Leica X1 at a glance:
- 12.2 million effective pixels
- APS-C-sized sensor
- Fixed 24mm f/2.8 lens (equivalent to 36mm)
- DNG raw format
- Street price approximately £1,395
While a full-frame sensor of 35mm film proportions is seen by many as the most desirable option for DSLRs, an APS-C-sized device is akin to the Holy Grail for compact models.
Whereas full-frame DSLRs are now available from the mainstream manufacturers at a relatively affordable price, until now only Sigma, which is much better known for its lens production than its digital camera manufacturing, has offered a compact camera with an APS-C-format sensor.
Although it has its loyal devotees, the fact that Sigma has opted to use a non-standard sensor from Foveon may have restricted its compact cameras’ popularity.
The introduction of the X1 by Leica means that there is now an APS-C-format compact digital camera available from a manufacturer steeped in both camera and lens-production history. In photographic circles, the name Leica provokes a similar reaction to the Rolls-Royce, Bentley or Bugatti monikers among the motoring fraternity. It evokes an expectation of high build quality, excellent optics and superb images at a marriage-threatening price. The £1,395 X1, therefore, has a lot to live up to, but if it can deliver what we hope, the air could be ringing with the sound of smashing piggy banks.