Leica has announced its X1 compact camera will be available in black from October 2010, alongside the current steel gray option. It will come with the same price tag of £1,395, and offers a range of optional accessories. The camera features a 12.2 Mp CMOS sensor, 35mm-equivalent F2.8 semi-wideangle lens and and a 2.7 inch LCD.

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Press Release:

Leica X1: now available in elegant black

Photokina, Cologne, 21 September 2010: Leica Camera AG has announced that its successful high-performance digital camera, the LEICA X1, will be available in an elegant black finish from October 2010. The LEICA X1 Black, which is made in Germany, will have a more coarsely-textured leather trim, and will offer the same high specifications and accessory range as the original model.

With its combination of refined styling and unique features, the LEICA X1 is the ideal companion for discerning photographers – both amateur and professional – and, with this new launch, is now available in the choice of discreet black or classic steel grey.

The LEICA X1 features a 12.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor in APS-C format, identical in size to those used in semi-professional DSLR cameras, and particularly large for this class of camera. In combination with the X1’s all-purpose LEICA ELMARIT 24mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens, this sensor offers outstanding picture quality comparable with professional models. Each individual pixel has a generous surface area and collects more light, therefore ensuring low noise levels, high dynamic range and accurate colour differentiation. The large sensor size, maximum sensitivity of ISO 3200 and the extremely fast lens also make the LEICA X1 an ideal choice for ‘available light’ photography.

Furthermore, with a sensor crop factor of 1.5 (compared to 35mm film format), the fixed-mount LEICA ELMARIT 24mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens is transformed into a universal reportage lens with an effective 35mm equivalent focal length of 36mm. This is considered to be a truly classic focal length amongst prime lenses, and has captured innumerable iconic images.

The LEICA X1 is characterised by clear lines, a compact format and an intensely focused design that concentrates on the essential features – strongly reminiscent of Leica’s legendary ‘M’ cameras. This, in combination with its robust, all-metal construction and the tactile experience of its high-quality leather trim, makes the X1 a typical Leica camera.

Furthermore, the LEICA X1 offers clearly laid-out functions and intuitive handling. For ‘uncomplicated’ photography, the X1 offers numerous automatic functions ranging from precise autofocus to automatic exposure. These functions guarantee photographers perfectly-exposed, sharp images with a simple press of the shutter release, allowing users to concentrate on the more creative aspects of photography, such as composition and framing.

For photographers who prefer more freedom, the LEICA X1 offers full manual controls. Both aperture and shutter speed can be selected manually using the dials on the top plate of the camera, and the photographer can also select manual focusing, white balance and other image capture settings.

A 2.7” display almost fills the entire back of the X1 and reveals the finest details even in bright surroundings. The live-view function shows an accurate preview with all essential image information, and Live Mode makes the X1 particularly versatile for shots taken from unusual perspectives.
The LEICA X1 features a retractable flash that can do much more than simply replace other sources of light. It serves as a fill-in flash and can be synchronised to the second curtain when longer shutter speeds are required. If more power and flexibility are required, Leica’s SF 24D and SF 58 system flash units are also compatible with the X1.

Accessories and software

A comprehensive range of accessories are available for the X1, which expand the abilities of the camera and adapt it to the photographer’s personal style: for example, an accessory viewfinder with 36mm bright-line frame can be mounted on the camera’s hotshoe and ensures a clear view, while also saving battery power. An optional handgrip ensures safe and steady handling of the camera, and a comprehensive range of cases and bags is also available: the Ever-Ready Case offers sufficient space for the camera with an attached handgrip, and includes a small complementary case to hold the viewfinder (attaches to the camera strap). The high-quality leather carry case offers perfect protection for the camera alone, while the attractively designed system case has room enough for the camera and all its accessories.

Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 3, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, is available as a download for registered LEICA X1 customers, ensuring the latest release is always readily available.

Pricing and availability

The LEICA X1 Black will be available in the UK from October 2010 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk. The suggested retail price of the LEICA X1 Black is £1,395 (camera only), £1,500 including Leica Ever-Ready Case or £1,790 including Leica Ever-Ready Case, Hand Grip and Viewfinder.

Individual accessories are priced as follows (SRP including VAT):
Ever-Ready Case - £160 36mm Bright Line Viewfinder - £250
Leather Case - £90 Hand Grip - £90
System Case - £175 Wrist Strap - £25

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