With its 16.2-million-pixel, APS-C-sized sensor and fixed 18-46mm f/3.5-6.4 lens, is the Leica X Vario the camera Leica enthusiasts have been waiting for? Ian Farrell finds out. Read the Leica X Vario X review...
Leica X Vario review – The competition
The Leica X Vario doesn’t have much direct competition since it’s really the only large-sensor compact camera to feature a zoom lens. The closest competitor is Canon’s PowerShot G1 X, which has a 14-million-pixel 18.7×14.3mm sensor and a 28-112mm (equivalent) f/2.8-5.8 zoom, but this isn’t as large as the Leica’s sensor. The G1 X costs around £400.
There are plenty of fixed prime lens compacts available. Around the same price point as the Leica X Vario is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 – a full-frame compact with a fast 35mm f/2 Zeiss lens. For £2,200, the RX1 delivers staggering image quality, but it is perhaps not as versatile as the Leica. Then there’s Fujifilm’s X100S, which features an APS-C-sized sensor, a fixed 35mm f/2 lens and costs £1,000.
Perhaps more competition comes from the compact system camera market, with a body and standard zoom combination like the Fujifilm X-E1 and XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS lens. The X-E1 is a similarly specified camera to the Leica, and its standard lens is not only faster but features built-in image stabilisation to keep things steady.