Leica X1

Leica X1 front
  • 12MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • No Video
  • 35mm (F2.8) lens
  • 306g - 124 x 60 x 32mm
  • Launched December 2009
  • Later Model is Leica X2
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Leica X1 summary

Leica X1 is Leica's Large Sensor Compact digital camera first announced on December of 2009. It comes with a 12 MegaPixel, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a max resolution of 4272 x 2856.

Leica brought out the updated Leica X2 (Read Full Comparison) to update this model.

The X1 is rated #59 out of 65 in Large Sensor Compact cameras & over all #567 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. You should look at our Advanced camera search to get camera results based on your custom requirements.

Photography Glossary

Here is a chart of different factors used in the rating system.

Leica X1 history

The Leica X1 has a history of related digital cameras. Down below, you can find all earlier and most recent models alongside main features.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Leica-X-U front thumbnailLeica X-U
X1 vs X-U
Leica-X front thumbnailLeica X (Typ 113)
X1 vs X (Typ 113)
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Leica-X-Vario front thumbnailLeica X Vario
X1 vs X Vario
Leica-X2 front thumbnailLeica X2
X1 vs X2
Leica-X1 front thumbnailLeica X135mm

Leica X1 Pros and Cons

Here is a selection of upsides and downsides of the Leica X1 based on things which are typically considered crucial in a digital camera.

good minimum ISO (100)
has built in flash
has HDMI support
has manual focus
includes face detect autofocus
lighter than competition in class (306 grams)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
supports RAW files
can't shoot video
continuous shooting slow (3.0 fps)
does not have image stabilization
fixed focal length (35mm)
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
fixed screen
has no phase detect autofocus
low MP (12MP)
no headphone jack
no microphone jack
no Timelapse function
pixelated screen (230 k dot)
screen isn't selfie friendly
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
tiny screen (2.7 inches)
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Leica X1 Sensor features

The size of the sensor on the Leica X1 is 23.6mm x 15.8mm (APS-C). The 373 mm² sensor has the ability to capture 4272 x 2856 pixels with aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CMOS sensor has 12MP and gives a standard ISO range of 100 to 3200. RAW files are saved which means that the user has more room to maneuver in post.

The image underneath illustrates the X1's sensor size compared to other popular sizes. The X1 sensor has a crop factor of 1.5 and is shown in green.

Leica X1 sensor size Sora from OpenAI releases its first ever music video

To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Leica X1 dimensions

Leica X1 weighs 0.67 lbs (306g or 10.79 ounces) & the overall size of the camera is 124mm x 60mm x 32mm (4.9" x 2.4" x 1.3"). The weight of typical Large Sensor Compact camera is 396g and the Leica X1 is less heavy than various competitors.

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Here is a image of the Leica X1 beside a softdrink to help you get a sense of its size.

Leica X1 dimensions scale

The top view just below will show the button design on the X1.

Leica X1 topview buttons dials

Leica X1 Lens features

The X1 provides a fixed lens with a fixed focal length of 35mm which means you have no option to zoom.

At it's widest 35mm, it features an aperture of f2.8 which will be somewhat sluggish and not very good for low light events and you will find it hard to get good bokeh. You could also need to boost your ISO which results in noisy shots.

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Leica X1 Connectivity

The X1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras which include NFC or Bluetooth connectivity can be used wirelessly via smartphones. You are able to transfer files and oftentimes change camera settings with no need to connect straight with the camera.

A few apps also provide a Liveview and hit the shutter if you are not near the camera. If the camera comes with a HDMI port, it can be hooked up to an external display. A good number of cameras enable you to recharge the battery pack using the USB port.

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Leica X1 Video features

Leica X1 does not capture video. If you are looking for a digital camera to shoot just pictures, it might not be a problem.

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Leica X1 Weather Sealing

Leica X1 does not have environment sealing so rainy conditions might ruin the camera.

Leica X1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Leica X1 comes with a 2.7" fixed display screen with a resolution of 230k dots.

Sadly the display screen isn't a touch screen.

Leica X1 screen and viewfinder Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

The View Finder details for Leica X1 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be rather helpful for sunny outdoor situations which might make the camera screen washed out and difficult to see.

Leica X1 Shutter features

Leica X1 continuous shooting rate is 3.0 fps. The maximum shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

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Leica X1 Flash and Hot shoe features

Leica X1 features both built in flash as well as external flash support.

Leica X1 Autofocus features

Leica X1 features only Contrast Detect Auto Focus & is missing Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is more snappier and exact than Contrast Detect focusing. The camera comes with Face detection which is helpful for portraits.

The AF system comes with 11 focus points to select from. Leica X1 boasts manual focus when needed for low light conditions or you need to have more accurate control on focus.

Photography Glossary

Leica X1 Battery life

The usual Large Sensor Compact camera battery life is 301. Leica X-U comes with the maximum (450) battery life for this type of cameras.

Following is a collection of Large Sensor Compact cameras that have the highest battery life:

Leica X1 for different categories of photography

The following chart gives a summary of the Leica X1 for different categories of photography. To see more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Leica X1 Portrait photography info

The Leica X1 gets a points tally of 63 which is nice, and means the camera is a respectable option to use for portraits. Photographing portraits leans greatly towards sensor resolution, support for RAW photos and capability to use off-camera lighting.

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manual focus
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
offers face detect autofocus
supports RAW formats
low megapixels (12MP)

Leica X1 Street photography features

Having a above average rating of 70, the Leica X1 is a good option for street photography. A decent street photography camera has a perfect balance of picture quality plus portability.

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nice sensor size (APS-C)
supports RAW formats
lighter than competitors (306 grams)
fixed screen
lack of image stabilization

Leica X1 Sports photography information

A dreadful sports photography points total of 34 means the Leica X1 is just not appropriate for taking pictures of sports. A camera really should have great tracking plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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nice sensor size (APS-C)
can't change focal length (35mm)
max fps low (3.0 fps)
lack of image stabilization
sensor resolution low (12MP)
no phase detect autofocus

Travel photography with Leica X1

Size is extremely crucial in selecting a camera for travel. Overall, the Leica X1 gets a moderate 59 for a travelling camera which makes it fairly suitable for your travels.

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lighter than average (306 grams)
has built in flash
does not have Timelapse mode
low MP (12MP)
does not offer selfie friendly screen
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.8)

Leica X1 Landscape photography info

If you are planning to buy a camera for landscape photography, the most essential aspect is going to be image quality. The Leica X1 at it's dreadful score of 44 as a landscape camera is just not appropriate among its competitors.

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focusing manually
sensor size is good (APS-C)
saves RAW files
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
fixed focal length (35mm)
somewhat slow max aperture (f2.8)
small screen (2.7 inches)
does not have image stabilization
sensor resolution low (12MP)
lack of Time Lapse function

Vlogging with Leica X1

A vlogging camera should offer a articulating screen, microphone input and preferably IBIS. Considering all the details, the Leica X1 is just not appropriate as a vlog camera as it gets a dreadful score of 9.

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lack of video recording

Leica X1 Alternatives

If you need replacements to the X1, below is a range of the top placed cameras that fall in to the class of Large Sensor Compact.

The line chart followed below offers you a bird's eye view of the X1 compared to it's top scored competitors shown above.

These are various other cameras you may have a look at as alternative options. To look at a complete comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Leica X1
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
Peak resolution
4272 x 2856
RAW files
Highest native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
AF selectice
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
35mm (1x)
Maximum aperture
Macro focus distance
Focal length multiplier
Range of screen
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
2.7 inches
Resolution of screen
230k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Min shutter speed
Max shutter speed
Continuous shutter speed
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync, Studio
Hot shoe
WB bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Highest video resolution
Microphone input
Headphone input
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
306g (0.67 lbs)
Physical dimensions
124 x 60 x 32mm (4.9" x 2.4" x 1.3")
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Storage media
SD/SDHC card
Storage slots
Cost at release