Leica D-Lux 7 Review

The Leica D-Lux 7 is a premium compact camera with a 17 megapixel, multi-aspect Micro Four Thirds sensor. The D-Lux 7 also features UHD 4K video recording at 30/24fps, 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 3.1x Leica lens, 2.76m-dot electronic viewfinder, 3.0" 1.24m-dot touchscreen LCD monitor, 11fps burst shooting, built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, 4K photo modes, hot shoe-mounted external flash, and in-camera battery charging.

Ease of Use

Leica’s new D-Lux 7 is a fixed lens, compact travel zoom camera that manages the trick of being both premium – the clue is in that ‘D-Lux’ (read: deluxe) nomenclature – yet, by its manufacturer’s pricing standards, relatively affordable with it.

Arriving after recent ‘stealth’ models aimed at street photographers and photojournalists that hide Leica’s normally covetable branding, the D-Lux 7 breaks rank and displays that red Leica logo proudly top right of the lens. However, it’s likewise as a camera for snapshots and street photography that, for our money, this particular model also excels.
As we’d expect of Leica, the largely metal build D-Lux 7 feels solid when held in the palm, or slipped into a jacket pocket, where it also rests comfortably and conveniently. Key features to acknowledge here are a relatively modest 17-megapixel resolution from a 21.77 megapixel Four Thirds CMOS sensor that’s married to a lens with an equivalent reach of a wideangle 24-75mm in 35mm film terms. Maximum lens aperture is an impressively fast/bright f/1.7, with the ability to adjust this manually via a lens ring that offers incremental settings up to f/16. Or, of course, you can just leave the selection up to the camera and shoot on automatic, which has its own dedicated button too.

Being a bang-up-to-date release, and with Leica’s long standing partnership with Panasonic still intact, it’s unsurprising that this compact arrives with the option of 4K video and 4K resolution photos; both pretty much standard issue across that electronic manufacturer’s range now. Here there’s the ability to capture video clips in 4K at up to a respectable 30fps. The default setting on the camera is otherwise Full HD video clips, giving users a modicum of choice depending on the desired use for said footage, and how much removable memory (via optional SD card once again) is available to store all that data, of course.
Though the 3-inch backplate LCD is fixed rather than being of the tilt and swivel variety – which would of course have added slightly more bulk to what’s overall a relatively svelte and well engineered piece of kit – at least the screen offers touch sensitive control (albeit, as we find with Panasonic, we actually prefer the physical controls).

Despite such concessions to modernity, the rangefinder-like top plate dials for controlling shutter speed and exposure compensation nevertheless provide the D-Lux 7 with a ‘classic’ look and feel, the camera going further by including the now expected Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB connectivity – the latter port (which sits under a side flap also protecting a HDMI slot) being used for charging the camera too. It’s also one of Leica’s first to be compatible with its recently introduced ‘Fotos’ app, which allows for remote control of the camera via a smartphone, as well as providing a virtual image gallery-in-your-hand for photographers.