Leica V-Lux 5 review: the premium bridge camera

A rare beast in today’s digital camera climate, does this Leica-badged bridge camera with 25-400mm equivalent lens reach make it an ultimate all-in-one?

Leica V-Lux 5 against a white wall
(Image: © Gavin Stoker / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Sharing many core qualities with the less expensive Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and its Mark II successor, precisely because of that, the V-Lux 5 is one of the more affordable Leica cameras that we can own. Marrying a one-inch sensor to a 16x optical zoom also makes this a viable alternative to both a premium compact, a DSLR, or a mirrorless camera for someone looking for a single option that does it all, despite necessitating a chunky and weighty build. Still, this Leica’s larger-than-average sensor, generous zoom range, and the ability to capture 4K video makes it a versatile package for anyone who wants DSLR-like operation, but to forego the faff of swapping or expense of owning a bunch of lenses.

Pros

  • +

    All encompassing 25-400mm lens reach equals versatility

  • +

    One-inch sensor

  • +

    One of the most affordable Leica cameras

  • +

    4K resolution video capture

  • +

    Tilt and swivel 3-inch touchscreen LCD

Cons

  • -

    We’re paying a premium for the Leica badge compared to the practically identical Panasonic FZ1000 Mark I & II

  • -

    Big and bulky because of the lens reach offered

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Bridge cameras – once so-called because they formed a ‘bridge’ between a compact point-and-shoot and the operability of a fully blown DSLR with telephoto lens – used to be a must-have in the ranges of any self respecting camera manufacturer. And up until around five or 10 years ago, when smaller, lighter mirrorless cameras began to steadily replace DSLRs, they were. 

However, nowadays such bridge units, also known as super zooms or all-in-ones, because of their generous lens reach, are pretty thin on the ground and we’re more likely to find one secondhand than new.

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Sensor20 megapixels
Sensitivity rangeAutomatic
Lens25-400mm equivalent (16x optical zoom)
Monitor3-inch tilting touchscreen LCD, 1.24 million dots
ViewfinderOLED at 2.36 million dots, 100% field of view
Battery life440 stills or 220 minutes of video
Dimensions5.39 x 3.82 x 5.2 in / 137 x 97 x 132 mm
Weight812g

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Gavin Stoker

Gavin has over 30 years’ experience of writing about photography and television. He is currently the editor of British Photographic Industry News, and previously served as editor of Which Digital Camera and deputy editor of Total Digital Photography


He has also written for a wide range of publications including T3, BBC Focus, Empire, NME, Radio Times, MacWorld, Computer Active, What Digital Camera and the Rough Guide books.


With his wealth of knowledge, Gavin is well placed to recognize great camera deals and recommend the best products in Digital Camera World’s buying guides. He also writes on a number of specialist subjects including binoculars and monoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, trail cameras, action cameras, body cameras, filters and cameras straps.