Review – Leica X1 – The Cheapest Leica You Can Buy!

I often get asked about cheap cameras and also about cheap Leicas.
Because wether you like it or not they produce a special look and colors that many find desirable.

The X1 is the cheapest purebred Leica I know of. 

Video recorded with:
Fuji X-T20
35mm f1.4
Manfrotto Befree

If one wants a Leica, what is the cheapest one?

I think the M8, T and even Q are all very affordable.
But they aren’t the cheapest.

The Leica X1 is a purebred Leica. There is no Panasonic clone to be bought.
It is the real deal.
Leica colors and a Leica lens in a very well built package.
The cheapest M8 I’ve seen is $1000. So anything bellow that makes it very affordable in Leicaland.

The Hunt

I started seeing the Leica X1 cheaper and cheaper on eBay and classifieds.
I even saw one that ended without bids at only $250.
So I started scouting for them. Two of them slipped through my fingers at only $200.
Finally there was one for $300 in a store with warranty and I went for it.

Impressions

With any old camera (2009) you will get some outdated technology.
  • The AF is usable but pretty slow.
  • The Screen is less than awesome.
  • The ISO is enough, but is there ever really¬†enough?
On the other hand you are getting some great things for the low price.
  • A Premium APS-C compact.
  • More pocketable than an X100
  • Great build quality
  • Excellent manual controls, makes much more sense than on my X100f.
  • A Leica lens with the “Leica look”
  • Leica colors
  • Native DNGs

And most of all. You get a fun camera that didn’t cost an arm. Its a perfect b-cam, fun-cam or crash-cam.
I’ve had a lot of fun with it. I wouldn’t want it as my only camera.
But I wouldn’t want to be without it either.

Leica X1 Sample Pictures

Leica X1 Landscape Leica X1 sharpness Leica X1 dog