Leica announces new APS-C format compact camera

Mini M uses the same sensor as the X2

After a managed rumour campaign that revealed a glimpse of a new camera nicknamed the Mini M, Leica has announced the Leica X Vario.

Like the Leica X2, the Leica X Vario is a compact camera so it has a fixed lens, however the new model's optic is a zoom with an effective focal range of 28-70mm. Maximum aperture varies from f/3.5 at the wideangle end to f/6.4 at the telephoto end.

Leica has given the X Vario the same 16.1-million-effective-pixel APS-C format sensor as the X2, but we are told that developments made with the image processing mean the images are a little cleaner and more detailed at the higher sensitivity values.

Unlike the Leica X2, the Leica X Vario is capable of shooting Full HD video (1080p) at 30fps in MP4 format.

Read our hands on Leica X Vario review - complete with sample images.

Machined aluminium

Leica X Vario

Leica has used the same process and materials for the X Vario as it did for the Leica M, and the top plate is machined from solid aluminium.

A ring on the X Vario lens enables you to switch between automatic and manual focus, while a second ring is provided for changing focal length. Dials on the top of the camera are provided for setting shutter speed and aperture.

On the back of the camera is a 3-inch 920,000-dot LCD screen, which is used for composing and reviewing images in the absence of the optional electronic viewfinder (EVF).

Included software

Leica X Vario

The Leica X Vario is supplied with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5, which is available for download once the camera has been registered.

Availability and price

The Leica X Vario is available in a black finish and goes on sale immediately. It costs £2,150 (around AU$3,540 / US$3,340).

A set that includes the Leica X Vario, a leather camera protector and a strap in tan leather retails for £2,250 (around AU$3,705 / US$3,490).

The EVF 2 Viso-Flex electronic viewfinder is priced at £380 (around AU$625/US$590), while the lens hood is £90 (around AU$148/US$140), the handgrip £100 (around AU$165 / US$155), the leather camera protector in black or tan is £90 and the leather ever-ready case in black or tan is £180 (around AU$295 / US$280).


Head of Testing, Cameras

Angela (Twitter, Google+, website) is head of testing for Future's photography portfolio, writing and overseeing reviews of photographic equipment for Digital Camera, Photography Week, PhotoPlus, NPhoto and Practical Photoshop as well as TechRadar's cameras channel. Angela has a degree in photography and multimedia and prior to joining Future in October 2010 was Amateur Photographer magazine's technical editor.