Help me pick a camera…Leica vs. Canon

Taking a cue from my buddy Jeremiah, who used his blog to get recommendations both for his camera and for relevant podcasts for his upcoming trip, I thought I’ll try out something similar, since I’m in the middle of purchasing a digital camera.

Before I continue, let me take this opportunity to wish Jeremiah the very best on his “Return to Roots” trip to his hometown.

Bon Voyage to Jeremiah and Shirley!

Back to the camera hunt: The last camera I purchased, the Kodak V570, based on an Esquire recommendation didn’t quite match my expectations, so I decided to fall back on suggestions from the community.

Given below is a short list of my criteria. Feel free to share your experiences of purchasing a digital camera, dos, donts, etc…

My criteria:
1. Price range: $300 – $600 (decided to re-think the higher-end since it makes more sense to pay $300 more to get a DSLR)
2. Usage: Should be compact (not necessarily, ultra-compact), need to carry it around events, parties, just about anywhere I am with friends and company
3. Picture Quality: 7 – 10 mega pixels will work for me!
4. Anti-shake: many of these ultra-compact cameras have a propensity to take blurry, red-eye, shaky images (esp. low-light pics) and I’d definitely love to avoid that
5. SD Card acceptability: one of the reasons I dropped the Sony Cybershot was because it didn’t accept SD Cards. I have a 2Gb SD card and I don’t intend purchasing any more memory cards.

As of now, I’m trying to choose between the Canon Powershot G7 and the Leica D-Lux 3.

from l-r: Canon Powershot G7 & Leica D-Lux 3 (Awesome!)

Let me know if you’ve had a bad experience with either of the above cameras or if you have any further suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. diana

    what are your guys thoughts on the canon sd1100 elph? i was thinking that one or the lieca c 3..

  2. Dave Harris

    If you are serious about 35mm photography than only buy Leica. It might take years to save enough money. I would not invest serious money in a digital camera. A waste of money.

  3. Twitter, Canon, and My Mac « Marketing Nirvana — by Mario Sundar

    […] may have read my not-so-recent post on my dilemma regarding purchase of a camera. I was then thinking of a digital SLR and received […]

  4. Mario Sundar

    Hi Kitty!

    I haven’t purchased the camera yet…I know, what you’re thinking 😦 I’ve to say that I’ve tried the Canon G7 and think it’s great.

    The Leica was available at only one store, an hour’s drive away from my place and I haven’t found the time to check it out, yet.

    Will update the blog if and when I end up purchasing a camera.

    Good luck on your purchase. Let me know what you went with.

  5. Kitty

    I have the same dilema; I already own the Digital Rebel – which incidentally I love. However, I need something more portable as well. I have a 2mp camera on my phone, which is just awful, but however good it is, lugging the Digital Rebel to everything just isn’t practical. I am leaning towards the Leica. What did you do?

  6. Mario Sundar

    Hi Joseph,

    Thanks for dropping by.

    I agree — portability is the major criterion that I am wrestling with. However, as you point out, it’d definitely be nice to play around with the features that a DSLR brings to the table, one of which is the auto-focus lag time.

    What DSLR do you have?


  7. Joseph Manavalan


    I can say with a fairly high degree of certainty that a DSLR such as the Rebel or the D80 will *not* meet your expectation of portability. In fact, I find myself leaving my DSLR behind when going to a social occasion (unless I’ve been deemed the official photographer) and taking our general purpose compact instead. While there are lots of good reasons to get a DSLR, Auto-focus lag time is really important for me, personally. This is the single reason that I use a DSLR – no other cross-over or compact that I’ve tried comes close to matching its speed, in good light or bad.

  8. Mario Sundar


    Thanks for your comments. You are probably right. I just got back after some camera hunting (Ritz & Frys). Figured, it’d be better for me to either:

    (a) get a basic $200 – $300 camera like Jeremiah did
    (b) avoid the crossover $600 cameras and get the real-deal camera like the Digital Rebel.

    Between Nikon D80 and XTI, I’m more in favor of the Rebel. Solid looks and under $900 w/ the lens (18 – 55mm).


    You’re right, portability is the only factor that prevents me from going ahead with the DSLR but I’m considering various options.

    Thanks, guys, for your comments. They were very helpful in my search. Will keep ya posted.


  9. Jeremiah Owyang

    Portability was a requirement that I had to meet. Later, I’ll get an SLR in addition to my point and shoot.

  10. Thomas Hawk

    Hey Mario, I’d spend just a little more and have the camera just a tad bigger and go with the Digital Rebel with a nice lens. You’ll get far better photos. You could probably pick a used digital rebel up in the in the 800 range with a decent lens.

    Here’s what I would buy if I were you though:

    Keep in mind I’m a photo freak though.

    Thanks for the note and hope to see you around soon.



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