My full review of the new X2 is up!

Started May 11, 2012 | Discussions
Ming Thein
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My full review of the new X2 is up!
May 11, 2012

Hi everybody,

I've had a new X2 and EVF for a few days now courtesy of Leica Asia Pacific. Enough time to get a full review out:

http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/05/11/leica-review-1/

All in all: nothing earth shaking, but evolutionary improvements everywhere. And it all adds up to a significantly improved camera.

Will try to answer any questions either here or on my blog.

Enjoy!

Ming

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maxnoy
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

Great info, thanks for posting. Enjoyed the S2 vs D800E and the watch macro work. Results sure speak for themselves there.

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Ming Thein
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Thanks! nt
In reply to maxnoy, May 11, 2012

maxnoy wrote:

Great info, thanks for posting. Enjoyed the S2 vs D800E and the watch macro work. Results sure speak for themselves there.

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Juha Lindstrm
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

Nice write up. Glad to see a positive review of the new X2. I can only think Leica will further improve it with future firmware updates.

I'm especially glad about this positive review, because I don't get the negativity around yesterdays announcements that seems to be going around.

Anyway, thanks for the review. It was a good read.

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Ming Thein
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Thanks Juha!
In reply to Juha Lindstrm, May 11, 2012

I don't know about the negativity, but looking at usability and image quality alone, the X2 delivers - not something I could say entirely about the X1.

Juha Lindstrm wrote:

Nice write up. Glad to see a positive review of the new X2. I can only think Leica will further improve it with future firmware updates.

I'm especially glad about this positive review, because I don't get the negativity around yesterdays announcements that seems to be going around.

Anyway, thanks for the review. It was a good read.

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Juha

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kamalpr
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Re: Thanks Juha!
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

Ming Thein wrote:

I don't know about the negativity, but looking at usability and image quality alone, the X2 delivers - not something I could say entirely about the X1.

you mentioned that sensor used is the same as camera with N and 3 0s. I think you mean Nikon D7000. For $2000, one can buy a D7000 and any decent lens. So, will this be cost-effective as in yield value for money compared to that? Or if you recommend it, why would you recommend for that kind of money?

thanks
-kamal

Juha Lindstrm wrote:

Nice write up. Glad to see a positive review of the new X2. I can only think Leica will further improve it with future firmware updates.

I'm especially glad about this positive review, because I don't get the negativity around yesterdays announcements that seems to be going around.

Anyway, thanks for the review. It was a good read.

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janlu
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

very nice review and pleasant reading...... I also appreciate your sincerity as Leica ambassador in stating that the lens doesn't perform so well at F2.8 with the new sensor.... This X2 is for sure an improved X1, but i can't see in it a big step since i have never found my X1 unusable .

On the night shot wide-open on the X1 i have always noted a decentered Halo around the lights to sides of the frame ...not in the center though , ( i.e. street-lamps etc...) ..... do you experienced it with the X2 .... the lens is supposed to be exactly the same... .. or not ?

BTW i have also liked very much the Seascapes essay !!

Best regards, Gianluca
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snake_b
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to janlu, May 11, 2012

Very nice photos.

We have new considerations in the field now and it seems underwhelming for Leica to seemingly cut massive corners, particularly the screen and lens. These are two areas that needed improvement as well.

It's gotten ludicrous, actually, how far behind Leica is with every new model, and on an increasing basis.

The question we have here is if the X100, despite fewer MP will still perform better, not to mention its replacement.

Even questions of the ugly old Canon G1X are thrown into the mix, as is the Pentax K-01 with various lenses and even price-wise, if one would simply just want to get an X-Pro-1. Even u4/3 comes up, with the fast pancakes from Panasonic. Even the price drags Sony's Nex series into it.

Leica fans will argue such things as "the Leica experience", "the red dot of quality", "unmatched IQ and Leicaness", but in reality, the IQ and characteristics can be easily duplicated between cameras.

Honestly, since the lens isn't even fast, I'd love to see it go up against the G1x. I have a feeling Leica might win only on the adjectives about it being a Leica.

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profus
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

Tnx for your review. X2 probably is many ways a step further from X1, but in my opinion nothing big enough to make me sell my X1 and buy it. I am really disappointed...

ps. Is it my screen - I find almost all your images to be way oversharpenned?

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Juha Lindstrm
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to profus, May 11, 2012

profus wrote:

Tnx for your review. X2 probably is many ways a step further from X1, but in my opinion nothing big enough to make me sell my X1 and buy it. I am really disappointed...

ps. Is it my screen - I find almost all your images to be way oversharpenned?

Maybe you're exactly the intended target group. Sure, there's going to be X1 owners upgrading, but I think Leica is wanting more people on the X-train rather than just focus on getting part of the "old crowd" to upgrade.

They've listened in most critical parts to the comments of the public. They've addressed the mechanics and improved autofocus etc etc. It's sure to bring more potential buyers.

Also, looking at the m-series these evolutionary updates are very typical of Leica. So, people disappointed have been somewhat mislead by their own expectations. In the M-series we got M8, then years later M8.2 evolution which lasted for a year.. and then the M9 revolution, which again lasted several years. Last year we got M9-P and now M-M.

I'd say expect X3 & M10 sometime next year. Photokina will see the interchangeable mirror less with possible M& R lenses through adapters.

Let time pass and think about it. This all makes sense from Leica perspective and don't feel disappointed. This all makes your X1 retain better value until X3, since the update wasn't "that big".

And yes, it's probably your screen. They looked fine to me

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profus
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to Juha Lindstrm, May 11, 2012

The value of X1 went down the second X100 entered the market. I don't even think about selling it with that expected huge loss...:-(

The sell of X1 ( at least here in DK ) almost died - the price is too steep and one cannot justify buying it over X100, OM-D, Xpro-1, Nex-5(7)...you name it. X2 does not bring anything really new in that equation. The lens ( though good one ) is the same, everything is the same ( ok- a bit better af ), sensor minor improvement in megapix. count and...that's it. Optional rebadged Olympus EVF for twice the price? LCD ( this is outrageous! ) has still "anno 2005 cut-edge" specification...

The price is of course higher. I really cannot see, who would want to buy it for 2000€ ( I know the announced price is 1995 $, but that always transfer into same amount in € here in EU, btw the price of X1 is 1670 €)

Looks like a big joke to me.

PS. Still think those images are oversharpenned. So much I start to see halloes on some of them...

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unknown member
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to Juha Lindstrm, May 11, 2012

Juha Lindstrm wrote:

Nice write up. Glad to see a positive review of the new X2. I can only think Leica will further improve it with future firmware updates.

I'm especially glad about this positive review, because I don't get the negativity around yesterdays announcements that seems to be going around.

You don't get it? Take off the Leica glasses, you'll see. It's there. As another poster wrote so well, "It's gotten ludicrous, actually, how far behind Leica is with every new model, and on an increasing basis."

Ludicrous is an excellent word to describe Leica today.

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snake_b
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to Juha Lindstrm, May 11, 2012

No they haven't. To say they did is a lie. They updated a sensor, which everyone does. However, they've continued to use a screen with such low resolution, that it competes with cameras from 2007. I'm wondering if they're planning on an edition version with a nicer screen for 1,000 euros more.

Of course, Leicaphiles will eat this up and argue that a low-res screen is better.

This is just a signal of massive cost-cutting in engineering and lack of vision and reliance on a name.

Juha Lindstrm wrote:

profus wrote:

Tnx for your review. X2 probably is many ways a step further from X1, but in my opinion nothing big enough to make me sell my X1 and buy it. I am really disappointed...

ps. Is it my screen - I find almost all your images to be way oversharpenned?

Maybe you're exactly the intended target group. Sure, there's going to be X1 owners upgrading, but I think Leica is wanting more people on the X-train rather than just focus on getting part of the "old crowd" to upgrade.

They've listened in most critical parts to the comments of the public. They've addressed the mechanics and improved autofocus etc etc. It's sure to bring more potential buyers.

Also, looking at the m-series these evolutionary updates are very typical of Leica. So, people disappointed have been somewhat mislead by their own expectations. In the M-series we got M8, then years later M8.2 evolution which lasted for a year.. and then the M9 revolution, which again lasted several years. Last year we got M9-P and now M-M.

I'd say expect X3 & M10 sometime next year. Photokina will see the interchangeable mirror less with possible M& R lenses through adapters.

Let time pass and think about it. This all makes sense from Leica perspective and don't feel disappointed. This all makes your X1 retain better value until X3, since the update wasn't "that big".

And yes, it's probably your screen. They looked fine to me

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Ming Thein
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Re: Thanks Juha!
In reply to kamalpr, May 11, 2012

Depends what you want to use it for. I don't know what retail on the X2 will be, but it won't be less than the X1 (my guess).

The question is, what lens would you put on the D7000 to match the X2's lens? And will it be as portable? Those are not so straightforward answers, in my opinion.

The best analogy is - if you need a swiss army knife, buy the D7000. If you want a well made sharp blade, but the X2.

kamalpr wrote:

Ming Thein wrote:

I don't know about the negativity, but looking at usability and image quality alone, the X2 delivers - not something I could say entirely about the X1.

you mentioned that sensor used is the same as camera with N and 3 0s. I think you mean Nikon D7000. For $2000, one can buy a D7000 and any decent lens. So, will this be cost-effective as in yield value for money compared to that? Or if you recommend it, why would you recommend for that kind of money?

thanks
-kamal

Juha Lindstrm wrote:

Nice write up. Glad to see a positive review of the new X2. I can only think Leica will further improve it with future firmware updates.

I'm especially glad about this positive review, because I don't get the negativity around yesterdays announcements that seems to be going around.

Anyway, thanks for the review. It was a good read.

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Juha

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Ming Thein
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In reply to janlu, May 11, 2012

I run four systems. If it's a spade, I'll call it a spade - I'll use the best tool for the job, regardless of whatever it is.

I didn't think the X1 was useable for street work because it was a) slow to focus; b) slow to manually focus; c) battery didn't last long; d) sensor wasn't good enough to stop down all the way and guestimate distances - the distance indicator/ DOF scales are nowhere near as good as what you get on a say an M lens. The X2 is much better because of a combination of flip up EVF, focusing speed, and sensor.

You're talking about saggital coma, I think. I still see it on the X2 - it's the same lens.

janlu wrote:

very nice review and pleasant reading...... I also appreciate your sincerity as Leica ambassador in stating that the lens doesn't perform so well at F2.8 with the new sensor.... This X2 is for sure an improved X1, but i can't see in it a big step since i have never found my X1 unusable .

On the night shot wide-open on the X1 i have always noted a decentered Halo around the lights to sides of the frame ...not in the center though , ( i.e. street-lamps etc...) ..... do you experienced it with the X2 .... the lens is supposed to be exactly the same... .. or not ?

BTW i have also liked very much the Seascapes essay !!

Best regards, Gianluca
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianlucanardini/

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Ming Thein
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Agree, it's a tough playing field.
In reply to snake_b, May 11, 2012

I owned an X100, bought with my own money, and whilst image quality was mostly good - there were a lot of gotchas with the user experience that made it more frustrating than pleasant to use. I sold it.

I don't think the X100 gives better image quality than the X2 - the X2 is honestly up at the top of the APS-C heap, and runs very close to the D7000. The X100's lens also has odd internal veiling flare wide open that robs sharpness a little, so if you want to match sharpness you have to go down to 2.8 anyway. Big differences are price and the presence of an internal EVF, which are definitely helpful. AF speed is slower, though.

For what it's worth, I have as much access as I want to the X1/X2. I even owned an X1 before I had any relationship with Leica, and sold it precisely because it was too slow - but the image quality was great. My pick of the mirrorless bunch now is the OM-D, and that's what I bought.

snake_b wrote:

Very nice photos.

We have new considerations in the field now and it seems underwhelming for Leica to seemingly cut massive corners, particularly the screen and lens. These are two areas that needed improvement as well.

It's gotten ludicrous, actually, how far behind Leica is with every new model, and on an increasing basis.

The question we have here is if the X100, despite fewer MP will still perform better, not to mention its replacement.

Even questions of the ugly old Canon G1X are thrown into the mix, as is the Pentax K-01 with various lenses and even price-wise, if one would simply just want to get an X-Pro-1. Even u4/3 comes up, with the fast pancakes from Panasonic. Even the price drags Sony's Nex series into it.

Leica fans will argue such things as "the Leica experience", "the red dot of quality", "unmatched IQ and Leicaness", but in reality, the IQ and characteristics can be easily duplicated between cameras.

Honestly, since the lens isn't even fast, I'd love to see it go up against the G1x. I have a feeling Leica might win only on the adjectives about it being a Leica.

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Ming Thein
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to profus, May 11, 2012

If you have an X1 and it works for you, then there's no need to upgrade. But if you feel it's too slow or could use a stop better high ISO performance, then it might be worthwhile.

That's odd, they look fine on my monitors and iPad...

profus wrote:

Tnx for your review. X2 probably is many ways a step further from X1, but in my opinion nothing big enough to make me sell my X1 and buy it. I am really disappointed...

ps. Is it my screen - I find almost all your images to be way oversharpenned?

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snake_b
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Re: Agree, it's a tough playing field.
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

Personally, I'd rather wait until someone unbiased comes along and gives real feedback of the comparative type.

I'm not a huge x100, though I considered getting one, but no matter what you say, even if the performance is good, the X2 clearly displays cost-cutting and lack of vision.

I'll bet my life that an X200 will, without a doubt, kill the X2 in performance and features, as they don't have that far to go. Not to mention, Fuji has been using better screens for over a half-decade now.

Ming Thein wrote:

I owned an X100, bought with my own money, and whilst image quality was mostly good - there were a lot of gotchas with the user experience that made it more frustrating than pleasant to use. I sold it.

I don't think the X100 gives better image quality than the X2 - the X2 is honestly up at the top of the APS-C heap, and runs very close to the D7000. The X100's lens also has odd internal veiling flare wide open that robs sharpness a little, so if you want to match sharpness you have to go down to 2.8 anyway. Big differences are price and the presence of an internal EVF, which are definitely helpful. AF speed is slower, though.

For what it's worth, I have as much access as I want to the X1/X2. I even owned an X1 before I had any relationship with Leica, and sold it precisely because it was too slow - but the image quality was great. My pick of the mirrorless bunch now is the OM-D, and that's what I bought.

snake_b wrote:

Very nice photos.

We have new considerations in the field now and it seems underwhelming for Leica to seemingly cut massive corners, particularly the screen and lens. These are two areas that needed improvement as well.

It's gotten ludicrous, actually, how far behind Leica is with every new model, and on an increasing basis.

The question we have here is if the X100, despite fewer MP will still perform better, not to mention its replacement.

Even questions of the ugly old Canon G1X are thrown into the mix, as is the Pentax K-01 with various lenses and even price-wise, if one would simply just want to get an X-Pro-1. Even u4/3 comes up, with the fast pancakes from Panasonic. Even the price drags Sony's Nex series into it.

Leica fans will argue such things as "the Leica experience", "the red dot of quality", "unmatched IQ and Leicaness", but in reality, the IQ and characteristics can be easily duplicated between cameras.

Honestly, since the lens isn't even fast, I'd love to see it go up against the G1x. I have a feeling Leica might win only on the adjectives about it being a Leica.

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Michael S.
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

Greetings!

To answer one of your questions you stated in your review:

"I don’t know why the camera can’t write DNG only..."

A: Leica uses the JPG file of DNG + JPG to give you a preview of the pic on your LCD...the X2 as the X1 lacks processing power to make that quickly enough to be shown when you would shoot "DNG only" with both of them.


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kamalpr
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Re: Thanks Juha!
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

Ming Thein wrote:

Depends what you want to use it for. I don't know what retail on the X2 will be, but it won't be less than the X1 (my guess).

US $1999.95 -same as X1.D7000 retails for US$ 1100 and so one has $900 to buy another lens.

The question is, what lens would you put on the D7000 to match the X2's lens? And will it be as portable? Those are not so straightforward answers, in my opinion.

any zeiss lens should be good enough. DSLR lenses are larger and will permit more light.

The best analogy is - if you need a swiss army knife, buy the D7000. If you want a well made sharp blade, but the X2.

People usually use 1 or 2 lenses at most for landscape/portrait situations. Pl assume that I will get hold of identical lens to 24mm f/2.8 elmarit lens. My question was whether it is worth the money than assembling your own body + lens kit of equivalent quality.

thanks
-kamal

kamalpr wrote:

Ming Thein wrote:

I don't know about the negativity, but looking at usability and image quality alone, the X2 delivers - not something I could say entirely about the X1.

you mentioned that sensor used is the same as camera with N and 3 0s. I think you mean Nikon D7000. For $2000, one can buy a D7000 and any decent lens. So, will this be cost-effective as in yield value for money compared to that? Or if you recommend it, why would you recommend for that kind of money?

thanks
-kamal

Juha Lindstrm wrote:

Nice write up. Glad to see a positive review of the new X2. I can only think Leica will further improve it with future firmware updates.

I'm especially glad about this positive review, because I don't get the negativity around yesterdays announcements that seems to be going around.

Anyway, thanks for the review. It was a good read.

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