If the new V-Lux 5 looks vaguely familiar, then that’s because it is. Apart from the rebranding exercise that sees the famous Leica red dot adorn the front of the body, a bit of a style overhaul, and a decent hike in its price which we will come to in a bit, this is essentially the Panasonic FZ-1000 II long zoom camera that was launched in February.
Luckily Leica has chosen a rather good camera to rebadge. Based on a 20-megapixel, 1-inch sensor with a 16X 25-400mm equivalent f/2.8-4.0 lens, the camera boasts a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12800 and has an integrated optical image stabiliser so you can lean into that zoom without too much worry.
It ports a lot of the features you would expect from its Panasonic heritage, including decently fast AF (0.1 seconds is the claim) and a decent 4K burst mode of 12fps. Heading into video, it will capture proper 4K at 24, 25 or 30fps, or Full HD at 60fps.
It’s also the first model of the V-Lux line that can be used with the Leica Bluetooth FOTOS App, which can be used to change settings and remotely control the camera via either Android or iOS.
It’s a decent camera, and its $1250 price tag looks fairly good as well, especially for a Leica. It only starts to look a bit shakier when measured up against the approximate $900 you would pay for the FZ-1000 II that it is derived from. What’s a name worth? About $350 in this case.