Leica X-1

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

From Germany comes the Leica X-1 Digital compact camera. The X-1 features a 12.2 megapixel CMOS sensor that is as big as those in some high quality SLRs at 23.6 mm x 15.8 mm. The lens is not interchangeable on this camera and is an Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. Like many DSLRs today, this Leica compact features a 2.7 inch LCD screen with the Live View option. Users can take photos in JPEG or RAW and save in the DNG file format for Adobe products. A retractable flash is built in to this camera. It features an ISO range of 100 to 3200.There is a built-in memory of 50 MB and it is also SD & SDHC compatible. According to Leica, the Adobe Photoshop LightRoom program is available for free to customers that buy the X-1 from them. It weighs only 10.09 ounces. Leica offers a two year international warranty on the X-1.

Features List:

– Compact Digital Camera

– 12.2 megapixel CMOS sensor

– Non-interchangeable Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 lens

– 2.7 inch LCD screen w/ Live View feature


– Retractable flash

– ISO 100 – 3200

– 50 MB memory, SD/SDHC compatible

– Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

– Weighs 10.09 ounces

– 2 Year International Warranty

Digital Trends’ digital camera buying tips:

What about memory cards?

There is no universal memory card to fit all digital cameras – not yet, anyway. Based on internal politics, design considerations and financial reasons, individual camera manufacturers typically adopt a particular style of Flash Memory card for their cameras. Some manufacturers will even split their alliances – one type of memory card for professional-level cameras, and another type of memory card for consumer level cameras. When buying a new Flash Memory card, remember which camera you have and the type of card it requires. Some camera snobs (like your humble writer) will even selectively buy a digital camera based on the type of Flash Memory card they prefer to use!

The most common types of Flash Memory cards are:

Compact Flash, or CF – Roughly the size of a silver dollar (though not round), the CF card is one of the earliest types of Flash Memory cards and is most often used in professional or semi-pro digital cameras.

Secure Digital, or SD – Roughly the size of a postage stamp, the SD Card is available in a wide range of storage capacities. It’s inexpensive, durable and amazingly lightweight.

Memory Stick or Memory Stick Pro – About the size of a small stick of gum, the Memory Stick is meant for Sony Digital cameras.

XD-Picture, or XD Card – Typically found in Fuji and Olympus cameras, the XD Card is about 40% smaller than the SD card.

What’s the difference between optical and digital zoom?

Like megapixels, manufacturers frequently throw around big numbers relating to digital zoom. Like megapixels, you should ignore them. Optical zoom uses real optics to get you closer to your subject, while digital zoom merely takes the same amount of pixels you would have in a standard shot and blows them up to fill the frame. The camera captures no more detail. It’s the same zooming or cropping trick you could pull in Photoshop, done in the camera on the fly. While that can sometimes be handy, image quality suffers severely as a result, and most photographers would never use digital zoom.

What are some basics I should look for?

Your new digital camera should have these key features:

  • At least a 6MP imaging device for a D-SLR
  • At least a 7MP imager for a point-and-shoot
  • Optical zoom of 3x, not just a digital zoom
  • The highest quality optics
  • A large LCD screen; the more pixels, the better the quality
  • The widest range for aperture (f/stops), shutter speed and ISO
  • An AF Illuminator or AF Assist mode for best flash shots in dim light
  • A variety of Scene Modes for more convenient shooting in a variety of situations
  • Make sure you do your own ergonomic hands-on test

What Should I look for in an LCD Display?

Camera manufacturers market display size quite prominently because it’s easy to visualize, but other factors also come into play. Resolution (usually measured in the number of pixels, like 461K) will determine how clear the display looks, and brightness will help determine whether it gets washed out when shooting outdoors. An optical viewfinder makes a great backup when shooting with a less-than-ideal LCD.

LCD screens are measured diagonally and 2.5 inches is a common size. We prefer even larger ones, up to 3 inches. If your eyesight is a bit challenged, definitely look for a larger LCD. Screens are measured in pixels, just like image size. Again, the more pixels, the better the image you’ll see on screen.

Don’t Buy Til You Try

One final bit of advice. Never, ever buy a camera purely on its specs or a few positive reviews. What looks good on paper, and what feels good to one person, isn’t necessarily going to be the perfect camera for you. Patronize shops that allow you to spend a lot of hands-on time with your prospective models. Cameras are extremely touchy-feely products, and the truth is that most of them include similar feature sets and take decent pictures. But they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and you’ll be spending many hours with one of them in your hands. Long-term comfort is perhaps the most important factor of all.

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