The Leica D-Lux 4 is a honey of a travel camera, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, sturdily made, equipped with a Summicron f/2 lens, 4x zoom, and image stabilization. My wife and I just returned from a trip to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I took a couple of film loading Leicas, plus my carry-everywhere D-Lux4. Here’s my enthusiastic report about its travel performance:
Even in fairly dim light, as the movie below shows, it takes excellent video (in .mov format). The knock-your-socks-off feature of this small point-and-shoot camera is its macro (close-up) capability. It takes super sharp pictures from about one inch away. Not even all DSLRs take photos in RAW, but the D-Lux4 does. RAW photos give you a lot more data to deal with when you are post-processing your pictures. I also love the contrast and color rendering of the D-Lux4.
Have a look at the FlickRiver stream of my best Leica D-Lux4 shots, and you’ll see the versatility of this carry-everywhere camera. Pack this camera on a long distance trip and you’ll be able to document just about anything that happens. See some interesting action, or even hear a sound you want to record? Turn the mode dial and shift the D-Lux4 into movie making mode. You’re ducking into a dimly lit museum where flash isn’t permitted? No problem. The D-Lux4 has scene modes to handle such conditions. Want to take pictures from your airplane seat? The D-Lux4 has a special setting for that too.
The D-Lux4 has been superseded by the D-Lux5. If you don’t want to pay Leica prices, you might try its less expensive cousin, the Panasonic DMC LX-5, which has the same Leica glass. But if you can find a previously owned D-Lux4 in good condition, I think you won’t be disappointed.