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Leica Digilux 3

Ilse Jurrien
Photokina report
Friday 15th, September 2006
Posted by: Ilse Jurrien

Leica Camera is introducing the new Leica Digilux 3 at Photokina in Cologne (September 26th to October 1st, 2006). The Leica Digilux 3 is the first purely digital Leica mirror reflex system camera with exchangeable lenses, thereby opening up a third variety of free-standing camera system under the Leica name. As the first model of the new Leica D system, the Leica Digilux 3 is fitted with a bayonet lens to the FourThirds Standard, the open systems standard for digital mirror reflex cameras. Together with the high-performance Leica D Vario–Elmarit 2.8-3.5/28-100 mm ASPH exchangeable lens, this offers the photographer many possibilities for composition of individual pictures.

Leica Digilux 3

Leica Digilux 3 - Picture stabilizer
An integral picture stabilizer gives the user additional protection against camera shake, even under difficult lighting conditions. In the design and operating concept the Leica Digilux 3 continues the concept of the Leica Digilux series: modern digital technology and an analog operating concept are combined in a classic camera body. The Berlin designer Professor Achim Heine is responsible for the clear modular design of the digital camera. Traditional operating elements such as an exposure ring on the camera and manual setting rings for aperture, zoom and focusing at the lens allow the Leica Digilux 3 to be operated like an analog camera model, thus granting the creative freedom to work in the style of traditional photography.

Leica Digilux 3 SLR lens - D Vario–Elmarit ASPH zoom lens
“The Leica Digilux 3 sets a new standard in the digital mirror reflex camera segment: traditional operating controls and highly modern technical equipment are united with classical values such as precision, outstanding picture quality and a clear formal language; offering in addition the creative freedom of a digital system camera. This makes it the ideal tool for demanding reportage photography“ says Marius Eschweiler, Product Manager for digital compact cameras at Leica Camera.

Leica Digilux 3 SLR lens - O.I.S. Image stabilisation
The Leica D Vario–Elmarit 2.8-3.5/28-100 mm ASPH exchangeable lens comprises 16 lenses including three aspherical lenses in twelve groups. The maximum aperture of 2.8 it imposes hardly any restrictions on the possibilities for photographic composition. The high-performance optics give impressive reproduction of even the finest details and nuances, with minimal distortion and vignetting even at the shortest focal lengths. Further security for a successful picture is derived from the integral protection against camera shake (O.I.S.), which can be switched on and off at any time. This reliably protects against camera shake in all photographic situations, since small movements of the hand are systematically compensated. Whether at twilight, during indoor shots, for snapshots or in zoom operation – the result is always a sharp picture without the need for a tripod.

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Leica Digilux 3 digital system camera - Great performance
“With the Leica D Vario–Elmarit 2.8-3.5/28-100 mm ASPH, a wider target group of digital photographers can profit from the unique performance level of Leica lens technology. The combination of the most modern digital technology such as optical picture stabilization and a quick and precise auto-focus with the well-known outstanding Leica reproduction performance is almost revolutionary” says Marius Eschweiler.

Leica Digilux 3 LiveMOS sensor - Real-time live photo function
The Leica Digilux 3 is equipped with a 7.5 megapixel LiveMOS sensor for a real-time live photo function, outstanding picture quality and energy-saving operating system. To protect the camera with its exchangeable lenses against the dreaded dirt on the image sensor due to penetration of dirt and dust particles, it is fitted with an ultrasonic protective filter in front of the sensor. The picture signal processor of the Leica Digilux 3 is also improved compared to the preceding model. The interaction of new sensor technology and the new picture signal processor ensure even faster image processing and storage within the camera, which is less of a drain on the rechargeable battery. Thus the Leica Digilux 3 is quick and reliable in use, even in spontaneous moments.

Leica Digilux 3

Leica Digilux 3 DSRL camera - 2.5 inch LCD display
In relation to color matching, contrast and picture definition, Leica Camera has developed its own profile. This is oriented to the picture characteristics that are well known to Leica System Camera customers from their use in combination with professional film materials and specialist development laboratories. The large 2.5” camera display of the Leica Digilux 3 has a resolution of 207,000 pixels, enabling it to generate an exceptionally brilliant picture, allowing the photographer to make a reliable and exact assessment of the picture composition both when taking the photo and when reviewing it.

Leica Digilux 3 optical viewfinder camera - Monitor preview
The Leica Digilux 3 is characterized by its clear and concentrated design. The straight-line layout and paring down to the essentials show the camera’s typical Leica lineage from the classic Leica viewfinder camera. The Leica Digilux 3 offers clear functions and is intuitive and secure in use, thanks to its simple operating concept. In addition to the optical viewfinder, the Leica Digilux 3 is fitted with a real-time live photo function. This monitor preview permits a complete check on the exposure, white balance and other exposure-relevant parameters, even before taking the picture. In this respect the Leica Digilux 3 occupies a special place amongst digital mirror reflex cameras. It delivers advantages which until now were restricted to compact cameras because of system considerations.

Leica Digilux 3

Leica Digilux 3 SLR camera - SD flash card & Accessories
The Leica Digilux 3 is supplied with a 1 GB SD card, a mains battery charger, a powerful rechargeable battery and a comprehensive software package (Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 (PC)/3.0 (Mac), Quicktime Movie Player ). Further accessories available include a spare rechargeable battery, a sporty and particularly hard-wearing neoprene case and a Billingham combination case.

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