updated 08:55 am EDT, Tue April 20, 2010
Leica converts Panasonic 12X cam to upscale model
Leica today quickly confirmed its rumored new camera and launched the V-Lux 20. The compact is a mild reworking of the Panasonic Lumix ZS7 and gives it Leica's signature matte black finish and other high-end materials while retaining the core functionality. As a camera, the new V-Lux is Leica's first compact with both a 12X zoom lens and GPS-based geotagging, making it a possible good fit for travelers.
The point-and-shoot captures stills at 12 megapixels with image stabilization and 720p video at 60FPS in Motion JPEG; experienced users are given the options of manual controls as well as in-between aperture and shutter priority modes. Leica's main contribution aside from design is the inclusion of Photoshop Elements 8 to help edit and manage photos once off the camera.
Leica hasn't said exactly when it plans to ship the camera to the US, but it will have the camera in the UK for May; US pricing is $699, or $300 more than the $399 DS7. An optional leather case costs £70 ($108) in the UK and doesn't immediately have US pricing.