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Leica X1 review

April 24, 2010

Overall Rating:

3

Leica X1


  • Star rating:

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£1,395.00

A compact camera from a prestige brand such as Leica always attracts attention, yet its APS-C-format sensor makes the X1 even more enticing. We review the Leica X1...

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The competition

Sigma is the only other manufacturer to offer a compact camera with an APS-C-sized sensor, in the form of the DP1, DP2, and the DP2s.

Image: Sigma DP2

These cameras have a Foveon 3X Direct Image sensor (CMOS), which produces a full-colour signal at each photosite. Sigma claims this enables the 4.6-million-pixel cameras to produce images comparable with 14-million-pixel models. However, our tests of the DP1 and DP2 indicate that seven or eight million pixels is nearer the mark.

With a street price of around £1,395, the X1 costs more than many entry-level DSLR kits, although these are bulkier, and a compact-styled hybrid camera like the 12.1-million-pixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 is the more likely competition.

Image: Panasonic Lumix GF1

This camera, which accepts interchangeable lenses, can be bought as a kit with the Lumix G Vario 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens, or the Lumix G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Mega OIS.

  • AF Assistance: Yes, built-in lamp range approximately 3m
  • Built-in Flash: Yes – GN 5m @ ISO 100
  • White Balance: Auto, 5 presets, plus 2 manual, fine adjustment along amber/blue, green/magenta axis and Kelvin values
  • Viewfinder Type: Optional optical device
  • Memory Card: SD and SDHC
  • Output Size: 4272x2856 pixels
  • LCD: 2.7in TFT with 230,000 dots (approx 76,600 pixels)
  • White Balance Bracket: No
  • Sensor: CMOS with 12.2 million effective pixels
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/2000sec with built-in flash
  • Weight: 615g (without battery or card/s)
  • Exposure Modes: Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual
  • Power: Rechargeable D-LI50 Li-Ion battery
  • Lens: Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 Asph (equivalent to 36mm on 35mm format)
  • File Format: Raw (DNG) + JPEG simultaneously, JPEG
  • AF array: 195 individually selectable points, or automatic selection of one of 11 points. These 11 points can also be grouped into 5 collections to target the focus area
  • Shutter Speeds: 30secs-1/2000sec in 1EV steps
  • Drive Mode: Max 3fps in Continuous High, for up to 6 raw (DNG), 6 JPEG or 6 raw + JPEG files
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Compression: Two-stage JPEG
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1/3EV steps
  • RRP: £1,395
  • ISO: 100-3200 in 1EV steps
  • Focusing Modes: Manual or single-shot AF
  • DoF Preview: No
  • Dimensions: 141.5x101x70mm
  • Metering System: 256-area intelligent multiple metering, centreweighted and spot

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