Unveiled: Leica Toughens up with the Rugged X-U (Typ 113) Camera


With the introduction of the rugged X-U (Typ 113) Digital Camera, Leica wants to make sure you have a camera anywhere you go—even if it’s underwater. The latest expansion of the company's powerful X series of point-and-shoots, the X-U maintains Leica’s legacy of precision-made equipment and unrivaled image quality by packing an exceptionally large 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor into a waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof body. In addition, it features the series’ well-known and well-regarded Summilux 23mm f/1.7 ASPH lens, which provides a 35mm equivalent field of view.

Getting into the nitty gritty, this tough, German-made camera has a waterproof depth rating of 49' for up to 60 minutes, or IP68. In terms of shock-proofing, its anti-slip rubber exterior is tested to withstand a drop from 4' high onto a 2-inch-thick wood surface. The body itself, aside from being durable, is of the intuitive design expected from Leica, managing to incorporate a manual focus ring onto the lens, a 3.0" 920k-dot rear LCD, and a variety of rear controls. To make the X waterproof and durable, the rear dial has been replaced with “plus” and “minus” buttons for fast setting adjustment. Along with all of this, the lens has a built-in flash on top that will help to illuminate dark scenes.

Excellent image quality is still at the forefront of Leica’s camera design; the X-U (Typ 113) features DNG raw files, in addition to multiple JPEG sizes, to grant maximum control in post processing. This is supported by the inclusion of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom with the camera for raw file development. For general shooting, the specs have not changed much from the X (Typ 113), providing Full HD 1080p video at up to 30 fps, continuous stills shooting at up to 5 fps, and ISO sensitivity up to 12500. One notable adjustment from the standard X (Typ 113) is a new underwater mode that will automatically correct for the shift in color rendition.

Alongside this tough camera are a couple of new accessories, including a floating strap and a black neoprene outdoor wrist strap. Otherwise, the X-U (Typ 113) takes the same batteries and accessories as its predecessor, including flash units, thanks to the inclusion of a hot shoe.

1 Comment

I don't really understand why a Leica should be able to be dropped from 4 feet to a two inch wood surface, when all wood surfaces are cut to under 1 inch, maybe if you drop it onto a very large desk. All of the new "Off The Road Cameras", can be dropped from 6 feet or more and they cost under $400. And, the Leica lenes on all of their cameras are NOT "M" lenses. The "M" lenses are tested/selected. All of the others made by Leoca are all very good but they are not the exact same lenses that bare the same name and are not tested by Leica, Or, am I wrong?

A photographer should only consider the actual sharpness and picture quality of a lens and not be swayed by how it looks and how small or light it is. In a lens, heavy is better. It means it is made of metal and glass, not plastic. Simple rule... Test and make a large print, If you don't print or print to 13x17, then any name brand camera with 16Mps, more or less, is good. Shoot first and ask questions later.