The LEICA DIGILUX 2, developed by Leica Camera AG, Solms, is a high-performance digital 70′s style camera for ‘traditional photography’. It is the first Leica digital camera that can be operated like a professional analogue camera: the crucial photographic parameters such as focus, aperture, shutter speed, and focal length can be set using rings on the lens and a shutter speed dial, as on a classic reflex camera. In addition to its convenient automatic functions the LEICA DIGILUX 2 thus combines creative freedom and the familiar handling of traditional cameras. “Just like photography with the legendary Leica coupled rangefinder cameras, the LEICA DIGILUX 2 concentrates on what is essential. The camera’s basic functions are simple and intuitive to master and provide an optimum basis for individual digital photography with a personal touch“, says Markus Ring, Compact Cameras Product Manager at Leica Camera AG.
The new compact camera is notable for its high-speed LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 7-22,5 mm f/2.0-2.4 ASPH. zoom lens, which covers a focal length range comparable to 28 to 90 mm in the 35 mm system. The 2/3-inch image sensor is extremely large and gives a resolution of five million pixels. Each individual pixel has a size of 3.4 µm thus has more surface than is normal in this class of digital cameras. Larger pixels can register the light more quickly and therefore reduce errors such as interference. “The combination of the high optical quality of the Leica lens and what is currently the largest sensor area per pixel in this class of digital cameras leads to extremely high picture quality“, adds Markus Ring.
The LEICA DIGILUX 2 has a large and bright 2.5“ monitor, allowing excellent picture evaluation during and after taking. The 64 MB SD memory card included with the camera provides an above average memory holding 6 to 484 images, depending on the selected picture quality. The markedly short shutter release delay means that the camera is outstandingly well suited for quick and spontaneous shots.
The clear, modular design of the digital camera is the work of the Berlin designer Professor Achim Heine. The controls, which are predominantly based on traditional analogue photography, are clearly positioned and support the easy operation of the camera.
The LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 7-22,5 mm f/2.0-2.4 ASPH. lens consists of 13 elements in ten optical components. Two of the lens elements have an aspherical surface, differing from the normal spherical shape. All lens elements are made of genuine optical glass and provided with a coating by means of a state of the art technology. The exclusive use of high quality materials – including special glass types produced in low quantities – contribute to the increase in contrast and brightness. The LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 7-22,5 mm f/2.0-2.4 ASPH. has a fixed first lens group. Focusing and focal length adjustment take place exclusively inside the lens. This results in excellent mechanical stability, guaranteeing optimum setting accuracy, durability and precise control.
The LEICA DIGILUX 2’s 2.5“ LC display is transreflexive: a combination of backlighting and use of the available light increases its brightness. This eliminates most of the troublesome reflections that sometimes appear on display surfaces in bright ambient light. Picture evaluation is possible even when looking at the display from extreme angles. The high-resolution 211,000-pixel camera display provides a bright, high contrast image. As an aid to manual focusing, the center of the display’s screen serves as a magnifying glass, showing an enlarged section of the subject.
The LEICA DIGILUX 2 has a large, high contrast electronic viewfinder with what is currently the maximum possible resolution of 235,000 pixels also featuring diopter compensation. The former prevents the viewfinder image from being obstructed, which the large lens and the wide-angle range would cause with an optical viewfinder. The 15 mm eyepoint makes the viewfinder easy to use, even for people wearing glasses. All the information in the display is also available in the viewfinder. In addition, saved pictures can be viewed in the viewfinder, which can be very useful in extremely bright sunlight.
The LEICA DIGILUX 2 will be available at Leica retailers as of February 2004.