Menu

Why Of All Cameras I Just Bought A Leica Point & Shoot For Filmmaking

Like many filmmakers, I own several cameras, each of which have their own specific purpose. Some are better suited for narrative work, while others are better for run and gun shoots. Some can shoot in low light, while others might perform better in daylight. There’s never going to be one perfect camera that does it all, which is why for professional work most of us need to own or rent different types cameras based on the productions we’re working on.

The current lineup of cameras I own or have access to through partnerships covers the majority of my professional work – from narrative projects to commercials. That said, I still often find myself in scenarios where I simply don’t have the best camera for the job… Most often on smaller scale or guerrilla projects.

Projects and films that need to be shot on the fly, guerrilla style, or with limited time and budget are often the most complicated to get right, at least from a gear perspective. Larger productions typically have bigger crews, more money, and better resources, which means you can shoot on Alexas, REDs, and other full size cinema cameras with relative ease.

What I realized over the last few months, was that the more my arsenal of professional cameras grew, the less I was actually able to just go out and shoot. While it used to be be easy to just pick up a camera and shoot a project any time and anywhere, now every shoot that I have – even a weekend project – can easily get out of hand and become more cumbersome, simply as a result of choosing a camera system that is overkill.

Ultimately for this reason, I started doing some homework on small form-factor cameras with great video functionality. My goal wasn’t to replace any of my cinema cameras, but rather to find a new tool that would better serve smaller productions, specifically those where I am working as a one man band.

While there are tons of options out there that could have potentially worked for my needs, to my own surprise I eventually decided on a Leica point and shoot camera.

LEICA D-LUX (TYP 109)

LEICA-D-LUX

One of the first things that struck me when searching for a low cost 4K-capable camera was the sheer amount of choices out there today. Between the DSLR, mirrorless, and point and shoot options on the market, there are now countless affordable cameras with 4K internal recording capabilities, and some really impressive video specs.

In order to narrow things down, I really had to identify exactly what it was that I was looking for in the camera, and what purpose that camera was going to serve. There were several important criteria on my list – including 4K video capture, 60p recording, and perhaps most surprisingly, a fixed zoom lens.

You might be thinking – a fixed zoom, really? And I don’t blame you… After all, I spent practically my entire working life getting away from fixed lens camcorders and looking for affordable interchangeable lens camera solutions that would offer a truer cinema experience. But as I said above, every camera has it’s place and in my search for a pocket-sized camera that could do it all, it started to make sense to specifically look at cameras that were completely self sufficient.

When I need to work on a proper narrative shoot, I have access to an abundance of interchangeable lens cinema cameras that will serve that purpose. But when I’m working on something small, whether it’s personal project or even a professional job where I need to keep a very small footprint, having the ability to work on a camera that limits my lens options and opens up the ability to  focus strictly on the story, composition, and direction, and less on the technicalities of the camera, is optimal in many ways.

After a lot of searching, I discovered the Leica D-LUX (Typ 109), and picked it up last week.

Leica D-Lux For Cinema

Leica D-LUX (Typ 109) – $1095 at B & H

Here are some of the camera’s specs to help you get an idea of why I chose the camera:

  • 12.8MP 4/3″ MOS Sensor
  • 3.1x Zoom, f/1.7-2.8 Leica Lens
  • 24-75mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 2,764k-Dot Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3.0″ 920k-Dot LCD Monitor
  • UHD 4K Video at 30p/24p, Full HD at 60p
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • ISO 25600 and Up to 40 fps Shooting
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Focus Peaking
  • CF D Flash and Adobe Lightroom Download

Some of the video features such as internal 4K recording, focus peaking, 60p in HD, etc. certainly helped to initially pique my interest… But what really sold me on the camera was the lens.

Leica of course makes some of the best lenses on the planet, which is why it’s no surprise that the 24-75mm (equivalent) on the D-LUX is so impressive. The lens is extremely crisp, detailed, and has that beautiful three dimensional quality to it that only the best lenses seem to ever offer. There are few (if any) other cameras at this price point that offer such high quality glass, and in the end it really was the lens that helped seal the deal for me.

Leica-D-LUX

What’s even more impressive though, is that this little camera uses the same sensor as the Lumix GH4. I used to own a GH4, and as many of you know I’ve shot with it extensively over the last couple of years. While I was always impressed by the quality off of the GH4, I was never a fan of it’s color science. Much like the Sony A7S II, the GH4’s colors never matched up the quality of it’s imaging sensor, in my opinion at least.

With the Leica though, it’s a best of both worlds situation. The D-LUX offers the same sensor as the GH4, but with (what appears to be) better color science, and of course an excellent Leica lens built right in. All of this is offered for less than $1100, which is pretty incredible.

That’s not to say a camera like the GH4 doesn’t offer value over the Leica D-LUX in other ways though. The GH4 has more video features, different picture profiles, better audio capabilities (the D-LUX doesn’t have a headphone jack), and other advantages. Then again, the purpose of the D-LUX isn’t to be a GH4. It’s to give shooters like myself and possibly like you, the ability to capture really great images with a minimal amount of gear and effort.

Interestingly enough, while searching long and hard for some high quality D-LUX footage, I came across this interview on the Leica blog, featuring a New York based filmmaker named Ruslan Pelykh. During the interview, Ruslan talks about his decision to utilize the D-LUX as his primary camera on many fashion/music video shoots, and his rationale is nearly the exact same as mine. After reading this, it really helped crystallize the fact that there is a market for this camera, and for shooters like Ruslan or myself, it serves a very distinct purpose.

Here is one of Ruslan’s recent films, shot on the D-LUX in HD only, with no additional crew or support:

Moving ahead, when I need to shoot a large commercial or narrative film where sync sound is involved, we have a full crew, and all the usual bells and whistles – I’ll shoot on one of my cinema cameras. But if I want to shoot an impromptu music video, short film, b-roll, or just to stay low-profile, this camera is going to be a lifesaver.

I’ve already shot quite a bit of footage on the camera (video samples to come in a future post), and I have been really impressed with the results so far. The 4K files are extremely flexible in post, even despite the camera’s lack of a log picture profile, and the clarity of the images is really quite remarkable.

If any of you are interested in this camera, it’s worth noting that Panasonic virtually makes the exact same camera for $300 less. The Panasonic LX100 shares all of the same internal components as the D-LUX (including the same sensor and lens), and is one of the best bang for your buck cameras out there right now.

Panasonic LX100 For Cinema

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 – $797 at B & H

While I was tempted to buy the LX100 over the D-LUX, ultimately I decided to go with the Leica for a couple of reasons. First off, I had looked at a lot of photos/videos shot on both cameras, and subjectively, the Leica seemed to have better colors. I’ll need to do some testing down the road to see how accurate this is, but again to my eye, the Leica seemed to render more organic colors which is a big selling point for me.

Also – from a more superficial standpoint, I liked the design of the Leica better. It’s cleaner looking, and the feel of the camera makes me actually want to go out and shoot. Some cameras have an ability to inspire you to work with them, and for me the Leica falls into that category.

For many shooters (myself included), the experience of actually shooting on any given camera is as important as the image quality itself. The way the camera feels in your hands, how it operates, it’s overall aesthetic, and other elements play a factor in your enjoyment while shooting, whether you realize it or not.

So in the end, for all the reasons above I am now a Leica D-LUX owner. It’s the least flashy camera I own, the smallest, and probably the least expensive – but it’s also quickly becoming one of my new favorites.

Once I have a chance to experiment with the camera more, I will post some test footage and sample clips. I might even do a video review on the D-LUX down the line as well, so be sure to check back soon for more updates!

 

About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

92 Comments

  • Andy
    November 5, 2018 at 3:34 am

    Noam – been reading a lot about the D-lux 109. Your posts – and readers’ comments – have been helpful.

    Had a few questions since you seem to be keeping up with this thread:

    – Since the 109 shares the same sensor as the GH4, any experience working with both cameras and matching the footage?
    – B&H lists the clip record length at 29 min, but I’ve read 15 min elsewhere. Can you confirm?
    – What – in your opinion – would be an acceptable shutter count on a used 109?
    – If you prefer the Fuji XT2 these days… interested in selling your 109? 😉

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 14, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      Hey Andy! The 109 and GH4 have a very similar look. I haven’t tried to match them myself, but I suspect it would be quite easy. I’ll need to double check the record time (it’s been a while), and I always use a 1/50 shutter when shooting 24p. I do love the XT2 but the 109 is still kicking around and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to bring myself to sell it 🙂

      Reply
  • Ivo
    September 8, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Hello, congrats for the blog it’s amazing!

    I own a Leica typ-109 for 3 years and i just love it, but i also think that the Fuji colors are unique, so, i grabed an used Fuji X-T1 to try out, and i love the camera. I’ve noticed that since i have the Fuji, and haven’t used the Leica too much. I’m thinking of selling the Leica, but on video capabilities the X-T1 is very inferior. I also love the size of the Leica.

    In the last comment you said that you don’t use the Leica too much in these days. Do you think that the X-T2 is better than the Leica in shooting video? I’m considering selling the Leica and X-T1 and buy a X-T2.

    Thank you
    Ivo

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 14, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks so much, Ivo! I do think the XT2 is better than the Leica for video, so if you are considering selling your Leica and the XT1 for an XT2, I think it’s a good decision… The new XT3 is also an option to consider.

      Reply
  • Seth McGaha
    September 3, 2018 at 2:53 am

    Hello!

    Just wanted to ask if you ended up producing any videos either the D-Lux 109 that are available online to see?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 14, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      None that are online, but I have some great footage in my archive. Will aim to publish at some point… I’ve had many others ask for it too.

      Reply
  • Arly
    July 9, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Good Day Noam,

    I’m planning to buy that exact camera ( Leica D-Lux Typ 109 ) for my travel videos. What can you say about it now after 2 years of using it? Do you advice me on buying it or should I wait for the new Leica C-Lux?

    Best Regards,
    Arly

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      July 13, 2018 at 3:34 am

      Hi Arly! It’s still a great camera, but I am not using it quite as much as I’m shooting a lot on the Fuji XT2 now for projects that require a point and shoot or DSLR. Have you considered any Fuji options?

      Reply
      • Alex
        September 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm

        Hi Noam,

        I am also interested in buying the Leica D-Lux (as a pocket/travel camera for my girlfriend who is really into video as well) and was really intrigued after reading your review. I own a fuji x100s that I just love but was always under the impression that Fuji don’t really video that good (at least compared to D-Lux/LX100 factoring size of course), so you caught my attention when mentioning XT2.

        Is it merely because of the fact that you can change lenses (and obviously the APS-C sensor) that you use it instead of D-Lux or do you have additional reasons as well?

        Thanks for your time!

        Best,
        Alex

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          September 14, 2018 at 8:33 pm

          Hi Alex! The main reason I love Fuji now is because of their color science. The D-Lux is a great camera (and produces beautiful colors), but the Fuji cameras have a leg-up, at least in my opinion when it comes to their overall “look”.

          Reply
  • Gerhard Joubert
    June 29, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I am loving the D109 I bought a few days ago in Johannesburg. Thanks for your insights!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      July 13, 2018 at 3:28 am

      Awesome to hear! Hope you continue to use it well 🙂

      Reply
  • Rich
    March 18, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Hey Noam:

    I’m considering the D109 for shooting a pair of short films (MOS), but ran across the Fujifilm X-E3. Which of these two would you recommend for shooting these films? I realize the Fuji has changeable lenses (you can get either the 23mm prime or the 18-55mm zoom with the camera at purchase), but I’m not terribly concerned so much with that as I am pure quality of video. I’m also curious if you have tried using any of the Fujifilm X series cameras with the Acros picture styles and what your opinion of those are. Thanks!

    Rich

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 2, 2018 at 4:02 am

      Right now, I would say go for the Fuji. I’ve been shooting with the X-T2 like crazy for the last few months and love it. I haven’t yet shot with the Acros profile, but am looking forward to testing it out on the X-H1 soon!

      Reply
  • RNO
    March 4, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Hey Noam,
    Posted here almost a couple of years ago to say I agreed too, and was probably going to pickup a lx100 myself when I could. Business has been great for me last year, been all around the world, scored some great works, met a lot of cool people.
    And… I just picked up a second hand lx100 still under warranty for a little less than 400e. Also I got a sub 300 original Zhiyun Crane… Looking forward to see what this combo can do for me… I’m definitely looking forward to downsize my gear for some of my personal projects.
    I didn’t take so much risk at this price, if it doesn’t cut it I’ll just resell I guess.

    Best regards !!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 2, 2018 at 3:47 am

      Very cool! Please let me know how it goes.

      Reply
  • Michael Deng
    February 14, 2018 at 12:26 am

    Wonderful article!!! Does the typ 109 output clean HDMI 4:2:2 to an external recorder?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 27, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      Not that I know of, unfortunately… Thanks for the note!

      Reply
  • Max
    January 23, 2018 at 8:45 am

    What a great article and I’m so pleased you posted Rusians film. What a beautiful piece of film that is.
    Off to check for some bargains on the cameras you mention here!

    Sorry for replying to a 2016 post!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 1, 2018 at 3:47 am

      Awesome! Thanks for the note, Max.

      Reply
  • dani
    January 17, 2018 at 8:51 am

    yo Noam,

    wanted to check on what your thoughts are 2 years later. seems like just a few months ago you still enjoyed it :)… i just got one, mainly to work on my photography (I’m a film director). it seems like the perfect tool. but im also happy to see it will shoot 4k and be a great lil portable film camera when im not shooting on an arri mini….

    do you have any issues with memory cards? which do you use, it seems like it only supports 64gb. 4k will eat that up, no? which brand are you packing on?

    cheers and thanks for the lovely review/ website

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 18, 2018 at 6:40 am

      Thanks a lot Dani! I am actually still using the camera – mainly for personal videos, travel, etc.

      I’m using SanDisk 64GB cards, but I think it should take larger cards too… The 4K does eat up card space fairly quickly, but it makes me more selective with what I shoot, which I kind of enjoy!

      Reply
  • Dean Potter
    October 24, 2017 at 3:45 am

    Hi Noam.

    Any tips on camera settings to maximise the Leica colour science you mention? I am about to shoot a music clip and after reading this post I would like to try out my little Leica.

    Also have you shot anything you can show at this time?

    Best,
    Dean

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 1, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Hey Dean – I still need to post some of my Leica footage, so you’ll need to stay tuned for that! I can tell you though that generally I don’t mess around with the settings too much in camera. I usually end up shooting with the natural/stock settings and then color correct and adjust in post as needed.

      Reply
  • darren centofanti
    October 21, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Hi Noam, great article and i agree with your thoughts on the D-Lux 109…its a gem.
    I wanted to ask of your knowledge when using the D-Lux with a hand held gimbal.
    Seems that the best way to use all gimbal camera setups are with cords attached to the camera to switch on/off, zoom etc. Since none of the gimbal manufacturers mention the Leica D-Lux as a camera of use for their products…was wondering if you have had success connecting with cable to either the Moza Air or Zhiyun Crane V2 gimbals?
    Can the same supplied Panasonic or Sony cables be used for the D-Lux?
    Appreciate your thoughts on this
    Cheers

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 1, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Hi Darren,

      Great question – and I wish I had a better answer for you, but I’ve actually never really used the Top 109 on a gimbal yet. That said, if and when I do I will be sure to update you with my feedback.

      Reply
  • Gabor
    August 6, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Noam,

    I just bought a D-LUX and I’m using it for the fhirst time on our family trip in NY City and at Niagara Falls in 2-3 days. So we will see the results once we are back home in Hungary.
    I found several interesting points and lots of useful information in the posts above – thanks for sharing them! If I understand correctly you handheld shot w/ the D-LUX, rigth? Or do you use a stabilizer? If yes which one? (Or which one would you recommend for the D-LUX?).

    Thanks again for the great posts!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 18, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Gabor! I didn’t actually use a stabilizer (gimbal) with the D-Lux, but I did use a monopod which was great for my needs. I am not a huge fan of gimbals for the look/aesthetic that I am often drawn to, so a simple monopod or tripod usually does the trick for me. That said, if you are relatively wide – or at least not shooting telephoto – you should be fine even hand held, as long as you have a steady hand… Good luck!

      Reply
  • Brian
    July 27, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Hello Noam ,

    Great post! I currently have a Panasonic G7 with a 14mm and a 12-32 kit lens. I love the camera but I would rather have something for run and gun filmmaking so I have been considering switching to an lx100. Obviously I would lose the mic input but I’ve been recording sound on a tascam anyway. Do you think that I would get comparable images with the lx100 or even better images due to the great lens it has.? That lens looks like it’s better than anything I currently own.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 2, 2017 at 5:26 am

      Hey Brian – thanks for the note! And great question… I think from a quality standpoint, the images will definitely be in the same ball park. There will be some differences in terms of the look, since the cameras/sensors/glass are different, but both will deliver great overall quality. I would try shooting some test footage to compare them side by side… That always helps in making these kinds of decisions!

      Reply
  • Robert Byrnes
    July 7, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I love the D-Lux. It plays a role, and I often prefer it to an M or T. (Even the still less expensive C is excellent, and has a great array of accessories that accentuate its style/zbeauty. )

    Reply
  • Kevin
    May 27, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    This post really inspired me! So many times the people that don’t have the money just dream about having some fantastic camera to help their dreams go forth. Maybe we should be more about using what we have and get out there and create to hone our skills and become a better cinematographer. It’s so easy for the gear lust to get in the way instead of putting in the time behind the lens.

    Here’s the main reason this post inspired me so much. I just bought a used Panasonic gm1. My plan is to take that camera with the shure vp83f to see what I can do with it.

    I really want to thank you for spending the time to help educate me on how this stuff works. This isn’t the first time I’ve come across some great articles that you’ve written that have peaked my interest.

    Keep up the good work and have fun doing it!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 30, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      Awesome to hear, Kevin! And it’s great that you’re recognizing when gear is and isn’t important at this stage… Sometimes people come to the realization much later – even after making entire feature films, only to finally understand that too much effort was placed on gear, and not enough on all the other elements. Gear is always important, but not at the sacrifice of quality, story, or originality in so many other ways. Enjoy your Panasonic and I look forward to seeing you around the site!

      Reply
  • John
    May 16, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Hey Noam…..great piece on the D-Lux.
    Have you tried any footage comparison to the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 16, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks John! I haven’t tested them side by side, but that’s a great idea for a future post. I think they have two fairly different looks, but it would be cool to see how that match in terms of low light performance, color accuracy, etc… Good idea!

      Reply
  • Ovidiu
    May 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Hello Noam, I read your article, great one! Did you create some movies with the Leica D-LUX 109 as you said in this article? I’m very interested to see it. Thanks !

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 12, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      I did actually! But I haven’t released anything online yet. When I do, I’ll be sure to update this post.

      Reply
  • Adam
    May 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Hey Noam — what software do you use to cut & edit the movie you posted?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      Hey Adam! Which move are you referring to?

      Reply
  • Brian
    April 29, 2017 at 2:20 am
  • Brian
    April 29, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Hi Noam: Great article. Thanks so much for posting. I am thinking about using the Leica D-LUX (Typ 109) for cinema verite documentaries. Is it possible to attach an XLR adapter and external mic to the camera?
    Thanks,
    Brian

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 2, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Hey Brian – thanks for the note! Unfortunately it isn’t possible to attach a mic, so it’s really more of a b-roll camera (or something to use with a dual system).

      Reply
  • Dennis
    August 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Hi,

    Great review, I am pretty much sold on this camera for use as my first camera for indie filming, only question I have is do you think it is suitable for handheld short film shooting, how would I need to rig it for this purpose. Also what are the audio capabilities, if any of this camera, when you use the Leica is all audio recording done externally?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 26, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Dennis! Great to hear you’re interested in the Leica. The camera is really fantastic, but doesn’t really have any substantial audio capabilities. You will want to use an external sound recorder (like the Zoom H6 or similar) to get the best results. As for handheld work, it has the built in image stabilization – so even without a rig you should be able to get great shoots, as long as you have a smooth hand…

      Reply
  • […] questo post segnalando questo articolo di Noam Kroll che racconta perchè ha scelto la Leica D-LUX (la gemella della Panasonic LX-100 costruita in casa […]

    Reply
  • LS13
    June 21, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Awesome article ! 🙂 What is the max ISO that you can go on the TYP 109 before noise is unbearable ? Also does the camera have audio input at all ?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      June 22, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks! I haven’t tried pushing it above 1600, but at ISO 1600 it’s still quite clean… I’ll try to do some more tests on this front in the future.

      Reply
  • Dan
    June 15, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    In case anybody has BIG fingers like me and is constantly knocking the focus ring here is a small rig I made with a Small Rig cheesebar and an inexpensive support off Ebay; very affordable and stable and you could mount a boom, or audio recorder. Mostly just I can adjust & support my LX100 w/o knocking focus. plus easy access to battery.
    http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/60019/what-can-i-use-to-shift-a-tripod-mount-to-the-side-for-easier-access-to-the-batt
    Near the bottom of post.

    Reply
  • Chris
    June 12, 2016 at 1:37 am

    Thanks for the post Noam. I also got a D-Lux recently and have enjoyed what it can do, especially with video which I wasn’t expecting!

    I know it’s not a GH4, C300 and so on and was curious if you have any tweaks in the camera’s settings optimized for when you’re shooting video that you would like to share. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      June 13, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      Hey Chris – Great to hear you’ve been enjoying it too. I have mainly been shooting in the Natural picture profile with the sharpness turned all the way down. I also typically turn the saturation down by one or two points in order to soften the color contrast a bit. Other than that, I think it looks great with the stock settings, especially once it’s color corrected. Good luck with yours! I’ll be sure to share some footage shot with the camera soon.

      Reply
  • Dan
    June 11, 2016 at 3:27 am

    I use the LX100 with a Promist 1/4 to soften it a touch. Just a thought. Lens is sharp & fast! Been playing with a6300 although slog is a bit tricky.

    Reply
  • Edwin Kosobucki
    June 9, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Here’s a movie shot by my dad on an LX100 (no filming experience whatsoever – I had to explain to him what aperture was) on a trip to Perugia, Italy in May 2015. I edited it for him. All shots were on a small, cheap tripod. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnUdFOZ-6nU

    This camera is brilliant bang for the buck!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      June 13, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing Edwin.

      Reply
  • Nick
    June 9, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Great camera. I choose the LX100 over the typ 109 due to filmconvert’s GH4 support for the natural profile. I haven’t been able to find a good colour comparison of the LX100 vs the typ 109 so was worried that filmconvert wouldn’t provide a good fit.

    One thing I notice is that the LX100 does do skin colour a bit odd now and again with the colour purple popping up a bit in lips and cheeks, especially if you’re using a vari ND.

    LX100 provides massive value at that price as I’m currently looking at upgrading to a GX85 for the 5 axis stabilisation but would need to invest in the 12-35mm to get equivalent DOF/quality ($1500) .

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      June 13, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      Good points Nick, and interesting to hear about the skin tones. I’m looking forward to testing out the LX100 in the future and comparing it with the Typ 109. Thanks for sharing this.

      Reply
  • Josh Taylor
    June 5, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Bought this camera after reading this blog post along with researching some of the footage. Great call man, I love this thing! It’s made a huge impact on how less of a hassle it is than taking my dslr out to take pictures and it manages to give me just as good – if not better – shots.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      June 7, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Awesome to hear! Really glad you like yours and would love to hear your thoughts once you’ve spent some more time with it. I’ve been away in France for the last week shooting with the D-Lux constantly and have been blown away by the results. Will try to share some footage as soon as I can. Good luck with yours!

      Reply
      • Dan
        June 11, 2016 at 11:41 am

        Ha! That’s exactly why I bought my lx100… to travel, primarily in France(north of Nimes) – a lot for on bike in mountains. Love to see some footage!

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          June 13, 2016 at 9:28 pm

          That’s great! And small world I guess… I had a great time shooting with it in France and am hoping to share some footage very soon. Also great point about the Promist filter. I did find myself turning the sharpness down in camera since it was so sharp with the stock settings.

          Reply
      • Nanaresh
        July 2, 2017 at 5:58 pm

        Awesome awesome!!! I just got one too. Am in Ghana. I didn’t get it for video, but I was blown away by its video. I used it to shoot an entire traditional wedding! Waiting to see some footages from you!

        Please what is promise filter

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          July 4, 2017 at 6:57 pm

          Great to hear it worked out well for you! Are you referring to a Pro-Mist filter? Those are filters that are designed to soften up your image and make it less sharp/harsh looking…

          Reply
  • luis otero prada
    May 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    “Amazing films have been made on iPhones and terrible films have been made on Alexas”
    COULD NOT BE MORE TRUE
    Excellent blog Noam, i just want to thank you for this kind of articles, it’s always a pleasure to read.
    : )

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 28, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      Glad you agree Luis! I very much appreciate the kind words. Thanks for visiting the site.

      Reply
  • John Runk
    May 27, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Noam,

    Great post, and here’s why…a lot of us aren’t working pros. We’re just people who dig cameras and shooting video. So when a post like yours comes along, and talks about sensible buying, it helps. A lot. The idea that we don’t need a bag full of gear to shoot good footage is both honest and helpful. We don’t see that a lot in the content world. And I think if most of us amateurs we’re willing to admit it, we’d confess that much of the gear we buy usually ends up at home on the shelf. So…thank you.

    Before I go, I did want to second Tom’s question above. The Lumix GX85 does present a compelling alternative to the DLUX/LX100. Compact size, IBS, tilting touch-screen, lens options, 4K, all for $800.

    Have any thoughts on that?

    John

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 27, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks for the note, John. It’s always nice to hear feedback from readers who are video enthusiasts and not necessarily working in the industry. The truth is that no matter if you’re professional, amateur, or somewhere in between – more often than not your gear will sit on a shelf. The only people I know that use their cameras day in and day out are DPs that exclusively work as cinematographers, and don’t take on outside work (directing, editing, etc). For them, it makes sense to own gear (in some cases) as they can rent it out to their productions and make their money back pretty easily. But for independent producers, directors, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and others, often times too much camera gear can just be overkill and a waste of money. Amazing films have been made on iPhones and terrible films have been made on Alexas – so at the end of the day it’s the story, direction, music, performances, and other creative elements that matter most.

      As far as the D-LUX vs. GX85 – I just commented above in response to Tom on this as well. To re-iterate though, I think if you don’t own any other cameras and need an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera, the GX85 is an absolutely incredible camera at a pretty amazing price-point. For someone considering a GH4, the GX85 will be hard to look past as it offers so much of the same functionality as the GH4 (and then some) at a lower cost. There are some drawbacks too of course, but generally speaking it’s one of the best options out there at the moment for the sub $1000 mirrorless market.

      For me, I have a number of other cameras that I will typically work with on shoots where I need interchangeable lenses… So the appeal of the D-LUX really is the fixed Leica lens. The fact that the lens delivers gorgeous images, but also forces me to keep my camera/kit small by not giving me the option to bring my lens kit, is a best of both worlds situation for certain projects.

      Reply
  • Steve M.
    May 26, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Hey Noam,

    Nice looking camera! I hear you on the stealth, and just wanting something that is super compact, yet delivers an incredible image. I just bought a Fuji Xpro2 for video acquistion, and although not the greatest camera for that purpose, it does dish up a stunning 1080p image. I also bought this, to once and for all, start learning more about photography, and not be so one-sided! What I love about this Fuji is it’s color science, there’s just something about it that draws you in, much like the Leica cameras! Looking forward to seeing the videos you shoot with this camera.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 27, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks Steve! And I totally agree with you about Fuji – I own an X100T that I use for street photography/personal photos, and it’s colors are incredible… Particularly when using some of the built in film emulation such as Classic Chrome. Glade to hear you’re enjoying yours.

      Reply
  • nathan
    May 26, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Did you notice that Ruslan Pelykh uses the D-Lux 6? I’m guessing that’s an earlier version of the 109. I’ll go do some Googling to learn about the difference between the two, but I wondered if you considered the 6 during your search.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 27, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Nathan – yes, the previous version (D-LUX 6) is a viable alternative as well, and I did check it out before purchasing the Typ 109. That said, I still went with the Typ 109 as it could do 4K internally and had a better lens built in, which was the big draw for me.

      Reply
  • trey
    May 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Interesting camera. Colors do look good. Do you think this camera could match with the ursa mini 4.6k footage?

    Trying to find a complementary small camera that would go well with my ursa mini 4.6k.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 27, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      Have you checked out the Micro Cinema Camera? It’s a great option that can match the look of the URSA Mini quite well. This Leica is incredible too, but definitely has a different look to it – if matching is a consideration at all.

      Reply
  • Tom
    May 26, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Noam,

    I think the only caveat (maybe) for the D-Lux or LX100 is the “only” OIS for handheld shooting.

    With the advent of the new Lumix GX85 did you not think it is a better alternative, due to the 5 axis sensor + OIS?

    Comparing sizes 4.8 x 2.8 x 3.9″ (with 12 – 32mm) vs 4.6 x 2.6 x 2.4″ is not a big difference and is the same price as the LX100…

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 27, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Tom – great point and the comparison to the GX85 is certainly a valid one. For me, having any kind of IS is a bonus, since most cinema cameras I work with have no stabilization at all. So even though it would have been great to have had the same stabilization as the GX85, the D-LUX still does a great job and I’ve never had issues getting a stable shot.

      Ultimately though, the main reason I still would choose the D-LUX (for my needs) is because of the fixed lens. The Leica lens itself is superior to the 12-32 in many ways, and I like imposing the limitation on myself to only shoot with that lens. It helps keep my kit small and keeps me working quickly on set… Keep in mind though, that I also own other cameras. If I didn’t own any other cameras, the GX85 would be a more versatile option as I could use it with different lens systems, much like a GH4. But for me, the D-LUX is a run and gun alternative to my larger cameras that gives me everything I need in a small package.

      Reply
  • RR
    May 25, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Not sure why so many are comparing to LX100 vs the differently badged Fz1000.
    It would be great if you could run a test comparing the Leica ftg to FZ1000…especially to see if cors could be tweaked to match.
    I have found the FZ1000 an interesting possibility..wish it had Headphone and HDMI output during record.
    Does the Leica HDMI output during record?
    Have you found the deeper DOF less appealing?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 27, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      Hi Rich – I haven’t actually shot with the FZ1000 yet myself, but it would certainly make for an interesting comparison with the D-LUX. The FZ1000 is going to add more features on the surface (such as articulating screen, longer zoom, etc.), but from what I can tell the actual quality of the D-LUX will be higher. Particularly the lens, and the fact that it has a larger sensor (MFT vs. 1″).

      I also haven’t yet tried outputting via HDMI while recording, but I don’t think it’s possible. With regards to DOF, I’m a big fan of Super 16mm film and also come from a Micro Four Thirds background, so this wasn’t an issue at all for me. You can still get really nice shallow DOF on the D-LUX if you need it, but it actually helps to have slightly deeper DOF for run and gun shoots.

      Reply
  • Rno
    May 25, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Being stealthy is so important we often get best shots with the smallest gear. Whether its for documentary or street shooting for a film.

    I used to make sick videos with a hx9v and a gopro… Now I shoot with a gimbal, expensive lenses etc and all I want is go back to basics for my personal projects !!

    I am looking at second hands lx100/leica 109 too but I need to work more, finances are very low these says !

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 25, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one! There’s certainly a time and a place for the larger camera systems, stabilizers, etc. But I think many of us these days are sacrificing our ability to go out and shoot, just so we can have bigger and better toys. Good luck with your projects and hopefully you’ll get a chance to work with the LX100 or D-LUX sometime in the future.

      Reply
  • Simone
    May 25, 2016 at 8:33 am

    P.s. I own a Micro Cinema Camera and a GH4 and I use both with Contax Zeiss lenses (the Micro for gig with plenty of time, since I’m not so fast with it, the GH4 for low budget music video): do you think I shold sell the GH4 in order to keep this Leica or the LX100? Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 25, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      That’s a great question… The GH4 is still an incredible camera, and in many ways has some advantages over the D-LUX/LX100. That said, it will ultimately come down to how you like to use the camera. If you need the audio functionality of the GH4, V-Log profile, and interchangeable lenses, then the D-LUX might feel like a bit of a step back. But if you’re like me, and need it mainly for b-roll and smaller productions, it is a great alternative!

      Reply
      • Simone
        May 26, 2016 at 9:48 am

        Thank you very much Noam!
        I would use it in run&gun music video, since for shorts and shots where there is more time I want to use the Micro Cinema 🙂

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          May 27, 2016 at 5:04 pm

          It’s definitely a great option for music videos – especially when shooting with no crew.

          Reply
  • Simone
    May 25, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Noam, has it an autofocus function for dolly in?

    How is the battery life? Any overheating issue?

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 25, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Simone! The battery life has been great so far, but I haven’t actually timed it to see how much life you can get out of a single charge. Overheating also hasn’t been an issue at all yet for me, but I haven’t shot any really long takes either, so I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop if there are any issues on this down the line.

      As for autofocus, I have only used the camera in manual focus mode so far (for video), but will certainly experiment with auto in the future too.

      Reply
      • Simone
        May 26, 2016 at 9:55 am

        Thank you! I also never use AF, but maybe for a dolly in when there is no time to shoot could be nice 🙂

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          May 27, 2016 at 5:05 pm

          For sure! I’ll look into this when I can.

          Reply
  • David
    May 25, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Thank you for great article Noam, can you please make quick image comparison between this leica and lx100? since its almost the same camera and only colors can be different it will be very helpful for lot of people.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Absolutely David. I am going to try to get my hands on an LX100 in the near future and do some side by side tests. Before then, I’m actually going to try to compare the D-LUX with the Lumix GH4, which I think will be a very interesting comparison too.

      Reply
  • Danny
    May 25, 2016 at 1:03 am

    As I was scrolling down, reading this article. I had a feeling you were going to show filmmaker (Ruslan Pelykh) in regards to this leica Camera. In fact, I was about to do the same sometime last year. I was going to buy this camera, but I chickened out, plus I don’t need it at the moment. I hope to see some footage from you sir. Ive seen a few footage on youtube and vimeo regarding the Leica D-Lux 109. I was close to getting it. great blog as usual!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 25, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks a lot Danny, and great to hear you already stumbled on some of Ruslan’s material. The fact that his sentiments on the camera echoed my own so closely is a big part of what helped me commit to the D-Lux. I’ll be sure to share some of my own samples soon once I get a chance to spend some more time with the camera.

      Reply
  • Tim Sewell
    May 24, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    You know you have a serious camera habit when ‘probably the least expensive’ camera you own is a Leica!

    Hope you enjoy it and I look forward to seeing some images.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 25, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Hahaha – you’re spot on! And thanks, can’t wait to share some footage in the near future.

      Reply

Leave a Reply