Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Leica V-LUX 20 announced

After the rumours lasted for about two weeks, the Leica V-LUX 20 was officially announced today at Leica's web site, just a few hours ago.

I checked the website this afternoon, the new camera was not listed there at that time.

Like the relationship between Leica D-LUX 4 and Panasonic DMC-LX3, the V-LUX 20 is a near-identical twin of the Panasonic ZS7/TZ10, but with a more expensive price tag of US $699/£495 GBP. But according to dpreview.com, the camera can only shoot 720p HD video in a less sophisticated Motion JPEG format than the Panasonic's AVCHD Lite format.

The camera looks like C-LUX 3 if you see it in the front, and looks like D-LUX 4 on the back. I don't know why Leica named this camera by prefixing with a "V", probably just because of its super-zoom lens (LEICA DC-VARIO-ELMAR 4.1-49.2mm), which is similar to the one (LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 1:2.8-3.7/7.4-88.8 ASPH) equipped on V-LUX 1.

Leica V-LUX 20 - front and back view

Leica C-LUX3 - front view and Leica D-LUX 4 - back view

Moreover, this is the first Leica camera to feature GPS tagging. As per what I know about its sister, DMC-TZ10, this functionality can be active even the camera is off. I am not sure if it is battery consuming in reality. Another interesting thing is, at the end of the press release from dpreview.com, they say the "GPS tagging may not function in China and neighbouring regions". I don't know why, very strange.

Lastly, as the new camera still has its Panasonic lineage inside, I believe it also has a Service Mode as that of D-LUX 4. I will verify this later.

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