My full review of the new X2 is up!

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

You'd need the Zeiss 2/25 to match FOV; that's definitely not $900, which makes it a slightly different equation (but yes, granted, you get one stop more light).

Hard to say. If it's your only camera, I'd say go D7000 - undoubtedly more flexible. If you just want something compact that delivers the image quality goods, the X2 is an option.

kamalpr wrote:

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

Firstly, notice that I haven't disagreed with any of your points. Yes, the LCD is not what you'd expect for a 2012 camera - and I did point that out.

Secondly, a tool is a tool. I don't care what camera it is, if it does the job I'll use it. If it doesn't, I won't. Simple as that. I use an OM-D. I don't know how that is biased pro-Leica.

Thirdly, Fuji have proven again and again with the X100, X10 and X-Pro that a) their firmware and usability is terrible; and b) focusing is slow. Image quality is mostly excellent - but remember the white orb issue with the X10. So they're not infallible either.

No piece of equipment is perfect, and I'd never claim that.

snake_b wrote:

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

Thanks - that may be a reason, but I don't think that's an acceptable excuse. Most of the time the JPEG is embedded in the DNG, and that's what the camera displays. Even my Ricoh GRD-III can do DNG only, and display DNGs.

Considering the X2 can shunt around 16MP DNGs at 5fps, I doubt it's lacking processing power.

Michael S. wrote:

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

I didn't mention the X10 and it certainly won't stand up to the X100 or the X1/2, so I don't know why you're bringing it up. The X100, while I'm not a fan of the mistakes they made there, is the comparison camera. Not the X10, so I don't know why you're bringing up different cameras to make a false argument. The X100 doesn't have orbs. So that's the end of your argument.

Ming Thein wrote:

Firstly, notice that I haven't disagreed with any of your points. Yes, the LCD is not what you'd expect for a 2012 camera - and I did point that out.

Secondly, a tool is a tool. I don't care what camera it is, if it does the job I'll use it. If it doesn't, I won't. Simple as that. I use an OM-D. I don't know how that is biased pro-Leica.

Thirdly, Fuji have proven again and again with the X100, X10 and X-Pro that a) their firmware and usability is terrible; and b) focusing is slow. Image quality is mostly excellent - but remember the white orb issue with the X10. So they're not infallible either.

No piece of equipment is perfect, and I'd never claim that.

snake_b wrote:

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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Joe Pineapples
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Started to read the review but...
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

I started to read the review but I got as far as the second paragraph and read "Leica’s 2009 X1 (my review is here) was a modern throwback to the Barnack era in many ways – fixed focus lens..." so then I stopped.

Joe

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

The X100 has the disabling sticky syndrome and Fuji is still not respecting warranties if second hand or past 12 months.

snake_b wrote:

I didn't mention the X10 and it certainly won't stand up to the X100 or the X1/2, so I don't know why you're bringing it up. The X100, while I'm not a fan of the mistakes they made there, is the comparison camera. Not the X10, so I don't know why you're bringing up different cameras to make a false argument. The X100 doesn't have orbs. So that's the end of your argument.

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

I know and I've called that out.

As for the warranty, we have a two year warranty in the EU and Fuji is honoring them and transferring them, as mandated by law.

If you're complaining about a territory where the warranty is lower, that's not Fuji's issue. It's political. Petition for a longer warranty mandate, or inform the consumers that already know they only get a 1 year warranty.

This is an utterly poor argument. I've had my share of flamewars against the hipsters of the X100 forum, but yours is equally poor. Here, as well as in the news comments.

Oh yeah, and the X100 and even Fuji compacts have nicer, more expensive screens than what Leica put in this horrendously expensive piece.

photo perzon wrote:

The X100 has the disabling sticky syndrome and Fuji is still not respecting warranties if second hand or past 12 months.

snake_b wrote:

I didn't mention the X10 and it certainly won't stand up to the X100 or the X1/2, so I don't know why you're bringing it up. The X100, while I'm not a fan of the mistakes they made there, is the comparison camera. Not the X10, so I don't know why you're bringing up different cameras to make a false argument. The X100 doesn't have orbs. So that's the end of your argument.

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Wellington100
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Ming the Merciful
In reply to Joe Pineapples, May 11, 2012

You are being very generous about a camera that for its price point should excel or at the very least equal the competition. Leica is known for premium products at premium prices.

This camera has not kept up to date with the state of play in the premium compact sector. In some ways it is already three years out of date. Why on earth would anyone buy it when the Canon G1X is available for far less money and is better in every way.

I hope Leica have something else up their sleeves, this camera is a non event.
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snake_b
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Re: Ming the Merciful
In reply to Wellington100, May 11, 2012

Well, to be fair, the Canon doesn't have that special red dot, which people like making sure is part of the "ownership experience". They'll constantly cite the "Leica experience", as if other cameras have no identity of their own and people aren't able to connect with them.

Hell, look at the people that buy D-Lux-5s only to show off about owning a Leica, even insisting there's something very different about it when compared to the nearly identical LX5 Panasonic.

Wellington100 wrote:

You are being very generous about a camera that for its price point should excel or at the very least equal the competition. Leica is known for premium products at premium prices.

This camera has not kept up to date with the state of play in the premium compact sector. In some ways it is already three years out of date. Why on earth would anyone buy it when the Canon G1X is available for far less money and is better in every way.

I hope Leica have something else up their sleeves, this camera is a non event.
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ravinj
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to Ming Thein, May 11, 2012

Ming - Excellent review and thanks for the wonderful pictures too! The B&W conversions on your site are superb. I like your reviews and appreciate your effort in producing the best quality pictures from a camera which show what it is capable of in the right hands, unlike some other reviewers/sites who are simply too lazy to do that.

Having owned the X1 (now sold to fund my M9), I can say that it was the best of the best in that size/weight category. The near silent shutter and small size coupled with excellent imagery cannot be beat. I am sure the X2 is better.

Also enjoyed your D800/S2 comparison.

Keep up the good work.

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jimr
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Re: Ming the Merciful
In reply to Wellington100, May 11, 2012

Wellington100 wrote:

You are being very generous about a camera that for its price point should excel or at the very least equal the competition. Leica is known for premium products at premium prices.

This camera has not kept up to date with the state of play in the premium compact sector. In some ways it is already three years out of date. Why on earth would anyone buy it when the Canon G1X is available for far less money and is better in every way.

The Canon G1X has the IQ of a DSLR but the responsiveness of an average point and shoot that costs hundreds of dollars less than it does.

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kamalpr
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to ravinj, May 11, 2012

Having owned the X1 (now sold to fund my M9), I can say that it was the best of the best in that size/weight category. The near silent shutter and small size coupled with excellent imagery cannot be beat. I am sure the X2 is better.

if size/weight were not an issue, are the pics on the site better than what can be produced by a DSLR and a zeiss lens? How is the bigneitting on the lens and do they have MTF charts for the lens?

thanks
-kamal

Also enjoyed your D800/S2 comparison.

Keep up the good work.

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villagranvicent
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Re: Ming the Merciful
In reply to snake_b, May 11, 2012

Brands (at least those who want to connect with their costumer) offer added and REAL values just think in Nike or Apple for example. Brand loyalty based on "the experience" or the "special look" are not sustainable selling points in current times. I wonder what people would say specially the Leica boys like these famous bloggers who went to Berlin about a Canon with the X2 specs.

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Wellington100
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Re: Ming the Merciful
In reply to jimr, May 11, 2012

jimr wrote:

Wellington100 wrote:

You are being very generous about a camera that for its price point should excel or at the very least equal the competition. Leica is known for premium products at premium prices.

This camera has not kept up to date with the state of play in the premium compact sector. In some ways it is already three years out of date. Why on earth would anyone buy it when the Canon G1X is available for far less money and is better in every way.

The Canon G1X has the IQ of a DSLR but the responsiveness of an average point and shoot that costs hundreds of dollars less than it does.

From what Ming says, the Leica's focusing speeds are adequate. Yes the G1X has inadequate focusing and that is its achilles heel. If Canon address that 1 issue, the camera will represent excellent value and will dominate this rarified sector of large sensor compacts.

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snake_b
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Re: Ming the Merciful
In reply to jimr, May 11, 2012

Well, then at the least, that puts it on an equal playing field with the X1. We'll see about the X2.

jimr wrote:

Wellington100 wrote:

You are being very generous about a camera that for its price point should excel or at the very least equal the competition. Leica is known for premium products at premium prices.

This camera has not kept up to date with the state of play in the premium compact sector. In some ways it is already three years out of date. Why on earth would anyone buy it when the Canon G1X is available for far less money and is better in every way.

The Canon G1X has the IQ of a DSLR but the responsiveness of an average point and shoot that costs hundreds of dollars less than it does.

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

Thanks Ming for your review of the X2 which was written from a photographer's viewpoint. I especially enjoyed the sample photos you took - the capture of the yawning guy was a good example of hitting the 'decisive moment'...

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

You seem to like to engage in flamewars and come across as having an axe to grind. The OP is being very reasonable and you just keep attacking despite his having addressed your points and stated his neutrality on brands and cameras. Why do you care so much?

snake_b wrote:

This is an utterly poor argument. I've had my share of flamewars against the hipsters of the X100 forum, but yours is equally poor. Here, as well as in the news comments.

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

Wait, this isn't a gear forum where people talk about the gear and the specs and how things perform?

brudy wrote:

You seem to like to engage in flamewars and come across as having an axe to grind. The OP is being very reasonable and you just keep attacking despite his having addressed your points and stated his neutrality on brands and cameras. Why do you care so much?

snake_b wrote:

This is an utterly poor argument. I've had my share of flamewars against the hipsters of the X100 forum, but yours is equally poor. Here, as well as in the news comments.

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krugorg
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Re: Ming the Merciful
In reply to Wellington100, May 11, 2012

Wellington100 wrote:

jimr wrote:

Wellington100 wrote:

You are being very generous about a camera that for its price point should excel or at the very least equal the competition. Leica is known for premium products at premium prices.

This camera has not kept up to date with the state of play in the premium compact sector. In some ways it is already three years out of date. Why on earth would anyone buy it when the Canon G1X is available for far less money and is better in every way.

The Canon G1X has the IQ of a DSLR but the responsiveness of an average point and shoot that costs hundreds of dollars less than it does.

From what Ming says, the Leica's focusing speeds are adequate. Yes the G1X has inadequate focusing and that is its achilles heel. If Canon address that 1 issue, the camera will represent excellent value and will dominate this rarified sector of large sensor compacts.

The G1X image quality is impressive given the sensor size, but it will not perform as well as the X2 on IQ (nor will it match the IQ of the GXR or X100). The G1X also has overall performance and responsiveness issues (e.g. shutter lag) and it really isn't all that compact. I realize it has a zoom, but I don't know why I would want to leave the house with it versus an E-M5, for example. I think you bring up a good point on value, but I just don't know where the G1X fits in here.

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ravinj
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Re: My full review of the new X2 is up!
In reply to kamalpr, May 11, 2012

A DSLR and a Zeiss lens can obviously produce good photos. The point about X1/X2 is excellent quality in a small size. If size is irrelevant then there are other excellent choices. My Zeiss 24mm ZA weighs a ton. Adding my now sold Sony A850 produced a tank that was capable of stunning results. My X1 was lighter and smaller and produced comparable output.

MTF charts do not tell the whole story. The way a sensor/lens combination renders is most important.

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