REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
LeicaX Vario Digital Camera (Silver)
 
4.8

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (17)
  • Great resolution (17)
  • Large clear LCD (14)
  • Zoom range/performance (9)
  • Compact (7)

Cons

  • No viewfinder (7)
  • Limited zoom (4)

Best Uses

  • Travel (18)
  • Family photos (12)
  • Low light (8)
  • Macro photography (8)
  • Video (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (9), Semi-pro photographer (5), Pro photographer (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (18)

Reviewed by 19 customers

Displaying reviews 1-19

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(17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Love this camera!

By Astrodog

from CT

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great Resolution
  • Great Zoom
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • No Viewfinder
  • Poor Image Stabilization
  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

  • Macro Photography
  • Travel

Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Silver):

I've only had this for about 2 weeks but I'm really enjoying it. I love the simplicity of the controls, the feel of the camera in my hands and the super sharp lens. There are no complicated menus with submenus to deal with. The camera is very solid without being too heavy, the LCD is bright and sharp, the dials and focus ring move just the way they should. I do wish the lens were a bit faster, especially in low light, and that it came with a viewfinder. I purchased the Visoflex EVF2 and use that almost exclusively. The battery life isn't very good, especially compared to my Leica D-Lux and Olympus OMD. I got a spare.

It doesn't have image stabilization so I have to be more careful to hold the camera steady while shooting. This is not a bad thing for me. I tend to snap away too quickly rather than taking my time to compose so I like that this camera slows me down a bit.

I plan on taking it on a trip in a few weeks and I'll post a follow-up review if I feel it's appropriate. Right now, I'm delighted with it. It's a camera that you just want to grab whenever you have the chance.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(20 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Wow

By Pat

from Fly Creek, NY

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great Resolution
  • Large Clear LCD

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Travel
    • Wildlife photos

    Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Silver):

    I bought this camera to replace my aging Digilux 3; I was looking for a camera with higher resolution and a little smaller and lighter in weight for traveling. My primary interest is in outdoor photography. I was a little hesitant because of the lack of a built-in viewfinder, but I decided to try it because of the reviews. I am not disappointed; my reaction to the first images was an unqualified wow. The images are incredibly sharp, detailed, with gorgeous color handling, especially of the blue hues. I have a particular dislike of the over-saturated, cyan-y tones of other cameras I have used; this camera produces skies that match what I see -- realistically intense or subtle. It also does a great job with a wide range of contrast; I have a black lab and yellow lab, and trying to make an image of them together is challenging, but this camera handles it remarkably well, managing to capture detail in the black lab's coat without burning out the yellow lab's coat or the surrounding snow. I've also shot some in black and white, and am very impressed with those images as well. I don't "see" in black and white, so I played with taking the same landscape in color and then in black and white, and was surprised to find that I liked the black and white even better than the color; more dramatic without the distraction of the colors, so this opens a new dimension for me.

    My major concern with this camera was the lack of a viewfinder; I have always found it hard to compose the shot with an LCD, especially in bright light. However, this LCD is so sharp and well-lit that I am actually adjusting to it quite well, though I still find it a bit difficult in bright sunlight. I have a little trouble holding the camera steady when it is away from my body, so I did purchase the external viewfinder, which is excellent. It feels more natural to hold the camera to my eye, and I feel steadier like that, but the quality of the LCD is such that I would not feel the external viewfinder is a critical accessory, especially for those who are more accustomed to shooting with an LCD. It is a minor inconvenience to have to mount the viewfiender, and I would not transport the camera with it just because I would be worried about damaging it.

    As regards the physical characteristics of the camera -- the weight is ideal for me, hefty enough that it feels solid in my hands and helps to maintain a steady hold, but not so heavy as to be tiring to carry. The physical size is a bit too small for my hands; I kept hitting controls without realizing it, so I purchased the hand grip, and that solves the problem for me, gives me just enough extra room for my fingers. As with the external viewfinder, it is a minor inconvenience to have to remove it to change batteries or memory card, but the benefit of having it far outweighs the inconvenience factor.

    This camera is very easy to use and produces beautiful images just as it is; so far, I have only used the auto settings, and the results are excellent, so this is a fantastic camera for an amateur. Sometimes I'm tempted to play with manual settings, but I'm not sure I could improve the images, and the convenience of the auto settings is a definite plus, especially traveling.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    I love my Leica!

    By #ilovemyleica

    from San Francisco

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Good in Low Light
    • Great Resolution

    Cons

    • No Continous Zoom
    • Short Battery Life

    Best Uses

    • Family Photos
    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Macro Photography
    • Travel
    • Video
    • Weddings/Events
    • Wildlife photos

    Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Silver):

    I use this camera as an all-round photographic tool, shooting everything from portraits, urban/nature scenes to night-time situations, and I love the overall quality feel of Leica.

    I especially love the simple shutter-speed and aperture setting wheels by the right thumb, and the quality of the images that are captured are always really good!

    I have to get used to not using a viewfinder, and I am contemplating purchasing the EVF2 for this reason, which would probably also increase the battery life, by not having to rely on the energy-depleting view screen for capturing images, which is one of my few cons about this camera. I have been using a Nikon DSLR (D70s) for years before I converted to Leica, and the battery life was much better on my old Nikon.

    A continous auto-focus function would have been great to have when wanting to shoot "live targets".

    But apart from that, I love my Leica!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (62 of 62 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Mediocre Specs, Fantastic Images

    By Asiafish

    from Bakersfield, CA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Pros

    • Brilliant Manual Focus
    • Full Manual Controls
    • Outstanding Lens Quality

    Cons

    • EXPENSIVE
    • Limited Zoom
    • Poor Image Stabilization

    Best Uses

    • Travel

    Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

    I use this as a travel camera and for casual use when I don't want to bother with my "serious" cameras. My image quality standards are extremely high as I shoot with a Leica M Monochrom and Nikon Df with premium prime lenses on those system cameras, and the X Vario matches them for image quality, corner to corner, at every distance, at every aperture and at every focal length.The X Vario fails on specs, and is justly criticized for its slow maximum aperture (f/3.5 at 28mm and f/6.4 at 70mm equivalents), but that slow lens is how the engineers were able to get such exceptional optical quality. Yes, they could have made the lens faster, but it would have been considerably larger, heavier, and likely not as sharp. As it is, the lens on the X Vario may very well be the sharpest lens I own, and as the owner of a Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron-M, that is saying a lot.Everything else is exactly what the reviews say. It looks and feels very nice, autofocus is on the slow side, but accurate, and the handling concept with real dials and autofocus as a detent on the focus ring just past infinity is absolutely brilliant. The rear LCD is average, and the optional EVF is is an older model that doesn't compete on resolution or quality with the latest and greatest, but like the LCD is thoroughly adequate and still a pleasure to use.To me, this is the absolute best image quality I can get in a simple and versatile camera that is easy enough to hand off to a child and advanced enough that I don't feel bad leaving the system cameras at home.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (16 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Fantastic new addition

    By VTAFC

    from Waterbury, VT

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Good in Low Light
    • Great Resolution
    • Great Zoom
    • Large Clear LCD

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Macro Photography
      • Sports/Action
      • Travel

      Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

      Whilst I am by no means anywhere near ant level of photographic proficiency, I am more then happy with my new purchase. The build quality is exceptional. The studiness in my hands is very impressive. I really enjoy the outstanding image quality. Low light images are also fantastic. I enjoy the intutive nature of the controls as well as ease of use. Setting up the camera out of the box was extraorindarly easy. Lense is more then adequate for my needs. I would highly recommend this camera to anyone looking for an extemely well made, precision, smaller format digital camera

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Fantastic!

      By Maura

      from Denver, CO

      About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Great Resolution
      • Large Clear LCD
      • Small / Compact

      Cons

      • Lag / Shutter Delay

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Travel
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

      Unpacked and used the X Vario at a Santa Fe Worshop w/National Geographic photographer. Used in all situations -- low light (perfect!), bright light (perfect!) and everything in between. Crisp, high quality images every time. Used it in the 24 - 40mm range, but liked the option to zoom closer. My only (only) issue is the video button is very close to the shutter and I found I was in video mode a few times. GREAT camera. I also shoot with the Leica x2 (fixed length 24mm) and a Canon 5D (mix of lenses).

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Loved it right out of the box

      By Deutschprof

      from Stoningon, CT

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Great Resolution
      • Large Clear LCD

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Art And Creative
        • Black White
        • Travel
        • Wildlife photos

        Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

        Amazing quality. The camera truly is built like a tank. Superb image quality at lower ISO settings. I am using this primarily for high resolution black and white art photography. The flash is adequate for close up fills. I use the Vario X with the grip, the loop and the Leica viewfinder. I have fallen in love with this camera. I consider it an investment. In contast to my plastic Nikons, this remarkable camera has a German sturdiness about it that you simply must experience. Additionally, the camera is not small or lightweight. Enjoy the love.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Yes another keeper

        By Shark diver

        from Las Vegas NV

        About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Fast Shutter Speed
        • Good Battery Life
        • Great Resolution
        • Great Zoom
        • Large Clear LCD
        • Small / Compact

        Cons

        • No Viewfinder

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Macro Photography
        • Travel
        • Wildlife photos

        Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

        I have owned Leica's for years now, and they have operated without any problems. My new x vario is a real treat, the optics alone are stunning. The camera functions are laid out that is very user friendly. Color & B/W photos really stand out.Yes I would recommend this camera.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (18 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Amazing B&W

        By Amudgarden

        from Phoenix, MD

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Bw Images
        • Easy to Use
        • Great Resolution

        Cons

        • No Viewfinder

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Travel

        Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Silver):

        The black and white images produced by this camera are simply gorgeous. The clarity, sharpness, contrast...it's pure beauty. It's at the very same level of a Leica Monochrom. I now use it strictly in B&W mode and continue to be amazed by the images rendered. And, it shoots well in low light in B&W mode.

        The menu is simple, organized and easy to use. I recommend getting an EVF with it (either Leica's or Olympus). The flash is weak, but enough for close ups and indoor candid shots of people around you. It's not useful as a fill flash outdoors. The battery lasts about as long as I expected...always bring a spare with you if you're shooting all day.

        A great travel or family camera.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (2 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Nice point&shoot leica..

        By Seck

        from Chicago

        Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Silver):

        Very handy addition to your M's...especially when you get tired of swapping your lens

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        (35 of 35 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Really an amazing camera!

        By Dave

        from New York

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Good Battery Life
        • Great Resolution
        • Great Zoom
        • Large Clear LCD

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Macro Photography
          • Travel
          • Video

          Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

          I have been using this camera since June 2013. I have thousands of shutter clicks on it. The output from this camera still amazes me, and the handling and operation really are the best. The lens is superb. Color, contrast, that Leica look... it's all there - with the convenience of a short to medium zoom and auto focus. It's a fast handling camera for the most part. I am pleased with the candid "decisive moments" that I have been able to capture.

          Everything you've heard about this camera is true, both good and not so. The image quality is really right up there with full frame, thanks mostly to the lens. Low light is really not that big a problem if you take a moment and set the camera up correctly and bump up the ISO and watch your shutter speed and steadiness. I cannot say it enough - the output is amazing, even in low light. The image stabilization works better than most people give it credit, because I am able to nail 1/8second exposures with sharpness. This camera is, however, challenged in low light compared to a constant 2.8 zoom lens FF or APS camera (which would be huge).

          I bought an Olympus EVF, Leica lens hood, wrist strap, and grip - all from B&H of course. The grip and wrist strap improves the handling tremendously and makes this a great travel camera and great for candid photography and street shooting. I highly recommend these accessories.

          The manual focus implementation rocks. It is so easy to use zone focusing, even in extreme low light, that I don't worry about the low light autofocus performance all that much. The autofocus works well in low light when zoomed out. Zooming in is a problem due to the slow tele aperture but zone focusing solves it effectively.

          The X Vario has inspired me to take pictures like no other camera has (in many years of enthusiast photography). It has really helped my creative side to improve also: I see light and contrast in a whole new way, thanks to the amazing lens and capabilities of the camera. Obviously having an incredible zoom also helps since I am not limited to a fixed prime lens, nor do I have to stop and change lenses.

          Everything you've heard about the B&W output is true too, btw! Wow... Shoot B&W + DNG and you will have lots of fun and great pictures.

          The camera is built like a tank. I HIGHLY recommend it. I've shot Nikons, Fuji, Olympus OM-D, Canon's. They leave me cold. I connect in a way with this camera that has really surprised me. It is worth every penny.

          Go to B&H and put one in your hand and try it out. I think you will be amazed too.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (10 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          WOW! What a joy to use!

          By Leslie

          from Hawaii

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Great Resolution
          • Great Zoom
          • Large Clear LCD
          • Small / Compact

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Land Scapes
            • Macro Photography
            • Street Photography
            • Travel
            • Video

            Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

            Wow - I have just used this for over a week or so and have been putting it to the test. I love the image quality that this camera produces. As some have mentioned that in low light situations it doesn't work the best. So far it has surprised me - shooting where I thought I would not be able to get it work.

            I love the size and weight of the camera, it is easy to pack and go. I really like having the tele as it makes the camera useable in so many different situations. I'm using it for street photography and so far I like it. I use a 95mb/s SD card and it really keeps up with the continuous shots!

            This is a keeper!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Everything I expected and more

            By Quality guy

            from Los Angeles, CA

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Resolution
            • Great Zoom
            • Large Clear LCD

            Cons

            • No Viewfinder

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Travel

            Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

            This is one superb little camera built like a fine Swiss watch. It's easy to use. I found even though the lens is slow, by upping the ISO I was able to get startling sharp images with wonderfully saturated colors.

            Best part is it shoots absolutely stunning b&w photos.

            I bought it with the Leica EVF which works like a charm. Very sharp.

            I know this will set one back the price of a Nikon D800 body and then some. But it's smaller size, ease of use and picture quality will not disappoint.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Stunner

            By The XVarior

            from Lebanon

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Fast Shutter Speed
            • Good Battery Life
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Resolution
            • Great Zoom
            • Large Clear LCD
            • Small / Compact

            Cons

            • No Viewfinder

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Macro Photography
            • Travel
            • Video
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

            No review can give this camera the right merits. Only grabbing it in your own hands and taking some pictures "B&W + DNG" can allow you to really appreciate what this camera is all about.
            simply put, this is an absolute stunner, a camera capable of outputs that exceeds the sum of its parts or specs.
            Yes, this is a Mini-M and yes this is a Mini-Tank.

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            (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Worth every dime

            By Tomboy

            from NW Ohio

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Fast Shutter Speed
            • Good Battery Life
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Resolution
            • Large Clear LCD
            • Small / Compact

            Cons

            • Limited Zoom
            • Needs Interchangable Lens

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Travel
            • Video
            • Weddings/Events

            Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

            I know this camera is expensive, but spend the money. The clarity in the photos is astounding. On the auto setting, you will be delighted with the results and the ability to regulate the weighting on how it reads the light removes those auto pictures where your subject is dark because of strong back lighting. It's function in low light conditions is astounding.
            Camera is very light, easy to carry around with you all day long without feeling like you are lugging 40 pounds of camera and lenses.
            Great camera and another in a long line of outstanding Leica products.
            Battery life is excellent. I took it with us for a wedding and shot pictures from Thursday evening through Sunday evening, came home and downloaded all the pictures....all on one charge.

            • Ease of Operation:
            • 8
            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (9 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            I would buy this product again and again

            By Svilen Stoev

            from Trenton NJ

            About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good Battery Life
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Resolution
            • Great Zoom
            • Large Clear LCD

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Travel
              • Video

              Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

              This is absolute amazing product !
              The quality is made in Germany /BMW/
              The glass is sharp!
              I am just speechless.

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 10
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great, solid camera.

              By Fayence

              from Palo Alto, CA

              About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Great Resolution

              Cons

              • Limited Zoom
              • No Viewfinder
              • Poor in Low Light

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Outdoor photos
              • Travel
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

              Use it as an everyday shooter. Very well built, looks beautiful and gets attention. It's outdoor quality is great. Indoor is not as good in terms of low light. The flash helps but tends to produce overblown photos. All in all, it's a great camera for everyday use.

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 9
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (28 of 33 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Sharp images with renowned Leica color

              By bobbyg53

              from Phoenix, AZ

              About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Battery Life
              • Great Resolution
              • Great Zoom
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Small / Compact

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Family Photos
                • Macro Photography
                • Travel
                • Weddings/Events
                • Wildlife photos

                Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

                This new X Vario is the cure for the shortcomings that caused me to return the Fuji X-E1/18-55mm. It delivers sharp, 3-dimensional images with great micro contrast. Color rendition right out of the camera is classic Leica with excellent saturation and contrast. JPEGs don't have the the flat, pastel look nor mushy landscape details of the Fuji X-trans sensor.The camera is more compact, lighter, and far better balanced in handling compared to my X-E1. Menus and function buttons are simple and straightforward which allow you to concentrate on shooting.The X Vario screen has twice the resolution of the X-E1, and the Olympus VF-2 viewfinder is bright without the motion-blur that plagues the built-in finder of the X-E1.The build quality is exceptional with a top plate machined from solid aluminum, a magnesium and aluminum body, and milled aluminum lens barrel. Well-balanced and weighty, easy to hold steady and just shoot beautiful images. Highly recommended.

                • Ease of Operation:
                • 9
                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (27 of 37 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Leica X Vario Compact Zoom Camera

                By Dale

                from Seal Beach CA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Battery Life
                • Good in Low Light
                • Great Resolution
                • Large Clear LCD

                Cons

                • Limited Zoom
                • No Viewfinder

                Best Uses

                • Family Photos
                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Travel
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about X Vario Digital Camera (Black):

                If you're looking for a camera that's competitive with Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony and other brands based on price and specifications or performance, you needn't look at the X Vario because it will cost 3 or more times as much as those other brands for equivalent performance. On the other hand, if you're looking for the special things that make up a Leica camera (made in-house by Leica), then consider this: The bottom end for Leicas is the X2 - a fixed 35mm lens in a small body[*] the X Vario - a 28-70mm zoom lens in a much larger body [*]the M9 - with lens comparable to the X Vario, about $[$]and the S2 - about $[$]with a comparable lens. So the X Vario is more like the M9 in size, weight, and quality of build, but more like the X2 in price, making it a great bargain in my opinion, for a Leica camera.

                • Ease of Operation:
                • 8
                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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