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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Viewfinder and screen

Leica X (Typ 113) Review – viewfinder and screen

Leica X back view

The Leica X’s LCD is a fixed 3″ 920,000 dot unit

The Leica X has a 3in, 920,000-dot LCD screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is basically the standard we’d expect from a £1,500 camera. In use, it’s sharp, bright and detailed, and quite visible in bright sunlight. It’s neither touch-sensitive nor articulated in any way, but like it or not, that’s normal for a fixed-lens compact.

The camera offers a number of display modes while taking pictures, but to be honest, none of them are totally satisfactory. The most basic one shows the preview image with exposure data shown on a black bar above it: shutter speed and aperture are included, but not ISO (although oddly, metering mode is). It is possible to show more detailed shooting data, including such things as focus mode, ISO and shots remaining, but this is placed on translucent grey overlays across large swathes of the image, which really distracts from composition. A third mode offers a live histogram and rule-of-thirds gridlines, which I generally preferred, but the large histogram display has a solid grey background and therefore completely blocks part of the image.

It’s also possible to use the add-on Visoflex EVF, which essentially duplicates the camera’s display modes in an eye-level finder that can also tilt 90° upwards for shooting at awkward angles. It’s a very good finder – large, sharp and detailed – but at £400 it’s very expensive, and when mounted it adds considerable bulk.

  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 3 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.