German Photographic company Leica recently launched its first waterproof camera, the Leica X-U. Not only is the new camera waterproof, it is shatterproof as well making it one most rugged cameras currently available in the market.
The camera is waterproof upto a depth of 49 feet underwater, making it one of the most suitable cameras for underwater usage. It is both dust-sealed and snow-sealed which makes it usable under any conditions.
Its rugged outer body makes it invulnerable to dust, water, shocks and weather. The 3 inch display of the camera is covered by a hardened monitor screen which provides protection to it from unfavorable conditions. It features a double-locking system which makes sure that water does not seep into it and cause damage to internal parts like the memory card and the battery.
The camera boasts a 16.5-megapixel APS-C image sensor which is paired with a non-swappable Summilux 23mm lens. The f/1.7 aperture featured on the lens makes sure that even images churned out by it under low light conditions are clear and crisp.
The Leica X-U comes with a 1.5x crop factor which makes the 23 mm focal length of its lens equivalent to 35mm focal length of other lenses. It has the capability to record 1080p videos at 30 frames per second. The videos recorded by it are stored in the MP4 format.
Users can access the fully manual settings of the camera using the 3 inch TFT LCD display screen that it sports. During underwater usage, the display screen of the camera can be protected by a special hard cover that comes along with it. The chassis has a rubbery coating which makes sure that there are less chances of the camera slipping out of hand.
It weighs in at 635 grams and has a maximum ISO of 12,500. The in-built flash of the camera is placed on the top edge of its lens barrel. Unfortunately, the camera lacks a viewfinder and users will have to content with taking snaps by looking at its display screen. It reportedly even has an underwater snapshot button on it which makes the task of taking pictures with it underwater easier.
The camera is the first attempt of the company at developing a decent water-resistant camera and it sure looks like that it has succeeded in achieving its goal in a good way. The AW1 from the house of Nikon could be deemed as its nearest competitor.
The Nikon AW1 is the world’s only waterproof camera that comes with the facility of swappable lens. Users can use the camera in two different fixed optic modes which are the wide angle optics and the very wide angle optics.
The camera can be fitted with any other lens of the Nikon 1 System. However, as these lenses are of part of the camera itself and are fitted on externally, they won’t be water resistant. The Nikon AW1 comes with a nifty feature which allows users to change and select different functions of the camera by tilting it.
It has the capability to capture images in RAW format which allows for a better scope of editing them at a later time. Overall, it is a powerful underwater camera which comes with a moderate price tag of $800.
Coming back to the Leica X-U, the camera comes with a hefty price tag of $2950. It could be easily assumed that this brand new camera from the house of Leica will be well out of reach from a significant number of consumers.
Let us take a quick look at how the new camera fares when compared to two of its siblings- the Leica X Vario and the Leica X2.
Being of the same X series, all the cameras produce similar quality images with fairly accurate color differentiation. The large APS-C format CMOS sensor that features on all the three cameras ensure that the images churned out by them has natural color rendition and are of great quality even when taken under low light conditions.