There’s no skirting around the fact that Leica cameras are by nature of their exacting German engineering, and subsequently elevated prices, very precious objects. But this new Leica is different because, unlike its various siblings, it needn’t be mollycoddled.
Developed in collaboration with Audi Design, the rugged Leica X-U combines a 16.5-megapixel APS-C sensor with a fixed Leica Summilux 23mm lens and a fast f1.7 aperture within a body that can withstand the most extreme conditions by way of shock-proofing, water-proofing (up to 15-metres depths) and mega-seals that keep out sand, dust and other lens-damaging particles. It can even record HD video (up to 1080p at 30 frames per second).
In short, the X-U is almost all the camera you’ll ever need, in any circumstance and any environment. And the only reason we added the word ‘almost’ is that it doesn’t record video in 4K. Of course, most people won’t give two hoots about that but if you do, we have been reliably informed that Leica will be adding this feature soon to a more expensive version. Till then, this is as good as it gets.