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Leica reveal new X Vario camera

Respected camera company Leica have unveiled their latest X Vario camera.

Leica have been teasing this camera now for some time and people were speculating that they were going to release a tiny interchangeable lens camera to target the popular FujiFilm X-E1. The Leica X Vario however has been launched as the ‘world's first compact camera to combine a large, APS-C format, CMOS image sensor with a zoom lens.'

This new model is a 16.2 megapixel shooter with an APS-C format sensor and a 18-46mm zoom lens. This will give it a 35mm focal length of 28-70mm, quite a diverse range to deal with landscapes and city snapshots, to portraits. Low light shooting might be a troublesome however as the lens is only f/3.5 at the wide end and drops to f/6.4 at the telephoto end. This is a little disappointing, especially to those users expecting the ability to switch out for a faster, more expensive lens.

On a more positive note, the X Vario looks to be extremely well built. The camera has a magnesium body with a lovely leather trim to set the appearance. All of the controls seem easy to access, including click dials across the top plate for setting aperture and shutter speeds.

The camera measures 133 x 73 x 95 mm and weighs 680g. It has a pop up flash and a 3 inch LCD monitor with 920k dots. It is compatible with the optional EVF 2 Viso-Flex.

The ISO range is set between 100 to 12,500 and it can handle a 5 fps shooting speed, with a burst of 8. The camera can be focused manually from a ring around the lens, or by using an 11 point autofocus system. The software includes a Face Detection mode. HD video is also supported, up to 1080p at 30 fps.

In the States you can pick up the camera for $2,850, which is a significant investment.

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