Feeds
70%
Leica X1

Leica X1 APS-C compact camera

Latest firmware tweaks on test

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Imaging resource

Evidently, the X1 is not a fast shooter in any respect but when you get to spend some time with it then its more enduring qualities shine through. If you can accommodate its slow pace you’ll be impressed by its refreshing ease of use and its amazing photographic strengths.

Leica X1

The picture quality of the images the X1 produces is nothing short of stunning. The richness of detail in both shadows and highlights, the smooth tonal gradation, the superb Bokeh and the lack of any lens aberration are truly commendable; outclassing any compact currently on the market and, no doubt, a few DSLRs too.

White balance was consistently good in every situation and exposure metering reliably accurate. Noise performance is terrific and by far the best I’ve seen in a compact. Images are sharp throughout the sensitivity range with only limited noise appearing from 1600. The noise that does show is mostly of the luminance type though, somewhat comparable to a grainy film and, which, in my view, is not at all unpleasant.

The X1’s RAW capture is in the DNG (digital negative) format developed by Adobe. The camera can shoot in JPEG mode or JPEG+DNG but not DNG alone. It uses SD and SDHC memory cards and has a nominal battery life of 260 images per charge but the battery I was issued with didn’t last nearly as long as that, so you should budget for a spare.

Leica X1

Retro flourishes are appealing, but a better display and a more responsive AF would be more practical at this price

Verdict

The Leica X1 easily delivers the best image quality in its category, as you’d expect from the company, but, at the price of a DSLR, with a few performance issues still unresolved and a mediocre LCD screen, it’s unlikely it will win over large shares of compact users.

Having said that, if you are a photo purist, a die-hard Leica aficionado or need the best picture quality a compact can offer, then the X1 is worth every single penny. And considering Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is also included, which costs around £250, it could well be a price worth paying. ®

Catherine Monfils is a professional photographer specialising in portraiture, lifestyle and fashion.

More Compact Camera Reviews…

Ten…
Pocket compacts
Nikon
Coolpix P300
Fujifilm
Finepix X100
Olympus
PEN E-PL2
Leica
M9

The essential guide to IT transformation

70%
Leica X1

Leica X1 APS-C compact camera

APS-C shooter with a top quality wide-angle lens and neat manual controls.
Price: £1425 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?