updated 11:50 am EST, Thu December 8, 2011
Leica V-Lux 3 upscales latest Panasonic long zoom
Leica continued its recent tradition of upscaling Panasonic compact cameras on Thursday by unveiling the V-Lux 3. A close cousin of the Lumix FZ150, the superzoom centers on a 25-600mm (24X) equivalent, f2.8-5.2 lens. It makes a rare step down in resolution, from 14 to 12.1 megapixels, but the CMOS sensor both helps in low light as well as offering the same 1080p, 60 frames per second video and 12 frames per second burst still shooting as its Panasonic counterpart.
The camera can go as far as 60 frames per second for those willing to drop down to 3.5 megapixels. Video recording is advanced beyond the frame rate, since it carries a built-in stereo microphone with wind reduction. Leica puts a strong emphasis on having access to the full 24X zoom during recording.
A swiveling three-inch, 460,000-pixel LCD serves as the only source of previews on the camera, which has a mix of semi-pro features like a hot shoe and manual controls for auto-exposure and autofocus lock as well as a thumb dial for quicker scrolling through some tasks. Leica's main contributions, apart from a more luxuriant design, are the inclusions of Adobe's Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements.
The camera should ship worldwide in January. US pricing hasn't been published, but UK residents will pay about £690 ($1,081) with the option of a ruggedized travel case for £135 ($211).