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Leica X-U (Type 113)

16.2-megapixel APS-C sensor waterproof/shockproof camera

Item # 910XU

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Our take on the Leica X-U (Type 113)

If you're as serious about outdoor adventures as you are about your photography, you need a high-performance camera that simultaneously stands up to the elements and delivers top-quality images. The Leica X-U gives you all the rugged features of a tough-style camera plus high-end optics and a large APS-C sensor for outstanding image quality. Its simple design, smooth controls and solid, lightweight construction reflect its pedigree as a highly capable photographic tool. Whether you're out in the pouring rain, blizzard conditions, or at the beach on a windy day, you'll be able to capture photos that others can't — either because they're afraid to or their camera just can't handle it.

Leica X-U

No need to be afraid of a little splash — the Leica X-U is waterproof down to 49 feet.

Feeling adventurous?

If you're as serious about outdoor adventures as you are about your photography, you need a high-performance camera that simultaneously stands up to the elements and delivers top-quality images. The Leica X-U gives you all the rugged features of a tough-style camera plus high-end optics and a large APS-C sensor for outstanding image quality. Its simple design, smooth controls and solid, lightweight construction reflect its pedigree as a highly capable photographic tool. Whether you're out in the pouring rain, blizzard conditions, or at the beach on a windy day, you'll be able to capture photos that others can't — either because they're afraid to or their camera just can't handle it.

An incredible lens at the center of it all

Leica paired a 16.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor — a feature typically only found in larger interchangeable lens cameras — with a premium Summilux 23mm f/1.7 lens for high-quality photos with rich, natural colors and sharp details. Great for landscapes, architecture, and street photography, the X-U's wide-angle lens has a bright aperture that gives you dreamy defocused backgrounds. A manual focus ring on the lens barrel lets you put all the emphasis on your subject. And the camera's minimum focus distance of about eight inches lets you capture details impeccably at close range.

Defy the elements

As your go-to expedition camera, the X-U can handle just about anything you throw at it. It's shockproof up to four feet and dust and water sealed, so you can take it out in the most adverse weather conditions. If you like exploring the ocean's depths, the X-U can come with you on your next undersea adventure. It's waterproof all the way down to 49 feet and can be used underwater for up to 60 minutes. An easy-access button lets you set the camera to underwater mode, where white balance and distortion correction are adapted to underwater conditions. The camera's lens also has an underwater protection filter for sharp, high-resolution photos.

Product Highlights:

  • waterproof down to 49 feet and shockproof up to 4 feet
  • 16.2-megapixel effective recording with APS-C sized CMOS sensor
  • shoot in RAW mode for the highest possible resolution
  • Leica Summilux 23mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens
    • fast f/1.7 lens helps capture scenes in low light
    • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 35mm
  • 3" (920,000-dot) LCD screen helps frame and review shots in full color
  • auto, manual, aperture-priority, and shutter-priority exposure modes
  • ISO (sensitivity) range: 100-12,500
  • built-in flash with red-eye reduction
  • manual focus ring for fine-tuning focus
  • freeze a subject in motion with 5 frames per second in burst mode
  • UW mode dials in the settings for underwater photography
  • shoot up to 450 shots on a single battery charge
  • 1920 x 1080 Full HD video recording (30 fps) in MP4 format
  • 90-day license version of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan (download), including Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, and more
  • records directly to SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards
  • 5-9/16"W x 3-1/8"H x 3-1/2"D
  • weight: 22.4 oz.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera
  • Lens cap (installed)
  • Lens cap string
  • BP-DC8 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (3.7V 1600mAh 6.0Wh)
  • BC-DC8 Battery charger (DC output: 4.2V 0.65A)
  • 6 AC plug adapters (including US 2-prong)
  • Neck strap
  • Accessory shoe cover (installed)
  • Instructions
  • Guarantee Card
  • Test Certificate
  • Your Benefits as a Leica customer
  • Leica Academy promo card

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size 3"
Adjustable-angle LCD No
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen No
Waterproof Yes
GPS-enabled No
Lens 35mm Equivalent 35mm
Optical Zoom N/A
Digital Zoom N/A
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output No
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Sensor Size APS-C
Megapixels 16.2
Image Stabilization None
Highest Resolution 4928 x 3264
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Width (inches) 5-5/8
Height (inches) 3-1/4
Depth (inches) 3-1/2
Weight With Battery (ounces) 22.4
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research


Overview: The Leica X-U (Typ 113) is an "adventure-tested" digital camera with unparalleled performance. The camera is shockproof, and sealed to protect it from water and dust. Even though it is built to defy the elements, the X-U features high quality optics and an APS-C image sensor for spectacular image quality. The Leica X-U comes with a slip-on rubberized lens cap, rechargeable battery, battery charger, and padded neck strap.

3" LCD Monitor: The camera has a 3" TFT LCD monitor with approximately 920,000 pixels. The brightness can be set to Low, Medium Low, Standard, Medium High, and High. You can adjust the monitor's color settings in 10 levels of intensity in the direction of yellow, green, blue, or magenta. You can set the LCD to automatically turn off after 30 seconds or 1 minute of camera inactivity.

Lens: The X-U is equipped with Leica Summilux 23mm f/1.7 ASPH lens. The focal length and field of view equals that of a 35mm lens in the 35mm format. The aperture range is f/1.7 to f/16 in 1/3 EV increments. The lens can focus from approximately 7.78" (20cm) to ∞ (infinity). The lens features 10 elements in 8 groups, including 4 aspherical surfaces, and is sealed with underwater (UW) protective glass.

Image Sensor: The camera features a 23.6 x 15.7mm APS-C sized CMOS image sensor, with 16.5-million total pixels and 16.2 effective pixels. The sensor has a native 3:2 aspect ratio.

Still Image Recording: The Leica X-U can record still images in JPEG in Super Fine and Fine compression rates, as well as DNG (RAW) format. JPEG images can be recorded in 5 sizes: 16MP (4928 x 3264), 12.2MP (4272 x 2856), 7MP (3264 x 2160), 3MP (2144 x 1424), and 1.8MP (1632 x 1080). DNG "digital negatives" are taken from raw data at the maximum resolution of the image sensor (4944 x 3278). You will need additional software, such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, to edit DNG data and convert it to JPEG or other formats. The camera can also record both DNG and JPEG at the same time (DNG + JPG Super Fine or DNG + JPG Fine).

Shooting Modes: The power switch, which surrounds the shutter release button, has three settings: Off, S, and C. Setting the camera to S (Single) lets you take individual exposures with each press of the shutter release. If the switch is set to C (Continuous) for serial exposures. You can choose frame rates of Low (3 frames per second) or High (5 fps). The High rate is only available with shutter speeds of 1/60s or faster. After 7 pictures are taken, the frame rate declines slightly because of the time required to transfer the data from the buffer memory to the card.

Video Recording: In addition to shooting stills, the X-U can record videos in MP4 format. You can choose between 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720, both at 30 fps.

Memory Cards: The X-U has a memory card slot that will accept SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards.

Rugged Design: The Leica X-U is built to perform, even under the toughest conditions. The camera body is sealed to prevent dust and water to enter, and a double locking system for the battery compartment and memory card slot. This gives the camera an IP68 waterproof and dustproof rating, and the ability to withstand depths of up to 49 feet (15 meters) for up to 60 minutes. The protective TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) armor gives you a sure grip and the top and bottom plates are made of premium aluminum. The camera is in compliance with MIL-STD 810G, giving it the ability to withstand a 4-foot drop.

Shooting Underwater: The camera's Underwater Mode includes a special white balance function to correct the color filtering that takes place under water. In addition to diminishing natural light at underwater depths, the color red disappears at about 16', orange at around 50', and yellow at approximately 100' depth. The built-in flash should only be used in depths of up to 16 feet. For greater depths, an external, underwater-capable flash unit should be used.

Distance Setting (Focus): The camera can be set to Auto or Manual focusing. The focusing range is 7.78" to infinity. The focusing ring rotates to set the distance manually. The ring has distances markings at 0.2', 0.3', 0.4', 0.6', 1', 2', and ∞. Turning the ring beyond "infinity" sets the camera for Auto Focus (AF). In poor lighting conditions, the AF Auxiliary Light turns on when you press the shutter release to extend the operating range of the AF system.

MF Assist: When in Manual Focus, the MF Assist mode offers assistance to obtaining a sharp focus by enlarging the center section of the subject by approximately 6x. The enlarged detail will disappear after about 5 seconds after the last focus adjustment. The feature can be turned on/off in the menu.

Exposure: The Leica X-U offers four exposure modes: Automatic Program (P), Aperture Priority (A), Shutter Speed Priority (T), and Manual Exposure (M). You can select the exposure mode by setting the Aperture and Shutter speed dials. Other exposure-related features include:

  • Exposure Compensation: In P, T, and A modes, you can adjust the exposure from +3 to -3 EV in 1/3 EV increments to make the exposure darker or lighter as desired.
  • Automatic Bracketing: Bracketing allows you to take a series of three pictures with graduated exposures. The graduations are produced by changing the shutter speed for the P, A, and M modes, or the aperture for the T mode. You can vary the exposure from +3 to -3 EV in 1/3 EV steps. You can then choose the best picture for your use.
  • Exposure Metering: The camera offers three exposure metering methods: Multi-field Metering, Center-weighted Metering, and Spot Metering.
  • White Balance: White balance makes sure the color rendering is natural regardless of the light source. You can choose from the following: Automatic WB, Daylight, Cloudy, Halogen lighting, Shadow, Electronic Flash, two manual settings, and two manual color temperature settings.
  • ISO Sensitivity: The camera can set the ISO speed automatically or manually. With Auto ISO, the sensitivity range and slowest shutter speed can be specified. You can also set the ISO manually between ISO 100 and ISO 12500 in 1 EV increments.

Flash Photography: The X-U has a built-in flash unit integrated into the front housing of the lens. The built-in flash has an operating range of 11.8" to 6.5', and a recharge time of about 5 seconds. It also has an accessory shoe for adding an external flash. Flash modes include:

  • Automatic Flash: The flash is automatically activated whenever longer shutter speeds due to poor lighting conditions would lead to blurred pictures.
  • Automatic Flash with Pre-Flash: A Pre-Flash is triggered just before the main flash when you press the shutter button. This reduces the "red eye" effect that occurs when the subject looks directly into the camera.
  • Fill Flash: When shooting back-lit subjects, the Fill Flash will trigger, regardless of the lighting conditions. The flash power is controlled, according to the metered external brightness.
  • Manual Flash with Pre-Flash: This mode is the same as Fill Flash, but with a Pre-Flash to control "red-eye" effect.
  • Auto Flash with Slower Shutter Speeds: The flash takes into account the longer shutter speeds needed to illuminate objects the background.
  • Auto Flash with Slower Shutter Speeds and Pre-Flash: This mode is the same as above, but with a Pre-Flash to control "red-eye" effect.
  • Flash Disabled: The flash does not fire, even in low light situations.

Auto Review: After a photo has been recorded, the image will automatically appear in the monitor. In the menu, you can adjust the Auto Review setting to the following: 1 second, 3 seconds, 5 seconds, Hold (until you press the shutter release halfway again), or Zoom (shows the center section of the photo enlarged for focus check).

Image Playback: The Leica X-U lets you play back still images one at a time, or in an index of 16 thumbnail images. Individual images can be enlarged up to 16x.

Power Requirements: The camera is powered by the Leica BP-DC8 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (3.7V, 1600mAh, 6.0Wh). The battery charges in approximately 3 hours 20 minutes using the supplied BC-DC8 battery charger. A fully charged battery has the capacity for approximately 450 exposures.

Our Product Research Team

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