlled like those on a classic single-lens-reflex camera by means of setting rings on the lens and a shutter speed dial. To ensure the best pictorial results, the lens, the sensor and the electronics are optimally tailored to one another.
Leica Digilux 2 Studio Test by Photo-John
Leica Digilux 2 review at Digital Outback Photo
Submitted by cgarrard a Professional
Date Reviewed: July 30, 2011
Strengths: Unique handling and photographic experience. Need more strengths than that? Ok, one of the finest lenses ever produced by any manufacturer - ever. Still need more?
Magnesium build quality, easy to use menu system, wonderful size, large aperture lens means indoor shooting at low ISO's without flash, that wonderful two position flash with bounce feature, nice LCD, and very decent EVF viewfinder.
And, most of all, the legendary Leica optical influence on images- some call it glow, others call it magic, I tend to call it - soulful.
Weaknesses: Not many. Slower raw shooting but this camera isn't intended to shoot fast. That is part of its charm. EVF could be larger and brighter, but you get used to it.
Leica's Digilux 2 is a unique experience. The optical quality of it's lens, the build quality of its body, its ergonomics, and image quality are well above most cameras you'll find today.
At its inception, the "D2" was well out of reach for most photographers with its bloated price tag of nearly two thousand dollars. But today, they are well within reach price wise on the used market. They typically range from 400-2,000(new) and can be found in several places that sell used equipment.
That said, if you can find one in the condition that suits your taste, buy it and never sell it. Use it as often as you like, but never sell it. One day it will grow on you and you'll understand why I give such strict advice.
This camera is capable of very unique and fine quality images. It's lens is so sharp and well designed, the 5mp sensor actually responds higher than its specification- churning out resolution equivalents to excellent 7.5 mp cameras when processed from Raw. So don't be afraid of the 5mp specification.
This camera is already a classic, and 10 years from now people will still be talking about it and using it. Find one where the sensor has been serviced, or if you don't Leica still honors replacing the batch of bad sensors that were supplied to them. That, is service.
For a full review, you can see it here:
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $425.00
Purchased At: B&H
Similar Products Used: Panasonic LC1
Type of photography: Fine Art
Submitted by Dversiontwo a Expert
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2009
Strengths: Compact, devoid of endless buttons, great ergonomics (stuff falls to hand), solid build, magnificent lens.
Lenses and accessories made for the Lumix DMC-LC1 will work with this camera. Panasonic made a high quality wide angle converter that screws onto the lens and extends the wide angle view- highly reccomended.
If you can find one, Leica made a very high quality Macro converter for this camera that produces excellent results. It's rare, out of production and usually highly priced. Panasonic made a simpler and less expensive, though high quality, Macro converter that is still in the Panasonic supply system and commonly sells for under $100.
The twin position flash is excellent for many common situations. Some pros have described it as being the best integrated flash ever put on a camera- that's saying something.
Weaknesses: Integrated lens. As wonderful as the lens is, I wish Leica/Panasonic would have put it on a detachable mount. The lens is the heart and soul of this camera and when the camera dies the lens will go away with it.
69mm filter size. These are not very common and kind of keeps the bargain hunter from finding many good deals on quality filters. Leica sells an adapter that allows the use of more common filter sizes.
If you worry about pixel counts, this camera is not for you. If you want a great tool to practice your craft that gets out of the way and just works- this is it.
This is a camera that will be considered a classic down the line because of it's unique attributes. If you enjoy photography instead of using a computer with a lens this could well be your next camera. The lens is, in my opinion, without equal in it's market and takes pictures with that elusive Leica Glow- and I am not talking about the software processing of the image.
If you buy one, check see if the sensor is functioning properly. The Digilux 2 and it's Panasonic twin the Lumix DMC-LC1 have had a high failure rate of the CCD sensor due to a manufacturing problem Sony, the maker of the CCD, experienced. Leica and Panasonic have both enacted repair programs, with Leica even replacing the CCD for free out of warranty. I do not know what the current policy of Panasonic is, but be careful as the part is almost $500 not counting installation.
At today's prices this camera is a steal- especially if you are an old school shooter who strongly dislikes 10,000 buttons and likes aperture and shutter controls where they belong.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $700.00
Purchased At: AMAZON
Similar Products Used: Various digicams. I also own a Digilux 1 and Digilux 3.
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Ruhayat a Casual
Date Reviewed: August 14, 2008
Strengths: Superb B&W camera for people who'd rather be out taking pictures than sitting in front of a PC with the images zoomed at 100 percent. Oh, and the Summicron zoom lens is very nice, too.
Weaknesses: Boxy, can be hard to grip with sweaty palms. A bit too light. Can feel a little fragile. And it's got the d****d red dot in front of it, which attracts curious people like flies, making street and event photography a drag ('cos you're being asked so many questions).
This is my first serious camera and despite what some people might say about it ("toy", "plasticky", "not a real Leica", etc), it's been money well-spent for me. But then again, I got it at just a third of the original retail cost.
I bought the Digilux 2 mainly because of its manual controls. Once you set the basic parameters -- ISO, white balance, file size -- you won't need to access them again (and if you do, the rear wheel gives you a handy shortcut). Typical functions -- image review, delete, bracketing, toggling between LCD and viewfinder -- have a button each. So the camera is very fast to operate.
When you've used the manual aperture and focus rings as well as shutter wheel, you'll find it hard to get used to any digital camera, compact or SLR. The mechanical controls make full manual operation a doddle, and photography is a lot more fun because of it.
But the camera is not that ergonomic. The boxy shape is a bit too thick for my Asian hands, and the bottom right corner bites into my palm after I use it for a while. The shutter button could be easier to get to. And the camera is just a little bit too light -- I've often thought of weighing it down by fashioning a steel plate to attach to the underside, but then there's where you load the battery!
It's only 5 megapixels, but there was a reason for that (apart from the fact that it was the technology available at the time). It's because the resolution has been matched to the sensor size. Any higher and you'd probably get more noise in your photos.
Let's face it: the absolute colour image quality is never going to match even an entry-level dSLR like the Nikon D70 (6 megapixels), so why bother? But it does have a certain character to the shots it takes, a little organic-ness (!) that makes the pictures look less plasticky and fake.
Not that it bothers me: I only used the camera for colour shots in the first 2 months I got it. After that it's been a black and white camera all the way, and for this the shots are superb. Contrasty and sharp, and if you push the ISO to the maximum 400 (yes, it only goes to ISO400, please don't faint) the noise makes the pictures look a bit like film. If you shoot in RAW then you'll have to wait 6 seconds between shots. I don't (the in-camera B&W mode in JPEG format is good enough for me), so again it doesn't bother me.
This camera is an emotional buying decision. You'll either like what it does (and thereby have a "relationship" with it, concentrating on just taking pictures rather than counting pixels and worrying about what other lens to buy). Or you won't, in which case either (a) don't buy it in the first place, or (b) don't buy it and then whine that it's not as agood as a bottom-line Nikon or Canon dSLR.
Most people buy a modern Ford because it's a good car that gives good mileage and it just works in the morning. A minority chooses to drive banged up oldies with character like the Volvo 240 or Mini Cooper (the original one), for reasons known only to themselves.
This is a camera for people who would buy it for reasons only known to themselves. And they will enjoy it as passionately as one ever could a digital camera.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Purchased At: Secondhand
Similar Products Used: Leica D-Lux 3, Ricoh GR-Digital, Nikon D70, Nikon D80, Fuji S5 Pro, Panasonic DMC-LC40
Type of photography: People
Submitted by ictmanager a Expert
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2007
Weaknesses: It takes a little getting used to the electronic viewfinder.
Why don't Leica supply a case with their cameras?
I have been waiting for a Digilux 2 to come up at the right price and condition on Fleabay for some time. My wait was worthwhile. I have been using 2 other digicams for a few years now, a Nikon D100 and a Leica Digilux 1. I have loved the different aspects of both, but the Digi 1 is the one that has accompanied me to most places. I am not a professional, I just love taking good pics, but as an IT teacher, I deal with a lot of digital cameras that our college buys and that the kids bring in. I have never been impressed by any of them when compared to my digilux 1, until a recent HP came in with a big LCD. The digilux 1 never let me down, and provided my own wedding photos. I highly recommend it. Especially at the low prices they go for on ebay. However, my digilux 1 is now going up for sale too, as the digilux 2 that I got my grubby hands on is FAR superior. It's honestly like going from a jaguar to a Rolls Royce. Mine was 40% of the last UK retail price, in mint condition, and this is the going rate on ebay. I just need a case for it, and these are in short supply. If you buy one, the viewfinder, which is n effect a small TV screen, takes some getting used to, but at least you see what is going to be captured! The build quality is second to none. I am 53yrs old now, I have been through numerous Nikon film cameras over the years before the aforementioned digitals, and I think at last I could settle down with JUST the digilux 2. Yes, the Nikon D100 and 3 lenses is probably going to be sold too now. I won't have quite the focal length range anymore, but this little baby is SO beautiful to use that I think I'm ready to get married to her. As regards batteries, they last for ages, and nowadays places like 7dayshop.com sell copy batteries which are brilliant for less than £20 ($40). SD cards....well 2Gb for £20 aswell allow around 440 shots to be stored at high res jpeg. What more do you need? She is, I think, a keeper. If you are my age, and want to travel without a huge camera bag and take photographs of your visits, this IS THE ONE. Enough said?
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Similar Products Used: Digilux 1, Nikon D100
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by blacktara a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2005
Strengths: 1. Summicron lens and the incredible picture quality and fidelity it can render in the proper hands - in a word, peerless
2. Bounce flash capabiltity
3. Classic lens adjustments for aperature and zoom
Weaknesses: 1. No RAW buffer - one file must finish being written before you can take your next picture. 5 seconds or so even with a fast SD card such as the Sandisk Extreme III
2. Easy to inadvertantly switch between normal and macro in AF mode when zooming
3. Somewhat bulky, especially if you are used to a miniature style model
4. Filter size of 69 mm not commonly available at most local retailers.
5. Associated expenses such as for protective filter, large capacity SD card/s, extra battery, optional external flash, etc etc can easily total another $500
In its infancy, megapixels were a serious limiting factor in the quality of digital photography. This hurdle was breached for most amateur photographers once prosumer level cameras became affordable at about the 4 megapixel range.
As such, the quality of digital photgraphy depends on two the same two key elements as in classic film photography, namely the user and the lens
The idea of paying $1500+ for this 5 megapixel camera becomes reasonable once one realizes the above
What you are paying for here first and foremost, is the beautiful Leica Summicron lens (and yes, a little for the Leica red dot)
The camera is beautiful in a retro kind of way. Looks are elegent and refined, and operations are logical and silky smooth, as befits an instrument of this caliber
Price Paid: $1700.00
Purchased At: Popflash
Related Digilux 2 Forum Posts
I have finally finished my Leica Digilux 2 review. I hope it doesn't ruin what little reputation I have as an impartial camera reviewer. I love that camera. I can't afford it, but I love it. [url=http://forums.photographyreview.com/showthread.php?t=5031]Read the Leica Digilux 2 Camera Test >>[/ur ... Read More »
Read a hands-on report and view studio and other sample images taken with the Leica Digilux 2 digital camera.ProsGreat build, ergonomics, and classic Leica styleOutstanding image qualitySimple, effective controls and menus7-22.5mm f/2.0-2.4 Leica DC Vario-Summicron lensFlash hot shoePrice: Approx. $ ... Read More »
Alright guys, I am pretty attached to my fm3a and all its fully manual controls and what not, but i am sorta being forced into switching to this new digital deal for photojournalism next fall. I went and tried out the d-100, 10d, rebel and d-70 today and i wasn't overly impressed with ay of them. ... Read More »
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