Leica Launches the X-U (Typ 113), a Shock, Water, and Dust Resistant Camera with a Bright Summilux 23mm f/1.7 Aspherical Prime Lens

leica_xu_front.jpegLeica is known for very high quality cameras and lenses. But, they're also entering the rugged camera  market, as they announced their first water, dust, and shock resistant camera last week, the new Leica X-U. This is no ordinary point and shoot rugged camera designed to go boating with, as the new Leica X-U is loaded with professional quality features.

The product pages for the new Leica X-U are filled with eye catching wording like "Dive into a New Adventure", "Strong, Rugged, Amazing Pictures", "In the Eye of a Sandstorm", "Beneath the Waves" and more, with photos and graphics that try to illustrate the attention getting section titles. After all, as the old saying goes "a picture is worth a thousand words". So make sure to visit product site setup at http://x-u.leica-camera.com/

As for the rugged part, this camera is engineered to meet compliance with MIL-STD 810G, method 516.5  (in accordance with Leica Camera AG testing conditions). The Leica X-U is also Dust and Water Resistant in compliance with JIS/IEC protection class 68 (IP68), which allows for underwater photography in depths up to 15 m/49 ft for max. 60 minutes.  It also includes a built-in flash in a unique location over its fixed prime lens.

leica_xu_front2.jpegIn addition, it's also engineered to take very nice photos, capturing images transmitted  through a Leica Summilux 23mm f/1.7 Aspherical Lens to a 16.2 Megapixel  APS-C size sensor, meaning you'd have the same angle of view that you'd get using a 35mm focal length lens with a 35mm format camera model. Photographers will also love the simple control layout, giving a similar feel that they'd have using an older Leica film camera. The photo below illustrates some of those controls.

leica_xu_top.jpegBut, you can see that it's actually a digital camera, thanks to the 3 inch LCD on the rear that you'd use for image framing and playback of images, along with additional buttons that you'd use for the setting of more features.

leica_xu_back.jpegOf course, Leica also included features that make the camera more desirable in more conditions to improve image quality.  For example, its 16.2 Megapixel APS-C Size Sensor supports ISO speeds of up to ISO 12,800, meaning faster shutter speeds in low light, especially given this camera's very bright lens with aperture settings as wide as f/1.7 available. The new X-U can capture still photos at up to 5 frames per second, with support for both JPEG and 14 bit RAW formats, and can also capture full HD 1080P video.

Leica plans on making this camera available by the end of January 2016 for a suggested price that should come in at close to $3000 in the U.S. We'll be looking forward to seeing how this camera works in the field soon, as it's a model that most any photographer wanting high quality images in more conditions would love to have in their bag.

Again, make sure to see the product pages at http://x-u.leica-camera.com for more information and specifications.