Leica X (Typ 113) Review

February 23, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Leica X (Typ 113) is a 16.2 megapixel compact camera with an APS-C sized, 23.6x15.8mm CMOS sensor with a 3:2 aspect ratio, image-stabilized Leica Summilux 23mm f/1.7 lens with 10 elements in 8 groups (2 aspheric lens elements) that provides a focal length of 35mm in 35mm terms, HD 1920x1080 video at 30 fps in the MP4 format, and a 3-inch LCD screen with 920,000 pixels and 100% field of view. The X (Typ 113) has both a pop-up flash and a hot shoe, and it offers a full range of advanced controls from manual exposure to manual focus. Other key features of the Leica X (Typ 113) include a sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,500, maximum shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second, JPEG and DNG RAW file support, and a continuous shooting rate of up to 5 frames per second. The recommended retail price of the Leica X (Typ 113) is £1550 / $2295.

Ease of Use

The Leica X (Typ 113) is alomst identical to the cheaper X-E camera that was released at the same time, and which we recently reviewed. Consequently, most of the comments that we made about that camera apply equally to the new X (Typ 113) model. The new X (Typ 113) has either a brown / silver colour scheme, or the stealthy all-black version that we tested, with two-thirds of it having a leather texture to aid grip.

The Leica X (Typ 113) has a 16.5 megapixel CMOS chip, boasting an effective 16.2MP. This pumps out a purported 16.1-megapixel effective resolution. The brand new lens is one of the main differences between the X Typ 113 and the X-E, offering a slightly wider 23mm focal length (35mm equivalent in 35mmm terms due to the 1.5x crop factor at play here) but most importantly a much faster maximum aperture of f/1.7 (versus f/2.8 on the X-E). This has resulted in a signifcantly bigger lens barrel that makes the camera less pocketable than before, but the f/1.7 aperture opens up a lot of extra creative possibilites. There is the continued ability to incrementally alter the aperture from f/1.7 to f/16 via the dedicated top plate dial.

As a result, and this was also true of the X-E, the X (Typ 113)'s looks mirror its maker's rangefinder cameras, such as the M9. As well as two rather stiff top plate dials via which manual adjustments can be made to shutter speed (from 30 seconds to 1/2000th of a sec) and the aforementioned aperture dial, there is a disc-shaped flash neatly sunk into the top plate. Spring-loaded, it leaps forth with a thumb-shove of the manual catch provided top left of the back plate, its minimalist appearance adding to the camera's cachet of cool.

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Front of the Leica X (Typ 113)

Naturally there is a vacant hotshoe for an accessory flash too, to which can alternatively be attached Leica's lovely optical 'Bright Line' viewfinder for around £269 or an EVF 2 electronic viewfinder if preferred, which will set you back around £360. Yes, admittedly that last price would buy you a high-end compact with a 1/2.3-inch sensor outright, but such a camera is not quite in the X (Typ 113)'s rarified class.

Another big upgrade from the the X-E is that the X (Typ 11) now offers a video mode - Full HD 1920x1080 pixels at 30fps in the MP4 format, to be precise, stopped and started by a new one-touch movie record button on the top of the camera, with built-in stabilisation and an integrated HDMI-out port for playback on an external device.

the size of the back plate LCD has also been upgraded to 3-inches, plus the resolution - in the absence of any provided viewfinder out of the box - is now a much more respectable 920k pixels, bringing the X (Typ 113) up to date with comparable cameras.

The Leica X (Typ 113) comes with a two-year warranty as opposed to the usual one, a year's accidental damage cover, and a download option for Adobe Lightroom, with the code provided once the product has been registered.

As with the X-E, the fact that we don't have a zoom to play with here prompts a more considered approach to picture taking, in that the photographer has to physically step forward or back to alter what's included in the frame. You also have to get up close to and interact with your subjects; a camera for surreptitious candids this is not. Leica claims that the 23mm lens was chosen because it's a classic length for photojournalism, with the minimum focus distance now at an improved 20cm, making the camera slightly better suited to macro shots.

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Rear of the Leica X (Typ 113)

The front of the Leica X (Typ 113) is adorned with the (in)famous red Leica badge and logo which stands out due its position top left of the lens, with a detachable hard plastic clip-on cap provided as protection for that renowned glass.

Just right of the badge, if viewing the camera front-on, and nudging closer to the lens surround, is a small porthole containing the traditional AF assist/self timer lamp. Between the top and bottom of the faceplate there is also a wide band of leather padding that is largely there for show than serving as a practical form of grip. In fact there is nothing resembling a traditional handgrip provided with the camera at all, though there is an optional accessory grip for just under £100. Having said that, the solidity and weight of the X (Typ 113)'s build - a much heavier than average for a compact 486g with battery - means that it didn't feel like the Leica would suddenly slip from our grasp at any point.

There's now a generously sized focusing ring with a ridged edge and clear distance markings from 0.2cms to infinity. Moving the focusing ring on the lens from MF to the AF setting activates the fast and quiet auto-focus system. Though the auto focus occasionally hunts to find a target, overall it's quick to lock onto and determine focus and exposure. The front part of the lens can be be unscrewed for the threading on of attachments.

The X (Typ 113)'s top plate meanwhile features most of the attributes we've already touched on, such as the pop up flash, hotshoe offering full compatibility with the Leica SF 24D and SF 58 system flash units, aperture and shutter speed dials, plus the on/off switch that ergonomically encircles the shutter release button. This isn't just a power switch however as the two 'on' settings provided here directly alternate between single shot ('S') and continuous shooting ('C') options (3fps or 5fps to a maximum 7 shots) - so you've always got these drive modes literally at the tip of your forefinger.

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Top of the Leica X (Typ 113)

Flick the switch to 'S' or 'C' setting and the Leica readies itself for action in 1-2 seconds. Squeeze the shutter release button in single shot mode to take a maximum resolution 'Super Fine' JPEG and the screen instantly displays the resultant image, much quicker than the X-E. Take a top quality JPEG and Leica's 'DNG' file version of Raw and the camera isn't any noticeably slower however, plus the advantage of the DNG format is that it can be opened directly by Photoshop without specialist conversion software required.

Media of choice is the expected 'all varieties of SD card' whilst the unit also comes with 110MB of internal memory out of the box. The back of the Leica X (Typ 113) features the aforementioned switch for raising the flash over at the left hand side, whilst a command dial sits over at the top right.

With the 3-inch LCD screen taking up about two thirds of the back plate, this has left room for a row of five function buttons ranged vertically down the left hand side of the screen, whilst over at the right hand side sits a familiar cross key/command pad style arrangement.

The buttons at the left of the LCD are both clearly marked and instantly comprehended. From the top we have a 'play' button for reviewing previously captured images, whilst next up is a combined delete/focus button. The 'focus' element comes into play once the user has switched from default auto focus to manual focus via the setting on lens barrel; whereby a central portion of the image is enlarged - as when using live view on a DSLR for manual focus - and a sliding scale of between 0.2 metres and infinity (and the same distance given in feet) provided to adjust the focus range accordingly. With the bigger screen scale and higher resolution we found it easier to accurately determine pin sharpness than on previous Leica X models.

Alternatively if leaving the camera to its own auto focus devices the user has a choice of a single point AF, a DSLR-like 11-point AF, spot or face detection AF settings.

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The Leica X (Typ 113) In-hand

In addition, it's worth mentioning that a press of the delete button immediately brings up the option to delete one image or all, with your choice highlighted by a black overlay on an otherwise dark grey background. As conventional wisdom usually has it that a lighter colour highlights the menu option in play - rather than black, as here - we were brought to the threshold of accidentally deleting all images on several occasions until we got used to this bucking of tradition.

The next button down on the backplate strip of five is for manual white balance adjustments, and here, in addition to automatic, the usual suspects are provided: tungsten, fluorescent, flash, (daylight) cloudy, (daylight) shady, along with the ability to take your own white balance setting. The button directly beneath governs ISO settings, with here the range going from ISO100 to a top end ISO12500, presented as with the previous setting as a toolbar overlaying the right hand side of the screen.

The bottom button of the row of five on the X (Typ 113) is the menu button. As we'd expect this is where the nitty gritty of the camera's operation is decided and acted upon. Naturally enough it's here that we choose the camera's resolution, with options ranging from 1.8 megapixels all the way up to 16 megapixels, plus opt for a level of compression. The JPEG options are either JPEG fine or the optimum 'super fine'. Then there's the chance to pair a super fine JPEG with a DNG file, or a fine JPEG with a DNG file. We don't then get the opportunity to shoot Leica's version of Raw on its own.

Also via the menu screen's we can select the camera's metering modes, with multi field metering, centre weighted metering and spot metering all offered up. Further options include the ability to turn image stabilization on or off, individually adjust sharpening, saturation and contrast in camera - with the default setting being 'standard' and the other alternatives ranging from 'low' to 'high'. Interestingly we also get 'preset film' options ranging from the default standard through vivid, natural, black and white natural and black and white high contrast.

Moving to the set of cross keys on the right of the screen, at twelve o'clock we find an exposure compensation button, with adjustable settings ranging from a standard -3EV to + 3EV. Subsequent presses call up a further exposure bracketing option across the same incremental steps, plus flash exposure compensation. Moving clock wise through the cross keys, and at three o'clock we find a button governing the more comprehensive than usual flash settings. These cover: auto, auto with red eye reduction, forced flash on, forced on with red eye reduction, slow sync, slow sync with red eye reduction, plus a fairly blinding (yet effective) studio flash option for triggering external slave flash units. The last of the three options is presented in the self-timer control, which throws up an option of two seconds or 12 seconds, and that's it.

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Side of the Leica X (Typ 113)

In the centre of these three buttons we find a button labeled 'info', though in truth it's function is closer to that of a standard 'display' button rather than providing the on-board manual its name might suggest. A press of this in capture mode removes icons for the shooting mode in play, number of shots remaining, battery life, focus and metering mode from the screen to provide a clear view of the subject, whilst a further press brings up a nine zone compositional grid for which to practice our Rule of Thirds.

Whilst the left hand flank of the X (Typ 113) is devoid of features save for a lug for attaching the strap, the right flank features a flip open door protecting two ports: one a five pin mini USB socket and the second for the HDMI output.

The base of the Leica X (Typ 113) meanwhile features a marginally off-centre screw thread, with a large catch protected compartment housing both the supplied BP-DC8 lithium-ion battery and port for optional removable SD media alongside it. The battery is good for around 260 shots according to the manual and claimed CIPA standards from a full 200-minute charge, which is hardly that impressive.

But what of the images the Leica X (Typ 113) delivers? Do they knock spots off the competition and justify the price tag here? Click forward to our next section to find out...

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 (Typ 113) produced images of 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.


There are 8 ISO settings available on the Leica X (Typ 113). Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:


ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

ISO 12500 (100% Crop)

ISO 12500 (100% Crop)

iso12500.jpg iso12500raw.jpg


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)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Focal Range

The Leica X (Typ 113)'s lens provides a focal length of 35mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.



File Quality

The Leica X (Typ 113) 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 (5.76Mb)

Fine (3.56Mb)

quality_superfine.jpg quality_fine.jpg

RAW (23.3Mb)


Chromatic Aberrations

The Leica X (Typ 113) 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)



The Leica X (Typ 113) offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 20cms 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 (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The flash settings on the Leica X (Typ 113) 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 (35mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (35mm)

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)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red Eye

Red Eye (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Leica X (Typ 113)'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 (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Anti Shake

The Leica X (Typ 113) 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)

1/6th / 36mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Leica X (Typ 113) camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Leica X (Typ 113) enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Leica RAW (DNG) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 19 second movie is 36Mb in size.

Product Images

Leica X (Typ 113)

Front of the Leica X (Typ 113)

Leica X (Typ 113)

Front of the Leica X (Typ 113)

Leica X (Typ 113)

Side of the Leica X (Typ 113)

Leica X (Typ 113)

Side of the Leica X (Typ 113)

Leica X (Typ 113)

Rear of the Leica X (Typ 113)

Leica X (Typ 113)

Rear of the Leica X (Typ 113) / Image Displayed

Leica X (Typ 113)

Rear of the Leica X (Typ 113) / Turned On

Leica X (Typ 113)

Rear of the Leica X (Typ 113) / Main Menu

Leica X (Typ 113)

Top of the Leica X (Typ 113)


Leica X (Typ 113)

Bottom of the Leica X (Typ 113)

Leica X (Typ 113)
Side of the Leica X (Typ 113)
Leica X (Typ 113)
Side of the Leica X (Typ 113)
Leica X (Typ 113)
Front of the Leica X (Typ 113)
Leica X (Typ 113)
Front of the Leica X (Typ 113)
Leica X (Typ 113)
Memory Card Slot
Leica X (Typ 113)
Battery Compartment


As with the X-E model that we recently reviewed, the new Leica X (Typ 113) takes the two year old X2 camera as its starting point, but unlike the X-E, Leica have seen fit to upgrade a number of key areas, principally the lens, LCD screen and video mode, resulting in the true successor the X2.

The new faster lens is a very welcome addition, making it easier to capture sharp images in low-light, capturing better bokeh effects, and offering a closer focusing distance of 20cms. The ability to quickly switch from manual to auto focus simply by turning the focusing ring is also a great addition, something that was awkwardly implemented on previous X-cameras. The downside of these improvements is that the lens barrel is much bigger on the X (Typ 113), making it less pocketable than previous iterations.

The LCD screen on the back, still the main way out of the box to compose your images, has also been greatly improved, being bother bigger and higher-resolution than the X2/X-E's frankly appalling screen. The X (Typ 113) also sees the debut of video recording on this line of cameras, although with only 1080p at 30fps and no real creative control on offer, it's nothing special in 2015.

The new Leica X (Typ 113) is the most accomplished X-series camera yet, although with a price-tag of £1550 / $2295, it continues to be a serious investment...

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 3

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Leica X (Typ 113).

Fujifilm X100T

The new Fujifilm X100T is the third generation of Fujfilm's wildly popular 35mm f/2 fixed lens compact camera. Building on the success of last year's X100S, the new X100T focuses on making the handling and operation even better than before. Have Fujifilm succeeded in the tricky task of making an already brilliant camera even better? Read our in-depth Fujifilm X100T review to find out...

Leica X-E (Typ 102)

The Leica X-E (Typ 102) is a compact camera for professionals, offering a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, fast f/2.8 36mm lens, 3fps burst shooting and a 2.7-inch screen. Is that enough to justify the Leica X-E (Typ 102)'s £1250 / $1795 price tag? Read our in-depth Leica X-E (Typ 102) review to find out...

Nikon Coolpix A

The Nikon Coolpix A is a new pocket camera for professionals. The Nikon A features the same 16 megapixel APS-C sensor as the D7000 DSLR, a 28mm f/2.8 lens, full manual controls, 1080p HD video recording, a high-resolution 3-inch LCD screen and 4fps burst shooting. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix A review to find out if this justifies the £999.99 / $1099.95 price-tag...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 is a premium compact camera like no other. The LX100 features a large Micro Four Thirds sensor, 4K video recording, fast 24-75mm lens, class-leading electronic viewfinder, all in a camera that you can fit in a jacket pocket. Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 review with sample JPEG, RAW and video files to find out just what this exciting new camera is capable of...

Ricoh GR

At first glance the Ricoh GR looks like a street photographer's dream camera. With a fixed focal length 28mm wide-angle lens, 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, high-res 3 inch LCD screen, flash hotshoe, wealth of customisable controls and a fast auto-focus system, does the pocketable Ricoh GR live up to its promise? Read our in-depth Ricoh GR review complete with full-size image samples to find out...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Leica X (Typ 113) from around the web.

uk.pcmag.com »

The Leica X (Typ 113) ($2,295) is a serious upgrade when compared with the older in terms of optics. Its f/1.7 lens captures more than twice the light as the X2, and a new manual focus ring is a pleasure to use. The X also adds 1080p video capture, and it supports Leica's sharp add-on EVF, the . It's expensive, especially compared with other cameras in this class, and there are a few operational quirks, but it's a solid entry into the prime lens compact arena.
Read the full review »

blog.mingthein.com »

Photokina 2014 saw the release of an updated Leica X model – the typ 113. I’ve decided to review it for two reasons: firstly, to make another attempt at overcoming my personal lack of enthusiasm for the 35mm FOV, and secondly, out of curiosity to see how good the new lens is – it’s now a newly-designed 23/1.7, changed from the previous 23/2.8 which I believe is a derivative of the M-mount design. The sensor remains the same as the X2 at 16MP, and APS-C. Finally, some design updates complete the package – leaving the X looking more like a mini-M than ever.
Read the full review »

stevehuffphoto.com »

When I found out that Leica created a new “X” camera with a Summilux lens and a faster aperture of F/1.7 I was VERY happy. FINALLY! Leica created the X many of us have wanted…or did they? With all new stylish looks, a larger size using the X-Vario body, and a very GORGEOUS brown and silver color along with the stealthy black , Leica has left out the built in EVF that 90% of us have been begging for. Why oh why? If an EVF was put in this camera it would have flown off the shelves!
Read the full review »


Pixels Actual: 16.5 Megapixel
Effective: 16.2 Megapixel
File Formats Still Images: DNG, JPEG
Movies: MP4
Max Resolution 16.1MP: 4928 x 3264
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Lens 10 elements in 8 groups
2 Aspherical
EFL: 23 mm (35 mm equivalent: 35 mm)
Aperture: f/1.7
Focus Range Auto: 11.8" (29.97 cm) - Infinity
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-12500
Shutter 30 - 1/2000 second
Exposure Metering Center-weighted, Multi, Spot
Exposure Modes Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Program
Compensation: -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
White Balance Modes Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Fine, Flash, Halogen, Kelvin, Manual, Shade
Burst Rate Up to 5.0 fps for up to 7 frames
Up to 3.0 fps for up to 7 frames
Flash Modes 1st Curtain Sync
Auto/Red-eye Reduction
Red-eye Reduction
Second-curtain Sync
Slow Sync
Built-in Flash Yes
External Flash Connection Hot Shoe
Memory Card Type SD
Video Recording Yes
Screen 3.0" LCD Widescreen (920,000 pixels)
Screen Coverage 100%
Connectivity HDMI C (Mini), Leica EVF Socket, Mini-USB
Battery 1x BP-DC8 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 3.7VDC, 1600mAh
Dimensions (WxHxD) 5.2 x 2.9 x 3.1" / 133.0 x 73.0 x 78.0 mm
Weight 1.07 lb / 486 g with battery

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