Leica has announced the V-Lux 3, a 12.1 million pixel superzoom camera featuring a 24x optical zoom lens.

Equivalent to 25-600mm in 35mm format, the Leica DC Vario Elmarit lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The sensor has been newly developed and is designed especially for capturing images in low light at high speeds.

The V-Lux 3 is also capable of high-speed continuous shooting at 12 frames per second at full resolution, or 60 frames per second at a resolution of 3.5 million pixels, making it one of the fastest burst shooting cameras in its class.

A range of video functions are also available, including full HD video in AVCHD format at 60 frames per second. Footage can also be directly recorded in MP4 format for use directly on mobile phones and on the web. The 24x zoom range is available during video recording, with an integrated stereo microphone equipped with an electronic and noise filter.

Screen

On the back of the camera, a 3 inch, 460,000 pixel LCD screen can be found. The monitor can be twisted and turned in almost any direction, designed for shooting from awkward angles.

Featuring an integrated handgrip and made from light weight material, the V-Lux 3 has been designed to work well when shooting with one hand and includes clearly laid-out controls for fast and easy operation. Video recording, for instance, can be started and stopped at the touch of a button on top of the camera.

Coming as an optional accessory, a strong, black camera case provides protection for the camera and is made from the same hard-wearing and water-repellent material used on convertible car roofs.

Software

Packaged with the V-Lux 3 is a comprehensive software suite which includes Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere Elements. Both are made available as free downloads from the Leica website after registering the camera.

The camera comes with a two year warranty and one year Leica UK 'Passport' to provide complimentary accidental damage cover, while customers are invited to visit the Leica Store and Akademie in Mayfair for a free demon on how to use the camera.

The Leica V-Lux 3 UK price is £690 RRP, while the outdoor case will be available for around £135. Availability is due to begin in the UK from January 2012.