Looking for the best Leica camera under $1500? This is enough budget to get you a really nice Leica. Here’s a list of the best you can get your hands on.

Hi, I’m Sven the Leicaphile and here’s the list of the best Leicas that you can get for under $1500 . Before jumping in the list proper, here’s a quick overview of what to expect.

What Leica can $1500 buy you?

First things first, even with a $1500 any M camera is still out of the question. The lowest you will find a Leica M camera is at the $2000 range. The bump over the $1000 Leicas allows you to get two Leica partnership cameras new, or used made-in-Germany Leicas.

Let’s look at the list:

Best Leica camera under $1500 list

NameSensor SizeMegapixelsLens Info (35mm eq)Max apertureGet it here:
1. Leica D-Lux 74/31724-75mm1.7-2.8 Check Price
2. Leica TL2APSC16.3NANA Check Price
3. Leica X Typ 113APSC16.525mm1.7 Check Price
4. Leica X2APSC16.236mm2.8 Check Price
5. Leica V-Lux 5APSC12.236mm2.8 Check Price
A list of the best Leica camera under $1500

Now that we’ve seen the list, let’s look at what makes each a contender to the best Leica camera under $1500. Image samples are provided when available.

1. Leica D-Lux 7

The best Leica camera under $1500, period

leica d lux 7
Reasons to buyCons
+ 4/3 sensor
+ Amazing zoom range
+ Fast aperture
+ Great Bokeh
+ Video
+ Stabilization
– Not 100% Leica
– External flash

Let us start our list of beat Leica camera under $1500 with a Panasonic-Leica hybrid. This camera (and the previous model) completely dominates the lower priced Leica lists on this website. There’s a good reason why: It’s all the camera you might need.

It has a large 4/3 sensor and a wonderful zoom range, from 24 to 75mm, at a speed of f1.7 on the wide angle end to f2.8 at the telephoto end. Pretty much all you would ever need for any situation from landscapes to portraits.

Speaking of which, the portraits wide open at 75mm have nice Bokeh to them. This camera rivals larger DSLRs and has really good video functions like stabilized 4k. The only issue here is that this is a partnership camera. It was made in conjunction with Panasonic.

This is only for disclosure, if you can overlook that, the image quality coming from this camera is pretty stunning and you would be hard pressed to find such versatility in a small body from Leica or any other manufacturer.

With a $1500 budget you can buy it new and get the Leica grip that makes an excellent camera even better. Image samples:

Leica d lux 7 portrait photography 1
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Leica d lux 7 sample image 11
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Leica d lux 7 sample image 12
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Leica d lux 7 portrait photography 2
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You essentially have two choices when it comes to the best Leica camera under $1500: Either get a partnership camera NEW or get a 100% made in Germany Leica used. Let’s get into those:

2. Leica TL2

The best Leica camera under $1500 with interchangeable lenses

leica tl2 18mm
Reasons to buyCons
+ From the current line
+ Stylish, unibody
+ Huge screen in the back
+ Two dials for controls
– Might need to factor in a lens

The good news is, this is the best Leica camera under $1500 that you can get that has interchangeable lenses. Not only that this is from the modern Leica line that is still in production. The bad news is, for that price range you will need to get it used, and factor in a lens.

Many listings however has this camera with a lens. This is one of the sleekest cameras ever, coming out of a slab of aluminum. The back is nothing but a touchscreen so it’s aimed at people who are used with using their phones.

Photographers will appreciate that Leica put in two dials in order to change the main settings like aperture and shutter speed. This is the first Leica on this list that is 100% Leica and made in Germany.

It has the same Maestro II processor you’ll find in the larger M camera and is quite the fast shooter at 20 frames per seconds. These two are the top choices as the best Leica camera under $1500: A new partnership camera, or a used current line Leica. If you are willing to look at older models there are gems to be had like the following Leica X.

3. Leica X Typ 113

The best Leica camera under $1500 that is fixed focal length

leica x camera
Reasons to buyCons
+ APSC sensor
+ Fast aperture
+ Looks and feels like an M
+ Great Bokeh
+ Great Focal length
– Fixed lens
– No viewfinder
– Not constant f1.7

The Leica X Typ 113 is the best Leica camera under $1500 if you do not need a zoom. It is the closest you will ever get to an M-like experience without breaking the bank. Even better is the price, since you will find it WAY cheaper than $1500 used, you can use the rest of the money to get yourself the Leica Visoflex electronic viewfinder (used price).

Once you put it on, it becomes very close to a Leica M, and the viewfinder flips for a right angle finder experience. Besides that this is like a mini M camera with APSC and 35mm f1.7 lens. This is a great middle of the road focal length for street photography to portraits.

The only issue here is that while the camera is billed as a f1.7 lens, it only keeps that aperture if your subject is about 4 feet or 1.2 meters away. Any closer and the aperture goes to f2 and beyond. Quite the annoyance but the image quality and M-like experience without the price tag make it worth it. Image samples:

Leica x sample image 1
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Leica x macro 1
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Leica x sample image 3
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Leica x sample image 4
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Leica x sample image 5
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4. Leica X2

The cheapest and oldest best Leica camera under $1500

Leica x2 camera
Reasons to buyCons
+ Large sensor
+ Great focal length
+ Sharp, contrasty images
– Relatively slow aperture
– Autofocus is a bit slow
– low resolution screen

If the previous Leica X Typ 113 is as close as you can get to the Leica M cameras, this is very close to the even older Leica screw mount cameras that predate the M line. So this is a smaller camera then the Typ 113.

Both cameras are from the under $1000 Leicas list, but they are both so good I’ve had to put them there. With the extra money you can get the electronic viewfinder or get the wonderful grip. Compared to the previous choice this has a slower f2.8 lens and similar focal length.

The screen is atrocious at 230k dots (modern cameras are in the millions of dots), but it’s no big deal as the best surprise is reserved for when you load up your images on the computer screen, the image quality rivals any DSLR, especially in good light.

The images are sharp, contrasty and they pop. The autofocus isn’t the fastest, but if you’ve had the X1 it has been much improved making this a much better camera. Image samples:

leica x2 sample image 1
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leica x2 sample image 2
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leica x2 sample image 3
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leica x2 sample image 4
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leica x2 sample image 5
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We are almost done for the best Leica camera under $1500. There is one last choice:

5. Leica V-Lux 5

The last contender for best Leica camera under $1500

leica v lux 5 camera
Reasons to buyCons
+ 1 inch sensor
+ Zoom range
+ Great grip
+ Fast aperture on wide angle
– Big for such smaller sensor
– Form factor
– Slow-ish in telephoto

This list of the best Leica camera under $1500 started with a partnership camera, and will also end with one. Just like the first choice, this is co-produced with Panasonic and it’s the two cameras on this list that you can get NEW for your budget.

Don’t let the looks fool you this is a small 1 inch sensor camera. Why the large body then? Because this has a seriously impressive zoom range that blows everything out of the water. It can go all the way to 400mm. Here’s an illustration:

leica vlux 5 zoom range

That is not even showing the wide angles! This can go from 25mm to 400mm. And while it’s on the slower side at f2.8, at the telephoto end it is a respectable f4.

If you are into sports or wildlife photography this camera is unbeatable for the zoom. If you are into reportage or “normal” photography the other cameras will probably be a better fit. Image samples:

Leica vlux5 wildlife
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Leica vlux5 wildlife2
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Leica vlux5 wildlife3
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Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this article about the best Leica camera under $1500. You essentially have to choices: Either get a Panasonic/Leica camera NEW or get a made-in-Germany Leica used. That choice is up to you.

The top choice when it comes to the best Leica camera under $1500 is either a Leica partnership camera that has a stunning zoom lens built-in (the D-lux 7) or a made-in-Germany Leica that you will need a lens for Leica TL2.

If you don’t need the zoom and just want one of the closest Leica M experiences the Leica X Typ 113 fits the bill real nice, followed by the slower lens and more compact X2. You can also get the V-Lux 5, but it is better reserved for those who really need the zoom power.

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