Rumours of a new Leica camera proved true in everything but name – the mooted Leica M Mini is in fact called the Leica X Vario and is already available from Leica dealers, with an RRP of $3200.
In most other details, the rumours were correct. It features a Leica Vario Elmar 18-46mm f3.5-6.4 ASPH zoom lens (28 to 70mm in 35mm format) matched with a 16.5-megapixel, APS-C format CMOS sensor.
The new rangefinder-like camera also includes full-HD video recording at 30 frames per second, using the MP4 file format. An integrated wind-noise filter is available for suppressing wind noise in outdoor recordings.
The Leica X Vario’s body design includes features from the Leica M, including the use of premium materials in its construction. Its top panel is machined from solid aluminium, combined with superior quality leather trim with outstanding grip characteristics,.
A straightforward control layout makes it simple to operate with easy switching between manual and automatic control. Dials on the top deck allow quick setting of the shutter speed and aperture. In addition users can change the plane of focus and adjust other imaging parameters to influence the look or mood of images.
The X Vario comes with a 3-inch monitor with 921,600 dots, a wide-angle field of view and 100 percent frame coverage. It uses SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. There’s no built-in viewfinder but an optional Leica EVF 2 Viso-Flex EVF is available, offering a resolution of 1.4 megapixels and 90-degree swivelling. A hot-shoe is provided for the optional Leica SF 24 D flash unit. Other accessories include a hand-grip and lens hood as well as various camera bags, cases and straps. The software bundle includes Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, which can be downloaded free from the Leica website after owners have registered their camera.