The Leica X (Typ 113) sports the fastest prime lens on any large-sensor compact, but is this enough to justify its premium price? Andy Westlake investigates in our Leica X (Typ 113) review
Build and handling
Leica X (Typ 113) Review – build and handling
It’s a £1,500 camera that proudly proclaims it’s assembled in Germany, and this means we inevitably have high expectations of the Leica X’s build quality. Fortunately they are, to a great extent, met: the body feels solidly constructed thanks to its all-metal shell, and the various buttons operate with satisfyingly positive clicks. If I have a criticism, it’s that the click stops on the top-plate controls are insufficiently firm, so it’s a little too easy to knock the shutter speed or aperture dials, or inadvertently set the power/drive mode switch to continuous mode.
The body design is almost identical to the X-Vario APS-C zoom compact. Of course, the lens is different – it’s less bulky and doesn’t have a zoom ring – but aside from that the main physical change is the deletion of the X-Vario’s EVF port from beneath the hotshoe. At 133 x 73 x 78mm in size, and 486g in weight, the Leica X isn’t a small camera, and tellingly, it’s a bit more bulky than either of its most obvious competitors – the Fujifilm X100T and the full-frame Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R.
With Leica’s signature rounded, rather than squared-off ends, the X fits nicely in your hand, and the textured finish means that it feels quite secure despite the absence of a handgrip. It sports small shutter speed and aperture dials on the top-plate, and exposure compensation is handled by an electronic dial just under your thumb, which also navigates menus and sets shutter speeds longer than 1sec. Other key settings – ISO, white balance and autofocus mode – have dedicated buttons on the back of the camera. Overall, it’s simple and it works pretty well – experienced photographers will find their way around in no time at all.