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Leica D-Lux 7 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.12.1
Reviewed May 25, 2023 at 09:01 am
Latest change: Writing modified Jan 29, 2024 at 09:10 am
Leica D-Lux 7 Picture
7.1
Travel Photography
7.1
Landscape Photography
6.7
Sport & Wildlife Photography
6.9
Raw Photo Performance
4.7
Vlogging
6.7
Studio Video
3.9
Action Video
This camera was replaced by the Leica D-Lux 8

The Leica D-Lux 7 is a point-and-shoot camera, first released in 2020. While Leica is known best for its premium German-engineered rangefinder cameras, this is a Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II clone with Leica branding. That's not the worst thing it could be, as, like the LX100 II, it's a portable enthusiast point-and-shoot with manual control dials and a relatively large Micro Four Thirds sensor that gives it a leg up in the image quality department. However, it doesn't offer much more than the Panasonic camera to justify its premium price.

Our Verdict

7.1 Travel Photography

The Leica D-Lux 7 is decent for travel photography. It's highly portable and lightweight, with physical control dials that make it easy for manual shooters to adjust settings on the go. Image quality is also good for a compact camera. On top of that, it has a pretty good battery life. However, it lacks a hand grip, meaning it doesn't have the best ergonomics. Its autofocus system can also be sluggish and unreliable, especially with busier scenes or faster subjects.

Pros
  • Portable.
  • Dedicated exposure dials.
  • Good battery life for a compact camera.
Cons
  • Autofocus isn't very reliable.
  • Poor ergonomics.
  • Not weather-sealed.
7.1 Landscape Photography

The Leica D-Lux 7 is decent for landscape photography if you need something portable. Its Micro Four Thirds sensor is larger than most point-and-shoot cameras, so it has a fairly wide dynamic range for a camera of its size. However, it isn't the best option for low-light shooting, and it doesn't have the highest resolution, giving you less leeway to crop in. Its built-in lens gives you some flexibility with framing, and its minimum 24mm full-frame equivalent focal length is a solidly wide angle for landscape photos.

Pros
  • Portable.
  • Dedicated exposure dials.
  • Fairly wide dynamic range for a point-and-shoot.
Cons
  • Poor ergonomics.
  • Not as much cropping leeway as higher-resolution cameras.
  • Not weather-sealed.
6.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Leica D-Lux 7 isn't meant for sports and wildlife photography, though it's an okay option for casual sports photos or if you need something compact. It can shoot at a fast max burst rate to capture quick bursts of movement. However, it doesn't have a very large photo buffer; if you fill it up, it takes a long time to clear before you can shoot again. It also has a somewhat sluggish and inconsistent autofocus system that struggles to keep track of moving subjects. Its short zoom range also isn't ideal for far-away subjects.

Pros
  • Portable.
  • Good battery life for a compact camera.
  • Quick burst shooting.
Cons
  • Autofocus isn't very reliable.
  • Small photo buffer.
  • Poor ergonomics.
6.9 Raw Photo Performance

The Leica D-Lux 7 has okay RAW image quality. Its dynamic range is decent, but you'll lose some detail in either the shadows or highlights in very contrasty scenes. It doesn't have the highest resolution sensor, so while images look fairly sharp, there isn't too much leeway to crop in without losing sharpness. It isn't the best option for low light, either, though it does an adequate job of managing noise overall.

Pros
  • Fairly wide dynamic range for a point-and-shoot.
Cons
  • Not as much cropping leeway as higher-resolution cameras.
4.7 Vlogging

The Leica D-Lux 7 isn't meant for vlogging. It doesn't have a flip screen that you can use to monitor yourself while recording. Its sleek design makes it hard to maintain a secure grip if you aren't using a monopod or selfie stick. On the upside, it can record 4k video at up to 30 fps, with good video quality and decent battery life. However, it can only record in 4k with a noticeable crop.

Pros
  • Portable.
  • 4k 30 fps recording.
Cons
  • Fixed screen.
  • Poor ergonomics.
  • Noticeable crop in 4k.
6.7 Studio Video

The Leica D-Lux 7 isn't meant for studio video. It has no ports to connect video peripherals like a microphone or external monitor. While it can record decent-quality 4k video, it can only record 4k video with a noticeable crop and has no high frame rate options for slow-motion recording.

Pros
  • Portable.
  • 4k 30 fps recording.
Cons
  • Limited inputs/outputs.
  • Lacking high frame rate options.
  • Noticeable crop in 4k.
3.9 Action Video

The Leica D-Lux 7 isn't meant for action video. It isn't designed for action cam mounts and lacks any kind of high-speed recording mode or high frame rate options for slow-motion or smooth fast action.

Pros
  • Portable.
Cons
  • Not designed for action video rigs.
  • Lacking high frame rate options.
  • Noticeable crop in 4k.
  • 7.1 Travel Photography
  • 7.1 Landscape Photography
  • 6.7 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 6.9 Raw Photo Performance
  • 4.7 Vlogging
  • 6.7 Studio Video
  • 3.9 Action Video
  1. Updated Jan 29, 2024: Added text to the 'Raw Photo Performance' verdict box.
  2. Updated Jan 29, 2024: Converted to Test Bench 0.12.1.
  3. Updated May 25, 2023: Review published.
  4. Updated May 19, 2023: Early access published.
  5. Updated May 11, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  6. Updated May 10, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  7. Updated May 05, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Leica D-Lux 7 comes in a few different variants. The camera originally came in two colors: Silver and Black.

More recently, Leica released a limited '007 Edition' to honor the legacy of the James Bond franchise. The 007 Edition features a textured leather grip around the body, making it easier to maintain a secure hold compared to the standard D-Lux 7, as well as a 007 logo engraved on the top plate and a gun barrel design on the lens cap. It comes with a custom holster to carry the camera.

There's also the 'A Bathing Ape x Stash' edition, which results from a collaboration with graffiti artist Stash and the Japanese streetwear brand, A Bathing Ape. This model features a camouflage print body and specially designed accessories, including a camera bag, a rope strap, and a lens cap.

We purchased the Black model; you can see our unit's label here. For the most part, we expect all the variants to perform similarly, aside from the aforementioned grip on the 007 model potentially affecting its ergonomics to a small degree.

Compared To Other Cameras

The Leica D-Lux 7 is a compact fixed-lens camera. Like the Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II, it has a Micro Four Thirds sensor that's a bit larger than most point-and-shoot cameras, and it's designed with a smaller lens opening, allowing you to change the aspect ratio of your photos without affecting the angle of view. Its dedicated control dials make it easy to change exposure settings on the go, and it has a relatively sharp and fast lens. While it's a solid take-anywhere camera, it also carries a significant premium in price over similar point-and-shoots solely because of its Leica branding.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best compact cameras, the best travel cameras, and the best cameras for street photography.

Fujifilm X100V

The Fujifilm X100V is better overall than the Leica D-Lux 7. Both cameras have sleek designs, with physical control dials that make adjusting settings on the fly easier. Still, the Fujifilm camera has a larger sensor that captures better image quality and a more versatile hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. That said, the Leica is more portable and has a bit of zoom range, giving you more framing flexibility.

Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II

The Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II and the Leica D-Lux 7 are similar cameras. The D-Lux 7 is essentially a Leica-branded LUMIX LX100 II. The biggest difference between the two cameras is that the Leica has a slightly different body, with no finger grip.

RICOH GR III

The RICOH GR III is better than the Leica D-Lux 7 if image quality and portability are your priorities. It's a more minimalist camera with fewer control dials, but it has a larger sensor that captures better overall image quality. On the other hand, the Leica has a viewfinder, a built-in lens with a bit of zoom range, and 4k video capability.

Sony RX100 VII

The Sony RX100 VII and the Leica D-Lux 7 perform fairly similarly overall. While the Leica has a larger sensor and is better suited for low-light situations, the Sony is more portable, has a more reliable autofocus system, and has a longer zoom range. However, it does have a worse battery life.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.7
Design
Portability
Height
2.6" (6.6 cm)
Width
5.1" (12.9 cm)
Depth
2.8" (7.1 cm)
Volume
36.9 in³ (604.9 cm³)
Weight
0.89 lbs (0.40 kg)

The Leica D-Lux 7 is quite portable. It isn't the most compact point-and-shoot, with a larger profile than cameras like the Sony RX100 VII and the RICOH GR III. However, it's still fairly lightweight and easy to toss into a small bag or coat pocket.

You can see how portable the camera is with its lens fully extended here or with the flash accessory attached here.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The camera's build quality is decent and feels similar to the Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II. It's made of plastic and metal. For the most part, the buttons are sturdy and offer good physical feedback. However, some dials and inputs, like the zoom toggle around the shutter button, are quite sensitive and easy to hit by accident. The back dial around the D-pad also feels a little dinky. The battery and SD card slot are behind a locking hinged door, which is good, but the camera isn't weather-sealed.

Design
Body
Body Type
Large Sensor Compact
Water Resistance
No
Mirrorless
Yes
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
4
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
No Lens Mount
Built-In Flash
No (accessory included)
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/4,000 s
Design
In The Box

  • Leica D-Lux 7 camera
  • Lens cap
  • Lens cap string
  • Shoulder strap
  • Hot shoe cover
  • External flash
  • Leica BP-DC15-U battery
  • AC adapter
  • USB-A to micro-USB cable
  • Storage pouch for flash
  • User manual

5.5
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Large Hand
No Hand Grip
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
No Hand Grip

Because of its compact size, the Leica D-Lux 7 isn't very comfortable to shoot with, especially if you have larger hands. The buttons and dials are quite small, making it easy to accidentally make in input you didn't mean to. However, the dedicated exposure dials are nice for manual shooters who prefer not to mess around with menus, giving it an advantage over similarly sized compact cameras. Unlike the Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II, however, there's no finger/hand bump on the front of the camera, and the body is quite slippery, making it harder to maintain a secure grip. That said, the thumb grip on the back helps.

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
2.76 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.7

The EVF is quite small, though its resolution is decent, so you'll get a fairly sharp image through the viewfinder. That said, it isn't the most comfortable to use, with no real padding or eyecup.

5.0
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
No Articulation (Fixed Screen)
Screen Max Brightness
947 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
1.24 million dots
Size
2.9" (7.5 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes

The Leica D-Lux 7 has a fixed screen, which isn't the best for waist-level shooting or taking photos at unusual angles. Its coating is also quite reflective, making it harder to see on sunny days. On the upside, it has a fairly high resolution and full touch capability, so you can navigate settings, take photos, or select focus points using the display.

9.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Leica FOTOS App

The menu system is nearly identical to that of the Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II, save for a different color scheme. The red underline isn't as obvious as the Panasonic camera's yellow highlight, so it's a bit harder to see what setting is selected, especially on the quick menu. Still, the menus are easy to navigate, and the settings are clearly organized. There's also an info function to explain certain settings and features.

8.0
Design
Built-In Lens
Maximum Aperture
1.7-2.8
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
f/3.4
Minimum Focal Length
10.9 mm
Maximum Focal Length
34 mm
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
75 mm
Optical Image Stabilization
Yes
Luminance
72.4%
Light Falloff
94.5%
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
MOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
17 MP
Sensor Size
4/3 (MFT)
Processor
Unspecified
Extended ISO Minimum
100
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
200
Native ISO Maximum
25,000
Tested Firmware
2.0

Like the Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II, the Leica D-Lux 7 uses a multi-aspect Micro Four Thirds sensor. That means it doesn't use the full sensor, with a smaller lens opening that allows you to crop to different aspect ratios without affecting the angle of view.

7.5
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Leica BP-DC15-U
USB Charging
Yes
Power Delivery While Recording
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
340 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
92 min

The camera's battery life is good overall. It's CIPA-rated for about 340 photos on a full charge, which is pretty good for a compact camera, though your mileage will vary depending on how you use it.

the battery life is also decent for video. You'll get about an hour and a half of continuous video recording in 4k, which is good for such a small camera.

Photo General
6.6
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
2 fps
High Speed Continuous
11 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
11 fps
Raw Buffer Size
40 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
104 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
22 s

The Leica D-Lux 7 can shoot at a fairly quick max burst rate in continuous shooting mode. However, it has a small photo buffer, especially when shooting in RAW. If you fill it up, it takes quite a while to empty before you can start shooting again.

3.9
Photo General
Photo AF-C Tracking
Autofocus Tracking Shots
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
27%
Usable Focus Hit Rate
42%

The camera uses a contrast-detection autofocus system, so it isn't as quick to focus as phase-detection autofocus systems like the one found on the Sony RX100 VI. It supports face and eye detection, but its continuous AF tracking isn't very quick or consistent. It easily loses track of very fast-moving subjects. However, it's okay for slower-moving or still subjects.

8.3
Photo General
Photo AF-C Center Point
Autofocus Center Point Shots
Perfect Focus Hit Rate
81%
Usable Focus Hit Rate
91%

The continuous AF is a lot better when relying on a single center focus point, though it's still limited by its slow contrast-detection AF. You can still get plenty of usable shots when shooting like this, especially with slower-moving or more predictable subjects, but it can still be a bit slow to keep up with very fast subjects.

6.6
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/30 s
In-Body Image Stabilization
No

The camera doesn't have in-body sensor stabilization, but it does have optical image stabilization in its built-in lens, which helps somewhat. You can get stable shots at fairly slow shutter speeds handheld, but it won't reduce camera shake to a drastic degree. That said, stabilization performance can vary depending on what focal length you're shooting at and how steady your hands are.

Photo Image Quality
7.0
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
9.3 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/500s Exposure Time
7.5 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/2000s Exposure Time
6.6 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/4000s Exposure Time
4.9 f-stops

The Leica D-Lux 7 can capture a wide range of shadow and highlight detail. However, it falls far short of full-frame cameras in that respect. In low light, with more noise, dynamic range drops off significantly.

6.9
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Sharpness
Vertical Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
1,466 LW/PH
Horizontal Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
1,546 LW/PH

The camera can resolve fine detail fairly well, but it's limited by the resolution and size of its sensor. You don't have too much leeway to crop or zoom in on your photos without losing detail and sharpness.

6.7
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
SNR 18% At 1/8 Exposure Time (125 ms)
33.4dB
SNR 18% At 1/30 Exposure Time (33 ms)
29.3 dB
SNR 18% At 1/125 Exposure Time (8 ms)
24.4 dB
SNR 18% At 1/500 Exposure Time (2 ms)
18.4dB

The camera has okay RAW noise handling, especially for a camera with a smaller sensor. Its wide aperture helps somewhat for low-light shooting, but it isn't as good at controlling noise levels when you have less light hitting the sensor and have to bump the ISO.

Pictures Sample Gallery
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Skate Park Picture
JPEG Skate Park Picture Download
RAW Skate Park Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture Download
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Playback Only
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Playback Only
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
No
Recording Light
No
Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
Video General
Video File Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
6.0
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
24 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
4k Crop At Max Available fps
1.26 x

The Leica D-Lux 7 can only record 4k video with a noticeable crop. There aren't any high frame rate options in 4k, either. However, it's still good for casual or everyday video clips.

6.5
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
96 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
94 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 Bit
Record Time Limit In 4k
15 min
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
1

The camera's internal recording capability is okay. It has better heat management than most compact cameras but can still overheat during longer recording sessions. Unfortunately, there's a 15-minute cap on recording.

6.2
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
8.3
Face Tracking In 4k
2.8
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Eye Detection In 4k
Yes

The autofocus in video mode is mediocre overall. There's a lot of hunting with faster or more erratic subjects, and its AF tracking isn't very reliable. It works well with simpler subjects, like those moving from front to back, or vice versa, at a moderate pace.

7.3
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
7.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
7.5

Video quality is good in more controlled lighting conditions. Despite the crop, the image looks fairly sharp and detailed. In low light, there's a dip in quality, with some noticeable noise and loss of detail.

3.8
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
10.0°

Unfortunately, there's very bad rolling shutter effect in 4k, with heavy skewing and wobbling with quick pans and camera movements.

Full HD Video
5.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
No
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
No
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
1 x

The camera can record at up to 60 fps in 1080p, which is great for smooth action video. Unfortunately, there aren't any higher frame rates for slow-motion recording.

7.4
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
27 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
20 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
30 min

The 1080p internal recording capability is decent. You have a longer recording time limit in 1080p than 4k, which is good for longer recording sessions.

6.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
7.3
Face Tracking In FHD
3.3
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Eye Detection In FHD
Yes

The autofocus in video mode is mediocre overall. There's a lot of hunting with faster or more erratic subjects, and its AF tracking isn't very reliable. It's better with simpler subjects, like those moving towards or away from the camera at a moderate pace.

7.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
7.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
7.0

In 1080p, the video quality is decent. It's naturally less sharp and detailed than 4k but looks okay for FHD. It's fine in low light, too, but there's some noticeable noise and muddier details.

6.2
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
6.0°

There's less rolling shutter distortion in 1080p, but you'll still get some visible skewing with faster camera movements.

Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot

There's just a single SD card slot, and it's located on the bottom of the camera next to the battery. That makes it difficult to switch out cards when using a tripod.

5.3
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D) [Playback Only]
Headphones
No
Microphone
No Microphone input
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

The Leica D-Lux 7 has a limited set of inputs and outputs. There's no headphone or microphone jack. It only has a Micro USB port for charging and file transfer and a Micro HDMI port for playback on an external monitor.