A quick 1st look video on the Leica X Typ 113!

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A quick 1st look video on the Leica X Typ 113!

Yesterday the new Leica X arrived to me direct from Leica for a 2 week review period. When it arrived I took it out of the box and sapped maybe 7-10 shots in my yard to see if the output is similar to the X1, X2 and X-Vario or if it was changed. I am happy to say it retains the same image quality as the previous X2 and X Vario. By that I mean it has the same color signature, the same crisp snap to the images and the same overall rendering. This time though we get a more “Leica Like” rendering with the new Summilux f/1.7 lens.

The X is GORGEOUS in the flesh (or metal) and it will indeed inspire and provide true pride of ownership. The camera focuses about as fast as the X-Vario and behaves just like an X. It starts up quicker and has a nice metal lens cap included in the box as well. While not a speed demon when comparing to the super  fast cameras, it gets the job down from what I have seen. BUT this is a first look only, my full review will be up within 2 weeks or so where I will know MUCH more about how the X Typ 113 operates.

Check out the 1st look below BUT LEICA, C’MON…GIVE US A BUILT IN EVF ALREADY! If you did this it would sell in much larger numbers.

You can pre-order the X from Ken Hansen (khpny19@aol.com), PopFlash.com, Pro Shop, B&H Photo, and Leica Store Miami 

 

76 Comments

  1. Filter threads on lens allows addition of Closeup filters allowing further enhancement to Macro capabilities and much closer focusing distance. Many times with closeup lens on, camera retained faster f-stops (faster than f2.8) at close focus though depth of field can become issue. Slower f-stops starting at f4 gives nice sharp image.

  2. I’m surprised that you make no mention of the 1 second image freeze when Auto review is set to ‘Off”. Or did I miss something?

    While I love the best-in-class manual focus and the photographer-friendly handling, the Auto Review bug is a significant issue for street photographers. Sometimes, Leica should be more candid.

  3. This camera competes with Ricoh GR and Coolpix A cameras. With no VF it’s just an advanced point and shoot.

    I would take a Ricoh GR over this camera any day of the week.

  4. $2300 for a limited function, single lens, small sensor camera just goes to show a thousand bucks ain’t what it used to be. I’ll take the Fuji and keep a thousand to travel with.

  5. I look forward to receiving my Typ 113. After the recent price drops I thought I’d try the X Vario; the images always looked superb out of that camera, and although I had a negative first impression due to the Mini M campaign, the many positive user reports and nice images from users kept me curious enough to eventually buy one. I’m glad I did. I love the haptics, the lens is outstanding, and like my film M’s the camera fades from consciousness and you get in a great flow with it. Bonus (for me, since I don’t like to post process anymore) is the SOOC JPEGs are even better than my Fuji’s.

    I preordered the Typ 113 to extend the shooting envelope of the X Vario experience. I think it will do just that, and be a pleasing camera to own, if the lens is up to Leica standards (and I do expect it will be based upon my XV experience). A Typ 113 and 107 would be a great travel pair, really all you need.

    As you point out, Steve, a built in EVF would really make these camera special. I still reflexively pull a camera to my eye, and although I’ve learned to compose well on a screen, I really enjoy the eye-level experience for certain types of shooting. It’s not a deal-breaker for me (obviously), but I do hope v2 of these cameras integrates an EVF. The external EVF’s are just so fiddly!

  6. Just to balance some of the comments you’ve been getting – I think the decision to leave out the viewfinder and include a flash is correct, and I wouldn’t buy the camera had they done it the other way around as you suggest. (I don’t expect to anyway, as I have an RX1, which is almost the same thing but less elegant.)

    I know you don’t use flash, but fill flash and a leaf shutter is IMO a good combination. This is something a DSLR can’t do with such a small flash.

    If you wore multifocals (progressive lenses) you’d have a different opinion about the EVF. Even if theyhave enough eye relief they are tricky to use because you can’t use the whole surface of the spectacle lens. A rear LCD, on the other hand, is easily viewed at all distances, *and* you can keep an eye on what’s happening outside the frame. I’ve never bothered getting an EVF for my RX1.

    • Sorry, Francis, but your experience is not the same as mine with progressive multi-focal glasses. I would have bought the new X in an instant if it have built in EVF. I can’t stand using the back of camera in sunlight or holding at arms length when slow shutter is the way to go…

  7. Yes pretty it is but it’s another crippled Leica to add to a long list of crippled Leicas. Every time they bring out a camera like this it falls just short of being functional because of some missing feature..in this case the missing viewfinder. and sorry Leica but for a company that’s been in the business for so long, frankly, it’s not acceptable. At this price point why should your customers have to COMPROMISE? An OMD EM10 is a better proposition. It’s like Leica deliberately keeps leaving something out of the camera to protect the M.
    Same tactical shoot yourself in the foot game as in the days of the CL. The solution then was buy a CLE, now it’s buy a Fuji.
    Come on Leica.You’ve got the skills and technology. You’ve got the customers waiting. MAKE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS. I hope to upgrade my M6 TTL some day and I’m running out of FILM!

    • Excellent points! Many people are not going to agree with you, because despite the fact that its unpopular to say, there are a lot of Leica defenders on this site. I am not a Leica hater, but I am a realist. As I mentioned in a comment above, I really really want to buy a Leica. They just keep failing to make a camera that is worth it. Why would anyone objectively buy this over a Fuji x100t? There is absolutely no reason to do so, as it does not offer anything at all that other cameras don’t….unless you just have to have that red dot. If you are going to charge more than everyone else, great, but deliver more too. The Fuji x100s slaughters this camera at half the price, and the RX1 is only $500 more and also offers more.

  8. I thought SUMMILIUX meant 1.4? Besides that, the camera looks great. You say in the video you can select RAW only? Strange that option is still not available for the X Vario, you can only select RAW+JEPG…

  9. Steve, I will be curious to see your review of the D-LUX (Typ 109) when it comes out: Built-in EVF, fast lens, OIS, traditional shutter/aperture dials, manual focus ring, Wi-Fi app, etc. Granted the 4/3 sensor is smaller than APS-C and it’s not a “real” Leica, but it seems to check so many important details at a very reasonable price. I only wish the zoom was manual. I’ve been looking for a replacement for my beloved Digilux 2 and I’ve been on the fence between the new X, D-LUX and yes, even the T. I do not understand why Leica does not include built-in EVF in 2014.

  10. I like it and personally would have no problem using an external viewfinder – did I read somewhere that at close distances -it defers to f2.8 so you cannot use it at f1.7 close up ? Not sure why that would be so -maybe I am mixed up -still like it though.
    Your point about the internal EVF is probably true for most people ! So Leica listen !!

    Best Wishes

  11. The typ 113 I tried out today in a local Leica store samehow performs not as good as X2 on autofocusing, I tried side by side and while the X2 or XE grap the object spot on, the new X hunted back and forth a little until lock the focus…. The staff could not give me a satisfactory explaination…. Look forward your review Steve.

    • Again.
      Look mate, I work in customer service and I’m sorry you could not receive a satisfactory explanation from my brothers and sisters. Perhaps as it’s a new product you could speak with the designers and manufacturers.

      • This is an answer I never expected, I was focus on the topic of camera, not the customer service…wonderful internet

  12. I noticed a Touit box in one of the photos. Are you in possession of a 50 Macro to test out in crop mode on the A7S? Sony might take another year on the 90 FE :/

  13. When I read the comments here, there is still something in that MLIC world that I will never understand. Most people just seem to care about the looks. Nobody would buy this object if it would have exactly the same specs and features, but just be fitted in a plastic box. Versus this pricing, they’re even prepared to accept the missing built-in EVF (or OVF, like Fuji does), essential to use a camera as a true tool in the real world. Yes, you can spend another 500$ ‘Visoflex-money’ to give a kind of dinosaur look. MLICs have become fashion objects, and people want to spend money for fashion. But manufacturers are more and more leaving the understanding a camera has to be tool, doing a job. Fuji is already two and half years now coping with RAW-conversion artifacts, nobody cares in their R&D dept. But a graphite silver edition of the X-T1 does. While for all this stuff, and certainly if the fashion-virus gets in your blood to change this stuff every year or 2 years, allows you to afford the best FF-DSLR in the market AND the finest glass that can fit on it, something that may last for a decade. I’m also afraid that in the MLIC-world, weight is often an excuse to defend that fashion/looks behavior, because if you use primes on a DSLR, the difference doesn’t even have to be enormous. There is for me only one argument to go for this type of camera (I own some Fujis), they should be less obtrusive, less in the view of the subject crowd. But if you want a red dot on it, and a Visoflex, I think that any DSLR is less taking the attention. Precisely that is again very odd.

    • Those are fair points to make. However, the alternative is not a FF DSLR with the best lenses, IMO. DSLRs are the dinosaurs. 😉 Actually, they serve an important niche. But for 80-90% of photography, they are redundant and make little sense.

      If we had no mirrorless systems, of course I’d use a DSLR. But we do, so I don’t!

    • “.. built-in EVF (or OVF, like Fuji does), essential to use a camera as a true tool in the real world.”
      It depends. I am shoot from the hip or at arm length. Yes, I love shooting with the rear display like any ordinary tourist, and I have my reasons. Despite that I use my camera as a true tool in the real world.

      “.. a camera has to be tool, doing a job.”
      It also depends. There is no rule what a camera has to be. There are many “photo enthusiasts” out there, and especially on this site, who are in fact “photo equipment enthusiasts”, and who value design, brand and craftsmanship more than price/performance ratio or usefulness as a serious tool. It is not my cup of tea, but it is not so hard to understand. Different people, different interests. Simple.

  14. Looking forward to your full review! Just to note, the physical dimensions and body design of the X 113 are identical to the Vario. In fact everything, including menu system, sensor, controls, battery etc appears identical to the Vario except for the updated hotshoe to accomodate the new EVF launched with the T, and importantly that lens! It is in some ways a validation of the X Vario. To a certain type of shooter who can handle the slow aperture (think landscape, architectural), the Vario is a stellar camera, especially at the recently discounted prices. I’m sure this X will impress with the same operational principle of the Vario and what looks like a beautiful, fast lens. I think this camera will reveal that the Vario’s slow lens and initial high price (and a misgided marketing campaign) gave what is an excellent camera *for a particular kind of shooter* a very bad name. A built in EVF on both cameras (and, indeed, the T) would be a sweet addition though.

    • It’s not a validation of the X Vario but a correction and re-try. The Vario did not sell well at all. Everyone wanted a faster lens, so they modified it and delivered what was asked for.

      • It really didn’t sell well! Nonetheless, lots of people have found the Vario to be an excellent camera – and there will still be people who buy the Vario over the X 113 who want stunning IQ from 28 to 70 equivalent and are willing to forego fast aperture. That’s a trade off that Leica engineers have documented with regards to the Vario. The Vario is great, but I still use my Sony RX1 when I want speed and DOF. The AF/MF ring and switch in the Vario (continued in the X 113) is extremely nice to use! They are different cameras with different uses but aside from the lens are identical in other respects. I find it interesting that the T was launched with a Japanese version of the Vario lens and prime similar to the X 113 lens – in the same way you can switch between both or buy either of those lenses, I think Leica is providing the same choice between Vario and X 113.

  15. I got my black X113 & EVF on Tuesday. The body has the same size as the XV. AF and shot to shot write time are faster than with the XV. The EVF is excellent (same as for the T) and much better than the one for the XV. The new Summilux equipped X provides for a much more refined and enjoyable shooting experience than its older zoom sibling. With both, MF and ZF are a breeze, best in class imo, and make them excellent street/reportage tools. Whilst the RX1 felt a little cramped and “over-lensed” (what a term) body and lens of the new X feel nicely balanced and feel great in the hand. Leica should have called this one the Mini-M, as it feels like one, especially when used with EVF and MF. Built quality is premium.

  16. The X typ 113 I tried out today in a local Leica store samehow performs not as good as X2 on autofocusing, I tried side by side and while the X2 or XE grap the object spot on, the new X hunted back and forth a little until lock the focus…. The staff could not give me a satisfactory explaination…. Look forward your review Steve.

  17. I’ve had X1 that was so fragile, broken battery’s lock, poping flash by it self, dirty spots on sensor..hmm, The only reason why I still keep it is IQ..Do I need another X camera?

  18. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the review. I have been waiting for the review from you since the day that type 113 was announced.

    Can you please tell us more about the size of this camera? People said it’s a little smaller then the classical M6. Is that true? I want to have a compact leica and I love the chrome/brown leather trim. But meanwhile I don’t want it looks like a small piece of jewelry when I hold it in my hand. I have never seen a Leica X vario. So the X vario may not be a good reference to compare with.

    Thanks for your information.

    Peter

  19. Looks good.

    Only reason I’m even considering this is that this is the only current digital at this size with a fast 35, with AF AND with useable DOF/distance scales on the lens and with the option for a VF.

    Have a baby on the way, so I’ve been looking for a single do-it-all, easy-to-carry camera that can do double duty as a street shooter (I don’t AF when shooting street, prefer scale focusing) and one with AF for the inevitable baby and social pics! So far, this is the only single camera solution that has fit the bill for me.

    An m43 set-up with the Oly 17mm might work, but unfortunately, the DOF scales on that lens seem like an after-thought. Not enough markings, and way too close to be very usable.

    I wish Fuji and Sony had placed on-lens DOF scales on the X100 and RX1, then I wouldn’t even be thinking about this!

    So, for my purposes, I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to either the X Typ 113 or an RX1 + A7s with 35mm Loxia set-up. And guess which one would fit better in a diaper bag?

    • I too am interested in the new X due to the distance scale, I cannot believe nobody seems to mention this on this style of camera and is really rather unique. Steve went through every control on the camera except for focus, this is absolutely critical and a one of a kind feature on this style of camera.

      Saying that, the Fuji has a digital focus distance scale which is quite handy and can be seen through the OVF/EVF, Sony also have one too with the FE lenses, the Loxia takes it one step further and should have it on both the lens as well as digital scale…

      Now the question becomes, do I buy the Loxia for my A7S or do I get the X… Or live with the digital scale on the FE35 which is cheaper than either. As you point out an E-P5 gives you that optional EVF or OVF as well as a distance scale, but as far as I recall no digital scales and yes, the scales on the lens are a bit meh. Last one is the Ricoh GR which not only has a digital scale but also has preset distance snap which works oh-so-well, maybe I should just get another GR, but I do prefer 35mm equivalent.

    • Josh, the X113 does not have DOF scales on the lens (distance=yes, DOF=no). As far as I can tell from the manual, it also does not have electronic DOF scale on the LCD display. I was disappointed to see this (along with no built-in EVF).

  20. I like the “Leica T” with the $595.00 Visoflex. It looks good on the camera. I used it for ten days recently in “Glacier National Park” and it was a pleasure to carry around. It does not interfere with your camera bag.
    These negative comments probably come from people who have never used it.

    • They come from me, who used the EVF on the X2 and X Vario, and yes, it gives issues when using a bag. 😉 I also used the T and it is smaller than the X. It’s a fantastic camera but would do much better if it has a built in EVF, not a $500 accessory that kills the look of the camera that they display so proudly. It is gorgeous indeed.

  21. Really lovely camera I have the X1 and that is nice but this with the faster lens is going to be more useful. Again Steve makes his point about the built in EVF and still Leica don’t listen!! Steve does it take an attachment EVF? on my X1 it is only a Viewfinder that attaches.
    Steve as an aside each time I make a comment I tick the boxes for follow up email but never get one any idea what I am doing wrong,thanks Alan

      • I think more importantly, with only an optical VF on top, you do not get the exposure information, so quickly metering with the camera and adjusting the shutter speed has to be done on the back, or the EVF is necessary. I use a 24mm optical on my M, but if I have an X, it is more for pocket, quick use and has to slim and trim… I agree with Steve on this one…

    • Again, and it kills the beauty of it, makes it a pain to carry in a bag. A built in EVF would be so much nicer and better and they would sell a ton more. I’d buy one if it had a built in, but it doesn’t so I will not.

      • Get the camera in black finish, fit the Visoflex EVF, and don’t put it in a bag. Keep it ready to shoot. 😉

        My X2 almost always has a Voigtländer 35mm Optical Viewfinder fitted. When I get a new X, the same deal with happen. I don’t think it kills the beauty of it at all.

        • What a surprise to read your comments here Godfrey! We sent a few emails quite some years ago when you had your ‘photo a day’ blog,site, long time ago now. Glad to see things are going well. Stef

  22. Fun review/impressions, Steve.

    One thing, though: I don’t think I’m speaking alone when I say that I prefer that Leica did not build an EVF into the new X. I have an X2 at present … I tend to use it with an optical viewfinder and the LCD set to off the vast majority of the time. It achieves the “simple” aesthetic that I like in these cameras that way. I occasionally fit the EVF when it’s important for the picture taking situation—and I look forward to the new X’ greatly improved EVF!—but there is a lot of value in keeping the camera trimmer, simpler, and giving the photographer the option of what viewfinder to use IMO.

    It’s likely a minority viewpoint, but for a fixed prime lens camera, a simple optical viewfinder nets a lot of utility that isn’t quite so much the case when the camera has a zoom lens.

  23. I really really want to buy a Leica, but they keep failing to make a camera that is worth the price of admission. It’s fine with me that they want to charge way more than everyone else, I’m willing to pay but they should also provide more, or at least equivalent features. The Fuji x100s/t is way ahead of this Leica X which is a shame because this thing is beautiful. The Leica T is tempting too, and if it wasn’t for the already outdated sensor it has, I probably would have bought one along with the 23mm prime. Come on Leica… go all the way!

    • Images from the Leica T are superb. No complaints here. I dont get your point. Have you seen Images already ? Makes me think you havent.

      • You don’t get my point? The Leica T is a system camera. Why build a camera body, which is designed to be used with various lenses, including many that have yet to be released or developed, with a sensor that is already outdated upon its release? I have seen images from the Leica T. They are fine. But the sensor is outdated, plain and simple. This is not opinion, it is fact. The main area of my concern with it is high ISO capability. If it works great for you, thats fine, but my point is Leica always wants to charge extraordinary prices, while delivering tech that is not extra ordinary, and by this, I mean their cameras, not their lenses.

  24. The obvious competitor is the Fujifilm X100T, but without the EVF it’s no contest! I think this goes further towards establishing the 23mm f2 fixed-focal length cameras as a distinct class of high-camera. However, right now sales are going to be slaughtered by the X100T and the Lumix 100 for those who want a high-quality fast-focusing zoom added to the package. For me, I think the X100T will be the best compromise among the 3 candidate. To my mind, it will fit nicely between the Sony RX100M3 and the Fujifilm X-T1 (with all 3 zooms and the 54mm f1.2) that I already own; and relieve my GAS tendencies for at least another year..

    • It’s okay, I doubt the X series plays in the same consumer playground. For that they have the Panasonic collaborations. If there wasn’t a market for the X series, Leica wouldn’t have kept coming out with new iterations, after all. That means someone out there are buying them. And enough of them to make Leica keep making them.

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