The rumoured large-sensor compact camera, the 16-megapixel Leica X Vario, has just been announced.


Front view of the new Leica X Vario. (Source: Leica.)

Featuring a Leica Vario Elmar 18-46 mm f/3.5-6.4 ASPH zoom lens that covers focal lengths equivalent to 28 to 70 mm in 35mm format, the X Vario is the first compact camera to combine a new professional-quality APS-C format, CMOS sensor with a high-performance zoom lens. The sensor has approximately 16.5 million photosites, of which 16.2 megapixels are available for images. The new camera also includes full-HD video recording at of 30 frames per second, using the Internet-compatible MP4 format. An integrated wind-noise filter is available for suppressing wind noise in outdoor recordings.


Back and top views of the Leica X Vario. (Source: Leica.)

The Leica X Vario’s body design includes features of the Leica M, including the use of premium materials in its construction. Its top panel is machined from solid aluminium in the same process and the combination of robust metal construction and superior quality leather trim with outstanding grip characteristics, gives the X Vario a true Leica look and feel. A straightforward control layout makes it simple to operate with easy switching between manual and automatic control. Dials on the top deck (shown below) allow quick setting of the shutter speed and aperture. In addition users can change the plane of focus and adjust other imaging parameters to influence the look or mood of images.


Close-ups show details of the control layout on the Leica X Vario. (Source: Leica.)

The X Vario comes with a 3-inch monitor with 921,600 dots, a wide-angle field of view and 100% frame coverage. It uses SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. There’s no built-in viewfinder but an optional Leica EVF 2 Viso-Flex EVF is available, offering a resolution of   1.4 megapixels and 90-degree swivelling. A hot-shoe is provided for the optional Leica SF 24 D flash unit. Other accessories include a hand-grip and lens hood as well as various camera bags, cases and straps. The software bundle includes Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, which can be downloaded free from the Leica website after owners have registered their camera.

The Leica X Vario in black finish is now available from authorised Leica dealers. The range of optional accessories will be available following the launch of the camera. Details are available at

Image sensor:   APS-C CMOS image sensor with 16.5 MP (effective 16.2 MP)
Lens:     Leica Vario Elmar 18 – 46 mm f/3.5 – 6.4   ASPH. (35 mm equivalent. 28 – 70 mm), 9 Elements in 8 groups,                       2 aspherical lens elements
Aperture settings: 3.5 / 6.4 to 16 (1/3-EV increments)
Focusing range: 30 cm”“infinity
AF focusing:     1-point, 11-point, spot, face detection
Resolution: JPEG in 3:2 format: 4928 x 3264 pixels (16.1 MP), 4288 x 2856 pixels (12.2 MP), 3264 x 2160 pixels (7.1 MP), 2144 x 1424 pixels (3.1 MP), 1632 x 1080 pixels (1.8 MP) DNG.RAW in 3:2 format: 4944 x 3272 pixels (16.2 MP)
Image quality: JPEG super fine, JPEG fine, DNG + JPEG super fine, DNG + JPEG fine
Exposure modes: Automatic programme (P), automatic aperture priority (A), manual setting (M)
Exposure compensation: 1/3 to 3 EV increments
Automatic exposure bracketing: 1/3 to 3 EV increments, 3 exposures
Metering modes: Smart multi-segment metering, centre-weighted metering, selective (spot) metering
White balance: Auto, halogen, daylight, flash, cloudy, shade, electronic flash, 2 manual settings, manual colour temperature setting with fine tuning
Sensitivity: Auto, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 6400, ISO 12500
Shutter speeds: 30″“1/2000 second
Continuous shooting: 3 fps or 5 fps, max. 7 consecutive exposures with constant shooting speed in DNG + JPEG fine quality
Film modes:   Standard, dynamic, natural, b/w natural, b/w high contrast
Flash modes: Auto, flash exposure correction, red-eye correction, fill-in flash, slow sync, studio, 1st/2nd curtain sync
Hot shoe: Compatible with Leica SF 24D, Leica SF 58 flash units
Monitor: 3-inch TFT LCD with 921,600 pixels, wide-angle field of view: 100% FOV coverage
Review modes:  16-thumbnail display, zoom review (16ø— max.), image rotation, deletion protection
Internal memory: None
Memory cards: SD, SDHC, SDXC
Interfaces: HDMI out, USB (USB 2.0 high speed)
Battery (rechargeable lithium-ion): Capacity: ~ 360 exposures/charge
Dimensions (L x H x D): ~ 133 x 73 x 95 mm
Weight: ~ 650/679 g (without/with battery)
Package includes: Battery (Leica BP-DC8), battery charger (Leica BC-DC8), battery case, leather carrying strap, USB cable, lens cap, user manual
Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (free download option after product registration)