Leica X-U (Typ 113) Review

 
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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Leica X-U (Typ 113)
Resolution: 16.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: APS-C
(23.6mm x 15.7mm)
Lens: Non-Zoom
(35mm eq.)
Viewfinder: No / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 12,500
Extended ISO: 100 - 12,500
Shutter: 1/2000 - 30 seconds
Max Aperture: 1.7
Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.1 x 3.5 in.
(140 x 79 x 88 mm)
Weight: 22.4 oz (635 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 01/2015
Manufacturer: Leica
Full specs: Leica X-U (Typ 113) specifications
16.20
Megapixels
Non-Zoom APS-C
size sensor
image of Leica X-U (Typ 113)
Front side of Leica X-U (Typ 113) digital camera Front side of Leica X-U (Typ 113) digital camera Front side of Leica X-U (Typ 113) digital camera Front side of Leica X-U (Typ 113) digital camera Front side of Leica X-U (Typ 113) digital camera

Leica X-U Review -- First Impressions

by and Zig Weidelich
Preview posted:

If you've ever thought that either your Leica was too valuable to shoot near water or that you would want to purchase a Leica, but would be too nervous to really expose it to the elements, Leica's new X-U Typ 113 camera is something you'll want to hear about!

The new Leica X-U is rugged and ready for whatever you throw at it. It is waterproof, shockproof and dustproof, and even has an integrated underwater protection glass filter. The German-made camera body features a plastic core, aluminum top and bottom plates, and is wrapped in protective, grippy thermoplastic elastomer cladding.

The Leica X-U Typ 113 is waterproof down to 49 feet (15 meters) and shockproof to falls from 4 feet (1.2 meters). When shooting underwater, you can even utilize the camera's new Underwater mode with a single button press, and there's an optional floating strap accessory available as well.

The Leica X-U has a built-in flash, but to help maintain structural integrity as well as to maximize range underwater, the integrated flash is located above the front of the lens rather than on top of the camera body.

Leica X-U Review -- Product Image

The fixed focal length lens is a 35mm equivalent Summilux ASPH (23mm actual focal length) with a fast f/1.7 maximum aperture. The optical design consists of ten elements in eight groups with four aspherical surfaces, and the lens can focus as close as 20cm (7.9 inches).

Inside the X-U is a 16.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. The Leica X-U has an ISO range of 100 to 12,500 and can capture images at up to 5 frames-per-second for a total of seven frames. The X-U is also capable of recording high-definition video up to 1080p resolution at 30 frames-per-second with stereo sound.

Leica X-U Review -- Product Image

Leica's design philosophy for the X-U has focused on simplicity and efficiency, so that you never miss a moment out in the field. The camera has been designed (in conjunction with Audi Design) to be streamlined, with dedicated dials for shutter speed and aperture, and the lens features a wide focusing ring with handy distance markings (there's also a manual focus assist mode which automatically magnifies the center of the preview by 6x when the lens ring is turned).

Buttons are provided for quick access to commonly used functions such as movie mode, focus mode, white balance, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, self-timer, flash mode, and the aforementioned Underwater (UW) mode, and quick access to drive modes is provided via the power switch around the shutter button.

Leica X-U Review -- Product Image

In lieu of a viewfinder, the Leica X-U has a 3-inch 920k-dot LCD monitor on the back. The non-slip camera body also has a hardened protective cover over the LCD and a double locking system for the battery and memory card compartment, which is said to be failsafe. 

And to further reduce the chance of leakage, the X-U does not include USB or HDMI connectivity, nor any other type of port. What looks to be a flash hot shoe is actually just an accessory shoe with a cover installed; the Leica X-U does not support external flash units except of course those that can be triggered by the built-in flash.

Leica X-U Review -- Product Image

Power comes courtesy of a proprietary 3.7V 1600mAh lithium-ion battery pack rated at 450 shots per charge, and the camera stores JPEG and DNG (RAW) images as well as MP4 movies on a single SD/SDHC/SDXC card. There's no built-in Wi-Fi capability, but the camera is compatible with FlashAir cards.

The Leica X-U Typ 113 will be available by the end of January 2016, and will retail for a suggested list price of US$2,950. Optional accessories include a floating neck strap for US$95 and a wrist strap for US$65.

 

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