The Panasonic DMC-LC1, aka, the Leica Digilux 2 was a 5mp point and shoot camera introduced in 2004 and featured a 28-90mm f/2-2.4 Leica Vario-Summicron lens.
I have fond memories of this camera. I remember lusting after it and getting one in 2005. I’ve never had more fun with a digital point and shoot than I did with this camera!
Now, I also had a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20 before this and was not impressed with the “Leica” lens on it. It was sharp, but lacked any character.
The LC1 was different. The lens on this camera was phenomenally sharp. And it did have character. It had a Leica signature for sure.
Now being a small sensored point and shoot you’re not going to get any crazy bokeh with it. However, you CAN get some decent bokeh with the right technique/situation, but you also get resolution that looks better than you’d ever expect from five megapixels.
The build is also very good and it almost reminds me of the Fuji X-Pro 1 with a big lens on it. I absolutely loved this camera for street shots.
I am sure Panasonic built everything on this camera, including the lens, though it really seems like a Leica designed lens rather than just a Leica “badge” as on other Lumix cameras.
You can also get this camera under the Leica name as the Leica Digilux 2. The Digilux 2 comes in a silver/chrome finish. I much prefer the black body of the Panasonic version, it works much better for unobtrusive street work. The Leica is also more expensive, as expected. Ignore the “red dot” and get the Panasonic! Trust me on this one 🙂
If buying one of these, be forewarned that many have had sensor failures, and you always have to be careful when buying older digital cameras, especially expensive ones.
That said, the Panasonic DMC-LC1/Leica Digilux 2 are cult classics and fantastic cameras that prove megapixels aren’t everything.
Note 11/10/14: I have found the hard drive and some “lost photos” from the DMC-LC1 and have updated the post. The post is now current.
Note 11/4/14: I will be updating this post with more images from the LC1, but first I have to find the old hard drive which contains my images from this camera! It’s been a while since I’ve seen that old drive 🙂
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