Leica X1: A Small Pocketable Gem with a Big Heart


© Andy Westlake

New Year’s Greetings!

On a noble quest to reinvent a tradition, Leica AG made a surprising move with three of their latest products. It is an expensive bet they are making, and it looks like they have found their path once again.

The S3, The M9 and The X1 are to Leica, what BMW offers with their 7, 5 & 1 series sedans; they are laying a new groundwork for their future path and they are taking it seriously; not only they are going back to basics to look for new answers as their core of these new products, they are rethinking big at the smallest details with their latest incarnations of Leica’s aging legacy, no longer they are relying on outside help to discover what they really can do.

With the rising sensation of pocketable photography, Leica has crafted a unique blend of beauty with their new X1 line; masqueraded on a minimalistic high-end (yet tiny) magnesium cast and its legendary optical performance; Leica has successfully unite art, science, technology & fashion that will change the shape of pocketable high-performance camera:

It’s impossible not to conclude that the X1 has the best high ISO performance of any ‘coat pocketable’ camera yet. But it’s also worth noting that in practical use, its advantage over the GF1 (or E-P1) is almost completely wiped out by the stop and a half more light the 20mm F1.7 can gather

Read DPreview’s 28-page excellent take on the Leica X1