Even I would admit that £1,000-plus, with accessories, is a healthy old price for a compact digital camera. However, the new Leica D-Lux 5 is far, far beyond the ordinary. I don’t know how Leica does it – whether it’s in the lens or the electronics – but even non-photography-savvy people stop and stare at the photos produced with it. They have a clarity and punch you simply don’t see in non-Leicas. It even shows up on the viewing screen, which just looks… better than others.
The D-Lux 5 is an upgrade of the D-Lux 4 I simpered about a couple of years ago. It has a faster, f2, lens, which makes low-light shooting easier, an extended range of focal lengths – 24mm to 90mm in old 35mm money – plus some tinkering with the sensor and electronics, which I think have improved notably what was already a superb camera in the D-Lux 4. The new model also has an electronic viewfinder option, the £270 E-VF1, which I would recommend for use in sunny climes, even if it does spoil the camera’s superbly understated look.