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Leica V-Lux 5 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.9
Reviewed Jun 29, 2021 at 10:25 am
Leica V-Lux 5 Picture
7.1
Travel Photography
7.3
Landscape Photography
7.2
Sport & Wildlife Photography
7.2
Vlogging
7.4
Studio Video
4.0
Action Video
Body Type
Bridge
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
1-inch
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens

The Leica V-Lux 5 is a bridge camera with a zoom lens. It's very similar to the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II, with the same built-in Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens but a slightly different body design and more premium Leica branding. Like other bridge cameras, it trades the larger sensor size of an interchangeable lens camera for the convenience of a built-in lens with longer maximum zoom, allowing you to shoot close-ups or zoom in on faraway subjects. It delivers solid image quality, with okay dynamic range and minimal visual noise, though it isn't as well-suited to dim lighting conditions. It's also decent for video, with good video stabilization and autofocus performance in FHD. However, it performs noticeably worse in 4k.

Our Verdict

7.1 Travel Photography

The Leica V-Lux 5 is decent for travel photography. It takes high-quality images with little noise at higher ISO levels, helpful when taking photos in dimmer conditions. Its wide focal length range also gives you a lot of flexibility for framing. However, it's not the most portable or lightweight camera to take on the go. Also, while its autofocus system is good with tracking moving objects, it struggles with face tracking. On the upside, it has a decent advertised battery life in photos, and the screen gets bright enough to overcome glare in sunny conditions.

Pros
  • Impressive image quality.
  • Autofocus is good at tracking objects.
  • Decent battery life.
Cons
  • Poor face tracking.
  • On the bulky side.
7.3 Landscape Photography

The Leica V-Lux 5 isn't the best choice for landscape photography. Its image quality is decent, but its dynamic range and noise handling are limited by its smaller sensor. On the upside, it feels well-built and comfortable to use. Its screen also gets bright enough to overcome glare, which is great when shooting on sunny days. However, it isn't the most portable to take to remote shooting locations.

Pros
  • Impressive image quality.
  • Fantastic dynamic range.
  • Feels well-built.
  • Relatively long focal length.
Cons
  • On the bulky side.
7.2 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Leica V-Lux 5 is great for sport and wildlife photography. It has a fairly long zoom range to help you capture far-off subjects. Unfortunately, its face-tracking performance is disappointing, but it does a good job of tracking moving objects. The image quality is great, with minimal noise at higher ISO levels, making it suitable for lower light conditions. Finally, its shooting speed is impressive, with a fast continuous shooting rate and virtually instant buffer empty time when shooting in JPEG.

Pros
  • Great shooting speed.
  • Impressive image quality.
  • Autofocus is good at tracking objects.
  • Relatively long focal length.
Cons
  • Poor face tracking.
7.2 Vlogging

The Leica V-Lux 5 is decent for vlogging. It's not the smallest or lightest camera, but it has a fully articulated screen to help you monitor the video while self-recording. Its battery life is also superb for video, although this can vary with settings and usage. It also has a good video stabilization feature in FHD to smooth out camera shake while walking, but unfortunately, it doesn't offer digital video stabilization in 4k. The video quality is okay overall. Also, its autofocus system is decent at tracking faces in FHD, but it does a poor job in 4k.

Pros
  • Decent overall video quality.
  • Fully articulated screen.
  • Good FHD video stabilization.
Cons
  • Lackluster autofocus system.
  • On the bulky side.
  • No 4k video stabilization.
7.4 Studio Video

The Leica V-Lux 5 is decent for studio video. It delivers decent overall video quality, and the menu system is fantastic and easy to use. It has many helpful inputs for studio video, including a microphone jack, a remote control port, and an HDMI port that supports clean HDMI output for connecting an external recorder without any overlays, but it lacks a headphone jack. Unfortunately, the autofocus system is just okay in FHD and performs poorly in 4k.

Pros
  • Decent overall video quality.
  • Supports clean HDMI output.
Cons
  • Lackluster autofocus system.
  • No headphone jack.
4.0 Action Video

The Leica V-Lux 5 isn't for action video. It's bulky, isn't designed for use with an action cam mounting accessory, and isn't water-resistant. It also can't shoot video in 120 or 240 fps to generate smooth slow-motion footage.

Pros
  • Decent overall video quality.
Cons
  • Lackluster autofocus system.
  • Not designed for action mounts.
  • Not water-resistant.
  • Can't record 120 or 240 fps.
  • 7.1 Travel Photography
  • 7.3 Landscape Photography
  • 7.2 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 7.2 Vlogging
  • 7.4 Studio Video
  • 4.0 Action Video
  1. Updated Aug 16, 2022: After running into issues with RawTherapee during retesting for Test Bench 0.9, we decided to process the 'Photo RAW Dynamic Range' test scene in Lightroom instead. The test scene photo has been reuploaded.
  2. Updated Jul 29, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.9.
  3. Updated Apr 25, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.
  4. Updated Jun 29, 2021: Review published.
  5. Updated Jun 25, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
3.7
Design
Portability
Height
3.8" (9.7 cm)
Width
5.4" (13.8 cm)
Depth
5.4" (13.8 cm)
Volume
112.7 in³ (1,847.3 cm³)
Weight
1.81 lbs (0.82 kg)
Weight With Lens
1.81 lbs (0.82 kg)
7.5
Design
Build Quality

  • The body is made of sturdy plastic
  • Inputs and outputs are covered by robust rubber flaps
  • Buttons are flatter and wider than those on the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II
  • Lens ring turns smoothly but offers nice resistance
  • Command dials are smooth and easy to use, and unlike the Panasonic FZ1000 II, the top back dial feels nicer to use
  • Zoom toggle is sensitive to make use easy, but not so much so that you can't control it
  • The screen and hinge mechanism feel very sturdy
  • The flash mechanism feels somewhat flimsy
  • Has a directional pad to navigate the menu as opposed to a dial, which may make it more difficult to navigate depending on personal preference
  • Shoulder strap hooks are made of plastic, as opposed to metal hooks on the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II

Design
Body
Water Resistance
No
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
3
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
No Lens Mount
Built-In Flash
Yes
Design
In The Box

  • Leica V-Lux 5
  • Shoulder strap
  • Lens cap
  • Lens cap string
  • Lens hood
  • USB-A to Micro-USB cable
  • AC adapter
  • 1x Leica BP-DC12 battery
  • Instruction manual

8.5
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
Yes

  • The grip is large, with rubberized thumb rest and front grip, and holding the camera feels secure
  • Three command dials, including lens ring, make it easy to adjust exposure parameters
  • Most buttons are easy to reach
  • Rubberized eye cup around the viewfinder feels comfortable, with a lot of space between the viewfinder and the body
  • Screen is fully articulated
  • In AF mode, the lens ring is used to adjust zoom, and it does so in increments, making it easy to reach your desired focal length
  • Can't change SD card while mounted on a tripod due to placement of slot

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
2.36 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.74
9.4
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Fully-Articulated
Screen Max Brightness
894 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
1.24 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.5 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes
9.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Leica FOTOS App

  • Menu system is easy to navigate using the directional pad or touchscreen
  • Quick menu gives you access to commonly used settings like ISO, drive mode, and exposure compensation
  • Can be a little difficult to see the highlighted option in the Q menu, as it's only underlined by a thin red line
  • You can customize up to eight buttons to suit your preferences, along with five customizable tabs on the screen
  • Display option allows you to check shooting mode, aperture, shooting speed, ISO, exposure bias, white balance, flash setting, drive mode, autofocus mode, focus mode, file format, Wi-Fi, and more all at once, though you can't see through the viewfinder or screen while looking at this display
  • Guide mode can explain certain features and functions to novice users and is easily toggled by pressing the 'Display' button when in the menu

Design
Assistance Functions
Level Display
Dual-Axis, Photo & Video
Grid Lines
Photo & Video
Histogram
Photo & Video
Zebra Pattern
Photo & Video
Focus Peaking
Photo & Video
Waveform
No
7.1
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Built-in
Maximum Aperture
2.8 - 4.0
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
f/7.6
Minimum Focal Length
9.1 mm
Maximum Focal Length
146 mm
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
400 mm
Optical Image Stabilization
Yes
Luminance
79.6%
Light Falloff
67.2%
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
MOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
20.1 MP
Processor
Unspecified
Extended ISO Minimum
80
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
125
Native ISO Maximum
12,800
Tested Firmware
Ver.2.0
7.4
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Leica BP-DC12
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
No
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
360 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
131 min
Photo General
Photo General
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
Raw File Format
RWL
Shutter
Electronic and Mechanical
Slowest Shutter Speed
60 s
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/4,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Time Lapse
Yes

Note: When using the mechanical shutter, the shutter speed ranges from 60s to 1/4000s. When using the electronic shutter, the shutter speed ranges from 1s to 1/6000s.

6.3
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
2 fps
High Speed Continuous
11 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
11 fps
Raw Buffer Size
31 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
104 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
24 s

Note: When shooting in RAW format, the buffer empty time is 24s.

7.2
Photo General
Photo Autofocus
Object Tracking Success Rate
75%
Face Tracking Success Rate
43%
Face Detection Distance
80" (203 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
49

Note: This camera can capture images using all of its focus points at once, allowing for the 'Post Focus' and 'Focus Stacking' features. These features, respectively, let you change the focus point of an image after it's already been taken or combine all the images taken using different focus points, resulting in an expanded focus range. However, we don't currently test these functions.

7.8
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/13 s
In-Body Image Stabilization
No
Photo Image Quality
6.9
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
9.1 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/500s Exposure Time
7.5 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/2000s Exposure Time
6.2 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/4000s Exposure Time
5.3 f-stops
6.8
Photo Image Quality
Photo Sharpness
JPEG Sharpness At Base ISO
2.262 pixels
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
2.6224 pixels
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
3.214 pixels
RAW Sharpness At Base ISO
4.168 pixels
RAW Sharpness At ISO 800
4.222 pixels
RAW Sharpness At ISO 3200
4.280 pixels
6.3
Photo Image Quality
Photo JPEG Color Accuracy
Color Difference (dE2000) At Base ISO
11.58
Color Difference (dE2000) At ISO 800
11.40
Color Difference (dE2000) At ISO 3200
11.75
9.1
Photo Image Quality
Photo JPEG Noise
SNR 18% At Base ISO
40.29 dB
SNR 18% At ISO 800
39.08 dB
SNR 18% At ISO 3200
36.29 dB
6.5
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
RAW SNR 18% At Base ISO
38.7 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200
37.43 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400
35.07 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800
32.46 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600
29.62 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200
26.63 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400
23.85 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800
20.79 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200
N/A

Note: Unlike most cameras, the Leica V-Lux 5 doesn't shoot at ISO 25600. At ISO 25000, there's 19.93 dB of noise.

Photo Image Quality
Test Scene Pictures Download
JPEG Picture At Base ISO Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 800 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 1600 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 3200 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 6400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 12800 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
RAW Picture At Base ISO Download
RAW Picture At ISO 400 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 800 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 1600 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 3200 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 6400 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 12800 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
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
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
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
5.8
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
1.42 x

Note: This camera has a longer equivalent focal length (37mm to 592mm) when recording in 4k compared to FHD, as a result of the 4k crop factor.

7.7
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
94 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
29 min
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
0

Note: This camera doesn't have any adjustable bit rate settings.

4.9
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
3.0
Face Tracking In 4k
5.1
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Eye Detection In 4k
Yes

Note: We tested autofocus performance using settings that deviate from our usual methodology to account for this camera's focal length. As such, the results may not be fully comparable with other cameras we've tested.

6.1
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
Walking Test In 4k
14.22 pixels/frame
Running Test In 4k
40.13 pixels/frame
In-Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
No
4k Video Stabilization Crop
1 x

Note: This camera's digital stabilization feature isn't available in 4k.

7.5
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
7.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
8.0
6.6
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
5.0°
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
7.3
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
29 min
6.6
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
5.0
Face Tracking In FHD
7.1
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Eye Detection In FHD
Yes

Note: We tested autofocus performance using settings that deviate from our usual methodology to account for this camera's focal length. As such, the results may not be fully comparable with other cameras we've tested.

8.4
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
Walking Test In FHD
5.92 pixels/frame
Running Test In FHD
9.52 pixels/frame
In-Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
No
FHD Video Stabilization Crop
1.1 x
7.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
7.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
7.0
7.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
3.0°
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
7.8
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
No
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Note: This camera also has an input to connect a remote. Note also that the microphone jack is located on the other side of the camera (not pictured above).

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Leica V-Lux 5 only comes in one color variant: 'Black'. You can see our unit's label here.

If you come across another variant, or your Leica V-Lux 5 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review.

Discussions