Leica D-Lux 5 vs. Panasonic LX 5 image comparison

The Leica D-Lux 5 and Panasonic LX5 are basically identical cameras manufactured by Panasonic in Japan. The Leica version has a more clean design (no grip and labels). The rest of the differences are: LX5 comes with Silkpix Studio (retails for $100), has one year warranty and costs $400. The D-Lux 5 comes with Adobe Lightroom (retails for around $260, currently there is a $100 rebate), has 2 years warranty, costs $800 and usually has better resale value. In addition to those differences, both cameras have different firmware. The menu is almost identical with some small exceptions, mainly the way some features are called and where they are positioned:

I did several JPG comparison between both cameras to see if I can spot any differences.

First, under daylight with low ISO I could not see any differences in the IQ of the pictures (JPG images directly out of the cameras):

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2000s

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2000s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2000s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2000s

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/500s

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/500s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/500s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/500s

Color chart comparison in daylight:

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 200, f/4, 1/160s

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 200, f/4, 1/160s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 200, f/4, 1/160s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 200, f/4, 1/160s

Comparing low light images is where I start seeing some minor differences:

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 1600, f/2.7, 1/13s

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 1600, f/2.7, 1/13s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 1600, f/2.7, 1/13s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 1600, f/2.7, 1/13s

I used a color chart at ISO 1600 and 3200 for an easy comparison between the JPG files of both cameras:

ISO 1600

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 1600, f/2.7, 2s

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 1600, f/2.7, 2s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 1600, f/2.7, 2s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 1600, f/2.7, 2s

Here are the crops from the above chart:

Leica D-Lux 5 @ISO 1600 Pansonic LX5 @ISO 1600
 

 

ISO 3200

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 3200, f/2.7, 1s

Leica D-Lux 5, ISO 3200, f/2.7, 1s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 3200, f/2.7, 1s

Panasonic LX5, ISO 3200, f/2.7, 1s

Here are the crops from the above chart:

Leica D-Lux 5 @ISO 3200 Pansonic LX5 @ISO 3200
 

 

Conclusion

At lower ISO I was not able to see any differences in the JPG image quality of the Leica D-Lux 5 and Panasonic LX5. At high ISO however, the Leica D-Lux 5 seems to have better noise performance than the Panasonic LX5.

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  • http://photo.rwboyer.com Robert Boyer

    I do not really want to confirm or deny your results as my testing was just as casual as yours and found no real difference myself at ISO’s that I care about considering the IS is so good (I regularly shoot at 1/8s with near 100% reliability up to about 50mm.

    Having said that…. and only looking at your small small tiny tiny samples I would say the “noise” treatment could be slightly different between the samples. I use the word treatment very carefully as NR is a matter of taste in most cases. IMO the color and detail (from what little I can see in your tiny samples) seems to suffer from the noise treatment in the Leica samples.

    In any case it’s moot considering ANY post processing in terms of noise reduction, color adjustment, and sharpening will completely obliterate the difference (if there really is one).

    Here is the bottom line – if you have LR3 get LX5, If you don’t and you want it get the DLUX. I wish Leica maniacs would stop pushing that the image quality is somehow a tiny tiny bit different in trying to justify the red badge up charge. I myself am a Leica lunatic (different than maniac as they are delusional) and own many of their idiotically expensive M series products.

    RB

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      I agree, I could not find any “real world” differences between those two cameras. I’ve also read online that the jpg algorithm in DL5 is supposed to be better and I decided to do a comparison for myself. With the current rebate you can get the LX5 and LR for $240 less than the DL5. Add an extra year of warranty for $50 and the real difference is $200.
      BTW, I uploaded tiny samples because I wanted to use the jpg files directly out of the camera. If I include full size samples, the page will load very slowly.

  • http://www.kristiandowling.com Kristian Dowling

    Finally, you’ve done what everyone has been wanting. Well done.

    Better testing this time, with equivalent exposures, obviously shot in manual. Looks like the D-lux 5 wis in low light.

  • R!

    look like the leica is underexposing ( in a good way) just a bit !!

  • R!

    well ,the real question is do you prefer silkypixx or lightroom I guess !

  • http://www.bophoto.typepad.com BO

    Cool informal test, that iso3200 difference is quite surprising if it really is there. wonder what could have caused it. though I probably will never get above 1280 anyway.

    Hmm comenting on your test bracket, getting religious here for a moment, it seems like one might be able to find a bit of track and make a rail permitting to swap cameras into the same position so the reflections in the subjects will be more easily compared.

    Bo

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      Bo, the difference in the low light samples was probably just few mm – it’s just hard to get a small camera in the same postion (I need a better tripod head I guess). Of course there is a margin of error in those comparisons. I did the low light test several times and got the same results.

  • broxibear

    Interesting comparison, in the UK the price difference between the two are huge with the LX5 selling for £338 and Lux5 for £599… you could make a fortune selling Leica stickers that fit over the word “Lumix” lol ?

    • Rt

      Not¿

  • Prabal Ghosh

    Interesting, if informal comparison!

    Don’t know what folks are talking about, but if you look closely at these samples, a few things stand out:
    1) The D-Lux 5 has better color rendition than the LX5. Look at the color chart in daylight. The white looks white and the black is a deep black for the Leica unlike the Panasonic where the black has a grey tendency. It may be that the Leica AWB is better than the Panasonic or it could be the JPG engine doing the right thing.
    2) The noise difference at high ISO is significant with the Leica showing much less. If this is a result of more aggressive noise reduction, the Leica is obviously doing a better job since the image even at these small resolutions seem brighter and pops out at you
    3) In the daylight images, the Leica’s colors again seem to be closer to real life and the contrast seems better making the image pop and shows better details in the shadows.

    Just purely based on these images, it would appear that the Leica definitely has better IQ than the Panasonic.

    **** Disclaimer: I do not own any Leica cameras. My main camera is a Canon EOS 20D and my wife owns a Panasonic TZ4 ****

  • TaoTeJared

    Seems to be just in-camera software. Not surprising but disappointing.

    I heard Leica always “Hot Roded” or pull the anti-aliasing filter from their cameras. Is that just in the M’s? Any idea if they have or still do?

  • Hoopy The Lion Tim67

    wonder what will give you the best image Qaulity Between the Leica D-Lux 5 and the new Olympus XZ-1.
    as i want a Qaulity Compact To take with me about town with me and only the best will do.
    1 want the best in…
    1.Relistic Colour Rendition.
    2.Sharpness within the etire Zoom Range
    3.Noise
    4.Fast Auto Focus
    so between these two babes which should i buy as money is not the issue here its the Qaulity for me between the Olympus XZ-1 and Leica D-Lux 5 … H.E.L.P

  • BB

    I see that your D-Lux5 have a lens cap and a new recessed grip. Where do the camera come from?
    Thanks for the answer

  • Funduro

    Interesting to say the least. One camera definitely has it’s image SW tweaked. I’m seriously looking at buying the LX-5 and have spent time comparing the Oly XZ-1 and Samsung TL500 Vs the Lumix LX-5 reviews and comments. Between the Lumix LX-5 and Leica D-Lux5, the latter has a more appealing look. Though by the time the grip, camera and possibly the EVF is added up the price difference is huge. So much so that design doesn’t win out this time for me. I keep going back to the LX-5 as the one with the best ability to manual tweak everything and better switch layout adding to it’s positive. The LX-5 has a track record, the other 2 new ones don’t. I’m trilled that these cameras have rather fast lenses for their size and price.

  • http://haroldellis4444@gmail.com Harold Ellis

    so if you would want two leicas, you have two photoshops!

    hm :-/

    and if you have photoshop already

    you get also Photoshop!

    COOL!

    not

  • Hoopy The Lion Tim67

    lets be honest there are many pro’s out there demanding a Quility compact and i think there should be a side by side test between the olympus xz-1 and Leica d-lux 5.
    looking at some site about the oly some of them say the olympus xz-1 creator and that costs £309
    what i think is … its a Asian import .. i.e – a oly xz-1 meant for the Asia market and probaly without any CE mark.
    Hail Hail.

  • ZDP-189

    The emperor has not clothes on.

  • bengebow

    Can the LX5 use the adaptor that was developed to use with the Leica APO 65mm Spotting Scope? I’m in the backcountry on a regular basis and would love to be able to team these two items (Camera and Spotting Scope) to increase my ‘effective range’ Thanks for your help here.

  • Rt

    I own the Leica, my friend had 5 he Panna. HANDS DOWN THE LEICA CAME OUT NOTICABLY BETTER…..and yes 30 us better and a better after sale if selling

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