Blog title: Leica X Vario Review: A Compact Camera with Powerful Features for Stunning Shots

Looking for a high-performance camera that is also compact? The Leica X Vario might be exactly what you need. In this review, we explore the features and capabilities of this versatile camera and discuss why it's a great choice for anyone looking for a professional-grade camera in a small package.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Leica X Vario article cover photo

Key Features

Jun 11 2013


16 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

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Overview of the X Vario

If you're someone who loves photography, you know that the camera you use can make a significant difference in the quality of your shots. Enter the Leica X Vario - a compact camera that packs a punch when it comes to features and capabilities. In this review, we take a closer look at the Leica X Vario to see what it has to offer and why it's such a popular choice among photographers. From its sleek design to its impressive sensor and lens, you'll learn why this camera is worth your consideration. So, let's dive in and explore the Leica X Vario in more detail.

Leica X Vario Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Leica X Vario 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!


High-quality images
Versatile lens
Compact size
Fast autofocus
Solid build quality
Excellent low-light performance
Manual controls
Sharp LCD screen
User-friendly interface


Pricey compared to other options
No viewfinder
Limited zoom capabilities
Slow startup time
Mediocre battery life
Limited video features
No image stabilization
No Wi-Fi connectivity
Limited ISO range

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Leica X Vario

Weather sealed
Dimensions133 x 73 x 95mm

Weather Sealing

The Leica X Vario 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 FinderElectronic (optional)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution920k dots
Body typeLarge sensor compact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 920k dots. This makes the Leica X Vario 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.


X Vario includes a electronic (optional) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of n/a and a magnification of n/a. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Leica X Vario has a 16MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 16 pixels. Leica X Vario has a native ISO range of 100 - 12500 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

Jun 11 2013


100 - 12500

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4928 x 3272 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


78 / 102

Color Depth

23.4 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

12.7 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

1320 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Leica X Vario camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, 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 X Vario is average

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

Battery Life450 shots
Battery ModelBP-DC8
Wireless Connectivity


The Leica X Vario supports SD/SDHC/SDXC 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 X Vario uses the BP-DC8 model of battery pack. This is rated for 450 shots 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 X Vario 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 X Vario 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 X Vario 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 X Vario?

The Leica X Vario features a CMOS sensor

Is the Leica X Vario weather sealed?

No the X Vario does not have weather sealing.

When was the Leica X Vario announced?

The Leica X Vario was announced on Jun 11 2013

Does the Leica X Vario have in-body image stabilization?

No the X Vario 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 X Vario?

The X Vario has a native ISO range of 100-12500, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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