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Leica announces X Vario zoom compact with APS-C sensor

By dpreview staff on Jun 11, 2013 at 13:00 GMT

Leica has officially announced its much-teased (and leaked) X Vario - the world's first compact camera with an APS-C sensor and fixed zoom lens. Its Vario Elmar 18-46mm 1:3.5-6.4 ASPH lens offers a 28-70mm equivalent range, and sits in front of a 16.1MP CMOS sensor. Viewing is via a 920k dot 3" LCD, or the same optional plug-in EVF as used by the M Typ 240 and X2. The camera has control dials on the top plate for shutter speed and aperture, and zoom and focus rings around the lens barrel. The price tag is a hefty $2850/£2250.

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Press Release:

New: Leica X Vario

The Highly Anticipated ‘Mini M’ Features Characteristics Reminiscent of the Legendary M-System

Solms, Germany, 11 June 2013: Leica Camera AG has unveiled the latest addition to its digital compact camera offerings and presents the Leica X Vario. Made in Leica Camera’s headquarters in Germany, the X Vario features a high-performance 16.5-megapixel (effective 16.1), APS-C format, CMOS image sensor, a zoom lens covering a range of focal lengths from 28 to 70 mm (35 mm equivalent) and Full-HD video recording capability. With several design and handling characteristics of the storied M-System, the ‘Made in Germany’ Leica X Vario offers great versatility and creative freedom.

The X Vario’s high performance image sensor is unusually large for a camera in its class. Combined with the Leica Vario Elmar 18-46 mm f/3.5-6.4 ASPH, it sets completely new standards for imaging quality in the compact segment with outstanding exposures in all situations. The Leica X Vario is the world’s first compact camera to combine a large, APS-C format, CMOS image sensor with a zoom lens.

From expansive interior shots, landscapes to portrait photography, the range of focal lengths offered by the Leica X Vario opens up entirely new horizons for creative photography. The camera’s versatility is further expanded by a new, 1080p Full HD video recording function that allows photographers to record memories at a frame rate of 30 full frames per second. The video data can be saved in MP4 format and uploaded directly to social media or mobile devices without any need for conversion. An integrated wind-noise filter that reduces undesirable noise guarantees crystal-clear sound recording.

The Leica X Vario’s wide range of camera setting options combined with its fast and precise autofocus offers even the most demanding photographers maximum creative freedom – for spontaneous shots as well as for carefully arranged compositions.

The Leica X Vario is distinguished by an intensely focused design concept. Its handy form, linear design and the premium materials used in its construction are reminiscent of the Leica M-System. For instance, the top plate is machined from solid aluminium in the same process used for the Leica M. This, in combination with its robust metal construction and premium high-grip leather trim ensures that the X Vario is a classic Leica camera in terms of both look and feel.

Further showcasing Leica M DNA, the X Vario features an intuitive handling concept with clearly laid out functions. The user-friendly operation of the menu interface guarantees rapid access to an impressive range of automatic and versatile manual setting options. Combined with the ease of switching between manual and automatic control, it allows photographers to concentrate completely on composing their subjects and choosing the decisive instant to shoot in any situation. The dials on the top plate provide grip when setting the shutter speed and aperture. Moreover, changing the plane of focus, the white balance, and other imaging parameters allows photographers to consciously influence the look or mood of their images. In Live View mode, the generously sized high-contrast, 3-inch monitor offers photographers complete control at all times and a detailed view– even in bright surroundings.

Accessories

An extensive range of accessories is also available to adapt the Leica X Vario to photographers’ particular needs. For example, the Leica EVF 2 Viso-Flex electronic accessory viewfinder with 1.4 megapixels and a 90° swivel function is extremely helpful when shooting from unusual angles. An accessory handgrip makes it easier to shoot one-handed and provides a better grip. As with the Leica M (Typ 240), finger loops in three different sizes (S, M and L) can be attached to the handgrip, helping further ensure safe and steady handling of the camera. An optional lens hood ensures the minimisation of reflections and the Leica SF 24 D flash unit offers greater freedom for subject lighting.

Leica continues to provide a comprehensive range of superbly finished bags, cases and straps that complement the elegance of the X Vario: An ergonomically designed camera protector and an every-ready case in premium black or tan leather; wrist and carrying straps that can be combined with all Leica X and M cameras are also offered in untreated natural leather in black or tan. Whenever the X Vario is used with multiple accessories, photographers can take advantage of the system bag.

Included Software

Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®, is also included in the Leica X Vario package. This digital image processing software offers a wide range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images. The software is available to X Vario customers as an online download after product registration.

Pricing and Availability

Available now in the UK from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair, www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351, the Leica X Vario is offered in a black finish. It is also available as a set with the X Vario camera protector and carrying strap in tan leather. The suggested retail price of the Leica X Vario is £2,150 inc. VAT; the set SRP is £2,250.

Individual accessories are priced as follows (SRP including VAT): 

  • EVF 2 Viso-Flex: £380
  • Lens hood: £90
  • Handgrip: £100
  • SF 24 D flash unit: £270
  • Finger loops for handgrip: £90 in S, M or L
  • Leather ever-ready case in black or tan: £180
  • Leather camera protector in black or tan: £90
  • Carrying strap with protective flap in black or tan: £80
  • Wrist strap with protective flap in black or tan: £60

The range of optional accessories will be available following the launch of the camera.

Leica X Vario specifications

Body type
Body typeLarge sensor compact
Sensor
Max resolution4928 x 3272
Other resolutions4944 x 3272, 4288 x 2856, 3264 x 2160, 2144 x1424, 1632 x 1080
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.6 x 15.8 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
Image
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12500
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (2)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Standard
File format
  • DNG + JPEG super fine
  • DNG + JPEG fine
  • JPEG (Super Fine/ Fine)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28–70 mm
Optical zoom2.5×
Maximum apertureF3.5 - F6.4
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Single
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range30 cm (11.81)
Number of focus points11
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots920,000
Live viewNo
Viewfinder typeElectronic (optional)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program (P)
  • Aperture priority (A)
  • Shutter priority (S)
  • Manual (M)
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
External flashYes (with Leica SF 24D, Leica SF 58 flash units)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync, Studio
Continuous drive5 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4
Videography notes1080p 30fps
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes
Physical
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLeica BP-DC8
Battery Life (CIPA)450
Weight (inc. batteries)680 g (1.50 lb / 23.99 oz)
Dimensions133 x 73 x 95 mm (5.24 x 2.87 x 3.74)
Other features
GPSNone

Additional images

30
I own it
13
I want it
3
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 757
12345
Sanyi
By Sanyi (3 months ago)

Leica X Vario reviews often ignore the deadly silent lens leaf shutter with flash synch to 1/2000th sec.

When the RX1 is reviewed the lens leaf shutter is described:

"The lens, which is designated as a Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*, features a leaf shutter for essentially silent operation (though you can engage a sound effect if you wish). This design means the camera can sync with flashes all the way up to its 1/2000th maximum shutter speed, as well as allowing the lens to reach closer to the front of the sensor."

This seems odd.

I bought a Leica X Vario so I can have the totally silent, vibration-free simple gadget-free photography that I grew up with!

Grab the ever ready case & go. No bag of lenses, no flash, no tripod.

I photographed the night Movie World White Christmas hand held. No problem.

All the money went on basics in this camera.

Vignetting & distortion are easily fixed in camera with no image degradation so all investment went to making a chromatic abberation corrected lens.

A fixed lens allows the price of a camera & lens is < or = a cheaper M lens.

A fixed zoom lens which at 50mm Erwin Puts claims surpasses the M Apo Aspherical 50mm f2 Summicron! The compromise for delivering affordable excellence is the slower apperture.

A great 50mm with 28mm, 35mm, 70mm thrown in.

I love the feel of the portraits. Great ooc jpegs!

0 upvotes
Sanyi
By Sanyi (4 months ago)

Intellectual thumb-suckers seem highly focused on specs simple enough for them to understand & compare:

Focal length
F stops
Pixel #
Lp/mm

What about the subtle specs like:

edge to edge lack of chromatic aberrations
micro contrast
colour accuracy etc

Nikon made the stunning 25-50mm Nikkor f4 in mf film days. Expensive to make. Not so good on the routine specs but unsurpassed in colour rendition.

The same breed of intellectual thumb-suckers said "pass" to buying & Nikon ceased production to focus on what thumb-suckers will buy in droves!

Nothing has changed as Leica targets the 1% of the market left unserviced.

0 upvotes
Sanyi
By Sanyi (4 months ago)

Sad watching wannabe Einsteins conducting thought experiments on a camera they have never used in anger.

Taking delivery today so judgement postponed.

When is a camera & lens good enough?

1) When photography as I grew up doing it is intuitive
2) When the lens has the the equivalent of 35mm optimal 40 lp/mm resolution ie 60 lp/mm for APSC
3) When signal to noise is far better than a 2 micron pixel
4) When clean higher ISO makes a slow lens less relevant
5) When the combination of body & lens gives distortion & vignetting pre-corrected for jpegs
6) When jpeg colour needs no or minimal correction
7) When zero time needs to be wasted in LR to deliver the biggest enlargement I have ever made
8) When I don't have to fumble interchangeable lenses on a flight or trip
9) When Erwin Puts assures us that at 50mm the LXV lens surpasses the $AUD8600 Leica M Apo 50 Asph Summicron but throws in 28, 35 & 70mm for $2850 if I wear the 1/3 stop slower lens than routine zooms.
10) When manual focus is easy
11) When shutter is silent unlike Sony A7 family
12) When the build quality of the lens gives sustainability over a long life

Ticks all my boxes!

0 upvotes
AhKai
By AhKai (7 months ago)

Who says this X Vario is expensive? Check this out;

http://www.joinplasma.com/leica-x-vario-digital-camera-black.html?ref=lexity&_vs=google&_vm=productsearch&adtype=pla&gclid=CKvf4rbiqLkCFUhapQodAWAAaw

At $1,736... cheaper than the X2.... or was it a typo error??

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

Since the introduction of the Leica X Vario about two weeks ago, there has been a lot of negative comments about the camera. Very few has actually tried it before drawing conclusion.

I have my disappointments.

It has a rather slow fixed zoom lens.

It does not have image stabilisation.

It does not have touch screen.

It does not have a built-in EVF.

......and more.

I have a chance to try the camera today and many of the short comings noted earlier were not that important afterall. It is really very well made, holds and balance well, weighty without being heavy, simple to use and give great image quality. One has to try it to appreciate it. Well, you just have to find one.

For more information, go to:

www.slack.co.uk

It may have a few surprises lurking under the skin.

1 upvote
Lawrence Whitmore
By Lawrence Whitmore (10 months ago)

The statement "the world's first compact camera with an APS-C sensor and fixed zoom lens" is not true.

The Sony DSC-R1 was the first, and DP Review comment in their review of the Sony in 2005 that it is "First non-SLR (fixed lens digital) camera to feature a large format sensor (APS-C size)", and it has a 24-120mm fixed lens.

It seems clear that the Sony was simply too good and threatened all existing camera ranges, and was subsequently discontinued. Since then we have had an entirely unnecessary population of compact system cameras simply to generate profit in the industry.

DP Review know this Leica is not a first and yet they claim it to be so. Perhaps they should be more honest.

1 upvote
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (10 months ago)

Lawrence,

I still have my Sony R1, but I think with this new Leica it is a question of what is termed a "compact" camera. My R1 certainly doesn't fall into the accepted definition of a compact, indeed it is very bulky and heavy so, playing with words, Leica is technically correct as they haven't claimed it as the first APS-C with fixed zoom.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (10 months ago)

Well it is more panache than a Lumix. And that red Leica badge of honor. Weeoh!

0 upvotes
Fox Talbot X1 UK
By Fox Talbot X1 UK (10 months ago)

Here is a different viewpoint.
What is a camera? A box with a lens on one side and an image collecting surface on the opposite side.
Where are we at today? A chip is used instead of film. The image is moved from the chip to storage media through an "Image Pipeline" & finally to a computer.
Who makes most of the industries chips? Answer: Nikon, and most other camera manufacturers chips are made by Sony.
Millions of pounds/dollars is currently being invested in "Image Pipeline" R&D by each major manufacturer.
What is required to develop all this technology? Answer: Very large amounts of cash.
If a manufacturer is only selling a few cameras, then the retail price for each unit has to be very high.
So is the new Leica a very good camera or just one of a crowd with a very high price tag. Is it value for money? We'll have to wait and see. Why so many flaws in the main review?
I think that electronic viewfinders, fed from the sensor via the "Image Pipeline" is the future. Goodbye SLR.

1 upvote
ennos
By ennos (10 months ago)

Ok, lets put away the price tag for a moment.

What exactly is then wrong with the camera? Nothing, I would say. The lens is probably excellent. The zoom range is absolutely ok, the f-stop range is comparable to that of most standard zooms if one realises that 6.4 is just 1/3 less than 5.6. It has a decent sensor size and is relatively small and light.

Of course, Leica could have choosen a f2.8 lens but that would have increased size and weight enormously (e.g., the Nikkor DX 17-55, f2.8 weighs 755 g! That is more than the entire X Vario).

So, coming back to the price tag. What exactly do you expect from a camera made in Germany??? The gross salary of a Leica employee is probaly between 3000-4000 €. That's presumably 5-10 times more than what a chinese worker will get. And there are reasons for that! I certainly don't want to start a political discussion but maybe all the other cameras are much to cheap ;-)

And the good news is: you don't have to buy it!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
40daystogo
By 40daystogo (10 months ago)

The Leica Vario-Summicron 24-90 mm f/2.0 on the D-Lux 5 is an amazingly sharp and compact lens. It's designed for a far smaller sensor. Of course I'm not an optical engineer, but why can't Leica provide a lens like that, scaled up in size for the APS-C sensor? I have previously splashed cash for Leicas including a true M rangefinder, but this f/3.5 widest aperture of the X is a total deal breaker, meaning there is zero chance I would even desire to get it. It is THAT BAD.

3 upvotes
Ernest M Aquilio
By Ernest M Aquilio (10 months ago)

A valid point, but I am willing to bet that the average purchaser of this camera doesn't even know what an aperture is, nor how they work. The so f/3.5 thus becomes irrelevant

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Third Eye Focused
By Third Eye Focused (10 months ago)

Or perhaps they are more interested in images than numbers.

2 upvotes
turner72
By turner72 (10 months ago)

Leica should have asked Sigma for allowance to mount their new Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM as a fixed lens on the Leica body. This would have been an adequate lens-body combination for a brand like Leica.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (10 months ago)

Just buy a Sony NEX 6 or 7, black out the Sony logo, and stick a Leica red dot in its place.

0 upvotes
Tripeiro
By Tripeiro (10 months ago)

What an overpriced piece of junk. But it will sell, no doubt, to the rich with no knowledge of photography and to the loyal fanbase that will pay thousands for any crap Leica serves them,

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

Put aside all the snobery, envy and disgust (for the Leica X vario) , real photographers do shoot with Leica and many used it to the best of their potential.

If one wants to shoot Leica, they have to master rangefinder manual focusing and that's definitely not everybody's cup of tea. Similarly, not everybody like a DSLR due to the weight.

Not many people will shoot and review Leica cameras. For some interesting and informative insight go to:

blog.mengthien.com

Enjoy.

1 upvote
mrmut
By mrmut (10 months ago)

As a stark contrast to launch of this Leica - just look at the user's comments on sigma F1.8 zoom. People love it, and are ready to pay whatever for it (me included).

If this Leica is really a posh accessory, why couldn't they make it a really good posh accessory? Constant F2.8 or even F3.5 would suffice, but what they did really baffles me. - The question is not the amount of money for this tool, but the fact it is hardly usable with sensor and lens limitation.

And when we are at lens, what kind of crap is that? The released samples show loads of problems, and at that price point, there shouldn't be *any* aberrations, or falls of sharpness. And especially on the compact with lens designed for it. I used Sigma DP1, which I was not happy with, but the lens sharpness wide open were top-notch. Now, if you consider the price of DP1 compared to this, it seems like they think buyers are idiots. And literally - owner of this camera would be close to an idiot (I apologize on the wording).

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

Although most of us may wish for a f/1.8 constant aperture 18-35mm on a Leica Mini-M, technically it would not be possible. Similar to the Sigma, it will be just too heavy. The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 is about 800 gsm. Thus, if Leica can provide a f/4.0 constant aperture lens on the Mini-M it would be acceptable.

It is not proper to compare the Sigma DP1 Merrill which has a fixed 28mm f/2.8 lens with the Leica X Vario. One should compare the DP1 with the Nikon A which has a similar lens setup.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

That hypothetical constant F2.8 zoom would weigh a lot and cost a whole bunch more money.

It would also make the camera and lenses big--see the 85mm Samsung (Optron) F1.4 for the NX system.

Good Leica lenses are better at colour than even good Sigma lenses.

Now what would be interesting would be the hypothetical 4th generation of this Leica X series--it could be built to take interchangeable AF Leica X lenses.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (10 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW - the "hypothetical constant F2.8" would weigh more, but at least it would help justify the extremely high price that Leica is charging for this camera! As for your example of the Samsung 85/1.8 for NX, it sounds pretty ridiculous and pointless to use an f/1.8 lens as an indicator of what an f/2.8 lens' size would be. Heck, it doesn't even have to be a constant f/2.8. Even a constant f/3.5 or f/4 zoom would be a heck of a lot better than the slow f/3.5-6.4 variable aperture that Leica is offering. To offer such a slow lens on a camera with such a high price is kind of an insult, and doesn't make Leica's lens engineers look very good. And what's even sillier is to offer such a slow lens, but not offer any image stabilization (in-lens, or sensor stabilization). For the price they are asking, Leica should have at least offered a constant aperture zoom, or stabilization, or lens interchangeability.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (10 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW - "Good Leica lenses are better at colour than even good Sigma lenses."

We live in the age of digital imaging where small differences in colour that different lenses produce can easily be rectified or nullified by simply applying a color profile or color calibration to your image in post-processing. Plus, you can always adjust color to taste in post-processing as well. That's just how it is in today's digital world.

Lens color was a more significant issue back in the days of film, when we did little or no post-processing of our image. Back then, what the lens produced on film is what you got. These days, that's merely just the beginning, and the entire image, from color to contrast to chromatic aberration to lens distortion and even to sharpness, are all malleable and adjustable to some degree. That's not to say that we should just use crummy lenses. Good lenses stil matter. However, post processing does render minor differences in lens color rather moot.

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

Surviving in the digital 21st century for a 100 yr old company is tough. In the old days, mechanical things were expected to last almost forever, thus Leica cameras, Rolex watches, Parker pens, Remington typewriters etc. Now, they get obsolete in 2-3 yrs. Can Leica change to suit the times?

1) The biggest PR mistake Leica made recently, calling an "X" a mini-M
2) Underestimating core customers' expectation.
3) Arrogant

As a photographer I would expect the Mini-M to be:

1) A compact APS-C sensor camera similar in size to the "X2" and has the features of the Olympus E-P5
2) An interchangeable APS-C kit lens on M mount with f/4.0 constant aperture
3) Why M mount? - user must have option to use M lenses
4) Why interchangeable lens mount? - so user can upgrade body and keep the lens for future use

Currently, that's what Fuji is doing. But the XE-1 has a lot of room for improvement. The built quality is not top notch yet.

Leica just have to do better. I believe they can.

3 upvotes
SRT3lkt
By SRT3lkt (10 months ago)

In a world filled with so much unhappiness, how can we find happiness?

This thread reflects the very world we live in.

4 upvotes
Sean65
By Sean65 (10 months ago)

This camera is not designed for the UK market. We simply do not have enough light in this country. If you live in Africa, India, Florida/LA then 6.3 would be absolutely fine but in dank grey dreary northern europe (including most of Germany), forget it.

Unless Leica were intending it to be used as a 'fair weather camera'.

3 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (10 months ago)

Are you a potential buyer of this camera?

Are you concerned of negative piercing glares when you wear this around your neck in public?

Then here is the solution:

Put black electrical tape over the the red dot.

Voila!

Instantly... the camera becomes a $99.95 Walmart fodder!

...then you are safe to go about your business of taking those billion dollar pictures.

.

4 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (10 months ago)

I think it was the anticipation fuelled by Leica itself that has led many to criticise and be disappointed.

The body looks like the old film MD, and as the mini has the ability to take an EVF, disappointingly of low resolution, I believe Leica missed a trick here, and could have followed the practice they followed with the film M3. To cater for those who couldn't stretch to this, Leica brought out the cheaper M2. followed by the even cheaper M1.

With an EVF, they could have kept the M mount and lenses and a full frame sensor. Sure it wouldn't satisfy those who believe Leica is overpriced anyway, but it could have been so much better than what we see now.

I use Leica film cameras, but all the same I'm disappointed that Leica hasn't produced anything likely to tempt me to get this.

It may be the first compact to have a fixed lens and APS-C sensor, but APS-C and fixed lens honours go to Sony in 2005 with their R1.

0 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (10 months ago)

I am sure Fritz, Carl and Hans must be mad right now in Germany. This is worse that the end of WW II....however at that time you could be proud of your Leica...

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
CraigArnold
By CraigArnold (10 months ago)

Poor people are so funny when they are angry!

700+ scornful comments from people who can't even choose the right parents.

LOL

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (10 months ago)

Maybe you are used to spit on poor people.
Maybe you enjoy it.

Your satisfaction is short-lived, it exposes an ugly side and makes good people flee you.

Insulting the poor ?
Very immature ...

In any event you did not want to see the many comments by obviously rich people reading theses pages because they were interested in buying. Leica owners and lovers writing they felt insulted by this shabby offer.

4 upvotes
CraigArnold
By CraigArnold (10 months ago)

Obviously your native language is not English. It was a joke.

Poe's law applies.

Leica's current demographic doesn't care what the price is. They are not on the same part of the demand curve as the rest of us.

I don't think about the price of a can of soda, if I'm thirsty I'll just buy one without worrying about value for money. For Leica's target market $3000 is like 50c to me. Not worth even thinking about. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are in that market. Just not you or me.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
electric eel
By electric eel (10 months ago)

LOL....not sure most will appreciate this as anger over important matters such as cameras can have a dulling effect on life's better moments.

0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (10 months ago)

to say one positive thing, for street photo, these apertures might just be good enough.

0 upvotes
Ernest M Aquilio
By Ernest M Aquilio (10 months ago)

True. This camera is quite capable of the "ƒ/8 and be there" slogan. Just not sue of the AF speed capabilities. It will be interesting to see how the life of this camera develops (pun intended)

1 upvote
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (10 months ago)

I was really hoping for something along the lines of Panasonic LC1/Digilux 2.
That would be something. That camera is very dated now.

0 upvotes
starwolfy
By starwolfy (10 months ago)

Since most people here seems baffled by Leica, saying they didn't market well their new product etc. Saying that Leica missed the point and nobody here will want one over an already owned NEX7, Fuji X100, or OM-D...etc. I think people here should wake up and understand that this camera was never designed for them.

You are simply not Leica customer target. That doesn't mean you cannot understand the "benefits" of the "counterparts" of owning this camera. That just means you are not the target audience so just move on because this was not design for YOU. You are not part of it and most people commenting here just doesn't have the cash for it anyway.

I don't understand why people stay here waiting for Leica to release a X100s-Leica-something for half the price that would sell like hot cakes like they say. That will never happen. Leica is Leica and demand premium price and that's it. They will never sell cheap.

You don't ask bikers why they chose Harley Davidson over a Kawasaki.

6 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

No, you are wrong. I have the money (and many do) and I am willing to pay for a "Mini M" if it has a, say, 18-35mm f/2.0 lens and other refinements.

Leica owners must be proud of what they have. It must be photographically superior and a gem to hold.

1 upvote
arndsan
By arndsan (10 months ago)

very smart of you
so, leica don't have a tradition and responsibility to keep it?
Will Leica end up like Rollei then?
You red the press text ? - they didn't wrote that this is for rich people who have no idea about photography.
The Leica customer I know buy the famous Leica f1.4 lenses and f2.
and people have the right to blame Leica for using there heritage for selling that average product for ridiculous price.

so far,...have a smart day

1 upvote
arndsan
By arndsan (10 months ago)

...and Harley Davidson and Kawasaki are both great bikes.

But a Harley Davidson with a Suzuki engine would be what we are talking about.

0 upvotes
arndsan
By arndsan (10 months ago)

FYI
About Leica History
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6Mp5Ly_kbI

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (10 months ago)

You are right, starwolfy,
there are people who can sell canned leftovers,
corporations specialising to produce it,
institutions promoting it
and proud buyers.

Tate Collection, Artist's Sh*t by Piero Manzoni
http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?cgroupid=999999961&workid=27330

Also, naked emperors tend to attract raillery.

In this case however,
question is,
would Leica benefit from a Recall ?

For what this camera could have been see
the stunning 1960s design new Olympus Pen P5
with 17mm f1.8 pancake lens. Classic quality.
With the sensor from OMD-EM5, improved.
Contrary to Canon, Nikon and Leica,
they don't fear continually improving their top models,
making the best without crippling popular offerings.

0 upvotes
Sean65
By Sean65 (10 months ago)

Suzuki make some great engines!

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (10 months ago)

white shadow--

That "18-35mm f/2.0 lens" would be mighty heavy, better to offer it in a future hypothetical interchangeable Leica X.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (10 months ago)

This doesn't irk me; I would enjoy owning the camera. But when I see the prices for the V-LUX 30 and V-LUX 40 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (10 months ago)

Look how disappointed customers are:
After trusting the old brand, expecting Leica quality,
and getting cheap cameras wrapped in hype:

Leica V-LUX 30 really a re-branded Panasonic Lumix ZS-10
http://www.amazon.com/Leica-V-LUX-30-DC-Vario-Elmar-Touchscreen/dp/B0052P4572/

"Did not perform in low light...terribly grainy.
Facial features often blotchy."

"After one year without being dropped or mishandled, the camera suddenly gave me a system failure warning and shut down. I sent it to Leica who said it would be too expensive to fix. So that was the end of that camera."

0 upvotes
arndsan
By arndsan (10 months ago)

i guess if that would be just a f2.8 lens there would no sh... storm.
why leica didn't put that into the specs before even developing it?

2 upvotes
gdfthr73
By gdfthr73 (10 months ago)

I usually hate reading comments that denounce a new camera without ever actually using it. However, this time (and that ridiculous Hasselblad NEX) all the negative comments are truly justified.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (10 months ago)

Is this a Panasonic LX7 with less than half the lens, twice the sensor, and 10 times the price?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 35 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (10 months ago)

YES! Finally a camera deserving of the Bronze award!

7 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (10 months ago)

Haha, so true!

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (10 months ago)

I read through every single comment and not a single good thing was said about this camera unless it was sarcastic. I really would like to hear just one positive thing about it.

I tried to find something and I simply couldn't. Even their claim of it being the first "compact camera with an APS-C sensor and fixed zoom lens" is bogus. Why would you want a fixed lens compact camera when Sony and Canon make an interchangeable lens APS-C camera that is the same size and costs so much less?

6 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (10 months ago)

This camera will surely be capable of producing nice photos within the performance range of the lens and body. If someone doesn't mind the size and has the money, it will work for them for what it can do.

Yes it has pretty limited design specs compared to a lot of other cameras that are out there which cost much less. No IS, a largish slow fixed lens, an old EVF, etc. etc. And it does not bring anything new to the world of photography. Well when was the last time Leica was innovative?

I think there would have been far fewer critics if they had simply released the camera without all of the build up, marketing fluff and outright lies.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

Some marketing genius in Leica is really trying to apply some of his knowledge he learned at college thinking that this will give him a promotion.

The product development genius is trying to get a promotion too.

Sure, this camera will be able to take some reasonable photo but one might as well use the Canon G1X which many descibe it as a brick. At least, it is flat enough to slip into a cargo pants' pocket, has image stabilisation, a flip screen and cost about USD600.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

In years to come this episode will make a very interesting case study for the Institute of Marketing, UK and the Cransfield Business School, UK.

Classic material for future students.

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (10 months ago)

These specs would have been a big deal 5 years ago.

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (10 months ago)

Leica's biggest mistake is that they could have sold this for $30,000 and still had the same number of customers.

11 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (10 months ago)

Looks like Leica didn't want Hasselblad to get all of the negative publicity.

4 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (10 months ago)

That might be my favorite line on this. But I also like "the list of pros looks like a list of cons to me."

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (10 months ago)

The Lunar thinks this is a bad camera.

2 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (10 months ago)

And with good reason. The Lunar might be a ridiculously expensive skin covering but at the heart is a good camera. If various Lunar like custom grips were a $100 option for the Nex they would have sold quite a few.

1 upvote
EssexAsh
By EssexAsh (10 months ago)

looking forward to the DPR review

1 upvote
c speranza
By c speranza (10 months ago)

no viewfinder no party

1 upvote
Realeyes
By Realeyes (10 months ago)

Bizarre product management at Leica. This offering has clearly baffled most of us. It neither enhances the Leica brand, nor does it offer something the market needs. I was expecting to see a fixed lens, full frame compact, like the Sony RX1.

If you want a Leica APS-C, then a second hand M8 is beginning to look like good value. Alternatively, the Sony NEX 6 or Fuji XE-1 with their respective kit lenses seems more sensible. Heck, even my Sony NEX F3 offers more than this, with its articulating screen and stabilised lens.

Genius, Leica, genius.

3 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (10 months ago)

Making a full frame fixed lens "compact" like the Sony RX1 would be the last thing Leica would want to do. That would be the direct competitor to their own "M". Oh no! no!.!!!!.

But I wouldn't mind and I think many would be happy if they would just make a compact mini-M with an APS-C sensor and an 18-35 f/2.0 lens. If Sigma, a relatively young lens company, can make an APS-C 18-35mm f1.8 lens, Leica with all their years of expertise should have no problem with it.

Leica is about quality lenses, fast lens, not making the slowest zoom lens ever.

Oskar must be really turning in his grave. Sad.!!!..Very sad.!!

0 upvotes
cheetah43
By cheetah43 (10 months ago)

Leica has lost its way. Total confusion, not knowing where they are going; they rebadge other people's products or come up with something 'new' that is behind times. Incredible!

0 upvotes
cheetah43
By cheetah43 (10 months ago)

Yes, slow lens, no IS, no EVF, no this, that or the other, but the lens hood at £90 and wrist strap at £60 must be good reasons to own it.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (10 months ago)

On the contrarian note:
at least in bright sunlight the images from this camera will have a 29 times higher chance to have proper framing and perspective and enough DoF do fit what is interesting in the picture, unlike all those fixed FL fixed lens Nikon As and Fuji X100s shot wide open just for the heck of it.

<runs for cover from the fanboys>

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (10 months ago)

sample images / first report

http://news.mapcamera.com/k4l.php?itemid=21675

0 upvotes
JakeB
By JakeB (10 months ago)

The fun is seeing Leica nuts trying to DEFEND this disappointing camera.

For example, a God, I'm sorry, Mod, over on the Leica forum, when confronted with the Fuji 18-55 f2.8 - f4 with image stabilization, made the following attempt at defense:

"I never said Leica couldn't make one. Just that it would be much larger and heavier. The Fuji lens weighs 300g+ and is 65 x 70mm in size. The X Vario weighs 679g (in total, w/lens) and measures 133 x 73 x 95mm. That IS also consumes power, requiring a bigger (and therefore heavier) battery.

So everyone bitching about the lens speed on the X Vario now would be bitching about the size and weight of it instead."

Several people, myself included, pointed out to the poor man that the Fuji X-E1 (a closer point of comparison than the Fuji X-Pro since like the Vario it doesn't have an optical viewfinder) PLUS the above lens, PLUS the supposedly "bigger, heavier battery") weighs a total of 660 grams, 29g LESS than the Vario.

Truly pathetic.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (10 months ago)

People who buy Leica don't make these comparisons. If they did, the brand would have disappeared when the Canon 7s and Nikon SP were introduced.

0 upvotes
maddox
By maddox (10 months ago)

I still occasionally use my Digilux 3 - that has an F2.8-3.5 stabilised leica zoom lens and I bought that in 2007 !!

3 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (10 months ago)

666!!! That's the evil number! You burn in hell....

2 upvotes
nblaney
By nblaney (10 months ago)

I just don't get who this is for or what its supposed to do. Buy a couple Fuji X-Pro 1s and lenses for the same price and get better performance.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (10 months ago)

600+ comments; spectacular for a company with limited resources to do their own promotion.

0 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (10 months ago)

Most of the comments here do Leica no favors.

1 upvote
Gordon L
By Gordon L (10 months ago)

Save your money and buy a Fuji

2 upvotes
Gordon L
By Gordon L (10 months ago)

Good grief! No viewfinder, a slow limited range zoom lens? Another vanity camera for well-heeled snap-shooters to photograph sunsets and birthday parties. No serious photographer will use this wimpy spec'ed camera no matter how cute it is. It is the camera equivalent to the stupidly expensive watches that not only tell you the time, like every ten dollar watch out there, but tell everyone how much money you have, and how gullible you are.

3 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (10 months ago)

Birthday parties, indoors or in the evening:
they will be very disappointed with the blurred, noisy results.

4 upvotes
Popo Bawa
By Popo Bawa (10 months ago)

If you buy an expensive watch (Patek, Vacheron, Lange, etc.) you're buying a handcrafted piece of art. This also applied to Leica's film cameras.
However, it doesn't apply to digital cameras same as it doesn't apply to quartz watches, because the whole job is done by mass produced electronics that's usually not even made by Leica.

PS: To be honest, if Leica produced a camera at least as good as Fuji X series or other competitors, I'd most likely pay the higher price just to have something extraordinary.
But there's no way I'm spending more money to get a worse camera, it's like spending £2000 for a Vertu phone which can't do much more than a 5 years old Nokia while you can buy a £500 smartphone which can do everything you can possibly imagine.

1 upvote
vroger1
By vroger1 (10 months ago)

I buy all my gorgeous watches from Ebay- for 5 USD and free shipping. I've learned my lessons.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
meland
By meland (10 months ago)

What I have learned from these comments is that there have been approximately 57 ways of attempting to be sarcastic about the red dot and f6.4, none of which are particularly original or even funny. Come on guys, surely you can do better!

4 upvotes
Sean65
By Sean65 (10 months ago)

I agree meland but this is the inherent nature of this forum.

That aside, the camera does look like a dinosaur when compared to the Olympus P5 which is due out this week and has WAY more going for it in every respect. So the real issue with the Leica is the ridiculous price for a pedestrian feature set. Which in itself suggests they're trading off past glories.

0 upvotes
Jim Radcliffe
By Jim Radcliffe (10 months ago)

@meland.... not sure what you expected but you appear to be a major apologist and defender of Leica and their latest offering. Sure some will buy it but many expected much more from Leica when they teased this camera as being a Mini M. It is not even remotely related to an M other than being offered by Leica. The lens is the worst feature of the camera. The heart and soul of Leica is their glass and this offering is lacking in both heart & soul.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (10 months ago)

Jim does have a point about the lens. But there was no way in the world Leica was going to cannibalize their lineup by offering a less expensive M. This X Vario allows them to offer a camera that has no danger of hurting M sales. On the other hand, you'd think they'd sell more lenses with more M-mount bodies on the market.

0 upvotes
Popo Bawa
By Popo Bawa (10 months ago)

With the eBay price of M8 they should be more worried that M8 will cannibalize on sales of the X Vario...

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
meland
By meland (10 months ago)

Jim - Apologist and defender of Leica? You could not be further from the truth. Sure I had an M6 once (and quite liked it as a piece of engineering, although it never really suited my style of photography).
I just look at the pathetically low standard of whining and whingeing and think "Get a life, please!"

0 upvotes
EssexAsh
By EssexAsh (10 months ago)

"Come on guys, surely you can do better!"

Oh the irony. Could easily be said to Leica.

1 upvote
Total comments: 757
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