So the Mini-M that Leica has been teasing on its Facebook page has been announced. It is the Leica X Vario, a 16.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor fixed lens compact camera. Its lens is a Vario Elmar 18-46mm f/3.5-6.4 ASPH lens and Leica is claiming that the X Vario is the first large sensor compact with a zoom lens.
The X Vario is a nice looking camera with a reasonable zoom range. But the large slow f/3.5-6.4 lens is bound to disappoint many Leica fans as it has none of the “low-light photojournalism” cachet that Leica has built a reputation on over the years. To make matters worse, the bulk that the Vario Elmar adds to the X Vario detracts from its compact nature and makes one wonder why a small mirrorless system body wouldn’t be a better choice. When you factor in the top-shelf price tag, one has to wonder how successful the Vario X will be with the Leica faithful.