LEICA X1 High Performance Digital Camera In A Compact Design

Leica Camera AG, Solms, presents a new generation of Leica digital cameras ‘Made in Germany’ – the LEICA X1. The LEICA X1 is equipped with a CMOS sensor in APS-C format, just like those used in semi-professional DSLR cameras.

X1 Front

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. This, in combination with its technical specifications and a broad spectrum of setting options ranging from manual operation to automatic functions, makes the LEICA X1 an ideal companion for quality-conscious and creative photographers. At the same time, the camera is so compact in form that it can be a constant companion for spontaneously capturing those unique moments in life.

Image Sensor

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 colour differentiation. The crop factor of the sensor is 1.5 in comparison with 35-mm film format. This means 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 millimetres. This is a true classic amongst prime lenses and has captured innumerable iconic images.

X1 Top


‘The LEICA ELMARIT 1:2.8/24 ASPH is a true Leica lens with terrific optical performance. Its moderate wide-angle character creates sufficient distance when needed, but still allows photographers to get in close to pick out the details whenever the situation requires. 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.


X1 Slant

The LEICA X1 is characterised by clear lines and an intensely focused design. The straightforwardness of its design, with a reduction to pure essentials and a compact, handy form, is strongly reminiscent of the legendary M cameras. This, in combination with its robust, all-metal construction and the tactile experience of its high-quality leather trim, makes the X1 a typical Leica camera.

Operating Concept

The LEICA X1 offers clearly laid-out functions and can be handled intuitively 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.


X1 Back

Thanks to its numerous automatic functions, the X1 is always quick and versatile whenever the need arises. Photographers win 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 means of the easily set dials 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 used. Whether in adverse lighting conditions, or for conscious manipulation of depth of focus – the X1 offers numerous options for individual and creative composition.


The brilliantly bright 2.7-inch display of the X1 almost 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.


X1 Front Flash Grip

The LEICA X1 offers a comprehensive range of accessories that expand the abilities of the camera and adapt it to the photographers 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 this, there is also 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 an attached 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 can do much more than simply replace other sources of light. It also serves as a fill-in flash and can even be synchronised 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.

Scope of delivery

The LEICA X 1 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 maximised image quality.


The LEICA X1 is available from authorised Leica dealers from January 2010. The optional accessories will be available after the market-launch of the camera.

Technical data LEICA X1

8 elements in 6 groups
1 aspherical lens
Optical zoom No
Digital Zoom No
Focal Distance f = 24 mm (35 mm Equivalent: 36 mm)
Aperture F2.8 / F16.0 (1/3EV steps)
Focusing Area Normal: 60 cm - infinity
Macro 30 cm - infinity
Manual Focus 30 cm - infinity
AF Metering 1-point / 1-point high speed /11-point / 11-point high speed / Spot / face detection
AF Assist Lamp Yes
Image Sensor APS-C CMOS sensor, 12.9 megapixels, aspect ratio 3:2
Camera Effective Pixels 12,2 Megapixels
ISO Sensitivity Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200
White Balance Auto / Halogen / Daylight / Flash / Cloudy / Shadow/ Manual 1 / Manual 2
White Balance Adjustment (2 axis)
Exposure Program automatic / Aperture priority automatic / Shutter priority automatic / Manual
Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV step, -3 - +3 EV
Auto Bracketing 1/3 - 3EVstep, 3 frames
Light Metering Intelligent Multiple / Center weighted / Spot
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/2000 sec
Self Timer 2 sec / 12 sec
Auto Review 1 sec / 3 sec / 5 sec / hold
Film Mode Standard, Vivid, Natural, BW Natural, BW High Contrast
Recording Format JPEG, DNG
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Image Size 4272 x 2586 pixels (12.2M), 3264 x 2160 pixels (7M), 2144 x 1424 pixels (3M), 1632 x 1080 pixels (1.8M)
Image Quality JPG Super Fine / JPG Fine / DNG + JPG Super Fine / DNG + JPG Fine
Motion Picture: No
Burst Shooting Mode 3 fps / 2 fps
Max pictures in JPEG FINE + RAW 6 pictures
Built-in-Memory Approx. 50 MB
Built-in-Flash Auto, Auto / Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On / Red-eye, Slow Sync, Slow Sync. / Red-eye Reduction, Studio First curtain / Second curtain can be set
Hot Shoe YES , Compatible with SF24D, SF58
LCD 2.7" LCD (230K Pixels) TFT
Field of View approx. 100%
Playback Mode 16 - thumbnail display, Zoomed playback (16x Max.), Image rotation(except RAW) , Protection
Recording Media Built-in Memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card
Microphone No
Speaker Yes
Interface HDMI Output, USB (USB 2.0 High Speed, Mass Storage)
Power Li-ion Battery Pack (Included)
Battery Life (Approx.)
(CIPA standard):
260 exposures
Battery Charging time 200 min
Dimensions (Approx.) H 59.5× W 108.7 × D 27.1 mm
Weight (Approx.) 286 g
Scope of delivery LEICA BP-DC8 rechargeable battery
Battery charger (LEICA BC-DC8)
Protective battery cover
Leather carrying strap
USB cable
Lens cap
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (download option after product registration)