Leica X1 uses an APS-C (23.6 mm × 15.8 mm) format CMOS sensor with 12.2 megapixels (4272 × 2856 pixels, 3:2 aspect ratio). Fixed 24 mm/2.8 prime lens, equivalent to 36 mm focal length for a 35 mm camera, contains 8 elements in 6 groups. The lens extends to working position on power-up and retracts on power-down.
The camera is retro-styled, mimicking Leica rangefinder cameras of the past and the digital Leica M9, in a substantially smaller package sized 60 mm × 124 mm × 32 mm and weighing approximately 315 grams (11.1 oz) with battery. It is equipped with a flash hot shoe and a manually operated built-in flash, although the latter has guide number of only 5, considerably smaller than that of built-in flashes of entry-level DSLRs.
Image stabilization is neither lens-based nor sensor-based, but relies on a unique method Leica developed for this camera – combining two images into one.
The Leica X1's image stabilization (combining two images into one) has the effect of improving the percentage of acceptably sharp images when taken handheld in low light at shutter speeds of 1/30 second, or slightly less if a very steady hand is used. On the other hand, those "acceptably sharp" images will show a slight blur when viewed at 100 percent, as compared to sharp images taken with the image stabilization turned off. This very slight blur is due to the unavoidable small movement of the camera as it takes the two images it needs to combine for image stabilization purposes.
As of July 13, 2010, the Leica X1 was the first compact camera to be approved by Getty Images for submissions to their image library, and remained the only compact camera ever on that list, as on April 27, 2011, Getty published a revised wording of its technical requirements that no longer dictated what cameras could be used.
- Westlake, Andy (September 2009). "Leica X1 preview". dpreview.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- Westlake, Andy (December 2009). "Leica X1 review". dpreview.com. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- Laurent, Olivier (6 August 2010). "Getty Images approves first compact camera". British Journal of Photography. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- Media related to Leica X1 at Wikimedia Commons