Leica X1 digital cameras
The Leica X1 is a beautifully constructed hybrid digital camera with a great quality lens, but is it worth the hefty price tag?
- Large sensor, takes amazing images
- Expensive, no interchangeable lens system
The Leica X1 is beautifully engineered, and enjoys solid yet lightweight metal construction. It has a great quality lens and is capable of delivering almost three dimensional lifelike images. So what's not to like? Er, have you seen the price? Also users are 'stuck' with the one lens.
Price$ 2,799.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 3 stores)
Leica is known for the exquisite craftsmanship of its cameras and for the hefty price tag that accompanies them. The story here is exactly that: the Leica X1’s knobs and dials recall a traditional Rangefinder camera such as the Leica M8 beloved of photo enthusiasts while the $2799 price tag will be enough to make all but the truly smitten blanche. Quality costs, as they say, and we can’t help but admire how the camera body incorporates a disc-shaped flash that rises effortlessly when pressed gently.
We were also delighted to find the Leica X1 incorporates a 12.9Mp APS-C sized sensor. This sensor is as large as those found in most consumer digital SLRs. This proves the rule that the bigger the chip the greater the light-gathering property and the better the resulting images.
Despite a robust all-metal build the Leica X1 manages not to feel like a dead weight in the hand. It can be used in automatic mode as a point-and-shoot camera – though you’re unlikely to buy such a pricey and capable model for this purpose. Manual adjustments to shutter speed and aperture are made via chunky top plate dials rather than tabbing through onscreen menus. If you know what you want to achieve it’s fairly fast and easy to use. Most importantly, if you need the ultimate in picture quality, it’s worth spending the extra that the Leica demands to get it.
Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras equipped with Leica lenses trumped close competitors in the Olympus' PEN range in past tests. Their pin-sharp detail and smooth film-like colour tones proved exceptional. The Leica X1 ramps up the effect still further. The results we got using it were stunning. Yes, it’s costly and – perhaps just as much of an issue for some – the 24mm lens on the front, (equivalent to 36mm on a 35mm camera), cannot be changed. But it’s a Leica lens, and that comes with its own cachet.
There are sacrifices to be made. The close focus distance is around 30cm and there’s no movie mode on the Leica X1. Another disappointment is that while the 2.7in LCD is generous enough in size, its 230K dot resolution is no better than you’ll find on point-and-shoot cameras. Still as we’ve noted image quality is what counts and on that score the Leica X1 produces crisp results that are more life-like and less obviously digital in origin than we’re used to seeing.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5) 4G review
- 3 TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch
- 4 LG G3 review
- 5 Nokia Lumia 930 review
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- IEEE standards group wants to bring order to IoT
- InfiniDB going out of business, but its database will live on as open source
- FCC questions how to enforce net neutrality rules
- SAP CEO Bill McDermott on why Concur is worth $8.3 billion
- Alibaba shares open at a high $92.70
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.