Leica Digilux 2 Review
Top of camera controls
All of the controls on the top of the camera are located on the right side. At the front we have the metering mode selection dial which surrounds the shutter release button. Behind this is the flash mode button and to the left of that the shutter speed dial.
I found the location and the lack of stiffness in this control annoying as it was all too easy to accidentally knock this lever and find yourself in the wrong metering mode. Put simply the lever moves too freely and its location around the shutter release button means it's more likely to be accidentally turned.
Meters only a small area at the center of the image. Useful for static subjects with strong backlighting or ensuring that the subject at the center of the image is exposed correctly.
This is the Digilux 2's default metering mode, multi-field metering measures light levels using a pattern over the entire frame and calculates the optimum exposure value based on the estimated subject brightness.
Meters the entire frame but puts a larger emphasis on the center of the frame.
Press the flash mode button to display the flash mode selector on the LCD/EVF, use the up / down arrows or setting ring to change flash mode. This button is only operative with the flash up (or an external flash attached).
Auto with red-eye reduction
On with red-eye reduction
Slow-sync with red-eye reduction
Shutter speed dial
The shutter speed dial is an excellent example of simple design providing both ease and speed of use. With the dial in the 'A' position shutter speed is calculated automatically, turn the dial to one of the labeled shutter speeds switches the camera to shutter priority mode.
Shutter speed is calculated automatically depending on the metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. (If both shutter speed dial and aperture dial are in the 'A' position then the camera is in Program AE mode).
|Manual shutter speed
1/4 - 1/2000 sec (one stop steps)
Turn the dial to one of the preset shutter speeds of 1/n sec (n is the indicated number). With the aperture ring in the 'A' position selecting a shutter speed effectively places the camera in shutter priority mode.
|Manual shutter speed
8 - 1/2 sec (one stop steps)
By default this position selects the shutter speed of 1/2 sec, by turning the setting ring on the rear of the camera you can select shutter speeds as long as eight seconds.
Lens barrel controls
At the front of the lens barrel is the zoom ring, this is mechanically linked to the lens elements inside the lens which control focal length. The zoom ring has a free running smooth movement, I'm a big fan of mechanically linked zoom rings and this is probably the best so far.
Behind the zoom ring is the focus ('distance') ring. It has two auto focus positions, AF and AF-Macro, I found it a little too easy to switch between AF and AF-Macro and that there should have been a lock position between the two as there is between AF and MF. Hold the release button on the focus ring and turn it clockwise to switch to manual focusing and control the focus distance as indicated on the ring.
Auto focus with a 'normal' minimum focus distance of 60 cm (2.0 ft).
|Auto focus with
Auto focus with a closer minimum focus distance of 30 cm (1.0 ft), although this is half as close again as normal AF it isn't what we would generally call 'macro' performance.
Hold the release button and turn the ring clockwise away from the AF indicator and you can manually focus. The Digilux 2 provides two different MF assist modes; MF1 - magnifying loupe in center of frame, MF2 - magnifies entire frame.
The ring nearest the camera body is the aperture ring, in the A position the camera automatically selects the correct aperture, press the release button on the aperture ring and turn it clockwise to change to aperture priority mode (or manual mode if the shutter speed dial is in any position other than A). Although only F2, F2.8, F4, F5.6, F8 and F11 are indicated on the dial there are actually sixteen selectable 'click positions' from F2 to F11 (third of a stop steps).
Aperture is calculated automatically depending on the metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. (If both shutter speed dial and aperture dial are in the 'A' position then the camera is in Program AE mode).
Manual aperture F2.0 to F11 (third of a stop steps)