Go to:
Previous Item
Current News
Next Item

Leica Camera AG logo. Click to visit Leica's US website! Leica announces fixed-lens APS-C compact
(Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 02:47 EDT)

Like Sigma's DP1 and DP2 before it, the newly announced Leica X1 couples a fixed focal length lens with a much larger image sensor than is found in the typical compact digital camera.

The Leica X1 is based around a twelve megapixel APS-C sized CMOS imager with Bayer RGB filter. The X1's lens offers a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 36mm, and a maximum aperture of f/2.8. ISO sensitivities range from 100 to 3,200, and images are framed on a 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 dots of resolution.

The X1 offers three metering modes, and four exposure modes including a fully manual mode. Autofocusing is via eleven-point contrast detection and includes face detection capability, and the Leica X1 also allows manual focusing. The X1 has eight white balance settings including two Manual modes, and as well as a built-in popup flash the X1 features a hot shoe for external strobes.

One feature offered by both of Sigma's cameras that is conspicuously absent from the Leica X1 is a movie mode. The X1 records only Raw or JPEG still images, which are stored in 50MB of built-in memory, or onto Secure Digital cards. Connectivity options include high-definition video output and USB 2.0 High Speed data. Power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery.

The Leica X1 ships in the USA from December 2009, and pricing has not been disclosed at this time. For more details, read our Leica X1 preview.

Leica X1
Leica's X1 digital camera. Photo provided by Leica Camera AG. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeCompact
Model NumberX1
Dimensions4.9 x 2.3 x 1.3 in.
(124 x 60 x 32 mm)
Weight10.1 oz
(286 g)
Planned AvailabilityDecember 2009
Image Capture
Sensor TypeCMOS
APS-C (approx. 1.12 in. diagonal)
12.90 megapixels (total)
12.20 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Aspect Ratio3:2
Image Dimensions4272 x 2856 (12.2 megapixels)
3264 x 2160 (7.1 megapixels)
2144 x 1424 (3.1 megapixels)
1632 x 1080 (1.8 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 3.0 frames per second for 6 frames
Image Preview / Review
LCD2.7 in. diagonal
230,000 dots (approx. 77,000 pixels)
100% field of view
Lens TypeLeica Elmarit
Image StabilizationNo
Focal Length24.0mm (actual)
36mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/2.8 - f/16.0 in 1/3EV steps
Focusing System11 or 1-point contrast detection w/ face detect and high-speed mode
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing RangeNormal: 24" - infinity (60 cm - infinity)
Macro: 12.2" - 4,082" (30 cm - 10,000 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Shutter Speed30 - 1/2000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering ModesIntelligent Multiple, Center-weighted, Spot
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Tungsten, Daylight, Flash, Cloudy, Shadow, Manual 1, Manual 2
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Auto w/ red-eye reduction, On, On w/ red-eye reduction, Slow-sync, Slow-sync w/ red-eye reduction, Studio
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Self TimerYes, 2 or 12 seconds
Time LapseNo
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, Built-in
File Format.DNG Raw, JPEG
VideoHigh definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: No
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary
Product Bundle
SoftwareAdobe Photoshop Lightroom (free download after registration)
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory50.0MB built-in memory
Internal MicrophoneNo
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo

Original Source Press Release:

The new generation: LEICA X1 – Cutting-edge compact digital camera merges classic design with high-performance photography

Leica Camera AG presents a new generation of Leica digital cameras – the LEICA X1. The LEICA X1, made in Germany, is equipped with a CMOS sensor in APS-C format, similar to those used in semi-professional DSLR cameras. Together with an all-purpose LEICA ELMARIT 1:2.8/24 mm lens, the particularly large sensor for this class of camera offers outstanding picture quality that need not fear comparisons with professional cameras. In addition to its technical specifications and a broad spectrum of setting options ranging from manual operation to automatic functions, the LEICA X1 is an ideal companion for quality-conscious and creative photographers. The camera’s compact form makes it a constant companion for spontaneously capturing the unique moments in life.

The X1 features a 12.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor; as each individual pixel has a large sensor area and receives more light, this guarantees low noise levels, a high dynamic range and accurate color differentiation. The crop factor of the sensor is 1.5 in comparison with 35-mm film format, meaning that the fixed-mount LEICA ELMARIT 1:2.8/24 mm lens of the LEICA X1 is transformed into a universal reportage lens with an effective (35-mm equivalent) focal length of 36 millimeters. This is a true classic among prime lenses and has captured innumerable iconic images.

”The LEICA ELMARIT 1:2.8/24 ASPH is a true Leica lens that embodies the terrific optical performance that is standard with Leica lenses . Its moderate wide-angle character creates sufficient distance when needed, but still allows photographers to get close enough to pick out specific details. This lens ensures that photographers won’t miss any shot, situation or detail, however fine,” says Peter Kruschewski, Product Manager Digital Compact Cameras at Leica Camera AG.

The LEICA X1 is characterized by clear lines and an intensely focused design. The straightforwardness of its design, with a focus on pure essentials and a compact, handy form, is strongly reminiscent of the legendary M cameras. In combination with its famed aesthetic, the robust, all-metal construction and the tactile experience of its high-quality leather trim make the X1 a true Leica camera.

The LEICA X1 has clear, intuitive functions thanks to its simple operating concept. For uncomplicated photography, the X1 offers numerous automatic functions ranging from precise autofocus to automatic exposure. When set, these functions guarantee photographers perfectly exposed, sharp images by simply pressing the shutter release. This lets the user concentrate on the creative aspects of composition and framing.

Thanks to its numerous automatic functions, the X1 remains quick and versatile in any situation. Photographers have additional creative freedom with the camera’s manual control options - both aperture and shutter speed can be selected manually to influence the final image by using the dials located in familiar positions on the top deck of the camera. Even the plane of focus can be set manually, along with white balance and various other image capture parameters. In this way, the X1 offers photographers complete manual control of the creative process while simultaneously guaranteeing rapid reaction ability with its automatic functions when required.

The large size of its image sensor, a maximum sensitivity of ISO 3200 and its large aperture make the LEICA X1 an ideal choice for ‘available light’ photography when only the last rays of natural light are exist. Whether in adverse lighting conditions, or for conscious manipulation of depth of focus – the X1 offers numerous options for individual and creative composition.

The brilliant 2.7-inch display practically fills the entire back of the camera and reveals the finest details even in bright surroundings. The live-view function replaces an optical viewfinder and shows an accurate preview with all essential image information. Its “Live Mode” also makes the X1 particularly versatile for shots taken from unusual perspectives.

The LEICA X1 offers a comprehensive range of accessories that expand the abilities of the camera and adapt it to the photographer’s personal photographic style: a 36-mm bright-line accessory, for instance, can be inserted in the camera’s accessory shoe and ensures a clear view without unnecessary power drain. If required, the camera display can be turned off when an accessory finder is used. In this case, a prominently placed LED indicates successful automatic focusing. In addition to the LED, there is an accessory handgrip that aids the safe and secure handling of the camera. A comprehensive range of camera cases is also available: the ever-ready case offers sufficient room for the camera (with handgrip) and features a small case attached to the carrying strap to hold the accessory finder. The high-quality transport case offers perfect protection for the camera, while the attractively designed system case has space enough for the camera and all its accessories.

The LEICA X1 features a retractable flash that, in addition to simply replacing other sources of light, serves as a fill-in flash that can be synchronized to the second shutter curtain. If more power and flexibility is required, the Leica SF 24D and SF 58 system flash units are also compatible with the X1.

The LEICA X1 is supplied with a battery charger and a high-performance battery, and also includes a comprehensive software package. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, is also one of the standard features provided with the X1. The software is available as an online download for all registered LEICA X1 customers. This also ensures that the latest release is always readily available. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom offers a vast range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images, quite independent of whether the images are in space-saving and fast jpeg format or in DNG format to preserve all image information. If the images from the X1 are saved as raw data in the standardized and future-proof Adobe Digital Negative Format (DNG), Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, with its sophisticated and precise processing options, guarantees direct and extremely high-quality image processing with maximized image quality.

The LEICA X1 is available at authorized Leica dealers from December 2009. The optional accessories will be available after the market-launch of the camera.

Go to:
Previous Item
Current News
Next Item