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Leica C-Lux Review & Rating


The Leica C-Lux ($1,050) is a pretty camera. From a technical perspective, it’s actually the same camera sold by Panasonic as the $799 ZS200. Click over to that review to read about its performance, as the C-Lux offers an identical shooting experience. We’ll concentrate on the aesthetics of the Leica variation here.

Pretty in Gold (or Blue)

Like the ZS200, the C-Lux’s biggest feature is its zoom lens. It covers a 24-360mm angle of view (full-frame equivalent) and is backed by a 1-inch image sensor. This sensor format is roughly four times the surface area of a typical point-and-shoot or smartphone sensor, so putting such a long zoom in a pocketable form factor is a feat.

Leica’s version is available in two colors. We received the Light Gold edition for review, but there’s also a Midnight Blue version available. The C-Lux’s handgrip is slightly different, without the bump, but it’s still comfortable to hold. Where the ZS200 is bare plastic, the C-Lux is covered with a textured leatherette wrap.

The other noticeable change is button shape. The ZS200 features circular rear control buttons. Leica has opted for rectangular buttons for the C-Lux. Even the release catch for the pop-up flash is a rectangle, while it’s a rectangle on the C-Lux. Not included in this change are the top-mounted shutter release and Record buttons, which are circular.

The Raw file format—RWL—is different enough to not yet be supported by Adobe Lightroom, but once support is in place you’ll get identical results to the ZS200.

{{ZIFFIMAGE id=”152477″ notable nopopup align=”left”> See How We Test Digital Cameras

You get a longer warranty with the C-Lux. Leica includes two years of coverage. With Panasonic you get a single year.

Bling for Your Travels

The Leica C-Lux doesn’t offer any technical advantages over the Panasonic ZS200, but it’s prettier. Whether or not it’s worth the premium is completely up to you. It’s a good camera for travel thanks to its zoom range and sensor, but we continue to recommend Sony’s $1,200 RX100 VI to shoppers looking for a long-zooming, 1-inch sensor, pocket-friendly point-and-shoot. It’s more expensive than the Leica, and while it doesn’t have head-turning aesthetics, it does have a Zeiss-branded lens and a logo to match.

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