Leica X Vario

Leica X Vario front
  • 16MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 12500
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 28-70mm (F3.5-6.4) lens
  • 680g - 133 x 73 x 95mm
  • Revealed June 2013
  • Replaced the Leica X2
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Leica X Vario overview

Leica X Vario is Leica's Large Sensor Compact digital camera initially released on June of 2013. It features a 16 MegaPixel, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4928 x 3272.

Leica released this model in an effort to improve the earlier Leica X2 (Read Full Comparison)

The X Vario is positioned #47 out of 65 in Large Sensor Compact cameras & all around #370 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. Remember to look at our Smart camera filter to get camera rankings based on your customized factors.

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Here is a diagram of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Leica X Vario history

The Leica X Vario is part of a family of cameras. You can see the detailed list underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Leica-X-U front thumbnailLeica X-U
X Vario vs X-U
Leica-X front thumbnailLeica X (Typ 113)
X Vario vs X (Typ 113)
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Leica-X-Vario front thumbnailLeica X Vario28-70mm
Leica-X2 front thumbnailLeica X2
X Vario vs X2
Leica-X1 front thumbnailLeica X1
X Vario vs X1

Leica X Vario Pros and Cons

Here is a list of pluses and minuses of the Leica X Vario based on things which are normally viewed as crucial in a digital camera.

built-in flash
comes with face detection focus
decent MP (16 megapixels)
does have HDMI support
focusing manually
good battery (450 CIPA)
good min ISO (100)
good resolution screen (920 k dot)
good sensor size (APS-C)
high res video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
in built lens has zoom (28-70mm 2.5 x zoom)
reasonably wide (28mm)
saves RAW files
screen is a decent size (3")
doesn't have external microphone jack
doesn't have headphone jack
doesn't have Timelapse mode
lack of image stabilization
lacks phase detect auto focus
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
max zoom aperture not good (f6.4)
more heavy than average (680 grams)
screen is fixed
screen isn't selfie friendly
slow continuous shooting (5.0 frames per second)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
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Leica X Vario Sensor features

The dimension of the sensor in the Leica X Vario is 23.6mm x 15.8mm (APS-C). The 373 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4928 x 3272 pixels with aspect ratios of 3:2.

Photography Glossary

The CMOS sensor has 16 megapixels and includes a standard ISO range of 100 - 12500. RAW format is supported so you have more room to maneuver in post.

The image underneath shows the X Vario's sensor size when compared to other popular sizes. The X Vario sensor has a crop factor of 1.5 and is shown in green.

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To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Leica X Vario dimensions

Leica X Vario has a weight of 1.50 lb (680 grams or 23.99 ounces) & has exterior size of 133mm x 73mm x 95mm (5.2" x 2.9" x 3.7"). The weight of normal Large Sensor Compact camera is 396 grams so the Leica X Vario is weightier compared to its rivals.

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Here is a image of the Leica X Vario besides a soda to help you get a feel for its size.

Leica X Vario dimensions scale

The top view underneath will highlight the button design on the X Vario.

Leica X Vario topview buttons dials

Leica X Vario Lens features

The X Vario is equipped with a fixed lens giving a focal range of 28-70mm giving it a 2.5 x zoom which isn't exceptional nevertheless it might be invaluable in some scenarios.

At it's widest 28mm, the lens has an aperture of f3.5 which is somewhat sluggish and not very good for low light events and you might find it difficult to get good bokeh. You would also have to increase your ISO setting resulting in noisy photos. Towards the long end, 70mm comes with f6.4 making it pretty sluggish and you would have to utilize slower shutter speeds.

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Leica X Vario Connectivity

The X Vario has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that include NFC or Bluetooth connectivity can be used wirelessly through smartphones. You will be able to send files and at times adjust settings without connecting physically with the camera.

Many apps also provide a Liveview and click the shutter in case you aren't close to the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI port, it can be attached to an external screen. A lot of cameras enable you to charge the battery with the USB port.

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Leica X Vario Video features

The maximum video resolution in the Leica X Vario is 1920 x 1080 and you can save in MPEG-4 file format. 1080p resolution can provide a good balance in video quality and file size but FULL HD will not leave you with any room to downsample. The body doesn't feature a microphone or headphone jack so you have zero control over the audio. It is probably a better idea to take a look at a different model in case you want decent audio for your videos.

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Leica X Vario Weather Sealing

Leica X Vario doesn't have weather proofing so wet conditions may affect the camera.

Leica X Vario Screen and Viewfinder

The Leica X Vario features a 3" fixed screen with a resolution of 920k dots.

Please note that the screen has no touch support.

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The View Finder specs for Leica X Vario are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Electronic (optional)

For sunny outdoor situations that make the camera screens washed out and hard to see, viewfinders can be quite helpful.

Leica X Vario Shutter features

Leica X Vario has the ability to shoot continuously at 5.0 frames per second. The max shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

Photography Glossary

Leica X Vario Flash and Hot shoe features

Leica X Vario has both in-built flash as well as external flash ability.

Leica X Vario Autofocusing features

Leica X Vario has only Contrast Detect Autofocus & is missing Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more faster and accurate compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera features Face detection which makes it helpful for portrait photography.

The AF system features 11 focus points to select from. Leica X Vario supports manual focus when needed in low light conditions or you want to have more exact focus control.

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Leica X Vario Battery life

The battery (BP-DC8) for the Leica X Vario is designed to last for 450 images with respect to the CIPA requirements making it higher than standard when compared to its class. The general Large Sensor Compact camera battery life is 301. Leica X-U features the highest possible (450) battery life in this kind of cameras.

Following is a collection of Large Sensor Compact cameras with the strongest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Leica-X-Vario front thumbnailLeica X Vario450 yesnono
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Leica X Vario for various forms of photography

The following chart presents a analysis of the Leica X Vario for various forms of photography. To find out more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.

Leica X Vario Portrait photography advice

The Leica X Vario receives a rating of 74 which is above average, and means the camera is a good option to use for portrait photography. Shooting portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor specs, RAW support & potential to use external flash.

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focusing manually
MP count good (16 megapixels)
good sensor size (APS-C)
includes face detection focusing
supports RAW formats

Leica X Vario as a Street photography camera

With a average rating of 53, the Leica X Vario is relatively suitable for street photography. A good street photography camera provides a good balance of picture quality and portability.

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decent sensor size (APS-C)
delivers RAW formats
screen is fixed
does not have image stabilization
heavier than competition (680g)

Sports photography with Leica X Vario

A modest sports photography rating of 54 means the Leica X Vario is somewhat acceptable for photographing sports. A camera should have good tracking plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

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good resolution (16 megapixels)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
great battery life (450 per charge)
max fps low (5.0 fps)
does not have image stabilization
doesn't have phase detect AF

Leica X Vario Travel photography factors

Portability is extremely critical in getting a travel camera. Overall, the Leica X Vario gets a modest 56 for a travelling camera which makes it fairly appropriate to buy for your journeys.

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better than average battery life (450 shots)
megapixel count good (16 megapixels)
built-in flash
decently wide (28mm)
no Timelapse recording
more heavy than others (680 grams)
does not have selfie friendly display
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)

Leica X Vario Landscape photography details

For anyone looking to pick a digital camera for landscape photographs, the biggest factor is going to be image quality. The Leica X Vario with it's nice grade of 61 for a landscape camera is a very decent pick in the current marketplace.

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manual focus
rather wide (28mm)
screen size is decent (3 inch)
megapixel count decent (16 megapixels)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
supports RAW formats
good battery pack (450 shots)
can't switch lenses (fixed lens mount)
slow max aperture (f3.5)
does not have image stabilization
no Timelapse mode

Leica X Vario Vlogging details

A camera for vlogging really should come with a articulating display screen, mic port and if possible IBIS. Taking all things into account, the Leica X Vario is simply not suitable as a vlog camera as it comes to a awful score of 25.

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quite wide (28mm)
comes with face detect autofocus
high video quality (1920 x 1080 pixels)
slow max aperture (f3.5)
display is not selfie friendly
no image stabilization
missing microphone jack
more heavy than competitors (680 grams)

Leica X Vario Alternatives

If you are searching for replacements to the X Vario, here is a number of the highest ranked cameras that fall under the family of Large Sensor Compact.

The line chart below gives you a bird's eye view of the X Vario compared to it's highest ranking rivals listed earlier.

Here are a few more cameras you may take into account as alternate options. To see a full comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Leica X Vario
Large Sensor Compact
Body design
Large Sensor Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
23.6 x 15.8mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Maximum resolution
4928 x 3272
RAW support
Maximum native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Touch focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
28-70mm (2.5x)
Maximal aperture
Crop factor
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
Screen resolution
920k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Viewfinder Information
Electronic (optional)
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Slowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Maximum shutter speed
1/2000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
5.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync, Studio
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
Microphone input
Headphone input
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
680 gr (1.50 lb)
Physical dimensions
133 x 73 x 95mm (5.2" x 2.9" x 3.7")
Battery life
450 photos
Battery format
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
Storage slots
Price at launch