Flirting with a Leica X Vario

Disclaimer: This is not a review. It’s not even a mini-review. These are my initial impressions, take them or leave them.

The X Vario (Type 107) is unmistakably a Leica. From the jewelry box-like packaging to the genuine leather strap, it’s oozing with quality. The body is metal—a magnesium alloy—and the top cover is milled from a solid bar of aluminum. If I close my eyes I think I’m holding my old faithful Leica M4.

It’s not the fastest camera I’ve ever used, but it’s responsive and exciting to use. The Leica ELMAR 18~46mm (28~70mm equivalent) f:3.5-6.4 lens is exceptional, and combined with the full-size APS-C 16-megapixel sensor the image quality is truly outstanding.

It could be my imagination (although I doubt that seriously) but the color rendition—especially the way it handles hues in the purple range—is unique. Judge for yourself after taking a close look at the image accompanying this blog. (Bear in mind that what you’re seeing has been hyper-shrunk down to 600 pixels in width to meet blog requirements.)

Although I was able to use this sample camera for only a few days, I shot 444 images and plan to use several of them to illustrate future blog postings. Fortunately, I was wise enough to enjoy with this camera without falling in love. The price tag is way over of my annual budget, but don’t let that stop you. Visit your local Leica dealer and tell them that you want to flirt with temptation.

—Jon Sienkiewicz