Leica X Vario sample images and video previews


Update: check also this post for more sample images and first impressions of the Leica X Vario camera.

PCH Brussels who already have the Leica X Vario camera in stock sent me several full size JPG images taken at different focal lengths and apertures (the biggest aperture at 35mm is f/4.5, at 50mm is f/5.1):

Addition Leica X Vario sample images from around the Web:

Leica X Vario video previews:

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  • m pratt

    I’m curious about the feel and build quality of that lens. It is very plastic and cheap looking – not unlike some DSLR kit lenses that retail for a couple hundred dollars. I’m trying my best to find something positive to write about this camera, but I’m just so disappointed with this release it is very difficult to come up with anything.

    This just seems like something Leica hacked together without any consideration given to their serious users and actual photographers who might enjoy using a new camera. I sound like a broken record, but this really could have been a brilliant camera, a true “Mini M”. Instead we have this non-compact camera that will probably appeal to status-conscious buyers who’s only concern is the red dot.

    • tim

      I personally think this camera has a great design. The button and dial function are many levels above that on offer from the likes of Fuji and Sony both of which seem lack any ability to make a coherent camera … too many buttons doing too many things.

      The autofocus selector, the aperture, the zoom and the shutter speed – each control perfect. The neat row of buttons to the left, the thumb button.

      A real mini-m makes no sense to me. There are already 4 M cameras on the market (M, ME, MM & M7) and making a smaller version, with the same large sensor, is not going to make a smaller price tag! Even and APS-C sensor with the M design is still going to be a 5k+ camera, right.

      This camera is not about specs or price, its about design.

      • m pratt

        And then they slap a giant, bulky, slow zoom lens to the front destroying the much touted compactness of the camera and at the same time somewhat ruining the design! I agree, the overall look and layout is rather nice and very much Leica, but this fixed lens is not only aesthetically awful, but is not going to be a stellar performer in many situations. I would love to see the research that went into this camera.

    • I can share a little about my hands on experience with it yesterday. I was complaining loudly along with everyone else, but decided to head down to the new Leica Soho store here in NYC and see it for myself. It was 30 min from closing time, but I had the place to myself 🙂

      Anyway, I was able to play around with it for a while and here are my thoughts. (coming from a current 5D Mark III and X100 owner)

      -first off, fun fact. apparently the first guy in the door and the first guy to check the camera out was Lou Reed

      -the build quality (particularly on the lens) is one of its best assets. the lens doesn’t photograph well at all, but it’s really solid, and the focusing and zooming are really smooth. sure, I would love to be able to take it off and throw on a fast prime, and wish it was a couple stops faster, but if we are talking purely about the feel and build quality, it’s excellent and better than almost anything in its class. it felt really balanced in my hand. I love the slightly heavier feel vs the Fujis. for this type of camera, I don’t want it to be much smaller or larger. Even the M 240 is a little larger than I want in a perfect world.

      -the autofocus was REALLY surprisingly fast. I’ll let some other nerds measure the actual numbers, but it felt a lot like the X100s. It was shooting as fast as I could whip around and push the shutter and there weren’t many misses. And on continuous at 5fps or so.

      -the screen on the back was nice and clear. the menus are pretty straightforward. the only quirk was that you couldn’t select menu items with the center of the selection wheel on the back, you have to use another button on the left of the screen (no big deal)

      -I was using it with the EVF. crazy that its $500, but definitely the way I would prefer to shoot with it.

      -I neglected to bring an SD card with me, so I can’t judge the image quality at all yet, but I did crank the ISO up and the results on the screen seemed like there might be good news on that front. Again I’ll wait for the pixel peepers to post.

      I feel like I’m the only guy on the internet with something positive to say about the camera, but there are a few positives.

      I’ll get crucified for saying it, but I might actually buy this thing at some point. I would pretty much purely use it as a travel and daylight street photo camera, but I could also use it in certain moments of a wedding, or at parties with the flash. (which I sometimes try with my X100 but that wider 35mm isn’t always the look I want)

      If the light gets low I’ll pull out my X100 or 5D, but the rest of the time it would be nice to have a small, silent, well built, fast camera with a zoom. There are certainly times I want a 70mm that my X100 can’t give me. And in probably 80 percent of my travel photos, I’m totally fine with deep depth of field. It’s just a different way of composing. (as opposed to my weddings when I shoot wide open at 2.8 or lower 80 percent of the day)

      I’m hoping for an Xpro 2 with X100s internals/sensor soon, and that might turn into my ideal travel/street shooter. But I do hope Fuji can improve the build quality a little bit.

      • m pratt

        Thanks for your thorough reply!
        This is good information as it’s always great to hear some opinions based on those who’ve actually held the camera. I’m at least happy to learn the build quality of the lens is on par with Leica’s other efforts.

        It really is such a shame that they could not have developed this zoom further (f2.8 and a smaller profile) and wait to launch the camera until it was perfect.

        I will have to bite my tongue a bit more I suppose and just wait to try out the camera. I would love to have more positive things to say about it.

        • m pratt, can you please change your avatar? It is misleading, since you are not representing Leica.

          • m pratt

            From my posts, you can quite clearly see that I do not support this release. If I was a Leica ‘shill’, I would be writing nothing but praise for this camera, which I am not. I can understand if I wrote nothing buy flowery prose about the X Vario, one might find that questionable. Should a person on a Chevrolet forum be required to remove the bowtie logo, for fear users might think he’s working for GM? Or a Yankees fan be required to remove their logo, because he could be here to make the team look good? It’s utter nonsense.

          • yup

            We’re all fans of the Leica brand. That’s why we’re here.

            What I don’t understand is why you don’t change it since you were asked nicely twice… Does it give you a sense of prestige keeping that there? Are you so much craving for attention?


      • Mardock

        Your better bet will absolutely be to wait for an X-Pro 2. It will be a much more advanced and complete package, with native interchangeable lenses produced now by not only Fuji…and Zeiss as well

        As to build quality, I’m not convinced the Leica’s are “better.” Heavier, to be sure, but I’m not sure that equates to better.

    • aneema_m6

      I don’t think Leica came out with this for “serious users and actual photographers”. It’s a compact camera!…well it’s part of their compact camera line. However, I think there will be “serious users and actual photographers” that may consider this camera because of the sensor size and image quality. For a compact camera, I think it’s a positive release (besides the actual compact size). For it to be considered an M camera, a disappointment.

      “I sound like a broken record, but this really could have been a brilliant camera, a true “‘Mini M'”
      They called the X2 micro m, d lux 6 nano m…neither which are M or comparable to an M…so I think from that you should have known that a “Mini M’ probably wasn’t going to be this great M camera but smaller.

      I wouldn’t get this camera because it doesn’t suit my needs, but I actual do know people who might be considering and they are not “status-conscious buyers who’s only concern is the red dot”. Their concern is image quality, good glass, and what feels right in the hands. A faster lens would have been awesome, but if a camera came out with everything we ever wanted…well…that would be the end of all of this.

  • dannybuoy

    To be fair the sample images I’ve seen so far have been quite impressive, but so they should be for a Leica camera at this price point. I’m sure owners won’t be disappointed with this if they do take the plunge. The only thing holding it back from it being a true M mini would be the shallow DoF and bokeh associated with Leica glass. Shame its not f/2 minimum. Oh well.

    • MJr

      I think you may have a reverse sarcasm disorder.

      • dannybuoy

        Not sure what I’ve got. Reverse sarcasm could be it. But that would be ironic

  • MJr

    Did that guy actually say “A proper zoom lens, not like the tri-elmar where it’s click stops” in that last video.

    Yes, Leica is the first to make a clickless zoom. Genius.

  • J Shin

    > I’m trying my best to find something positive to write about this camera

    Well, delivery was apprently on time. I’m not being sarcastic; this is a big improvement, I think, for Leica.

    • alpha

      Because no one wants it, there’s plenty of stock, probably less than…3?

  • george

    Looks nice, just wish I could use a external flash with the viewfinder. That way it could also be a good backup at social event jobs.

    The samples do have impressive image quality ! It does look better than i expected.

  • ToBe

    perhaps i should buy one… in 20 or 30 years, this camera will be a collectors item because noone bought it…

  • Mythe

    Try to sync it with flash 🙂 it looks like it has a CS.. or sth what work like it 🙂 it sync on each shutter speed.

  • Phil Sewell Mid Wales UK

    Very nice. But to be honest I still struggle to see why anybody would buy a camera with only a view screen but no viewfinder built in. Most people want to take pictures when its sunny and then you can’t see anything in the screen except your own reflection. I suppose this standard was adopted some time ago when people demanded bigger screens, so no space for a traditional view finder. I know….before anybody points it out….that EVF’s are available for this new camera but I hope they are a lot better than the one built into the old Digilux 2! In fairness I should try one.
    Its interesting also to hear that stocks of the new German-built Mini M are seemingly pretty good which is amazing considering the lead times on the M 240…I have an order to place for an M 240 but I won’t place it until I see that delivery times are reasonable.

    • Phil Brown

      With regard to the LCD screen instead of a Leica viewfinder, maybe I’m out of the main stream but it doen’t bother me at all. I shoot view camera as well studio TV camera so it’s fine with me.
      And what’s the obsession with lens speed. It’s hard to use these cameras in available light so who cares?

  • see4eye

    Is the pictured handgrip compatible with X2?

    • MJr

      Doubt it. Different size body.

  • This camera would get a totally different opinion if it comes with a f2.8 constant aperture or even a f2.8 (wide) – f4 (tele) variable aperture

    • Ramayana

      Right. And then you might as well just buy a mid-range DSLR for the same size and weight. *rolleyes

      • It’s already big to begin with, so what’s the difference if it becomes slightly larger. Probably they can’t get to make a small constant f/2.8, but I can’t find why they cannot do a f2.8 to f4 camera at the price they are charging.

        Besides, there’s already a 18-55 f/2.8 interchangeable APSC lens in the market, Leica is not building an interchangeable lens, they could get the lens as close to the sensor as possible (reduce lens size), look at the Sony RX1, sure it has a fixed prime lens, but its a full frame camera and it’s amazing they are able to get it to that size.

        Oh and it’s a mirrorless w/ a non-interchangeable lens, so in no way it’ll be heavier then a mid-range DSLR.

  • someone not important

    Well, the aperture wheel can be removed within a second and exchanged with the one from the X2…
    and voilà, F/2.8 we have…HA!

  • yup

    m pratt – I don’t like your Leica logo… makes you look somehow official, which you’re obviously not.

    Please remove/change. Thx.

  • Omfg


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