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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Leica X (Typ 113)

Metering:
Autofocus:
Features:
LCD viewfinder:
Build/Handling:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:

Pros:

  • Fast, high-quality lens is extremely sharp
  • Analogue control dials give intuitive handling
  • Easily readable DNG raw files give impressive image quality
  • Attractive retro styling

Cons:

  • No built-in viewfinder
  • Camera limits maximum aperture at closer focus distances
  • Relatively slow top shutter speed limits ability to shoot wide open in bright light
  • Video mode is very basic

Product:

Leica X (Typ 113) review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,550.00

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Build and handling

Leica X (Typ 113) Review – build and handling

Leica X in-hand

The X has a large manual focus ring and top-plate dials for shutter speed and aperture

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.

Leica X top view

Shutter speed and aperture dials are mounted on the top plate. The shutter button is surrounded by a power/ drive mode switch, with ‘S’ for single can C’ for continuous. The small button with the red dot in its centre is for video recording.

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.

  1. 1. Leica X (Typ 113) Review - at a glance
  2. 2. Build and handling
  3. 3. Viewfinder and screen
  4. 4. Focusing
  5. 5. Performance
  6. 6. Image quality
  7. 7. Image quality: Dynamic Range
  8. 8. Image Quality: Detail and Noise
  9. 9. Conclusion
  10. 10. Page 10
Page 2 of 10 - Show Full List
  • entoman

    A beautiful-looking camera. Overpriced of course, but it’s the designer look, exclusivity and high price that makes it desirable to its intended target market. If however Leica wish potential buyers to take it seriously, they should dispense with the silly little pop-up flash, and fit a high quality EVF in its place! Until they do so, the camera remains a bit of a joke!

  • Stephen Garratt

    It looks VERY….like the new Canon EOS M MKIII.
    As an extremely pleased EOS M user (purchased at an insane low price!) , I know which camera that I would rather have and at just over 1/3rd the cost.
    My EOS M was purchased as a back up to my 5D MKIII and is giving me fantastic results.

  • Andy Whiteman

    Back in the 60s I always thought I’d love a Leica – an uncle had one – but now I’m afraid they are a bad joke – £1600 for this camera – you must be joking or stupidly rich. Come on Leica produce products that justify their absurd price tag and come on photographers don’t get sucked in by nostalgia and that little red thing.