January 19, 2012

Leica V-Lux 20 Test-Drive

Water Tower 96 L1020055

I've had a Leica V-LUX 20 compact point-and-shoot for a few days now and am bringing it through it's paces. It might seem that I've forsaken my DSLR, and to tell the truth - for the short term at least - I've done just that. For the last three month's or so, most of my photography has been realised using a variety of 35mm film cameras, mobile phone, a 3Q HD and a Lumix LX5. I'm now adding the Leica to that list. I guess the main reason for abandoning the DSLR is lifestyle, I simply don't have the time to indulge in personal and deliberate photo shoots ... but I think about them quite a lot. In any case, the subject matter of my recent images is appropriate to the digital compact - photos taken on-the-fly of what ever catches my eye at any given time. I must say, I enjoy the freedom of it all and would go so far as to say it's changing the way I think about taking pictures. As all of these images may never reach a print stage, I don't need the resolution or quality of a DSLR sensor. If anything, I'm developing a greater appreciation and respect regarding the restrictions (and advantages) posed by the digital compact camera which most of my students must come to terms with in their work.

The Leica V-LUX 20 is a clone of the Panasonic Lumix TZ 10. In fact I believe both cameras are made in the same factory. There is however a price difference of about €300 between them. On the surface, the only difference between the cameras is the red dot sported by the Leica, it also has GPS tagging which I think is absent from the Lumix version. Apart from that, the cameras are identical. So how much did it cost me then? Lets just say I got an offer I couldn't refuse.

I'll be disclosing my opinions about the Leica in the weeks ahead but for the moment I'll let the images do the talking. On that note, keep in mind that the V-LUX 20 does not have RAW capability, images are in JPEG and I'll be running them through ACR to tweak white balance and contrast.

Photo: Water Tower, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. Shot in hard light to test dynamic range capability. Result ... look in the shadows ... pass!
Leica V-LUX 20 Exif Data

Costello Memorial Chapel - Carrick-on-Shannon L1020060
Bridge Street - Carrick-on-Shannon L1020057

Costello Memorial Chapel in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, second smallest chapel in the world!!

Photo: Leica V-LUX 20 Exif Data 1. Exif Data 2.