Leica X: A really elegant camera

TEST: Leica X belongs to a small crowd of cameras with large sensors and non-interchangeable lens. The advantage of an integrated lens has declined in recent years and with that SLRs made less and less. Leica X does not compete with its size but by its sense.

As so often in life, it is easier to complain than to give praise. The reason is that the norm is that things are good and working. When it pops up something less good it becomes disproportionately annoying. In my case, now it is a camera. But to get in a better mood, I start to look at what is good with Leica X.

Focus feeling on top

The two properties that determine the image quality has not bargained on. The sensor lens is large and sturdy. The feeling in the focusing ring is on top and it is a really clever solution to turn on to autofocus. You rotate the focusing ring past a distinctive hack just to the right of the infinity.

It is the lens that is the main difference to the sister model X 1/X 2/X-E. In addition to the brightness has been improved from f/2.8 to f/1.7, so there are no parts that slide out when you turn on the camera. Thus, the camera is larger when it turned off while it is clearly nicer when it is turned on. In fact, I think it’s pretty important that this camera has a large, stylish lens front to show up when shooting.

Annoying details

But to start from the beginning – the first thing I do is natural enough to turn on the camera and remove the lens cap.

Already it appears the first two things I annoys me on up. On/off switch also controls if you want to have simple image shooting or continuous shooting. If I’m not very careful, I always switch in its final location, which is continuous. Lens cap is too good, it takes the pesky little extra time to take of it. Must be that it is possible to practice the ability to quickly tear off the lid.

Good is in all cases that the lens cap has Mount for a don’t lose-string.

Viewfinder & Controls

The manual focus is good, but magnifying the help that is available is an enlarged low-res slicers. Really bad. Abandoning the Magnifier help as shown in all cases the image sharp and nicely on the high-resolution screen. But if you want to use the camera in such a way that you work a little more with each image so strongly recommended the separate electronic viewfinder that is attached to the hot shoe. It is excellent high resolution – and properly. It’s the same viewfinder as the suits at Leica T, which means that it is not the same as that of X 1/X 2/X-E.

The two knobs on the top of the shutter speed and aperture lacks both locks for the A-mode. It is a small, but noticeable, delay between that I turn on the switch and to the value on the screen changes. With autoiso, and if the light is not sufficient for the setting you have chosen, is the only indication that the image is too dark to the exposure values are shown in red. This at halvnertryck.

It is only by manual exposure – at halvnertryck – the image appears so bright or dark as it will get.

The menu system is not available in Swedish and it’s not entirely natural to use if you are familiar with other cameras. Leica has divided to choose menu items and to confirm the two buttons (right and center of the multi-selector).

Correct according to me is that both of these do the same thing. It gets even stranger during playback if you zoomed out to the display of multiple images. During playback changes the fact the Centre button what info you want for the picture. In multi-picture display, there is some different info modes to switch between. Therefore, it would be obvious that the Center button to set the selected image. But no, you have to turn the thumb wheel and zoom in (nothing wrong with that) or press the playback button (illogical). Additionally, zoomed-in image of letters.

When the Leica X 1 was presented in september 2009 was the first compact camera with a sensor on the 24 x 16 mm (known as APS-C).Today, there are also the Fujifilm X 100, Nikon Coolpix A and Ricoh GR which all are considerably more attractive choice than Leica X.

Are you looking for maximum image quality, it is instead the even more expensive Sony RX1.


To Leica X – with its price – is only a camera for those who can’t resist the urge to photograph with Leica is an extremely predictable conclusion and something I could write without testing the camera.

Construction quality meets my expectations when it comes to giving an exclusive feel. The basic conditions for a good picture quality is met with a large sensor and a big lens. But that extra is missing.

What I am referring to is that the really expensive stuff often have a pure performance commercial property that can attract a devotee. When it comes to Leica X is the lens that is closest to being such a property. Otherwise I find most things I annoys me on.