X1 preview samples up - what is your first impression?

Started Nov 5, 2009 | Discussions
Ingo Ronner Forum Member • Posts: 53
X1 preview samples up - what is your first impression?

So the long awaited first samples of the X1 are here now. Maybe I wanted this camera, had a DP1 for a summer, but I'm not convinced by what I see. Maybe it's just not my type of photography (landscape during day time) what makes this camera special.

I wonder what your first impressions are?

Peter Vaktor Senior Member • Posts: 1,104
Re: X1 preview samples up - what is your first impression?

Honestly, so far I'm dissapointed. I was expecting something special but based on these samples, I'm not impressed. The pictures are not very sharp (the lens was supposed to be the best in class), high ISO is just OK (no better than m4/3), the dynamic range is very average with underexposed shadows and blown highlights. There is also an aliasing problem (I thought that the camera was supposed to have an anti-aliasing filter?)

What I see so far is that the Pana GF1 and/or Oly EP-1 are capable of far better out of camera images for a lot less cost. I'll be waiting for the full DPReview and the one from Luminous Landscape before I fully make up my mind about getting the X1.

love_them_all Senior Member • Posts: 2,794
Re: X1 preview samples up - what is your first impression?

Noise level is pretty high compared to other APS-c DSLRs.
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JortS29 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,781
Re: X1 preview samples up - what is your first impression?

Peter Vaktor wrote:

high ISO is just OK (no better than m4/3),

Based on size differences, half a stop was probably the best to be expected anyway.

the dynamic range is very average with underexposed shadows and blown highlights.

Sounds like you don't like the contrast curve used by ACR, which in itself doesn't say much about DR.

jesus flores New Member • Posts: 2
Re: X1 preview samples up - what is your first impression?

I was thoroughly unimpressed with the images, about as much as I've been dissapointed with nearly every Leica product since they went digital. If one were to take the Leica name off, and then ask someone to pay $2000 for that, they wouldn't do it. The same goes for their other digital products. Generally, when I see someone with a bunch of new Leica gear, my first thought is that "there goes someone with too much money, who doesn't shoot seriously, and is more concerned with looking like a photographer than actually being one". I know some people who shoot film, who have a lot of Leica lenses, and bought their digital cameras because they are essentially committed to them, and they are an exception. But otherwise.........

Peter Vaktor Senior Member • Posts: 1,104
Re: X1 preview samples up - what is your first impression?

You are right, of course. To a large measure the results we are seeing are in a grate part due to the raw image processing that was done OUTSIDE of the camera. I believe, however, that the X1 is intended for a more point and shoot crowd and less so for people who are dedicated raw shooters who will post process every image that they take. I would love to see some out of camera JPEGs to see what Leica's processing intentions are. I may be totally wrong but I really think that most people who will buy this camera will shoot mainly JPEGS.

CutterUK Senior Member • Posts: 1,306
Re: X1 preview samples up - what is your first impression?

Looks pretty good to me but I don't think I'll sell my GF1 + 20mm to buy an
X1, I really don't like how the lens comes out when you switch the camera on.

User190 Regular Member • Posts: 429
I like the samples

I actually like the samples. Nice colors and images are not that flat, are more film-like. However, few images (like l1000145_acr.jpg) have some pastic/watercolor effect (see tree bark and leaves bottom right) that I think comes from ACR/noise reduction. I'd like less DOF, f2 lens. I don't care about minimal resolution and noise differences between different cameras, more important is overall image tonality and I like what I see.

From price/performance point GF1 sounds like wiser choice, however I have been disappointed by color rendition of GF1 (EP1 is better). I think white balance is weakest point in Panasonic software (after they have addressed noise).

When arguing over $2000 price of X1 one should note that Lighroom 2 that costs $300 separately is bundled. But yes, it is tough to justify $2000 when GF1/EP1/2 goes for $1000.

LiquidsPhotog
LiquidsPhotog Regular Member • Posts: 400
Re: What Peter said...

I have to agree with everything Peter said. Unimpressive sample images. The 3200 noise is just awful. My Leica D-Lux 4 puts those images to shame.

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sensoree Regular Member • Posts: 193
not so fast

That's exactly what I used to think -- for years -- and, for some, it is true. But once you spend a week with a compact full-frame camera in your hands (the M9), you might change your tune. I did. Yes, it is expensive. But please don't underestimate the role form factor can play not only in making a camera easy to carry around all day but also in terms of discreetness and not being noticed (as opposed to your theory that people carrying Leicas want to be noticed).

I came away from a week on vacation a convert and now when I pick up one of my superior and less-expensive Canon DSLRs (yes, I know I can almost buy two 5D MkIIs and a 7D for the price of a single M9), it feels awkward, clumsy, big, and putting it up to my face feels like I'm putting on a halloween mask. Of course I'll still use my 5D in situations that call for it, but I couldn't be happier with the photos I captured using my new street kit -- an M9 and a new Canon S90 -- which is needed when fill flash is required and/or a zoom lens makes perfect sense. I can get great captures from both, but when I need the pixels and the detail, the M9 is the clear winner by a large margin...even hand-held in low-light situations...

That said, if one's only form of output is web-sized photos that measure 1000 pixels across -- and for many it is-- then it really doesn't matter which camera I use (unless narrow depth of field is important), but I like to print large.

I'm not very impressed with the X1 output either -- relative to the price. But I haven't handled one, so I have no idea how the 'feel' of the camera could change the way I take photographs.

schaki Senior Member • Posts: 2,375
Re: not so fast

OK. But nothing special. Especially the NR algorithm which shows off at iso 800 and up is not impressive and a little too much CA in some of the outdoor-shots for being an expected high-quality lens. Still it is good to see a compact with an APS-c sensor.

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Cliff Chase Contributing Member • Posts: 561
They don't have the Leica look

Look like they were taken with a typical consumer digicam. They're okay but they don't have that certain, how the French say, I don't know what...

polarabbit Senior Member • Posts: 2,236
Re: X1 preview samples up - what is your first impression?

Actually I quite like them. Maybe it's because I never had great expectations after seeing the few samples from a pre production camera. These new samples look much better to me.

Ingo Ronner wrote:

So the long awaited first samples of the X1 are here now. Maybe I wanted this camera, had a DP1 for a summer, but I'm not convinced by what I see. Maybe it's just not my type of photography (landscape during day time) what makes this camera special.

I wonder what your first impressions are?

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Lin Evans
Lin Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 17,702
CA....

You know, it's quite possible for the manufacturer to filter CA in firmware. For $2000 I would think that the CA in the peripheral should have been handled in firmware. It appears to be worse in the right periphery than in the left and "could" be that it will be handled in production units, but......

For me, the Sigma DP1 or DP2 are better values with crisper images and apparently a better lens. Yes, the DP2 doesn't perform nearly as well at high ISO and doesn't have the body or shot to shot quickness of the Leica, but for me it's all about image quality........

Lin

polarabbit Senior Member • Posts: 2,236
Re: I like the samples

Ahto Tanner wrote:

I actually like the samples. Nice colors and images are not that flat, are more film-like. However, few images (like l1000145_acr.jpg) have some pastic/watercolor effect (see tree bark and leaves bottom right) that I think comes from ACR/noise reduction. I'd like less DOF, f2 lens. I don't care about minimal resolution and noise differences between different cameras, more important is overall image tonality and I like what I see.

i agree completely on the point about resolution, noise and tonality.

From price/performance point GF1 sounds like wiser choice, however I have been disappointed by color rendition of GF1 (EP1 is better).

also agreed. the EP1 renders colors better than the GF1.

I think white balance is weakest point in Panasonic software (after they have addressed noise).

When arguing over $2000 price of X1 one should note that Lighroom 2 that costs $300 separately is bundled. But yes, it is tough to justify $2000 when GF1/EP1/2 goes for $1000.

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Andrew Westlake Senior Member • Posts: 2,928
Re: CA....

Lin Evans wrote:

You know, it's quite possible for the manufacturer to filter CA in firmware.

These are DNG raws converted with ACR. Leica does appear to be correcting lateral CA in out-of-camera JPEGs.

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Andy Westlake
dpreview.com/lensreviews

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Les Lammers
Les Lammers Veteran Member • Posts: 4,158
Re: They don't have the Leica look

The look good but they do not have what it takes to justify the price...at least screen shots don't.

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User190 Regular Member • Posts: 429
Sigma

For me, the Sigma DP1 or DP2 are better values with crisper images and apparently a better lens. Yes, the DP2 doesn't perform nearly as well at high ISO and doesn't have the body or shot to shot quickness of the Leica, but for me it's all about image quality........

Actually it is nice to have many options to choose from, so everyone has potential to be happy with his purchase. I for example I don't like Sigma color rendition (yellow/greenish color cast).

Peter Vaktor Senior Member • Posts: 1,104
Re: CA....

Would it be possible to post some out of camera JPEGs so we can get an idea of what Leica processing is like. There will be a lot of people purchasing this camera who will have no intention of doing raw conversions but prefer the out of camera JPEG. Thanks.

Luciano Morpurgo Contributing Member • Posts: 710
Like them

I quite like those samples, in terms of detail, and especially the detail at high iso. Seeing the face of a woman a handful of pixels wide at iso 3200 is not to be underestimated... I'm not disappointed at all, I'd say "I'm impressed" if the camera just didn't cost that ridiculous amount of money, but this is what I was expecting.
Luc
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