Leica X-U Review
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Leica is good at making niche cameras, and it’s done it again here with the X-U.
While it’s true that the rugged / tough market could do with an injection of much needed quality, it seems relatively unlikely that the average sports/diving enthusiast is going to want to shell out Leica cash for a camera that can capture their antics.
The Leica X-U is capable of capturing some very nice, detailed shots. There’s great scope for shallow depth of field. But with a fixed focal length, and a reluctance to focus closely, its uses are a little limited for some types of photography.
A few little niggles, such as taking control of aperture away from you at times, are also a little odd. It’s good that you can shoot in the DNG raw format, but you might find that you’re relying on those if you shoot a lot of landscape images as the X-U really struggles with cyan skies, and that’s disappointing for a camera with such a high price tag.
Sadly, high ISO shooting is also far from perfect. At ISO 3200 there’s a noticeable degradation of quality at 100%. Luckily, the overall impression of good detail saves it from being a disaster, but with such a large sensor, we’d hoped for a little more.
Finally, there’s the odd looks of the X-U to get over. Leica is famed for producing cameras that are so gorgeous that photographers are willing to pay the premium price tag which is associated with them. Sadly, in a bid to create a rugged and waterproof model, Leica has had to sacrifice some looks for the X-U. Some people may like it, but it’s far from a classic Leica look.
It’s also a shame not to see inbuilt Wi-Fi for a camera like this. The type of photographer who is shooting shots in rugged conditions may wish to share them quickly on social media sites.
Overall, the Leica X-U is a camera which is capable, but not amazing - and certainly not for the price. We’re hopeful that other manufacturers will be inspired by Leica’s move and start to create high quality waterproof models, though.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||2|