Leica X Vario: The 16 megapixel aluminium and leather camera

Leica has revealed its latest digital compact camera: the Leica X Vario.

The new camera features a 16.5-megapixel (effective 16.1) APS-C format CMOS image sensor, complete with a zoom lens covering a 28-70mm focal length equivalent.

The Leica X Vario is the world's first compact camera to combine a large, APS-C format sensor with a zoom lens.

As we've come to expect from Leica, the German-made camera will use high quality materials: alumimum, leather and a hand-crafted luxury finish is all part of the package.

Dials on the camera's top plate provide grip when setting the shutter speed and aperture, and there is a 3-inch monitor on the rear for preview and playback.

"The X Vario features an intuitive handling concept with clearly laid out functions. The user-friendly operation of the menu interface guarantees rapid access to an impressive range of automatic and versatile manual setting options," says Leica - trying to ensure future customers that it's not just about a pretty looking case.

To accompany the new camera there will be a number of accessories including the Leica EVF 2 Viso-Flex electronic viewfinder accessory. This new finder is complete with a 1.4 megapixel resolution and can swivel at 90-degrees for top-down use. There's also an optional handgrip available.

The camera will come with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, presumably version 5, when it comes to the UK in the coming weeks.

As ever with Leica it's not a cheap product: the asking price is a cool £2,250.