Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Old Digital Camera Vs. Cell Phone: Leica Digilux Zoom Edition

Your sassy new Leica DLUX5 is the latest in a long line of Leica-branded, Made-Somewhere-Else compact digital cameras. The most recent are sourced from Panasonic, but many moons ago, in the before times, Fuji was the OEM of choice. This Leica Digilux Zoom was Leica's second digital camera, an upscale clone of the Fujifilm MX-1700 from the halcyon days of 1999.

With a 1/2" 1.5 megapixel sensor, this is no DLUX5. But can it hold its own against a humble cell phone camera? Let's see!

Leica Digilux Zoom
  • c. 1999
  • CAD $999
  • 1/2" 1.5 Megapixel CCD sensor
  • 3x zoom lens
Apple iPhone 4
  • c. 2010
  • CAD $659
  • 1/3.2" 5 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • No optical zoom

Line Art
Cell Phone
Digilux Zoom
Cell Phone
Digilux Zoom

Cell Phone
Digilux Zoom

High contrast
Cell Phone
Digilux Zoom
Generic Nature Close-up
Cell Phone
Digilux Zoom
The Digilux Zoom images were saved as full-resolution JPEG images at the camera's best quality settings; the cell phone images are straight out-of-camera JPEGs with the Auto HDR mode turned off.

Conclusion? It's a close one, but I'm going to give it to the Digilux Zoom. Despite the shockingly low resolution, its colour and exposure handling are consistently more pleasant than the cell phone.

Winner: Leica Digilux Zoom


Fred Facker said...

My first digital camera was the Fujifilm 4700 back in 2001. It was quite impressive at the time.

From your example photos, I'd have to give it to the iPhone in all of them except the high contrast shot. The iPhone seems to handle white balance much better although I the yellow tinting of the Fuji does result in more pleasing skin tones when you shoot people.

Camera Traders said...

It's a tough call, because the phone acquits itself pretty darn well in this comparison. But I do prefer the white balance coming out of the Digilux, and it seems to keep colour tone in the highlights better than the phone, which flattens them to white.

wotadvert said...

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