A Closer Look at the Leica X1 Camera: A Review for Photography Enthusiasts

If you're a photography enthusiast, you've likely heard of the Leica X1 camera - a compact and powerful camera that's perfect for on-the-go shooting. But is it worth the investment? In this blog post, we take a deep dive into the features and capabilities of the Leica X1 camera, so you can decide if it's the right camera for your needs.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Leica X1 article cover photo

Key Features

Dec 18 2009


12 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

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Overview of the X1

Photography is an art form that has grown in popularity over the years, thanks in large part to the advancements in technology that have made cameras smaller, more powerful, and more user-friendly. One camera that has caught the attention of photography enthusiasts around the world is the Leica X1 - a compact camera that packs a powerful punch. In this blog post, we'll explore what makes the Leica X1 camera so special, and help you decide if it's the right investment for your photography needs.

Leica X1 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Leica X1 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Superior image quality
Large APS-C sensor
Leica optics
Compact size
Solid build quality
Manual control options
RAW image support
Fast autofocus
Easy to use interface


Limited focal length range
No electronic viewfinder
Slow start-up time
Fixed lens
No image stabilization
Average battery life
No built-in flash
Limited video capabilities

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Leica X1

Weather sealed
Dimensions124 x 60 x 32mm

Weather Sealing

The Leica X1 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution230k dots
Body typeLarge sensor compact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 2.70" screen, with a display resolution of 230k dots. This makes the Leica X1 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Leica X1 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the X1 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Leica X1 has a 12MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 12 pixels. Leica X1 has a native ISO range of 100 - 3200 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Dec 18 2009


100 - 3200

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4272 x 2856 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Leica X1 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the X1 is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC card
Battery Life
Battery Model
Wireless Connectivity


The Leica X1 supports SD/SDHC card with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Leica X1 uses the undefined model of undefined. This is rated for undefined shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Leica X1 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Leica X1 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Leica X1 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 11 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Leica X1?

The Leica X1 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Leica X1 weather sealed?

No the X1 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Leica X1 announced?

The Leica X1 was announced on Dec 18 2009

Does the Leica X1 have in-body image stabilization?

No the X1 does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Leica X1?

The X1 has a native ISO range of 100-3200, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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