It is so easy for us photographers and filmmakers to get carried away with the tools we use rather than getting carried away with the subject matter we are pursuing. I use to regularly shoot canon DSLRs, I shoot the Leica S and M systems. For film I used to use Sony FS700s and 100s with the occasionally RED cameras, and sometimes I still use those tools. Are they amazing tools? ABSOLUTELY, but they slow things down, require extensive rigging, and more times than not they can dampen the aura of a moment. In the work I typically do I am shooting on the fly and trying to capture moments that are not staged. When I point a camera at a person, and they see me I don't want them freaking out. I also have to get shots while remaining unnoticed, which requires minimal rigging. I have never encountered a camera that was so capable at taking some amazing pictures, and filming IN 4k than the Leica D-Lux 109. Now, I don't appreciate 4k for the immense amount of resolution it gives me, but rather for increase in bit rate, grading opportunities as well as reframing capabilities. The D-Lux is phenominal!
Coachella Valley Brewing Company presented the perfect opportunity to get some spectacular black and whites. I recently visited there, and the only cameras I had on me were my iPhone, and D-Lux 109. So, I immediately got to shooting some shots around the brewery and then switched to free handing some 4k shots on the fly. The ability to pull a camera out like that and start shooting some really incredible stuff was extremely liberating!!
Not only is the D-Lux inconspicuous, and readily available, but it is also has a GREAT lens. I Love the f1.7 @24mm and the macro mode. Lens is sharp at all focal lengths and apertures.
Honestly the 4k out of the camera is just outstanding. It has low compression at 100mbps @4k 24fps, and since this is a Leica camera (yes, I know they aren't made in Wetzlar) the colour is lovely. The camera settings do require some tweaking. I messed with the Gamma curves to get a in camera flat-ish profile, and there is a few other oddities that are required to get the camera from being a "stills" camera to being somewhat of a cine camera.
I plan to use the D-Lux 109 for a lot more than just simple personal projects in the near future. I plan to use it in a couple up coming documentary films, not simply as a crash cam, B or C camera but as my primary camera. The 4k is absolutely lovely out of this camera and so is the colour. Convenienince, and great colour when paired with a kick ass lens, and nice 4k for 1080 or 2k downscaling makes for the right tool for the job. Is it perfect? No, but no camera is, and I intend to deal with the D-lux's short comings, and take advantage of areas it excels in.