Leica's underwater compact camera good but ugly

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The review doesn’t mention whether Mr. O’Kane tried using it with thick gloves. This is an important step in testing underwater camera, IMHO.

I wish there was an inexpensive way to digitize my Nikonos II

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Sure Leicas are great cameras. But is it worth 21x a Fuji XP80 shockproof, waterproof cam? I sure wouldn’t let my teenage son take it skiing, climbing and hiking as I do the Fuji. But perhaps that just shows my economic level is just not up to such a fine camera.

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Ugh Leica.

It’s not that they aren’t nice cameras (they are), it’s that their pricing is so wildly bonkers.


Ugly? Looks to me remarkably faithful to the Leica rangefinder design language we’ve been seeing for the last 100 years or so. The flash-looking nubbin is kind of awkwardly positioned is all.

At least compared to my Terror From The Deep mental image of what an underwater camera looks like.

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I agree. The design is functional and unobtrusive, but “ugly” or “not pretty”?

@beschizza, can you show us a nice camera? I’m trying to understand your key issues : )

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49 feet is less than even the basic rec diving certification allows you to go. What do you do when the divemaster signals for further descent, set your camera on a convenient reef?

If you’re taking a $3,000 camera underwater and aren’t putting it in a $100 diving enclosure, you’d better be very confident in both your dive depth and the housing.

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Optical view finder, flash distance from lens is nice, integrated lens cap, and no one will suspect you of being a pro.


As far as I can tell the reviews tend to focus on the underwater bit, but it isn’t really meant to be a diving camera but a general rugged camera protected from the various elements.


I’ve used neither, but the Leica looks to be an APS-C sensor, while the fujifilm has a 1/2.3 sensor. Given that sort of info, I can surmise that the Leica has better low light performance. The thing about underwater photography is that all that water does a wonderful job of reducing available light, and reducing the effectiveness of any flash. Your eyes do a wonderful job of adapting to the low light of a late winter afternoon just before sunset. But a camera just knows that there are quite few stops less light.

If ISO 3200 looks horrible on the Fujifilm, and you need Iso 3200, perhaps it’ll be more usable on the more expensive camera.

The real test is between 4/3, aps-c or full frame camera in a dive housing, and this Leica.

I think @KarlS has it right, this is an upscale ruggedized adventure sport camera capable of shallow water photography, it’s umm, not playing in the same pool as dedicated underwater gear. For the same reason there’s no expectation of operation with dive gloves on.

Comparisons should be to other rugged compacts and GoPro’s. The question remains whether the APS-C sensor and Leica name is worth $2850 more. Maybe for a pro, but I doubt a pro would choose one of these except as an “everyday carry” because it’s way better than a phone and the best camera there is is the one you have on you.


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