Leica V-Lux 3

Leica V-Lux 3 front

Leica V-Lux 3 summary

Leica V-Lux 3 is Leica's Small Sensor Superzoom camera initially introduced on December of 2011. It includes a 12 MegaPixel, CMOS 1/2.3" size sensor with a full resolution of 4000 x 3000.

Leica launched this camera in an effort to replace the earlier Leica V-Lux 2 (Read Full Comparison) & afterwards introduced the updated Leica V-Lux 4 (Read Full Comparison) in order to update this model.

The V-Lux 3 comes in at #76 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras & over all #563 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our collection. Please try our Smart camera search to see camera listings based on your personalized criteria.

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The following is a diagram of specific factors used in the rating system.

Leica V-Lux 3 family

The Leica V-Lux 3 is part of a family of cameras. You can read the detailed list underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Leica-V-Lux-5 front thumbnailLeica V-Lux 5
V-Lux 3 vs V-Lux 5
Leica-V-Lux-4 front thumbnailLeica V-Lux 4
V-Lux 3 vs V-Lux 4
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Leica-V-Lux-40 front thumbnailLeica V-Lux 40
V-Lux 3 vs V-Lux 40
Leica-V-Lux-3 front thumbnailLeica V-Lux 325-600mm
Leica-V-Lux-30 front thumbnailLeica V-Lux 30
V-Lux 3 vs V-Lux 30
Leica-V-Lux-2 front thumbnailLeica V-Lux 2
V-Lux 3 vs V-Lux 2
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Leica-V-Lux-20 front thumbnailLeica V-Lux 20
V-Lux 3 vs V-Lux 20

Leica V-Lux 3 Pros and Cons

Here is a collection of pluses and minuses of the Leica V-Lux 3 based on things which are usually regarded as useful in a camera.

built in image stabilization (Optical)
decently wide (25mm)
delivers RAW files
does have external microphone port
does have HDMI port
flash built-in
fully articulated screen
good battery life (410 shots)
incredible zoom range (25-600mm 24.0 x zoom)
long zoom (600mm)
manual focus
pretty good screen size (3")
selfie friendly display
very good minimum ISO (100)
video res high (1920 x 1080 resolution)
cannot change lens (fixed lens mount)
lack of headphone port
lack of Timelapse recording
lacks phase detect AF
max zoom aperture not good (f5.2)
more heavy than others (540g)
pixelated screen (461 thousand dot)
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
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Leica V-Lux 3 Sensor information

The sensor spec in the Leica V-Lux 3 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to capture 4000 x 3000 pixels using aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera features Image Stabilization (Optical). Sensor stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization as the latter might lead to cropping.

Photography Glossary

The CMOS sensor has 12 megapixels and features a native ISO range of 100 - 6400. RAW files are supported so you have more margin for error.

The graphic underneath shows the V-Lux 3's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The V-Lux 3 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is showcased in green.

Leica V-Lux 3 sensor size Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Leica V-Lux 3 dimensions

Leica V-Lux 3 weighs around 1.19 pounds (540g / 19.05 oz) & has external measurements of 124mm x 81mm x 95mm (4.9" x 3.2" x 3.7"). The weight of average Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387g so the Leica V-Lux 3 is more heavy as compared with various rivals.

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Down below is a picture of the Leica V-Lux 3 besides a softdrink so you can get a feel for its size.

Leica V-Lux 3 dimensions scale

The top view just below will provide the button arrangement on the V-Lux 3.

Leica V-Lux 3 topview buttons dials

Leica V-Lux 3 Lens information

The V-Lux 3 includes a built-in lens having a focal range of 25-600mm making it a 24.0 x zoom which is exceptional and will enable you to zoom all the way in.

At it's widest 25mm, the lens features an aperture of f2.8 making it very sluggish and not very good for low light situations and you might find it difficult to get good bokeh. You would also need to up your ISO leading to noisy files. Towards the long end, 600mm is excellent zoom and comes to f5.2 making it really sluggish and you would have to choose slow shutter speeds.

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Leica V-Lux 3 Connectivity

The V-Lux 3 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that consist of NFC or Bluetooth compatibility can be used wirelessly with smartphones. You will be able to transfer photos and oftentimes change settings with no need to connect physically with the camera.

Some apps also allow a Liveview and release the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI port, it can be connected to an external display. Many cameras enable you to charge the battery pack using the USB socket.

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Leica V-Lux 3 Video information

The highest possible video resolution in the Leica V-Lux 3 is 1920 x 1080 and you can record in MPEG-4, AVCHD and Motion JPEG format. 1080p resolution gives a great balance for quality vs file size but 1080p won't leave you with any room to downsample. Even though the body offers a microphone port, it is unfortunately missing a headphone port so you won't have the capability to keep an eye on your audio levels.

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Leica V-Lux 3 Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing for the Leica V-Lux 3 so you have to be careful in wet or dusty situations.

Leica V-Lux 3 Display and Viewfinder

The Leica V-Lux 3 includes a 3 inch fully articulated display screen having a resolution of 461 thousand dots.

The display is selfie friendly for self portraits as well as group photos when required. Please note that the display has no touch support.

Leica V-Lux 3 screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The View Finder details for Leica V-Lux 3 are below:

  • ViewFinder Electronic
  • ViewFinder Coverage 100%

Viewfinders are pretty useful for sunny outdoor situations which will make the camera display washed out and very difficult to see.

Leica V-Lux 3 Shutter information

Leica V-Lux 3 is able to shoot continuously at 12.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

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Leica V-Lux 3 Flash and Hot shoe information

Leica V-Lux 3 features both built in flash along with external flash support.

Leica V-Lux 3 Autofocusing information

Leica V-Lux 3 features only Contrast Detect AF & is missing Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot snappier & exact as compared with Contrast Detect autofocusing.

The AF system includes 23 focus points to pick from. Leica V-Lux 3 has the ability to use manual focus when required for low light situations or you require more precise control on focus.

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Leica V-Lux 3 Battery life

The battery life (BP-DC 9) for the Leica V-Lux 3 is fashioned to last for 410 pictures as per the CIPA specifications making it higher than standard when compared to its class. The average Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR comes with the best (600) battery life for this group of cameras.

Underneath is a list of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras with the strongest battery life:

Leica V-Lux 3 for varying categories of photography

The following illustration presents a rundown of the Leica V-Lux 3 for varying categories of photography. To view more, visit the specific paragraph underneath.

Leica V-Lux 3 Portrait photography features

The Leica V-Lux 3 gets a score of 41 which is horrible, and means the camera is simply not suitable to use for portraits. Taking portraits leans greatly towards sensor size, RAW support together with the ability to work with external lighting.

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has manual focus
delivers RAW files
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")

Leica V-Lux 3 as a Street photography camera

Coming in at a decent rating of 58, the Leica V-Lux 3 is reasonably appropriate to use in street photography. A good street photography camera comes with a good balance of picture quality and portability.

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screen can move to multiple angles
built in image stabilization (Optical)
delivers RAW formats
small sensor size (1/2.3")
more heavy than competitors (540 grams)

Leica V-Lux 3 Sports photography features

A horrible sports photography points tally of 43 means the Leica V-Lux 3 is simply not suitable for taking photos of sports. A camera really should have great focusing and shutter speeds for sports photography.

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excellent zoom range (25-600mm 24.0 x zoom)
image stabilization (Optical)
better than average battery pack (410 per charge)
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
no phase detect AF

Leica V-Lux 3 as a Travel photography camera

Size is very crucial when choosing a camera for travel. In general, the Leica V-Lux 3 gets a modest 56 as a travel camera which is reasonably appropriate to take with you on your journeys.

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good battery pack (410 CIPA)
flash built-in
selfie friendly display
pretty wide (25mm)
very long reach (600mm)
missing Time Lapse mode
heavier than competition (540g)
sensor resolution not great (12MP)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)

Landscape photography with Leica V-Lux 3

When you're planning to choose a camera for landscape photographs, the most significant aspect will be image quality. The Leica V-Lux 3 at it's reasonable score of 48 as a landscape camera is somewhat suitable compared to it's competition.

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manual focus
fairly wide (25mm)
screen size is good (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Optical)
saves RAW files
better than average battery (410 per charge)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
low resolution (12 megapixels)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
lack of Time Lapse function

Leica V-Lux 3 Vlogging factors

A camera for vlogging should come with a moving display, microphone port and ideally IBIS. Considering all the details, the Leica V-Lux 3 is a respectable pick as a vlog camera as it comes to a very good rating of 62.

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rather wide (25mm)
selfie friendly display
built in image stabilization (Optical)
great video quality (1920 x 1080 resolution)
has microphone jack
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
more heavy than competition in class (540 grams)

Leica V-Lux 3 Alternatives

If you are searching for replacements to the V-Lux 3, here is a collection of the top scored cameras which fall under the class of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The chart listed below gives you a summary of the V-Lux 3 vs it's top scoring competitors listed above.

Here are a few more cameras you might have a look at as alternatives. To see a extensive comparison, go to the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Brand Name
Leica V-Lux 3
Small Sensor Superzoom
Body design
SLR-like (bridge)
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
12 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest Possible resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW format
Maximum native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Manual focus
Touch focus
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
25-600mm (24.0x)
Maximum aperture
Macro focus range
Crop factor
Display type
Fully Articulated
Display sizing
Display resolution
461 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch functionality
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder coverage
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Minimum shutter speed
Fastest shutter speed
Continuous shutter speed
12.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Change white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
9.50 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow Sync
Hot shoe
WB bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60, 30 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (220 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video data format
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
540g (1.19 lb)
Physical dimensions
124 x 81 x 95mm (4.9" x 3.2" x 3.7")
Battery life
410 photographs
Form of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, 10 sec (3 pictures))
Time lapse shooting
Storage media
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Storage slots
Price at release