Leica Announces the Leica X Vario Digital Camera

Leica Announces the Leica X Vario Digital Camera

Leica has always been known as the Mercedes-Benz of cameras. With their unparalleled quality of build, and beautiful designs, they've been able make and sell cameras at the premium price tags exceeding $7000. With their latest creation, the X Vario, Leica looks to bridge the gap with Leica's quality, zoom lenses, and a sub-$3K price tag.

The New X Vario comes with all the bells and whistles you've come to expect out of a digital camera. Sporting a 16.1 APS-C sensor, 1080 HD video, 5 fps shooting, and a 18-46mm f/3.5-6.4 zoom lens (28-70mm 35mm equivalent), Leica looks to give photographers an affordable option at $2,850.00. While visually similar to the Leica X2, the new Leica X Vario has swapped out the 24mm lens for a slower, but much more versatile zoom lens. Perhaps by being more versatile, Leica will capture the zoom lens mirrorless market.


Press Release

The Highly Anticipated ‘Mini M’ Features Characteristics Reminiscent of the Legendary M-System
Solms, Germany, 11 June 2013: Leica Camera AG has unveiled the latest addition to its digital compact camera offerings and presents the Leica X Vario. Made in Leica Camera’s headquarters in Germany, the X Vario features a high-performance 16.5-megapixel (effective 16.1), APS-C format, CMOS image sensor, a zoom lens covering a range of focal lengths from 28 to 70 mm (35 mm equivalent) and Full-HD video recording capability. With several design and handling characteristics of the storied M-System, the ‘Made in Germany’ Leica X Vario offers great versatility and creative freedom.


The X Vario’s high performance image sensor is unusually large for a camera in its class. Combined with the Leica Vario Elmar 18-46 mm f/3.5-6.4 ASPH, it sets completely new standards for imaging quality in the compact segment with outstanding exposures in all situations. The Leica X Vario is the world’s first compact camera to combine a large, APS-C format, CMOS image sensor with a zoom lens.


From expansive interior shots, landscapes to portrait photography, the range of focal lengths offered by the Leica X Vario opens up entirely new horizons for creative photography. The camera’s versatility is further expanded by a new, 1080p Full HD video recording function that allows photographers to record memories at a frame rate of 30 full frames per second. The video data can be saved in MP4 format and uploaded directly to social media or mobile devices without any need for conversion. An integrated wind-noise filter that reduces undesirable noise guarantees crystal-clear sound recording.
The Leica X Vario’s wide range of camera setting options combined with its fast and precise autofocus offers even the most demanding photographers maximum creative freedom – for spontaneous shots as well as for carefully arranged compositions.


The Leica X Vario is distinguished by an intensely focused design concept. Its handy form, linear design and the premium materials used in its construction are reminiscent of the Leica M-System. For instance, the top plate is machined from solid aluminium in the same process used for the Leica M. This, in combination with its robust metal construction and premium high-grip leather trim ensures that the X Vario is a classic Leica camera in terms of both look and feel.


Further showcasing Leica M DNA, the X Vario features an intuitive handling concept with clearly laid out functions. The user-friendly operation of the menu interface guarantees rapid access to an impressive range of automatic and versatile manual setting options. Combined with the ease of switching between manual and automatic control, it allows photographers to concentrate completely on composing their subjects and choosing the decisive instant to shoot in any situation. The dials on the top plate provide grip when setting the shutter speed and aperture. Moreover, changing the plane of focus, the white balance, and other imaging parameters allows photographers to consciously influence the look or mood of their images. In Live View mode, the generously sized high-contrast, 3-inch monitor offers photographers complete control at all times and a detailed view– even in bright surroundings.


The Leica X Vario camera can be preordered at B&H Photo right now.

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This camera is going to get a lot of push-back from the photo enthusiast crowd. It seems like the answer to a question that no one who knows an f-stop from a door stop is asking. Under that concession however, I hope that there are many people with $3k to spare who want an "elite" status symbol of a camera.

Great, another overpriced camera from leica.

Jason Vinson's picture

hmmm. Leica with 3.5 to 6.4... or Fuji EX1 with 2.8 to 4 for half the price and interchangeable lens...


Jason Vinson's picture

i would also take the FF Sony RX1 over this....

Any camera would be better than this one. Seriusly, they couldn't get anything faster than 6.3 on a 46mm? I could understand if we were talking about a $300 camera, but that's 10 times that price.

If you have 3k to spend, you can go for the Fuji X-Pro

Leica introduces the Yugo.

Okay, ...THAT ^^ was funny!!!

Larry Clay's picture

Very funny!

I believe the Yugo was faster...

If it was a constant 2.8, then that's something to write about, sadly it isn't.

I think Leica has shot itself in the foot with a 16 gauge today!
The Whole New Leica X Vario :(
*no interchangeable lens
*f/3.5? Are you kidding me?
*no full frame
*no optical vievfinder

I am sure Fuji headquarters are celebrating and laughing at Leica with their rear-ends today

I have no doubt that it will take great photos in the right hands... but any camera does that!

RUSS T.'s picture

Leica introduces, the justin bieber of cameras...


No viewfinder? No, thanks!

Nicholas Hrycun's picture

Samsung and 2010 called, they want their Nx100 back, but they are only asking for $200.

Spy Black's picture

There's a sucker born every minute...