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|Leica D-Lux 4|
My Photography with the Leica D-Lux 4
The controls on the back of the camera will be familiar to anyone who owned the LX2 or D-Lux 3. The LCD is large and the images look gorgeous on it.
Macro capability is greatly improved. So much so that I will no longer need to use my G9 for macro shots.
The faster lens and the sensor improvements have made ISO 400-800 quite usable. From the few photographs I have taken so far I have no regrets in upgrading to the D-Lux 4. It certainly could have been a lot better. The lens cap is a throwback. A built-in cap would have been better by far. But it really boils down to the images and the D-Lux 4 delivers. In my opinion, it out-performs the D-Lux 3 in every respect.
I will not attempt to do a "GearHead" review of this camera. Instead, I will post photos taken with it. The old saying "A picture is worth a thousand words." still holds truth when it comes to cameras.
This first batch of photos is nothing special. I've only had a few hours with the camera and I am still trying to digest what I have read in the manual. Yeah, I know, guys don't read manuals.. but with this camera you must read the manual. It has a lot to offer and you'll only discover all those features by reading the manual, a couple of times if not more.
I will be adding photos to this section in the coming days and weeks along with more thoughts on the camera. So, if you are so inclined, check back every now and then to see what I have done with the Leica D-Lux 4.
Update: After One Week Of Use
I have no regrets in purchasing the D-Lux 4. The improvements made to the camera made it worth the upgrade to me.
What I Like
There is a LOT to like about the D-Lux 4.
What I Don't Like
I hate the mode control knob. It is too easy to accidentally switch modes by just touching the control. Every time I pull the camera out of my belt pouch, pocket or bag I have to check the mode to insure that it is where I left it. This control really needs to be fixed.
The new focal length can sometime be irritating due to the lens distortion. Yes, you can correct it in Photoshop but I wish I did not have to.
I would prefer the ISO, Aperture and Shutter controls to be external rather than menu driven via the LCD.
I much prefer the battery / memory card locking mechanism of the D-Lux 3 to that of the D-Lux 4.
I dislike the lens cap. It should be built in so that you are not forced to remove it and attach it when using or not using the camera. The tether for the lens cap must be used or you will eventually lose the lens cap. The tether is annoying.
The size of the camera. I don't really dislike it but I sure wish it was more the size of the G9 or G10. Those of us with larger hands need something we can really get a grip on. The D-Lux 4 is pretty small and in large hands, handling it becomes a bit awkward.
The plastic door on the side of the camera for the connections really feels cheap. If you're going to pay a premium for a camera like this, how about getting rid of the plastic.
All in all there is nothing here that is a deal breaker. I won't talk about the price since we are dealing with a camera that bears the Leica name, more in spirit than in substance. I'll just say it's overpriced and leave it at that.
I've Seen Enough... The Bottom Line
I know the M8 is capable of producing amazing images but so often what I see from the M8 is a bit of a let down. I keep thinking that for a camera that costs a fraction of what the M8 body alone costs, the D-Lux 4 is quite outstanding. Outstanding in what it offers in control and what it delivers in image quality and style. As I said, I have no regrets in purchasing the Leica D-Lux 4.
Final Conclusion - July 7, 2009
It is compact, I can take it with me anywhere. It is quiet, even quieter than my M8. It produces wonderful images, not as good as the 5D or M8 but for its size the images are amazing. It is versatile, with zoom, macro, video and built in features to help photographers achieve the look they desire. It is not perfect, a larger sensor would be great, but perfection is not possible and for what it is, the Leica D-Lux 4 is one of the best compact cameras ever made.
These are my opinions. They carry as much weight as a grain of dust in the wind. - Jim Radcliffe
Get A Grip For Your D-Lux 4
I recently obtained the custom grip for the D-Lux 4 created by Richard Franiec. I was afraid I would not like it before it arrived but then fell in love with the design and the quality of the grip.. but the main thing is.. it works!
My fingers fit the curve of the grip perfectly and it totally did away with something that has bothered me since I began using the D-Lux 4, "camera slippage". You see, I often use one hand to manipulate the DL4 for macros and other strange shots at weird angles. Before I used this grip the camera had a tendency to slip or twist a bit in my hand making it difficult to get the shot I wanted. I say hand (singular) because if you're going to one-hand the DL4, you will need this grip or the camera will slip. The ergonomics of the grip could not be better.. just perfect.
The build is a perfect match to the DL4 and it does not hinder access to the battery/memory card compartment like the Leica/Panasonic grip does. Click here to see more info and photos of the grip and to place an order.
He also offers a hotshoe cover and cable release adapter for the D-Lux 4.
Note: I am in no way affiliated with Richard Franiec. I am just a user of his product who felt the grip far surpassed my expectations.
A Book You May Be Interested in:
Note: I am in no way affiliated with Alexander White nor do I receive any form of compensation for this mention of his book.
The First Week with the D-Lux 4
November 1, 2008
November 2, 2008
November 4, 2008
November 9, 2008
November 16, 2008
November 15, 2008
November 20, 2008
November 22, 2008
November 28, 2008
November 23, 2008
November 29, 2008
To View The Images
A Note About The Images
January 31, 2010
December 1, 2009 - Back To My Old Ways
Radio The Way It Was
Into The Abyss
August 26, 2009 - Texas Dawn
An Old Friend Returns
August 21, 2009 - Shoot Anywhere
August 18, 2009 - Dawn At The Nature Park
August 9, 2009 - Americana - The Diner
July 24, 2009 - Boredom & Accidents
July 20 - Early Morning
July 7, 2009 - Garlic in BW
June 3, 2009 - Creature Day
May 6, 2009
February 28, 2009
January 25, 2009
January 23, 2009
It's amazing how a place can look so different at different times of the day. The shots below were taken at the same location as the three birds shot on January 17th. I got up before dawn, drove to the march and wait for sunrise...
January 17, 2009
Inspired by photographs I viewed in a couple of BW fine art magazines. I'm not saying this is fine art.. just my attempt at duplicating the mood of the photographs I saw using a Point & Shoot camera..
January 10, 2009
January 4, 2009
December 24-26, 2008
I spent the Christmas Holiday in Kansas at the home of my wife's parents. It was cold, it snowed, and then, it warmed up. Kansas is full of surprises for photographers. You've just got to drive down a lot of back roads and be prepared to freeze while battling the constant wind that blows across the prairie or burn up and dodge tornados in the sprnig and summer. So here are a few photographs from a less populated part of the United States. I only had a few hours to shoot each day but I am happy with what I brought back.
December 19, 2008
December 13, 2008
December 4, 2008
December 3, 2008
December 2, 2008