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Panasonic LX100 vs Leica D-Lux Type 109
Old 09-13-2016   #1
plnelson
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Panasonic LX100 vs Leica D-Lux Type 109

In a few weeks I'll be traveling to Iceland for a few days and thence to London and Liverpool. I'm recently recovering from back surgery and I want to travel light so I thought it would be a good excuse to leave my D800 body and lenses at home in favor of one small, light mirrorless camera with a "rangefinder" format. It seems like the Panasonic LX100 and Leica D-Lux Type 109 would meet my needs but even after reading countless reviews of these online I'm still unclear what makes the Leica worth almost 60% more than the Panasonic for what are almost identical cameras ($1100 vs $700). They seem to have the same lens and sensor and almost the same firmware, and very similar size and weight. I'm willing to shell out the additional $400 if there is a clear and significant advantage but it's not clear what that is.

One thing I noticed is that on both the Amazon and B&H user reviews the LX100 netted a significantly higher percentage of 1-star and 2-star reviews than the Leica. Some were for trivial things, but many were for genuine QC reasons. This suggests that QC might in fact be better for the Leica, even though some people on the web have said they're both made in the same factory.

Thanks in advance for any information.
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Old 09-13-2016   #2
madNbad
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The big difference in cost is in part due to the post processing software included with the DLux. I bought a DLux 4 in October of 2008 and it still works great but there are design features in the Luminx I like better. The Phase One software that came with the Leica is long gone, the camera is still going strong. Either is a good choice and welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-13-2016   #3
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Nobody can help you with that one.
It's the same camera and the only difference is the name on it, but the fact that you even consider paying 60% extra, shows me, that deep in your heart you want the Leica.
So get it!
Personally I'm not so happy with digital in general, but I am happy with the Panasonic. It's always in my bag as a backup for my analog camera's.
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Old 09-13-2016   #4
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you get capture one with the leica, a better warranty, and a tweaked jpeg processor.

i would cheap out and get the Panasonic version because the evf is only ok (a bit small and has color tearing), but if you're flush with cash, the leica and its jpegs do look nicer to me.
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Old 09-14-2016   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlijn53 View Post
Nobody can help you with that one.
It's the same camera and the only difference is the name on it, but the fact that you even consider paying 60% extra, shows me, that deep in your heart you want the Leica.
So get it!
Personally I'm not so happy with digital in general, but I am happy with the Panasonic. It's always in my bag as a backup for my analog camera's.
Regards,
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How do you account for the difference in the user-reviews? It IS statistically significant at the p=0.05 level (if you remember your stats from college) and many of the complaints about LX100 were QC issues like focus problems, display failure, etc, that I'm not seeing on the Leica reviews.
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Old 09-14-2016   #6
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To complicate your decision, there have been rumors of an LX200; should know next week (Photokina) one way or another if there is one this fall, and if it will be available before you leave. Earthquake damage to the Sony factory has delayed sensor production (rumors are that it will use a SONY sensor) and may have an impact. If announced, even it its not available, there may be more price reductions on the LX100. I don't own the LX100, but have the older small sensor LX7, and there's a lot of things I like in its handling and design.
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Old 09-14-2016   #7
MikeMGB
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My D-Lux says "Made in Japan", I believe the LX100 says "Made in China". Quality control on the Leica seems to be better which would account for the fewer complaints compared to the Panasonic.

The Leica comes with Lightroom, the Panasonic does not. The Leica comes with a three year warranty, the Panasonic has a one year warranty.

I did a lot of research before deciding to spend the extra on the Leica.
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Old 09-15-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMGB View Post
My D-Lux says "Made in Japan", I believe the LX100 says "Made in China". Quality control on the Leica seems to be better which would account for the fewer complaints compared to the Panasonic.
I would think the Panasonic outsold the Leica by a large margin and that is why there are fewer complaints.
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Old 09-15-2016   #9
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If you have to ask, buy the Leica. If you don't, then with every shot you take you'll be wondering whether it would have looked better with the Leica. That nagging will be an absolute distractor when shooting the Panny instead of the real deal..

On the other hand, you could do the imaginary drop test: really really imagine that you're dropping the Leica from 30 feet down on concrete and shattering it to bits.. if that thought makes you cringe, then the Leica's not for you.. get the Panny instead.

Or if you still can't make up your mind, get both.. have the Leica just to look at it and admire, and take the Panny along to shoot on the streets..
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Old 09-15-2016   #10
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Originally Posted by pvdhaar View Post
If you have to ask, buy the Leica. If you don't, then with every shot you take you'll be wondering whether it would have looked better with the Leica. That nagging will be an absolute distractor when shooting the Panny instead of the real deal..
The "real deal"... ?
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Old 09-15-2016   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plnelson View Post
How do you account for the difference in the user-reviews? It IS statistically significant at the p=0.05 level (if you remember your stats from college) and many of the complaints about LX100 were QC issues like focus problems, display failure, etc, that I'm not seeing on the Leica reviews.
Do you still believe in user reviews? This is the internet. Anybody can write anything he or somebody else wants.
Beside that, someone who spends the extra money on a Leica, will always feel he/she bought the better camera and tell himself so and everybody who wants to hear it. I'm happy with the Panasonic, but never even think about writing a review.
And finally, don't trust too much on statistics. They can easily be manipulated or misinterpreted. And are you sure the data used are correct?
As I said, get the Leica. Obviously you'll never be happy with the Panasonic.
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Old 09-15-2016   #12
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plnelson, I use the grey background skin and I am unable to read your post, FYI.
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Old 09-15-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
I would think the Panasonic outsold the Leica by a large margin and that is why there are fewer complaints.
That's why I used percentages.
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Old 09-15-2016   #14
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Originally Posted by Merlijn53 View Post
And finally, don't trust too much on statistics. They can easily be manipulated or misinterpreted.
That's why I did the statistics. They're MY statistics. Because I aced all my stat classes in college.

But if you think all the information/data (that statistics use as input) in the world is rigged then how do you make ANY decision? Whether you're buying a lens or choosing a treatment plan for an illness do you personally go and try out each of the options yourself? I hope you never get sick because ALL modern medicine is based on data and statistics; if you don't trust them what will you do? Also watch out if you fly because aircraft component failure estimates, material stress testing, amounts of extra fuel planes have to carry to account for flight conditions, and unexpected events, and a zillion other flight-safety factors related to commercial flights, are based on statistics. I would also avoid buying insurance policies or getting a pension because those are also based on statistics.
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Old 09-15-2016   #15
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plnelson, I use the grey background skin and I am unable to read your post, FYI.
I'm just using the defaults for this website.
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Old 09-15-2016   #16
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I've looked at many images on flickr for both the LX100 and the Leica, mainly in black and white. I do like the images from the Leica better, and this is after viewing LOTS and LOTs of images. But why - perhaps it is their jpeg processor...Ming Thein has a really good review of the LX100 and the D-Lux 109. I think, correct me if i am mistaken, the D-Lux 109 comes with Lightroom. That is, if you buy it new. I am curious if it does make a difference having better jpeg software or are the photographers who use the Leica more proficient, more artistic?
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Old 09-15-2016   #17
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they have better taste.

as far as these statistics go, i'm 0% confident in the sample.
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Old 09-15-2016   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plnelson View Post
One thing I noticed is that on both the Amazon and B&H user reviews the LX100 netted a significantly higher percentage of 1-star and 2-star reviews than the Leica. Some were for trivial things, but many were for genuine QC reasons. This suggests that QC might in fact be better for the Leica, even though some people on the web have said they're both made in the same factory.
I don't know about the differences in build, as I haven't compared them. Is it possible a little bit more attention and money has been spent on getting the details right on the Leica? Sure. I think the differences you are seeing are more likely due to the buyer demographic.
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Old 09-15-2016   #19
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Originally Posted by plnelson View Post
That's why I did the statistics. They're MY statistics. Because I aced all my stat classes in college.

But if you think all the information/data (that statistics use as input) in the world is rigged then how do you make ANY decision? Whether you're buying a lens or choosing a treatment plan for an illness do you personally go and try out each of the options yourself? I hope you never get sick because ALL modern medicine is based on data and statistics; if you don't trust them what will you do? Also watch out if you fly because aircraft component failure estimates, material stress testing, amounts of extra fuel planes have to carry to account for flight conditions, and unexpected events, and a zillion other flight-safety factors related to commercial flights, are based on statistics. I would also avoid buying insurance policies or getting a pension because those are also based on statistics.
I don't remember saying that ALL information that statistics use is rigged.
Did I?
I did say that information you find on the internet is unreliable, because you do not know whether it is true or not.
Most people base their decissions on something we call common sense. But that seems to be something they did not teach you during those stat classes.

So you base your decissions on statistics you create with user reviews you find on the internet? Now that's what I call a scientific approach
I can think of many reasons why that is very unreliable.
To name a few:

People who write reviews on the internet are not a random sample of the whole population. You should know that.
How do you now, what they write is their true experience? They may have many different reasons to write what they write.

The data you use do not qualify for a quantitative analysis and that is what you are trying to do.

As I said, get the Leica, you won't be happy if you don't.
And if you are still in doubt, go to a shop that has both, make the same picture with both camera's and go pixel peeping.
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Frank
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Old 04-05-2018   #20
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Hi all, I'm reviving this old thread because I'm considering getting a Panasonic LX100 or Leica DLux 109 as a casual camera to carry with me everyday to/from work, and on business trips when I know that I won't have much (if any) free time for photography.

I just did a quick ebay search for sold listings of these two cameras in Europe, and the second hand selling prices of the Leica version are in the region of 600-700 GBP, while the Panasonic version is around half that cost. This means that the current second-hand price differnce is, relatively speaking, even larger than when the cameras were released and bought new.

As a potential buyer of one of these cameras second hand, i.e., with no warranty, it would be interesting to know if the speculations that Leica has better QC than Panasonic , and/or better build quality have born out to be true.

Has the DLux 109 had less problems? The LX100 seems famous for getting dust in the lens and/or sensor - does this happen as often with the Leica?

Regarding image quality, has the passage of time shown any definitive differences regarding handling of colours or any other parameters?

Thanks in advance for any input or advice that you may have to help me with this decision.

I'm currently leaning towards the Panasonic version based on the lower price and the built-in grip/handling of the camera.
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Old 04-06-2018   #21
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Hi all, I'm reviving this old thread because I'm considering getting a Panasonic LX100 or Leica DLux 109 as a casual camera to carry with me everyday to/from work, and on business trips when I know that I won't have much (if any) free time for photography.

I just did a quick ebay search for sold listings of these two cameras in Europe, and the second hand selling prices of the Leica version are in the region of 600-700 GBP, while the Panasonic version is around half that cost. This means that the current second-hand price differnce is, relatively speaking, even larger than when the cameras were released and bought new.

As a potential buyer of one of these cameras second hand, i.e., with no warranty, it would be interesting to know if the speculations that Leica has better QC than Panasonic , and/or better build quality have born out to be true.

Has the DLux 109 had less problems? The LX100 seems famous for getting dust in the lens and/or sensor - does this happen as often with the Leica?

Regarding image quality, has the passage of time shown any definitive differences regarding handling of colours or any other parameters?

Thanks in advance for any input or advice that you may have to help me with this decision.

I'm currently leaning towards the Panasonic version based on the lower price and the built-in grip/handling of the camera.
Get the cheaper one. Don't let wishful thinking waste your hard-earned money.
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Old 04-06-2018   #22
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Get the cheaper one. Don't let wishful thinking waste your hard-earned money.
Thanks for your reply. I'm also leaning in this direction, I just thought if time has now "proven" that the Leica version is built better or has fewer problems, then it could be worth getting over the Panasonic.
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Old 04-06-2018   #23
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I just read that there are fresh rumours of an updated version of the LX100, a so-called LX200. Coming nobody-knows-when...

But I may wait a couple of months or until the autumn and see if this materializes. That would give me the option of either buying the brand new model, or perhaps scooping up a LX100 at a very nice price.
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