Leica X Vario

June 11, 2013 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Compact Cameras | 21 Comments | |
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The Leica X Vario is a new large-sensor compact camera with a 16-megapixel imager and a 28-70mm (eq.) f/3.5-6.4 lens. Billed as "the world's first compact camera to combine a large, APS-C format, CMOS image sensor with a zoom lens," the Leica X Vario is capable of shooting high-resolution stills as well as 1080p Full HD videos. The optical formula of the lens comprises 8 elements in 6 groups, including an aspherical glass element. The suggested retail price of the camera is £2,150. The Leica X Vario is also available as a set with the X Vario camera protector and carrying strap in tan leather, for a kit price of £2,250. As expected based on the teaser campaign that preceded the launch, the Leica X Vario "Mini M" does not have an integrated eye-level finder - but you can buy an optional EVF for £380.

Leica Press Release

The Highly Anticipated 'Mini M' Features Characteristics Reminiscent of the Legendary M-System

Solms, Germany, 11 June 2013: Leica Camera AG has unveiled the latest addition to its digital compact camera offerings and presents the Leica X Vario. Made in Leica Camera's headquarters in Germany, the X Vario features a high-performance 16.5-megapixel (effective 16.1), APS-C format, CMOS image sensor, a zoom lens covering a range of focal lengths from 28 to 70 mm (35 mm equivalent) and Full-HD video recording capability. With several design and handling characteristics of the storied M-System, the 'Made in Germany' Leica X Vario offers great versatility and creative freedom.

The X Vario's high performance image sensor is unusually large for a camera in its class. Combined with the Leica Vario Elmar 18-46 mm f/3.5-6.4 ASPH, it sets completely new standards for imaging quality in the compact segment with outstanding exposures in all situations. The Leica X Vario is the world's first compact camera to combine a large, APS-C format, CMOS image sensor with a zoom lens.

From expansive interior shots, landscapes to portrait photography, the range of focal lengths offered by the Leica X Vario opens up entirely new horizons for creative photography. The camera's versatility is further expanded by a new, 1080p Full HD video recording function that allows photographers to record memories at a frame rate of 30 full frames per second. The video data can be saved in MP4 format and uploaded directly to social media or mobile devices without any need for conversion. An integrated wind-noise filter that reduces undesirable noise guarantees crystal-clear sound recording.

The Leica X Vario's wide range of camera setting options combined with its fast and precise autofocus offers even the most demanding photographers maximum creative freedom – for spontaneous shots as well as for carefully arranged compositions.

The Leica X Vario is distinguished by an intensely focused design concept. Its handy form, linear design and the premium materials used in its construction are reminiscent of the Leica M-System. For instance, the top plate is machined from solid aluminium in the same process used for the Leica M. This, in combination with its robust metal construction and premium high-grip leather trim ensures that the X Vario is a classic Leica camera in terms of both look and feel.

Further showcasing Leica M DNA, the X Vario features an intuitive handling concept with clearly laid out functions. The user-friendly operation of the menu interface guarantees rapid access to an impressive range of automatic and versatile manual setting options. Combined with the ease of switching between manual and automatic control, it allows photographers to concentrate completely on composing their subjects and choosing the decisive instant to shoot in any situation. The dials on the top plate provide grip when setting the shutter speed and aperture. Moreover, changing the plane of focus, the white balance, and other imaging parameters allows photographers to consciously influence the look or mood of their images. In Live View mode, the generously sized high-contrast, 3-inch monitor offers photographers complete control at all times and a detailed view– even in bright surroundings.

An extensive range of accessories is also available to adapt the Leica X Vario to photographers' particular needs. For example, the Leica EVF 2 Viso-Flex electronic accessory viewfinder with 1.4 megapixels and a 90° swivel function is extremely helpful when shooting from unusual angles. An accessory handgrip makes it easier to shoot one-handed and provides a better grip. As with the Leica M (Typ 240), finger loops in three different sizes (S, M and L) can be attached to the handgrip, helping further ensure safe and steady handling of the camera. An optional lens hood ensures the minimisation of reflections and the Leica SF 24 D flash unit offers greater freedom for subject lighting.

Leica continues to provide a comprehensive range of superbly finished bags, cases and straps that complement the elegance of the X Vario: An ergonomically designed camera protector and an every-ready case in premium black or tan leather; wrist and carrying straps that can be combined with all Leica X and M cameras are also offered in untreated natural leather in black or tan. Whenever the X Vario is used with multiple accessories, photographers can take advantage of the system bag.

Included Software
Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®, is also included in the Leica X Vario package. This digital image processing software offers a wide range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images. The software is available to X Vario customers as an online download after product registration.

Pricing and Availability
Available now in the UK from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair, http://www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351, the Leica X Vario is offered in a black finish. It is also available as a set with the X Vario camera protector and carrying strap in tan leather. The suggested retail price of the Leica X Vario is £2,150 inc. VAT; the set SRP is £2,250.

Individual accessories are priced as follows (SRP including VAT):
EVF 2 Viso-Flex: £380
Lens hood: £90
Handgrip: £100
SF 24 D flash unit: £270
Finger loops for handgrip: £90 in S, M or L
Leather ever-ready case in black or tan: £180
Leather camera protector in black or tan: £90
Carrying strap with protective flap in black or tan: £80
Wrist strap with protective flap in black or tan: £60

The range of optional accessories will be available following the launch of the camera.

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Your Comments

21 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Dave

I know they make great cameras and everything, but this one just doesn't seem all that interesting to me. Maybe I am missing something.

6:24 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#2 Simon Lambert

Compared to the Hasselblad Lunar this camera seems remarkably underpriced! Although I think I would rather have a Sony RX1 for the ultimate in big sensor compacts or perhaps 4 Canon Powershot G1X's.

Good technical achievement and for Leica good value to get your hands on a Red Circle logo.

6:53 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#3 Bob

That's the camera I want, but that's not the price I want to pay.

7:08 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#4 Dan

Used M8 and a Voigtlander lens will be a better purchase

7:19 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#5 Salva

A f/3.5-6.4 lens in such an expensive camera is a joke! :-O

8:38 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#6 Dan

So they put a boring lens on an X2? I like the X2 and if i had too much money i would buy one, but i dont want this.

9:31 pm - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#7 BlackBox

"the world's first compact camera to combine a large, APS-C format, CMOS image sensor with a zoom lens"... Hmmm, let's see.

The lens doesn't seem to collapse, so it's not more compact than any DSLR and will need either a full size case or, giving the usual Leica clientelle, a servant to carry it for you.

It also seems awfully slow. 3.5 to start with!? Some cameras do better with the lenscap ON.

And the price is beyond ridiculous. No surprise there.

Conclusion: Jeeves, could you order this new camera. Charlie is coming home from his Eton school and I want to give him a treat for his good grades. DUH!

12:28 am - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#8 Buyer's Guide

The design look very simple.

12:35 am - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#9 Quarku

Nice website, great info. Thanks for shearing

2:41 am - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#10 Clipping Path Asia

This Camera looks small than its working capability. Really brilliant look. Smart and expert to taking photos by.

By the way we CPA provide all type of Image Editing services I think related task with photographer and stock agency.
Service providing at- http://www.clippingpathasia.com

6:05 am - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#11 York Place Studios

I'm holding out for the M - just need to save the pennies up first :) Although this looks an interesting and cheaper alternative.

10:07 am - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#12 Alvaro Serpa

80 or 90 percent you pay is for the mithyc (?) Red Circle Log! Does it make of you an "artist"?...
Any Panasonic Bridge of $500 makes much better than this! DonĀ“t you #### me, Leica!

12:18 pm - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#13 BlackBox

Yeah, Alvaro, guns don't kill people - people do. But, I think, gun HELPS.

1:42 pm - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#14 joushikijin

This is a terrible joke!

8:58 pm - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#15 BlackBox

It's a wonderful joke.

2:18 am - Thursday, June 13, 2013

#16 Kerahdah

Since the west started losing out to the Asians on pricing more than 40 years ago, why go the same route? The old argument about quality just does not make much sense anymore. If the Asian equivalents breaks, just go out and buy another. The savings on the original purchase makes that such a better idea.
All lenses are designed on computer these days.Why bother with slide rules! No, no, this is just not worth the money!

12:56 pm - Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#17 S. E. Boyle

Years ago I had an M6, also a Nikon F2as, the Nikon beat the M6 hands down.

10:31 am - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#18 ahkai

Just bough this camera. What a beautiful camera! Worth every single penny of it. Beautiful made. Not too bulky, not too heavy and very classic design. Took few photos of the kids, excellent.

9:35 pm - Saturday, August 31, 2013

#19 Nadia J. Jacobsen

This is what I have been searching in many websites and I finally found it here. Amazing article. I am so impressed. Could never think of such a thing is possible with it...I think you have a great knowledge especially while dealings with such subjects.

5:56 am - Saturday, July 19, 2014

#20 Sansom Photography

It's got the name but doesn't really have that Leica charm for me. It just seems like an overpriced compact...surely the M series is worth the extra cash!

4:45 pm - Sunday, April 19, 2015

#21 Adams Photo Art Photography

Seems to be a very nice camera, but I don't get the price tag? Why?

10:41 am - Saturday, March 19, 2016