Could this be the next mini Leica?

Posted on by Mike Evans

Panasonic's new Lumix LF1 is an interesting beast because it includes a built-in electronic viewfinder which I think is a first in such a compact device. It is also a serious photographer's camera that could well be transformed into a Leica. The nearest competitor in the Leica range is the D-Lux 6 (basically a Panasonic LX-7 with cosmetic changes). I could see a Leica version of the LF1 attracting a lot of interest. D-Lux 6 owners have no EVF unless they mount an optional unit in the hotshoe. Since this costs about half the price of the camera, the combination becomes seriously expensive, over £800 in the UK.

The LF-1 shares the tiny 1-1.7in sensor of the D-Lux. With competition from the likes of Sony's RX100 with a much larger 1in sensor, Panasonic and Leica have to struggle with the smaller sensor. The LF1 has a slower zoom, f/2 to f/5.9 compared with the f/1.4-f/2.3 of the current Leica and LX7. However, the zoom is much longer, ranging from 28mm at wide angle to a 200mm equivalent. This means that the maximum aperture at 90mm, the longest reach of the LX7, will around f/3.5. The LF1 could be the new D-Lux 7 if Leica can make a case for the slower lens in return for the advantages of the longer zoom range.


The LF1's viewfinder is small but I imagine it will be adequate and a big improvement over reliance on the back screen. With wi-fi connectivity and a full range of manual controls, this 170g camera is a prime candidate for Leicaisation.

Read a full review of the LF1 here on Ephotozine.