Hands on: Leica X Vario review

We get our hands on Leica's new compact camera

What is a hands on review?
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Leica X Vario review

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Taken at the 28mm end of the zoom lens.

Leica X Vario review

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Taken at the 70mm end of the lens.

Leica X Vario review

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There's lots of detail visible in this JPEG image captured at ISO 400.

Leica X Vario review

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This raw file was shot at ISO 12,500, the highest sensitivity setting available on the Leica X Vario. There's some discolouration and a granular texture visible in the darker parts of the image, but the level of detail retained is still pretty impressive - despite the fact that it was shot through a window.

Leica X Vario review

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The shadow areas of this JPEG shot are more neutral, but at 100% on screen the detail looks slightly softer than in the simultaneously captured raw file.

Leica X Vario review

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Taken at ISO 6400 this image has fine textured noise. The Smart multi-segment metering system has coped well with this lighter than average subject.

Leica X Vario review

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The results from the Black and White Natural Film Mode look pretty good straight from the camera, although with Lightroom 5 being supplied as part of the package most users are likely to use this mode as a guide only, and edit raw files.

Leica X Vario review

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Chromatic aberration appears to be very well controlled, with only a few signs of it here and there.

Leica X Vario review

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Straight from the camera, raw file skin tones look a little too vibrant, but this would only take a moment to adjust to taste using the supplied Lightroom 5 software.

Leica X Vario review

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The simultaneously captured JPEG files look flatter and less saturated.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.