The Leica X1 has a large DSLR-like APS-C CMOS sensor in a compact body for the ultimate quality, but is the X1 the ultimate luxury fixed-lens compact? The What Digital Camera Leica X1 review...

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Leica X1

Overall score:80%
Image Quality:95%


  • Good quality optic, unique build


  • Price, LCD resolution & size, ‘Image Stabilization’


Leica X1 Review


Price as reviewed:



Leica X1The X1 is no ordinary camera. Designed very specifically to facilitate a fairly niche area of the market, its fixed 24mm (36mm equivalent) will rule out many buyers looking for something altogether different – and for less than the £1395 asking price. For those in the know, however, the combination of a large APS-C sized CMOS sensor and an f/2.8 24mm (36mm equiv.) fine lens does result in excellent images.

There are a number of issues however: the AF system isn’t lightning-fast; the lens won’t focus closer than 30cm which wildly limits macro capabilities (fairly requisite for a mid-wide 36mm lens); the screen is small, not of great quality, mightily fond of fingerprints and tricky to see in sunlight; and the Image Stabilization mode is ineffective for its outlined purpose.

Some will love what the X1 has to offer and, after much use, it is a fun little camera that offers a unique shooting experience as well as great pictures. But at such a high asking price and with a number of issues in use, this is strictly one for the hardened Leica fan.


Dimensions:124mm x 32mm x 59.5mm
Weight:286g (without battery)
Other:Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 download included
Connectivity:HDMI, USB
Power:Rechargeable li-ion battery
ISO Range:100-3200
White Balance:Auto, halogen, daylight, flash, cloudy, shadow, manual 1, manual 2, 2-axis manual adjustment
Flash Modes:Auto, Auto Red Eye, Forced On, Slow Sync, Slow Sync Red Eye, Studio
Memory Card:SD / SDHC (plus 50MB iinternal)
Metering System:Intelligent multiple, centre-weighted, spot
Exposure Modes:P, A, S, M,
Shutter Speeds:1/2000th-2sec and Bulb
File Formats:Raw (DNG) + JPEG, JPEG
LCD:2.7in, 270k-dot
Lens:Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 lens (a 36mm equivalent in full-frame 35mm terms)
Sensor:12.2MP APS-C Type CMOS
  1. 1. Leica X1 review - Features
  2. 2. Performance, Image Quality & Value
  3. 3. Verdict
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