Leica X-U: The Ultimate Underwater Camera

Leica is a luxury brand just beginning to dabble in submersible cameras. Their innovative, yet old-school, design makes The Leica X-U stand out. At around $3,000, this model is definitely on the higher end of compact underwater cameras, but the X-U is worth every cent. This high quality camera has a plethora of unique features for users to enjoy.

Leica is renowned for crystal-clear, cutting images and the X-U lives up to its reputation. It shoots photos with a resolution of 16 Megapixels in RAW and JPEG files. Subjects can be focused manually or with contrast based auto-focus. Autofocus can recognize subjects as close as 20 cm and has 11 focus points to choose from. With the X-U’s 35mm users can capture a diverse range of subjects. What makes The Leica X-U unique? It’s image sensor format. It uses a high quality APS-C image sensor. This is notable for an underwater camera. For this reason, the Leica X-U has a 3:2 image ratio. The flash is placed above the axis, and this is optimal for underwater shooting. The X-U packs a lot of freedom in its punch. It’s rare for a compact underwater to allow users to manually focus.

This is an underwater camera you will actually enjoy diving with. You won’t need to adjust your own buoyancy or swim with a massive underwater housing. This camera can easily fit inside a BCD pocket. The minimalist design will allow users to easily adjust their camera settings.

‘Fish’ Factor:
The depth rating for the X-U is 15m/ 49ft for 60 minutes. Underwater mode is accessible via a separate button. This will allow users to adjust white balance and correct the camera to shoot in underwater conditions. There are 5 white balance presets programmed into the X-U.

The X-U is a durable camera and well-suited for adventures on land and underwater. The waterproof design also seals the X-U from dust. Users can shoot in rough conditions on land without worrying. Leica has rated this camera to be shatter proof up to 4 ft/ 1.2m.

This camera has three drawbacks, but some photographers may never notice these missing features. There is no viewfinder or zoom, so users will have to adapt their shooting strategy. The camera also comes with a fixed lens, so it is less versatile.

Serious bonus:
Leica offers 90 days on Adobe Creative Cloud after registration of the camera.

Buy The Leica X-U.



Model Name Leica X-U
Resolution 16 Megapixel
Shutter Speed Range 30 s to 1/2000s
Depth Rating 15m/ 49ft for 60 minutes
Image Ratio (W:H) 3:2
Camera Dimensions (W x H x D) 140 x 79 x 88mm /

533⁄64 x 31⁄8 x 315⁄32”

Weight 600/635g / 21.16/22.4oz
Construction Reinforced plastic, aluminum
Video Recording Format MP4
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080p or 1280 x 720p
Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC
Frames per Second 30 (video) 3-5 (image series)
Battery 450 shots, 200 minutes charge time
Flash Included Yes
Self Timer Yes
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100-12500
Monitor Size 3’ LCD
Price 3,224.09 USD

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