Overall Rating:


Leica X Vario



Price as Reviewed:


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 – Viewfinder, live view and video

The 920,000-dot screen on the rear of the X Vario is a significant improvement on the 230,000-dot affair seen on the X1 and  X2. Image quality is easily enough to allow manual focusing in live-view mode, which is something that was difficult with other X-series cameras. Shooting in bright sunlight is tricky but manageable, and there aren’t too many reflections to distract when reviewing or composing.

An optional electronic viewfinder is available in the shape of the EVF 2 Visoflex. I didn’t have chance to use this with the X Vario, but I am familiar with the unit as it’s the same one available for the new M Type 240 as well as the older X2 camera.

As EVFs go, it’s a good example, with a 1.4-million-dot resolution and the ability to hinge up through 90° for easy shooting from low-down angles. In fact, it’s a pity the EVF 2 Visoflex isn’t included as standard. (It should be noted that Olympus’s VF-2 electronic viewfinder is the same as the EVF 2 Visoflex, but significantly cheaper).

The X Vario can capture full HD video at 30fps in MP4 format, which doesn’t need anything doing to it before it can be viewed and uploaded to sites like Vimeo and YouTube. The camera features a dedicated video capture control, so there’s no need to swap over to a movie mode. The manual-focus ring can be used to create some nifty pull-focus effects, and the film modes provide plenty of scope for creativity, particularly the black & white (high-contrast) setting. It’s a shame there is no external mic or headphone socket.

  • 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

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