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The Leica D-Lux 6 is Leica's version of the Panasonic Lumix LX7, and as such the specifications and features are identical, however there are some subtle design changes that make the D-Lux 6 a more disceet compact camera, as well as a different package in the box, including Lightroom 4 as well as a longer 3 year warranty. Due to the similarities, this review is based on the LX7 review.
The D-Lux 6 is Leica's update to the serious compact camera, the Leica D-Lux 5, and updates the camera with a new ultra bright f/1.4 3.8x Leica optical zoom lens with O.I.S, manual aperture ring around the lens, ND filter, RAW shooting and manual control. It is available in black for £599.00.
The D-Lux 6 has full manual controls as well as a range of scene modes and intelligent auto. To control the light there is an aperture ring, internal ND filter, focus lever and rear dial. The Creative Control mode offers 16 artistic effects, there is also the option to record using Time Lapse Shot.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD in 60p (NTSC) / 50p (PAL) in AVCHD Progressive format. There is stereo sound and you can also use the optical zoom during recording. The D-Lux 6 lets you record high-speed videos at 120 fps.
- 10.1 megapixel MOS sensor
- 3.8x optical zoom, f/1.4-2.3 lens (35mm equiv: 24-90mm)
- Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
- 3.0 inch TFT LCD screen (920K dots)
- Full manual controls - aperture ring, internal ND filter and focus lever
- Full 1080p HD video recording
- ISO 80-6400
- 1cm minimum focusing distance
- 11fps full resolution continuous shooting
- Creative control with 16 artistic effects
- Versatile shooting functions including time lapse shot
- Available in black
The D-Lux 6 doesn't feature a grip on the front of the camera, instead an optional grip is available. A lens cap can be attached with the lens strap loop to make sure you don't lose it. The camera also comes with a high quality neck strap that helps add additional quality to the camera. A customisable function button can be found on the back 4-way d-pad, a control dial as well as an ND / focus switch. On top of the lens surround is an aspect ratio switch, and on the left of the focus switch letting you choose between AF / AF+Macro or Manual.
The D-Lux 6 comes with a built in dual-axis electronic level, as well as an updated Leica styled menu system. The menu is clear and has a wealth of options. The camera provides a Q. Menu button giving quick access to common settings overlaid on the rear screen. The screen is bright and clear, although a little difficult to see in really bright conditions. There is the option to purchase an electronic viewfinder if preferred.
Battery life is rated at 330 shots according to CIPA standards, during testing we managed more than this and the battery was still going strong. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.
|Shutter Response||<0.05 seconds|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.25 seconds|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.3 seconds|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||1.3 seconds|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||0.8 seconds|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.3 seconds|
|Burst shooting - 2 fps||2.1 fps|
|Burst shooting - 5 fps||5 fps|
|Burst shooting - 11 fps||11 fps|
|Burst shooting - 40 fps||40 fps|
|Burst shooting - 60 fps||60 fps|
|Flash burst||1.3 fps|
Continuous shooting is certainly impressive offering 11 fps continuous shooting at full resolution, or 5 fps continuous shooting with C-AF. You can shoot at 40 and 60 fps, with file size restricited to 5 and 2.5 megapixels respectively, in JPEG format. The camera shoots RAW at 11fps and will take 12 shots before writing to card, although it does take a while to record the photos to the card.
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Leica D-LUX 6 Sample Photos
Drive | 1/800 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
HDR Drive | 1/640 sec | f/4.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 160
Camera Flash | 1/60 sec | f/2.0 | 12.8 mm | ISO 320
Studio Flash | 1/160 sec | f/8.0 | 14.7 mm | ISO 80
Sample Photos - The D-Lux 6 takes pictures with excellent colour reproduction, with portrait shots having excellent skin tones, with just the slightest hint of red-eye when shooting with the flash. The HDR mode does an excellent job of retaining detail in the shadows.
Leica D-LUX 6 Lens test images
Wide | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Wide With ND | 1/160 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Zoom | 1/2000 sec | f/2.8 | 17.7 mm | ISO 80
Zoom With ND | 1/200 sec | f/2.8 | 17.7 mm | ISO 80
Trees | 1/160 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Macro | 0.3 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 100
f/1.4 | 1/640 sec | f/1.4 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
f/2.0 | 1/400 sec | f/2.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Lens Performance - Images are packed with detail throughout when shooting at both ends of the lens. Purple fringing is kept to a minimum. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm, with an impressive, well detailed macro shot possible.
Leica D-LUX 6 ISO test images
3m (JPEG only) | 1/1600 sec | f/4.0 | 14.7 mm | ISO 12800
ISO Noise Performance - Images at ISO 80 and 100 are free of noise, with only a little extra appearing when you shoot at ISO 200, 400 and 800. A little softening appears at ISO 1600, with ISO 3200 showing the first real signs of a loss in image quality, but images are still fairly sharp. At ISO 6400 images are very soft and look like they've been smudged. At the highest setting of ISO 12800, images are extremely noisy, but file size is limited to 3 megapixels.
Leica D-LUX 6 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under both our incandescent and fluorescent lights, the AWB preset copes really well. The incandescent preset has a slight orange cast in the image, there is no fluorescent preset available, this isn't a problem given the impressive AWB performance.
Panorama | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail and are really well stitched together.
Leica D-LUX 6 Other sample images
Tall Trees | 1/800 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Into Sun | 1/1600 sec | f/5.6 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Leica D-LUX 6 Digital filters
Mono | 1/1000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Natural | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Scenery | 1/1600 sec | f/3.2 | 7.9 mm | ISO 80
Vivid | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Cross Process | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Expressive | 1/800 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
High Dynamic | 1/2000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 400
High Key | 1/320 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Impressive Art | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 125
Landscape | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Low Key | 1/1600 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Miniature | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Dynamic Mono | 1/1000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Retro | 1/800 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Sepia | 1/1000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Soft Focus | 1/1000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Star | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Toy | 1/800 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 125
Digital Filters - There are a number of picture styles which can be used when shooting in modes such as manual, aperture and shutter priority. The creative control modes can only be used as their own indepent modes, but you can increase or decrease the level of their affect.
Video - Below is a video shot at full 1080p HD. Quality is excellent, optical zoom is available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page, where you will also find an example using the high-speed video mode. The camera's high-speed video mode records at 720p and 100fps.
Value For MoneyThe Leica D-Lux 6 is priced at £599, which is a lot of money for a serious compact camera, although included in that price is a 1 year Leica Passport Scheme (which includes accidental damage cover), 3 year warranty, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, and, if you buy from Harrison Cameras, a 32GB SanDisk memory card. Alternatives to look at include the Fujifilm FinePix X100 (£550), Sony Cyber-shot RX100 (£450), Olympus XZ-2 (£420), and for more take a look at our Top 10 Best Serious Compact Cameras.
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Panasonic Lumix LX7, the prestigeous Leica red dot, as well as a a number of bundled extras.
|The Leica D-Lux 6 packs many useful features with superb image quality, although the price is high.|
Leica D-Lux 6 ProsExcellent image quality
Bright f/1.4 wide angle lens
Full manual controls
1080p HD video recording
11 fps full resolution continuous shooting
Built-in electronic level
Good battery life
Low noise up to ISO 3200
Good AWB performance
3 year warranty
Leica D-Lux 6 ConsLimited zoom range
Price makes it quite an investment
Lacks grip at the front
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
The Leica D-Lux 6 is available from Harrison Cameras.
Leica D-LUX 6 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/1.4 - f/2.3|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 90mm|
|CCD pixels||10.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Live MOS Sensor|
|Sensor Size||1/1.7 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||920k dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||8sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 12800|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Box Contents||Battery pack, battery charger, shoulder strap, USB cable, CD-ROM, hot shoe cover, screw cover, lens cap and lens cap string|