Complete D-SLR System Guide
With 10 companies offering D-SLRs today, there’s something for everyone
Leica's D-SLR system currently consists of the new 7.5-megapixel Digilux 3 Four Thirds System camera and the Digital-Modul-R back, which converts Leica R-system 35mm film SLRs into 10-megapixel D-SLRs.
Similar in features to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 (which is sold with the same Leica 14-50mm zoom lens), the Digilux 3 nonetheless has its own unique touches, including a slick Leica body that lends it the aura of the company's classic rangefinder models.
Key features include legendary Leica quality, a 2.5-inch 207,000-pixel LCD monitor that can display the image live before shooting (great for checking exposure, composition and even depth of field), plus an eye-level porro-mirror TTL viewfinder, convenient analog controls and a 7.5-megapixel (effective) LiveMOS sensor. The sensor produces images 3136 pixels wide, and you can choose among three aspect ratios: 4:3 (3136 x 2352 pixels), 3:2 (3136 x 2080) or 16:9 (3136 x 1760).
System Accessories: Renowned for its superb lenses, Leica currently offers just one for the Digilux 3, the 14-50mm ƒ/2.8-3.5 Leica D Vario-Elmarit aspherical zoom, which features a built-in Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) to counter handheld camera shake (you can switch it on or off as desired), and because of the Four Thirds sensor's 2x crop factor, 35mm-camera equivalent focal lengths of 28-100mm—ideal for a wide variety of subjects, from landscapes to portraits. But like all Four Thirds System cameras, the Digilux 3 will accept all Four Thirds system lenses, regardless of manufacturer. Four Thirds System lenses are also available from Olympus and Sigma (see the Olympus section for more details).
Other Leica accessories for the Digilux 3 include a camera case, an electric cable release and an adapter that permits use of R-system Leica lenses with the camera. To come are a dedicated flash system and a digiscoping adapter.
Since the Digital-Modul-R back just replaces the standard camera back and thus doesn't affect the lens mount, Leica R-series SLRs with the back attached can still use all Leica R-mount lenses, which currently range from 15mm to 800mm. The Digi-Modul-R's image sensor has a crop factor of 1.37x; thus, that focal length range works out to the equivalent of 21-1096mm on a 35mm SLR. Leica also offers an adapter that allows Leica R-system lenses to be used with the Digilux 3.