When Leica finally unveiled its new compact camera after weeks of leaks and teases, the most common reaction was one of sticker shock. It wasn't a complete surprise: Leica is known for outrageous prices (and, yes, correspondingly outrageous image quality). But could the company really be asking nearly three grand for an APS-C camera with a non-removable, f/3.5-6.4 kit lens?
Yes, yes it could.
Most of the early reviews and hands-on impressions have been full of effusive praise for the X Vario Type 107 (née "Mini M") from an image quality perspective, but justly skeptical of its value proposition. Let's face it, there are plenty of brilliant compact, fixed-lens cameras you can get for a fraction of the price.
How you spend your money is, of course, your business. Still, we thought it might be fun to take a look at how many similar cameras you could get for the price of a single X Vario. Our selections range from the absurd to the sublime, from miniscule sensors to full-frame beasts, from slow zooms to fast primes. But one thing unites (virtually) all of them: They're cheaper than the Leica.
Okay, so we've established that the Leica X Vario is expensive. But is it actually any good? All signs point to yes, but we'd have to test it ourselves before we can render an official opinion. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.