Conclusion: No video recording, sub-standard JPEG quality, a tardy focusing system, and an asking price that comfortably makes it the most expensive compact on the market, the X1 won't be to everyone's liking.
Conclusion: From the moment you pick up the Leica X1, it's a camera you want to love. So much about it is just 'right' - not just the feat of squeezing a relatively large APS-C sensor into a compact body, but also the lovely design and the fluid, intuitive analogue-style exposure controls. It's one of those tactile objects that simply begs to be picked up and used, and its silent operation means you can shoot with it in situations when a DSLR would be unacceptably intrusive.
Pros: Excellent image quality - at least in raw, Best high-ISO performance of any compact camera, bar none, Reliable metering and exposure, Extremely quiet in operation (AF and shutter), Straightforward control layout with analogue-style shutter speed and aperture dials, Good quality build, but still relatively small and lightweight, Well-integrated operation with external optical viewfinder, Price includes copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Cons: Autofocus distinctly slower than most, Unimpressive battery life, Accurate manual focus impossible (lens stops down uncontrollably), Low light operation relatively poor (very slow AF and screen refresh rate), Live histogram unreliable, disappears when setting exposure compensation, ISO only visible in detailed display mode; Auto ISO doesn't show selected value at all, Click stops for control dial 'A' positions not positive enough (particularly on the shutter speed dia...
Summary: If you enjoy shooting with manual focus and selecting aperture and shutter speed yourself, then you’ll likely enjoy the Leica X1. It is able to produce very pleasing images and, unless you plan to print very large, its resolving power should be enough for most photographers.
Excerpt: 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...
Excerpt: The Leica X1 is a compact camera with a fixed lens and an APS-C sized sensor. The camera has the largest sensor in it’s class, dwarfing Micro Four Thirds and the Sigma Foveon. I received some personal hands-on time with the camera. While I wasn’t able to put a card in to take samples (I handled a prototype) the short experience with the camera was overall quite positive and, in fact, it may very well be a camera that will put more pressure on other companies to start...
Summary: The Leica X1 looks and feels like a proper camera that is worthy of the Leica name, and it is capable of recording high-quality raw files.
However, it is let down by its poor AF performance, low-resolution screen and intermittently slow processing. Those who have grown up using Leica M-series cameras may feel that an AF system is anathema, but the problem with focusing manually with the X1 is that the view on the LCD screen isn’t clear enough to be confident or accurate.
Summary: I don’t often reprise products I’ve covered previously, but a firmware upgrade for the Leica X1 ( reviewed here last year ) has made it even more extraordinary than it was then – almost a new camera, in fact. On the surface, the only difference is that the baby of Leica’s most serious, German-made range is now available in black.
Excerpt: Leica's foray into the digital world may have been at a slower and more considered pace than what we're used to seeing, but working in partnership with Panasonic has nevertheless meant that it's managed to saturate a healthy range of the camera market.
The Leica X1 is a beautifully constructed hybrid digital camera with a great quality lens, but is it worth the hefty price tag?
Good Gear Guide.au
10 September 2010
Summary: The Leica X1 is beautifully engineered, and enjoys solid yet lightweight metal construction. It has a great quality lens and is capable of delivering almost three dimensional lifelike images. So what's not to like? Er, have you seen the price? Also users are 'stuck' with the one lens.