The Leica X (Typ 113) is a new camera which got marketed as a point and shoot. Thereby it got ragingly bad reviews, because it truly isn’t a point and shoot. It’s a Leica. Yes, it has AF, and auto settings for both aperture and shutter speed, however, it isn’t great when using these. After all, it doesn’t have to be; it’s a Leica. The great image depth doesn’t only exist with the Leica M; the Leica X has it. It also feels just as beautiful and humbling as an M, but it doesn’t cost 6995€ it costs a mere (it’s all relative) 1850€.
Am I saying that it’s the same quality as a Leica M? No, obviously not. I wouldn’t dare to, but it still truly does have astounding image quality. The only large criticism, the only one which does sometimes get annoying is the ISO; above 800 it really can’t be used without large negatives.
The general stats are as followed:
· 16.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
· Leica Summilux 23mm f/1.7 (35mm Equivalent)
· 3.0” 920k-Dot TFT LCD, Manual Focus Ring
· Full HD Video at 30 fps, ISO 12500
· Up to 5 fps Shooting, DNG File Recording
· Magnesium & Aluminium Body with Leather Trim
· Handmade in Germany
16.2MP isn’t incredible but many cameras have this amount, without any large losses. It is plenty large enough for any standardized print. Yet the nice numbers and statistics aren’t what a Leica is about. Leicas are handmade pieces of art, created to take the rawest of photography. The rawest form of photography doesn’t however include AF or any other technological features. It’s about the basics, and the basics are where this camera excels. It isn’t a camera with many gadgets, nor any fancy features however the photo as such it does with a brilliance that I haven’t seen in any other cameras that I have used.
There is however one feature which I continuously use, just because of its jaw dropping beauty. Film Mode: Black and White High Contrast. When this mode is selected, the camera saves a JPG and a DNG file, the DNG is in the standard color setting, while the JPG is in the high contrast black and white. Not only does this setting change the JPG but also the screen, i.e when looking for the shot you see the world in B/W rather than the standardised colour.
When using my Nikon D4s, I never managed to blend in, nor did I manage to not draw attention to myself. This is truly the area that every Leica excels in. At first glance it’s a small unprofessional looking camera, with a small body. Yet the power it holds within is what truly makes it incredible. For street and documentary photography even the Leica X is something so small yet so powerful.
The only thing which hinders me, in my pursuit of unedited and non-staged photography is the missing viewfinder. This is however an add-on which can be purchased, however for a staggering Leicaesque price of 425€ yet I am of the opinion that I will be buying it as soon as possible to make this camera as great as I had ever wanted.
This camera isn’t a Leica M, nor does it pretend to be. No, it doesn’t have every gadget under the sun like my Nikon D4s, but it is this Leica X camera which gives me the opportunity to try and hopefully achieve my goals. I love this camera and I am ever so proud of it.