Leica has announced a new model in its V-Lux compact camera line-up. The 14.1Mp Leica V-Lux 30 takes a Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens, has a 16x (24-384mm-equivalent) zoom and comes in a 33mm thick black metal chassis. It costs £550 and will go onsale in the UK from June through Leica retailers www.leica-camera.co.uk.

The 220g V-Lux 30 manages to pack in both a GPS module for automatic location tagging of photos, and a 3D function. When the 3D scene mode is selected, the camera takes ‘stereo image pairs’ that can then be combined as MPO file that can be viewed on any 3D-compatible display.

Images can be composed on the 3in, 460K dot LCD screen on the rear of the camera. This is a touchscreen, so the user can directly access menu items and call up settings or images they’ve already taken. Leica says most actions can be controlled using the touchscreen.

High-definition AVCHD video recording at 1080i resolution is supported. The zoom can also be fully used in video mode, while a stereo microphone with wind shield is built into the body of the camera. In addition, there’s a continuous stills shooting mode for capturing action photos.  A combination of scene modes, manual and automated settings are included on the V-Lux 30, which Leica is pitching as a compact super-zoom camera for the outdoor enthusiast.

The geo-location feature of the V-Lux 30 saves location information in the Exif data file that accompanies each shot. Location information is also recorded when video is shot using the camera. However, the GPS element is not simply for record-keeping purposes. In addition to pinpointing on Google Maps or Google Earth where a photo was taken when it’s uploaded to the web, the geo-location feature is able to show the user points of interest (POIs) in their immediate surroundings.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and Premier Elements 9 photo and video editing software is included as part of the £550 package.

The Leica V-Lux 30 is an updated version of the V-Lux 20 that was launched last year.