Leica's New Camera Underwhelms

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Leica's New Camera Underwhelms

A "major announcement" from Leica is usually welcome news. But Leica's latest wasn't exactly earth-shattering. Yawn-inducing would be more like it.

We've been anticipating the S-Series for year... the M9 was leaked and long-xpected... but the new X1 digital camera? That's the one we didn't see coming. And it's also the most underwhelming camera from Leica in quite some time.

Yes an "APS-C" sensor is nice - it's the same size as in most prosumer digital SLR's. But the X1 is yoked to a 35mm (equivalent) f/2.8 lens. Not terribly versatile... and not very fast, in Leica terms, either. The X1 looks and sounds like a scaled-down Leica for people who want the cache of the brand without the M9's expected $8,000 price tag.

For my money, Leica's D-Lux 4 is a better option. Yes, the 10 MP sensor is smaller, but still produces good results. And the lens is faster and offers a decent - if limited - zoom range. And at around $700, it's a genuinely affordable Leica.

   

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