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Field Review (Last Day)- Leica D-LUX 4

by Chris Gampat on 02/12/2010

After spending some quality time with the Leica D-LUX 4, it is now time to say good-bye to the camera that stood by me for the past week or so. During my last day of shooting, I used it in a party/bar type atmosphere as well as on the streets documenting real life. Additionally, my experience with the Hasselblad H4D-40 was documented with this camera. So without further hesitation, I now conclude the field review and elaborate on my final experiences.

Day 1: Covered the feel of the camera and the basics of the new firmware update.

Day 2: Covered more of the firmware update in use.

The Weekend: Explored the wonderful color rendition and exposure problems.

Day 5: Explored the High ISO usability of this camera.

Author’s note: the opening shot was shot on 20th St and 6th Ave after a fire happened. Witnesses said a transformer went crazy and burned the line straight up.

As you can tell from the opening photo, color rendition is wonderful once again. To be fair, this is in very good lighting. But users can know that if they carry this or the Panasonic LX3 with them that their cameras will be capable of delivering splendid photos.

However, in low or bad lighting the D-LUX 4 can hit or miss in terms of color accuracy. Auto focusing was always spot on, mind you. Despite having to shoot at high ISOs (almost everything was shot at ISO 800 and above) it still delivers some good shots for the web.

Also, to be fair, my 5D Mk II has sometimes failed in terms of white balance/color accuracy in this setting. But this place can sometimes be difficult to shoot in (which is why I picked it for this torture test.)

When the camera gets the colors right, the photos come out lovely. Because of this problem, you’ll once again always want to shoot in RAW. There are different sized RAW photos, I didn’t see too much of a difference between any of them.

It can be concluded that for a point-and-shoot camera, the D-LUX 4 can perform very well a majority of the time but in difficult shooting situations it can only try its best given what it has.

For a small sensor compact, the depth of field can be very nice. However, the “bokeh” is more pronounced in the Macro range.

I wouldn’t think I’d want to make prints of these. Perhaps 4 x 5′s or so, but even then I’d want to do some photoshopping due to the industry turning me into a pixel-peeper.

This is one of the environments that the typical user of this camera may shoot in. In which case, it does better than most other compacts in the scenario.

D-LUX 4 Loves

- Body design

- Lens, I don’t mind a lack of longer zoom when I’ve got a nice bright and sharp lens like this.

- Simpler and more pleasing menu than the Panasonic version

- Shoots RAW, and many sized RAW files

- Comfortable, but can feel like it can slip out of your hands at times.

- Lens cap

- Accesories

- High ISO isn’t terrible for a compact

- Small and discrete profile

- Simple layout of buttons

- Easy learning curve

D-LUX 4 Hates

- Lens cap flops about everywhere

- Price

- White balance problems at times

- Minor and rare auto-focus issues

The D-LUX 4 is highly recommended by me.

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