Summary: OK, I admit that I am a sucker for the Leica name, but hey, it has meant quality and incredible optics for a very long time, so I had little difficulty choosing this camera last year when I decided to finally go digital. After one year of use, I have nothing but praise for this camera. Although I pine a bit for the Digilux 2, I am not ready to trade my Digilux 1 in and pay the premium.
Summary: I love my Leica. It is rock solid and it takes nice pictures. It is true that there are some noise problems in iso 200 and 400, but hey then I just use iso 100 for indoor shots. That requires longer opening times and can give blurry pictures, but usually I just set it to take 4 or 8 pictures at a time and then at least one of them is usually ok. Should I buy again I would probably go for Canon Digital Rebel which is almost in the same pricerange.
Summary: The true measure of this camera is the quality of the pictures it produces. Here's my take on the reasons this camera takes such stunning shots (and is worth the cost): 1. Button speed. You will actually capture the moment you are looking for with this camera. Most digital cameras take bland pictures because, well, what they are taking a picture of is not interesting and the moment has passed. With this camera your eye will tell you when the picture is right, and blam!
Summary: ..if you aren't obstinately attached to the brand. Aesthetics apart ('big', 'boxy' come to mind) this is NOT the camera you should go for if you want anything beyond an ISO of about a 100 -- and this is not coming from a point-and-click amateur. Yes, the manual controls are charming but if alternative brands offer me a better device (primarily, better pics, i.e.) with a lighter price tag, I begin to question.
Summary: This camera has exceeded my expectations of what any digital camera should be. I was fearful during the purchasing process because I read "pro" reviews for this camera that were not favorable. They complained about severe noise at ISO 200 & 400. Luckily, I do not use these settings very often, I use a tripod and long exposures for low-light situations if I have to. The real test occured when I held this camera for the first time--wonderful!
Summary: Unlike many other digital cameras, the Digilux 1 has little or no perceptible lag between pressing the button and taking the picture, especially if you 'prefocus'. Another nice feature is the multi-exposure setting, where you can automatically shoot 3 or 5 photos in rapid sequence, varying either the exposure by 1/4 to 1 stop increments, or varying the depth of field using different F stops.
Summary: The Digilux is a real value and wonderful camera for both the digital novice to the seasoned camera buff. In my opinion the most important thing in any camera is the lens, and in the Digilux has the legendary Summicron. I've had other several other cameras both digital and 35mm and this lens is a must buy. When matched with Panasonic electronics, we end up with the best of both worlds - the clear eye and great electronic brains.
Summary: First point worth mentioning: If you're looking for a pocket camera, look elsewhere. Check the dimensions on this, and then check your pockets. On the other hand, if you don't mind carrying the camera around with you, it will reward you IMMENSELY for the effort. Designed as a reportage camera, the response is incredibly fast. It reminds me of the time I traded in my 133MHz computer for a 2.4GHz. I can't stress enough how fast this thing is.
Oh, they shouldn't let novices like myself have such joy.
4 January 2003
Summary: I am very new to digital cameras (and photography) so my review will focus on ease-of-learning the camera and the way it handles. I've now had the camera for about a month and have used it almost daily and am extremely pleased overall. I had a minor moment of disappointment when I first got the camera and found it to be larger than I had expected (I hadn't seen one in person and was secretly hoping it would be Canon Elph sized).
Summary: The Leica Digilux 1 one may resemble a souped-up version of the old American 35mm Argus rangefinder camera, but appearances are certainly quite deceiving; it's images are far superior to any made by the old Argus. This is simply one of the best handling digital cameras I've held, producing images that are among the most brilliant, and rich in contrast, that I've seen from digital cameras.