First day with the X-Vario

Started Mar 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
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First day with the X-Vario
Mar 4, 2014

The camera arrived a day early, and since it was sunny this afternoon, I took her for a spin. Before heading out, I plunged into the menu system, and adjusted everything to taste (DNG + JPG fine, ISO at 100, metering at spot, aRGB). Either I forgot to save all these settings (unlikely, but possible), or some reset happened at some point in the field, because when I came home I had ended up with very plain vanilla sRGB JPGs at random ISO settings. I take it the camera is way smarter than me...too many variables for my taste, and the controller introduces yet more settings at rather inappropriate times, namely, when I accidentally hit the darn wheel with my palm. Wearing gloves (it was minus 16 C this afternoon) isn't working too well on the XV, not as well as on my M9, that's for sure. Just toggling the on/off switch becomes a rather delicate affair for example. I tried fill flash on a couple of occasions, but the results haven't impressed me yet. Used macro (works only at the 70mm tele end, is that correct?), and was impressed. And I used the screen to focus and frame at first, but ended up mounting the Leica-branded EVF, the thing is a bit plasticky & flimsy, but tiltable, which is very nice. This is early days, operationally I think I'll get the hang of it pretty soon.
Sooo...I am sitting here with JPGs now...and they look actually really good. Much better than from my (now sold) X2, at any settings. Very little distortion or vignetting with that lens wide open (although I don't think I ever took a picture wide open), surprisingly well corrected (talking JPGs again). No complaints about sharpness from today's results, I am pretty conservative with USM sharpening, although from what I've seen and read, the XV files may require more liberal USM doses to make them "pop". Native colors are a tad muted and flat, which suits me just fine, the color curve appears healthy and robust enough to move it quite a ways towards very vibrant and saturated if so desired. I look forward to actually doing some DNG-based shooting tomorrow...
For some strange reason, today was a day for mostly old woods and iron. Nothing animated would show itself, except one freezing sparrow on a porch. Some random results:

Feedback & suggestions welcome. Thanks.

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