Leica announced their forthcoming X1 digital camera yesterday and we were on hand to grab a few shots of a (sadly) non-working sample.

When it hits the shelves in January 2010, it will bring with it a 12.2-megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor (which you'd normally find in a DSLR) and a fixed 24mm lens.

Following the design lines of the M series, the all metal body is lovingly trimmed with leather, giving it an unmistakable Leica look.

It isn't until you glance around the back at the 2.7-inch display that you realise you aren't holding a museum piece – such are the retro looks.

A pop-up flash is neatly and discreetly positioned in the left of the camera, but a hot shoe will take Leica's SF 24D or SF 58 flashes if more power is required.

With a price yet to be revealed, you can be assured that the X1 is likely to become the reportage camera of choice for discerning photographers.