Think of digital cameras and one almost instantly thinks of brands like Nikon, Canon, Panasonic or Sony. In recent years, such has been the domination by these Japanese-origin brands that other brands have much less recall, and consequently, market share. For example, Rollei, Agfa and Leica are all German camera companies that were market leaders in their own right half a century ago.
Even today, some of the best lenses in the world are crafted by Carl Zeiss. Leica still makes and sells its cameras, and in fact, has recently launched its V-Lux 3 digital camera. This compact digital camera has a focal range equivalent to 25-600 mm in 35 mm format. It comes with a 24x super telephoto zoom and a 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor.
The Leica V-Lux 3 is said to be among the best in class in terms of its ability to shoot high-speed bursts. You can get 12 frames per second at full resolution. If you want faster frames, you can get up to 60 frames per second, but correspondingly, resolution drops to around 3.5 megapixels.
Like other cameras in its segment, the Leica V-Lux 3 can record HD video in AVCHD format at 60 frames per second. The 24x digital zoom is available for video as well. The built-in stereo microphone has an electronic wind noise filter which significantly reduces ambient noise.
Leica and Panasonic are partners, and the Leica V-Lux 3 looks quite similar to the Panasonic Lumix FZ-150 (it even has similar specs, except that the Leica has both Photoshop and Premier Elements). One wonders at what price point Leica will peg its offering at when it is launched in January 2012.