Leica V-Lux 40 review: Hands-on
21st May 2012 | 12:20
The Leica V-Lux 40 is the brand's latest super-zoom compact
The latest in a series of top-notch compact cameras, the Leica V-Lux 40 follows on the from the Leica V-Lux 20 and Leica V-Lux 30 (the latter based on the cheaper Panasonic Lumix TZ20). Launched alongside the black and white-only Leica M Monochrom, the V-Lux 40 offers an enhanced sensor along with a Leica DC-Vario-Elmar 4.3-86mm f/3.3-6.4 ASPH lens as well as integrated GPS.
Does it have when it takes to make it into our list of the best digital compact cameras around?
Leica V-Lux 40: Build
As you'd expect from a Leica camera, the chassis makes it clear that this is a premium product, with a slick slightly metallic finish and the tell-tale red dot logo.
Measuring in at 105 x 59 x 28mm, the V-Lux 40 isn't the tiniest compact around but it's still extremely neat, especially considering the fact that it sports an 20x optical zoom. It's also relatively lightweight at just 210g, so it's unlikely to pop the seams on your pocket.
Leica V-Lux 40: Screen
The V-Lux 40 sports a 3-inch TFT LCD touch screen, with approximately 460,800 pixels on board to give you a clear idea of what you're shooting. A good quality screen is important in this case as there's no viewfinder on board.
We found the screen to be responsive and easy to navigate, and a useful addition to the hard controls on the right-hand side of the back panel.
Leica V-Lux 40: Battery
Packing a BP-DC7 lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 895mAh, the V-Lux should offer around 260 shots on a full charge, which should be enough to get most shutterbugs through the day.
Leica V-Lux 40: Picture quality
The test shots that we snapped looked pin-sharp, even on the relatively small screen, although we didn't have the opportunity see them any larger. Previous cameras in the range are well known for their high quality point-and-shoot capabilities, so we look forward to having a closer look in our full review.
Along with the usual AF, there are plenty of the usual scene modes to choose from, including portrait, sports, scenery, along with an option to help you shoot through glass. There's also a range of creative filters on hand, such as sepia, monochrome and minature effect.
The V-Lux 40 will also shoot full HD 1080p AVCHD video (with a maximum recording time of 29 minutes). What's more, the entire 20x zoom range is available during filming. We found the zoom to be more sensitive than previous models - a plus point, but something that may need some getting used to.
Leica V-Lux 40: Verdict
The excellent picture quality, impressive zoom and neat design all help to make this a great, versatile compact digital camera. It may not be the cheapest compact around, but if it's anything like its predecessors, it looks set to be one of the best. Stay tuned for a full review.
Leica V-Lux 40 availability: May 2012
Leica V-Lux 40 price: £550