Leica X Vario Review

4.0
April 16, 2014 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Leica X Vario produced images of very good quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free images at ISO 100 up to ISO 800, with some noise appearing at ISO 1600. The faster setting of ISO 3200 is still usable, although we'd suggest avoiding ISO 6400 and especially 12500 if possible. The 16 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The built-in pop-up flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds allowing you to capture enough light in most situations.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Leica X Vario. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12500 (100% Crop)

ISO 12500 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Focal Range

The Leica X Vario's lens provides a focal length of 28-70mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

28mm

70mm

File Quality

The Leica X Vario has 2 different JPEG image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option, and it supports the RAW format too. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

Super Fine (4.33Mb)

Fine (2.52Mb)

   

RAW (23.3Mb)

 
 

Chromatic Aberrations

The Leica X Vario handled chromatic aberrations extremely well during the review, with very limited purple fringing mainly present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Leica X Vario offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 30cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Leica X Vario are Auto, Auto+Red-eye reduction, Forced on, Forced on+Red-eye, Slow Sync., Slow Sync.+Red-eye reduction, and Studio first curtain. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (70mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (70mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (70mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Auto setting or the Red Eye Fix option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red Eye

Red Eye (100% Crop)

Night

The Leica X Vario's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual mode, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 100.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Leica X Vario has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than wthout it turned on. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/10th / 28mm
     
1/4th / 70mm

Entry Tags

3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, 16 megapixel, movie, manual, RAW, zoom, movies, APS-C, CMOS, 5fps, leica, DNG, mp4, leica x vario, x vario, 28-70mm, Leica X Vario Review

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