Leica D-Lux 4 vs. D-Lux 5: ISO comparison (part 2)

This is the second part of my Leica D-Lux 4 vs. D-Lux 5 comparison (see part 1). For today's ISO comparison, both cameras were setup at aperture priority and 24mm f/2. All images were shot in RAW and then cropped and converted to jpg in Lightroom without any post processing (click on image for larger view):

Leica D-Lux 4 Leica D-Lux 5

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 80

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 80

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 80

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 80

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 100

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 100

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 100

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 100

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 200

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 200

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 200

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 200

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 400

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 400

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 400

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 400

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 800

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 800

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 800

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 800

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 1600

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 1600

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 1600

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 1600

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 3200

Leica D-Lux-4 ISO 3200

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 3200

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 3200

The maximum ISO of the Leica D-Lux 4 is 3200. The next two images are from the D-Lux 5 at ISO 6400 and 12800 which are only available for jpg format (if you are shooting RAW, the camera will automatically switch to jpg):

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 6400 (jpg only)

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 6400 (jpg only)

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 12800 (jpg only)

Leica D-Lux-5 ISO 12800 (jpg only)

Conclusion:

Based on this comparison, the new Leica D-Lux 5 has an improved ISO performance compared to the old D-Lux 4 across the line, especially at ISO 800-3200. The two new ISO levels (6400 and 12800) of the D-Lux 5 are only available when shooting jpg and have significant loss of details.

You can see an an additional Leica D-Lux 4 vs. D-Lux 5 vs. V-Lux 2 ISO comparison here.

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  • Herman Gordon

    Despite the better noise characteristics of the D-Lux 5, I prefer the tone produced by D-Lux 4 – at least in your example photos. The browns of the shell have a nicer range and more depth in the D-Lux 4. The reflection in the glass in the background is also superior in the D-Lux 4. For example, compare the ISO 400 shots. It is possible to make out a reflection of what is probably the photographer in the image from the D-Lux 4 but not in the one from the D-Lux 5.

    • http://leica-world.livejournal.com/ Yaroslav Bozhkov

      +1

    • Eric Pepin

      two words, noise reduction. Its a bitch aint it.

  • http://www.imagepro.dk Soeren Engelbrecht

    @ Admin: The D-lux 5 pictures look slightly brighter – that might lead to some loss of detail (as would more heavy-handed noise reduction). Could you please elaborate on the shutter speeds used ?? Thanks :-)

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      I had both cameras right next to each other on two different tripods – this could probably explain the slightly different angles, focus and exposures. I will do another comparison for IQ. All those images were not done in a control environment and there is a margin of error, but I think they are sufficient to show the difference in ISO performance.

      • http://www.astronomynotes.net Robin Lee

        In my opinion, the comparison would be more accurate if the angle and exposure combinations are used to produce the same lightning outcome. As I would rather look at the ISO performance together with the amount of details retained rather than just the amount of noise.

        Anyway, thanks for your great effort. :)

        • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

          I will do another comparison for IQ, the intention here was just to show the ISO performance. Thanks!

  • Oalf

    I do not see a better hardware based ISO Performance at f.ex. ISO800 in the D-Lux5 Pic.

    I just see another tradeoff between noise reduction and mainting details.
    The Lux-5 softens the image, and loses fine details for doing so.

    Thats all.

    But may be you could develop the D-Lux5 Pic with mainting similar details and less noise?

  • Roman

    I was intending to upgrafe my beloved D lux 4 but fter looking at these sample images I think I’ll not bother. I much prefer the definition and tone on the D lux 4 images. It will be intersting to see a side by side comparison of larger images in a variety of light settings.

  • http://myleicablog.blogspot.com/ Lainer

    I agree with Roman. I was thinking of upgrading too. Quite frankly, I’m not impressed with how the D-Lux 5 brightens the image in order to give the illusion of improvement. Am I wrong here? Is it a matter of not shooting correctly? I also see the D-Lux 5 photos as being a tad softer. I do notice better files using ISO at higher speeds. But what’s the trade off here? Will we lose the nicer files for softer images and a slightly better ISO rating? Maybe more shots are needed. I’m just not convinced.

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