Leica X Vario first impression

Started Jun 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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dale thorn
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Leica X Vario first impression
Jun 15, 2013

I had my moment a couple hours ago and thought it would be good to relate it separately here, since it was very memorable. For background, I haven't had a Leica film 'M' since circa 1993, and the only digital Leica I've owned was the X1, from March 2010 to February 2013.  I did hold a Leica M8 in my hands for about 20 seconds in 2008, when I ran into someone at an art gallery who was carrying one.

The X Vario felt like a brick, like the M8 more-or-less when I took the Vario out of the box. I was prepared for an X1 with a short zoom lens, i.e. the extra weight I expected, but I wasn't prepared for what I got. This X Vario looks and feels a lot closer to an 'M' than an 'X'. One downside is the weight - I can't have it around my neck for more than a few seconds, so I'm going to have to find a better-fitting bag than the small Billingham I have, and it can't look like a photographer's camera bag.

The erstwhile "red dot" that gets so much mention - it's only red on the LCD screen - the one on the front of the body is a very faded burnt orange. The JPEG image quality at 28mm is slightly better than the Nikon 'A's JPEGs at 28mm (its only focal length, in 135 terms). If the quality holds up throughout the zoom range, that should be a good testimonial to the X Vario lens quality. Shot-to-shot bursts seem about the same as the Nikon 'A' - about what I expected for a small camera like the Nikon 'A'. But after using the X Vario for a few minutes and then picking up the Nikon 'A', the Nikon felt very tiny and light. The X Vario may get referred to in most cases as a 'compact' camera, but it's a whole other world bigger and weightier than any of the compact cameras I've ever had.

 dale thorn's gear list:dale thorn's gear list
Leica D-Lux 6 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 (TZ60) Leica T
Leica X Vario Leica X1
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