Leica has officially announced the X Vario, a compact camera with a 16.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a fixed 18-46mm (28-70mm in 35mm equivalent) f/3.5-6.4 lens. At 28-70mm, the lens is essentially a 2.5x optical zoom lens with a rather slow aperture of f/3.5-6.4. It shoots 1080p Full-HD video, up to five frames per second and ISO goes from 100 to 12,500. The camera comes with a 920k dot 3" LCD, and an optional electronic viewfinder is available.
The camera is slightly larger than the Leica X2, which has a 16.1MP CCD sensor but a fixed, non-zoom lens. Pricing is, as always with Leica, eye-watering at US$2850.
Photographer Jonathan Slack has been testing the camera since Christmas and has written up his thoughts on the X Vario:
When I first received the camera, I was wowed by the feel and build quality and general ThingNess of it, but seriously underwhelmed by the slow zoom. I couldn’t see why anyone would want it over an OMD with a Panasonic 12-35 lens, or a Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55 zoom. I own one of these cameras, and have played with the other, they’re both excellent.
However, over the months I’ve rather fallen in love with the simplicity of the X Vario - the logic of the controls is hard to fault, the image quality is really excellent and the fact of it being a simple one-stop package is really compelling.
The Leica X Vario will be available this Friday to Sunday in Singapore's Leica Store at the Raffles Hotel Arcade for a hands-on experience, an appointment can be made with Leica at firstname.lastname@example.org or +65 6336 9555.