Expert Recommendation

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Best Ultra Compact Digital Camera for Interior Photos Under $700
By Fotoguy
Expert (27 Recommendations and 7 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
September 26, 2008 Updated: November 30, 2008
Overview

For those who demand exclusivity and have pockets deep enough to be a member of that club, I humbly offer the Leica C-Lux 3. If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. Besides, as of this writing (late September 2008), it has yet to be set, but if history and the Leica tradition are any indicators, it will be very pricey.

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My Best In Class Pick
Leica C-LUX 3

The price primarily will be what sets this camera apart from the others. (You pay a premium for that Leica logo.) In reality, the Leica C-Lux 3 is a merely relabeled Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37 with only superficial, exterior cosmetic differences. Otherwise, both cameras are the same hardware-wise, but don’t be fooled, that hardware is of excellent quality.

Starting with the lens (same as on the DMC-FX37): The 5x zoom Leica DC Vario-Elmarit f2.8/5.9 has an impressive 25mm equivalent starting point and zooms out to 125mm giving you the coverage needs for most photographic situations. With lens distortion well controlled at all focal lengths and built-in optical image stabilization, your images will be sharp and of the highest quality.

This camera comes with a host of useful features including macro focusing down to two inches, ISOs from 100 to 6400, 5 preset white balance options, plus manual; shutter speeds from 60 seconds to 1/2000th second, 5 flash options, +/- 2 EV exposure compensation, Intelligent multi-segment metering, a plethora of shooting modes, including Intelligent Auto, which lets the camera pick the mode that best suits the scene conditions; up to 2.5 frames per second, 5 resolutions of movie mode with two frame rates, three still formats (4:3, 3:2, 16:9), and USB 2.0 Hi-Speed for fast image transfers.

All told, the Leica C-Lux 3 does deliver as advertised, but at a price that will be no bargain.

Pros
  • +
    Outstanding lens
  • +
    Optical Image Stabilization
  • +
    Excellent, sharp, very low noise images
  • +
    Manual compensation (exposure, white balance, flash)
  • +
    Orientation sensor
  • +
    50MB internal storage
Cons
  • -
    Price
  • -
    No full manual exposure modes
  • -
    2.5" LCD
  • -
    No optical viewfinder
Leica C-LUX 3 is the Best Ultra Compact Digital Camera for Interior Photos Under $700
Where to buy
Leica C-LUX 3
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 25mm (40% wider)
  • Resolution: 10.1MP
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