Me the X Varior
The Leica X-Vario
Oct, 25 2013
I just want to share with you my 2 weeks or so of ownership of the gorgeous Leica X Vario.
I Purchased the X Vario from the Los Angeles Leica store a couple of weeks ago during a vacation and family visit to California. when I first went to the store , I was not thinking of making any purchase at the time. I had my canon 5D mark III with prime lenses with me and my wallet was almost empty due to the vacation expenses...
so really, buying a camera was not on my mind at all but seeing the X Vario in person, live at that beautiful store took my breath away.
first the Leica Store, If it happens that you visit LA, you must go visit that store. Beautiful architectural space, very welcoming with la huge variety of Leica products on display. Almost all A-La-Carte items were present! A huge scaled Leica Camera sculpture welcomes you even before you get inside. I didn't knew it but that work of art is for sale at 1000,000 USD if you are asking ;-) it's called The Fake Leica made by a Chinese Artist. Me however, I was there to see a genuine Leica, the controversial X Vario. My attendant handed it to me minutes later on a jewelry-style velvet cushioned tray… It was love at first sight! Mr. Tom Smith, from Leica Akademie came to meet me minutes later and invited me to join his X Vario workshop planned for next day. participants are gonna be briefed about the camera's features, learn how to best use it but also take the camera on the nearby streets of Beverly boulevard for a real world test... I was booked in.
the camera is a blast to carry around, compared to my heavy-weight DSLR-Prime lenses combos, the X Vario feels like a feather in my hands and on my neck. Balanced, sharp, reliable with stellar IQ and most importantly, its ridiculously easy to use. I shot that day B&W only… and boy, the Vario deliver B&W images that look like if they were silver-coated. Breathtaking.
That Very same day, I became, officially, a Leica Owner.
I was heading to Vegas in 2 days and I made the tough decision to leave my 5D Mark-III at home, carrying only the X Vario. It was a risk I made as I had no idea how the camera would perform at high ISO. but I took the risk anyways.
Almost all my Vegas pictures were taken at ISO 3200 to 6400, I was both surprised and amazed. The grain pattern of the X Vario is way more beautiful, usable and non destructive compared to any camera I’ve or tested including that of my 5D. AF problem? where, I remember using the autofocus twice since I bought the camera!
From Vegas down to Beirut, I did my first fashion portrait tests during a photo shoot I was video shooting for the magazine I work for "ELLE Orient" again, the camera excelled, this time with it’s built in flash that, as in Vegas, it does miracles as a filler. I had never used an on camera flash before, but the X Vario’s is something else. The model was standing on a balcony with harsh backlight, still, the quality of the image "see bellow 2 shots of model one color one B&W" the skin tones produced were beyond my comprehension. I hugely recommend using it as often as possible.
Today, I can say that Leica was not wrong when calling this camera a Mini-M. it really is a Mini-M and a Mini-Tank too. A camera capable of outputs that exceeds the sum of it’s specs.
Here are some samples images. All coming from camera with no editing except probably for one or 2 having only a touch of vignetting added to them.
Hope you’ll enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed shooting them.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.
Leica X2 Digital Compact Camera Black