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...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Leica X Vario


Leica X Vario review


Price as reviewed:


Leica X Vario review – Our verdict

For the discerning photographer (with deep pockets) the Leica X Vario produces good image quality from a small, lightweight body.

Initially it is hard not to be frustrated by the relatively small maximum aperture of the camera’s fixed zoom lens, especially when many of its comeptitors have fixed f/2 lenses or larger. However, the camera handles very well and produces great images, and for most types of photography that the Leica X Vario will be used for the f/3.5-6.4 aperture shouldn’t be an issue. Overall, the Leica X Vario is an enjoyable camera to use, but it does come at a very high premium.

Leica X Vario – Key features

The Leica X Vario has a hotshoe that is compatible with the Leica SF 24D flash unit.

Accessory socket
Below the hotshoe is a port that allows the Leica EVF 2 electronic viewfinder to be inserted. This EVF has a 1.4-million-pixel resolution.

Built-in flash
The Leica X Vario’s pop-up flash is released via a sliding latch on the rear of the camera. It has a guide number of 5m @ ISO 100.

Behind the door on the side of the camera is a mini USB 2.0 socket and an HDMI socket.

Image: The Leica X Vario is small enough for discreet documentary photography


AF Assistance:Yes, built-in lamp
White Balance:Auto, 5 presets, plus 2 manual, manual colour temperature setting, fine adjustment option for all settings
Built-in Flash:Yes – GN 5m @ ISO 100
Memory Card:SD, SDHC, SDXC
Viewfinder Type:Optional EVF 2 electronic viewfinder
Output Size:4928 x 3272 pixels
Max Flash Sync:1/2000sec
Sensor:APS-C-sized CMOS sensor with 16.2 million effective pixels
White Balance Bracket:No
LCD:3in TFT with 920,000 dots
Exposure Modes:Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual
Weight:650g (without battery or card/s)
Power:Rechargeable Li-Ion BP-DC8 battery
Lens:Leica Vario Elmarit 18-46mm f/3.5-6.4 Asph (equivalent to 28-70mm on 35mm format)
File Format:Raw (DNG) + JPEG simultaneously, JPEG
AF array:1 field, 11 field, spot and face detection
Shutter Speeds:30-1/2000sec in 1EV steps
Drive Mode:Max 3 or 5fps in continuous shooting high or low
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
DoF Preview:No
Focusing Modes:Manual or single-shot AF
ISO:ISO 100-12,500
Dimensions:133 x 73 x 95 mm
Metering System:Multi-field, centreweighted and spot
Connectivity / Interface:USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HDMI
Exposure Comp:±3EV in 1/3EV steps
Compression:2-stage JPEG
RRP:RRP £2,150 or £2,250 as a kit with camera protector and carrying strap
  1. 1. Leica X Vario at a glance:
  2. 2. Leica X Vario review - 18-46mm zoom
  3. 3. Leica X Vario review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Leica X Vario review - Metering
  5. 5. Leica X Vario review - Dynamic range
  6. 6. Leica X Vario review - Autofocus
  7. 7. Leica X Vario review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  8. 8. Leica X Vario review - White balance and colour
  9. 9. Leica X Vario review - Viewfinder, live view and video
  10. 10. Leica X Vario review - The competition
  11. 11. Leica X Vario review - Our verdict
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