The Leica X-U (Typ 113) is the German Manufacturer’s first foray into the market for rugged, outdoor compact cameras—and they’re hoping it makes a splash, as the camera is waterproof up to 15m. Shockproof, dustproof, waterproof, and anti-slip; the Typ 113 allows shooters to capture HD footage; whatever the weather and whatever the terrain.
Leica X-U (Typ 113) Specs
APS-C (23.6 x 15.7mm) CMOS sensor (16MP)
23mm Leica Summilux f/1.7 lens ASPH (35mm equivalent)
ISO range: Automatic, ISO 100-ISO 12500
MP4 recording, 1080p @ 30fps, 720p @ 30fps
Stereo microphone, mono speaker
3”, 920k dot, LCD rear screen
Supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
Double locking system for battery compartment/memory card slot
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/second)
Dimensions: 140 x 79 x 88mm
Rugged Design Features
The Leica XU (Typ 113) was designed and manufactured in Germany, with the help of Audi design. The camera’s body is coated with an anti-slip rubber while the front element is covered by a UW protective glass filter. It has been built to withstand water, dust, and shock.
Waterproof to 15m for up to 60 minutes (IP68-compliant)
Shockproof to falls from 1.2m (MIL-STD 810G, Method52-compliant)
Leica X-U (Typ 113) Conclusion
Effectively, not much has changed from the Leica X (Type 113). The most notable differences are the integrated flash above the lens (which I am fairly sure was Audi Design’s idea!), a few subtle changes to the controls that are aimed at improving underwater workflow, and the body’s TPE coating. Oh, and the fact that you might get to witness it survive a shoot while submerged.
Of course, there are far cheaper alternatives to be considered, if you’re not expecting to come across too many underwater shoots and are willing to make a few sacrifices and spec tradeoffs. The Ricoh WG-5 comes with GPS and costs around 10% of the price of the Leica.
Meanwhile, the Nikon COOLPIX AW130 offers 1080p @ 30fps, 25fps, 60fps, and 50fps. The AW130 also comes with HDMI D and Micro USB connectivity, both of which the Leica is lacking. This camera again comes in at under $300, meaning that if your only concern is whether your camera is waterproof or not for a particular shoot, your money might just be spent better elsewhere.
Otherwise, it seems like a fairly decent offering for filmmakers who need a compact camera that can go practically anywhere with them—as long as they don’t mind the typical Leica price tag. As is often the case, there are far cheaper alternatives to be considered; and there’s not that much of a leap in quality.
The Leica X-U (Typ 113) is available now for $2,950, and if you want to make sure your camera doesn’t swim away, Leica also offers a floating carry strap for the camera at $95.
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