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.
Is the Leica X Vario a good camera? The X Vario has a Camera Elo of 1670. 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 ranks below average. – Well, the Leica X Vario is more than 8 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2013.
|Leica X Vario|
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 12 500|
|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|
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.
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.
|1.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|2.||Leica X-U Typ 113||140 mm||79 mm||88 mm||635 g||450||Y||Jan 2016||2,950|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|4.||Leica T||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||133 mm||73 mm||78 mm||486 g||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295|
|6.||Leica X2||124 mm||69 mm||52 mm||345 g||450||n||May 2012||1,995|
|7.||Nikon Df||144 mm||110 mm||67 mm||760 g||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749|
|8.||Nikon Coolpix A||111 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099|
|9.||Panasonic FZ1000||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899|
|10.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|11.||Sony RX1R||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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.
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.
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.
| DXO |
|1.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|2.||Leica X-U Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Nikon Df||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||none||24.6||13.1||3279||89|
|8.||Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80|
|11.||Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
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.
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.
|1.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|2.||Leica X-U Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n|
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.
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.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Leica X-U Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
The X Vario has a zoom lens built in (18-46mm 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.
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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|2.||Leica X-U Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||..||3.5/5||Jan 2016||2,950|
|3.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|4.||Leica T||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850|
|5.||Leica X Typ 113||3.5/5||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295|
|6.||Leica X2||3/5||..||..||3/5||4/5||May 2012||1,995|
|7.||Nikon Df||4/5||..||81/100||4/5||4/5||Nov 2013||2,749|
|8.||Nikon Coolpix A||4/5||+||75/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||1,099|
|9.||Panasonic FZ1000||4/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899|
|10.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|11.||Sony RX1R||5/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799|
|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.
|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 2 850|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||371 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 928 x 3 272 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 - 12 500 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1320|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Size||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||BP-DC8 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||450 shots per charge|
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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