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Leica X Vario Comparison Review

The Leica X Vario (Typ 107) is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in June 2013 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 16.1 megapixel.

camera

The Leica X Vario has a Camera Elo of 1551. This rating puts the X Vario below average of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the X Vario also falls below average. – Well, the Leica X Vario is more than 5 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2013.

Headline Specifications
Leica X Vario
Fixed lens compact camera
28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12500
Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second
450 shots per battery charge
133 x 73 x 95 mm, 680 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Leica X Vario relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Leica X Vario vs credit card front
X Vario versus credit card top view
X Vario and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Leica X Vario alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
 
Canon SX60« » 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Leica X-U Typ 113« » 140 mm 79 mm 88 mm 635 g 450 Y Jan 2016 2,950 i i Leica X-U Typ 113
 
Leica Q Typ 116« » 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249- i Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica T« » 134 mm 69 mm 33 mm 384 g 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 830 g 360 n Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Leica X Typ 113« » 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
 
Nikon Df« » 144 mm 110 mm 67 mm 760 g 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
 
Ricoh GR« » 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX1R« » 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Leica X Vario was launched in the US market at a price of $2,850. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Leica X Vario:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Leica X Vario features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Leica X Vario among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Leica X Vario sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
 
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
 
Leica X-U Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X-U Typ 113
 
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X Typ 113
 
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
 
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
 
Ricoh GR« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The X Vario indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the X Vario can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Leica X Vario along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Leica X Vario- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
 
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
 
Leica X-U Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X-U Typ 113
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Leica T
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
 
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n Nikon Df
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
 
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R

One convenient feature of the X Vario is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Leica X Vario (Typ 107) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
 
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
 
Leica X-U Typ 113« »Ystereomono---2.0---Leica X-U Typ 113
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica T« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica T
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Leica X Typ 113« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Typ 113
 
Nikon Df« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon Df
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
 
Ricoh GR« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX1R« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1R
 

The X Vario has a zoom lens built in (18-46.0mm f/3.5-6.4), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 28 to 70mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X Vario handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica X Vario--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
 
Canon SX60« »++75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
 
Leica X-U Typ 113« »----3.5/5 Jan 2016 2,950 i i Leica X-U Typ 113
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249- i Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
 
Leica V-LUX Typ 114« »----5/5 Sep 2014 1,349 i i Leica V-LUX Typ 114
 
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
 
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »++82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
 
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
 
Sony RX1R« »--4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica X Vario FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the X Vario.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the X Vario based on?

The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the X Vario?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12500.

Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?

Yes, Leica provides the EVF 2 as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.

Does the Leica X Vario feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the X Vario use?

The camera gets its power from the BP-DC8 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Leica X Vario
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date June 2013
    Launch Price USD 2850
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 370.52 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4928 x 3272 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.80 μm
    Pixel Density 4.35 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-12500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1320
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BP-DC8 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)450 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 73 x 95 mm
    (5.2 x 2.9 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz)

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