Today Leica has unveiled their new X2 compact, fixed lens camera. On the outside there appears to be very little different apart from a socket to attach an optional EVF. Very sadly this camera has the same 230,000 dot LCD screen as it’s predecessor. The problem that I have with this screen is that it was a bad screen two and a half years ago. Nearly every single review complained about it at the time and Leica has simply ignored this fact. Two and a half years is eons in today’s world, which sees many technological advancements ever couple of months, how can they have simply ignored this ?! Frankly I’m baffled, I guess they just want to make money from the name and not necessarily make a decent camera. What a shame.
The camera adds a new 16MP APS-C sensor but maintains the same 24mm f2.8 lens. Now the lens on the X1 wasn’t bad at all, but with Fuji’s X100 selling by the bucket load you’d think maybe they would at least match their f2.0 lens. Leica claim that they have also improved the AF system as well but other than that this seems to be a bit of a lackluster launch.
I did a review of the X1 a couple of years ago in Vancouver and I did like the camera overall so I doubt this will be a bad camera, it’s just disappointing to see them ignore it’s main physical deficiency. X1 owners can be happy that there isn’t much to upgrade to though, maybe now would be a good time to grab an X1 instead!
B&H have the X2 up for pre-order now.
Solms, Germany (May 10, 2012) – Leica Camera AG presents the X2, a new addition to the X-line of compact digital cameras. Handmade at Leica’s headquarters in Germany, the Leica X2 features a new APS-C-format professional CMOS image sensor with over 16.5 megapixels (effective 16.2 MP). In combination with the high-performance Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens, a classic focal length for photojournalism, this sensor ensures maximum image quality and sparkling brilliance. With its refined styling and high-performance technical features, the Leica X2 offers unsurpassed performance in a compact package.
The Leica X2’s autofocus system has also been enhanced, allowing the camera to adapt to all shooting situations with enormous flexibility and enabling fast, extremely precise and almost silent focusing. The camera’s profile is complemented by numerous setting options from full manual control to automatic functions and an intuitive handling concept. These features make the Leica X2 the ideal premium-class compact camera for discerning photographers who wish to concentrate completely on their subjects and appreciate creative and true-to-life pictures.
The CMOS image sensor of the X2 is unusually large for a camera in the compact segment. Despite its high resolution of over 16 megapixels, each individual pixel on the sensor is very large, allowing the X2 to gather more light. The resulting benefits include low image noise, a high dynamic range and accurate color differentiation. The crop factor of the sensor is 1.5 in comparison with 35-mm film format, meaning that the Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens of the Leica X2 becomes a universal reportage lens with an effective 35-mm-equivalent focal length of 36 millimeters. This is considered to be a classic focal length amongst prime lenses and has captured innumerable iconic images. The moderate wide-angle character and natural rendition of dimensions by the high-performance lens of the X2 open up a broad spectrum of different options for capturing those decisive moments in outstanding, authentic and richly detailed picture quality.
As a result of its simple operating concept, the Leica X2 offers clearly laid-out functions and intuitive handling. At the same time, it offers an impressive range of automatic and versatile manual setting options. Thanks to the ease of switching between manual and automatic control, photographers can concentrate completely on composing their subjects and choosing the decisive instant to shoot in any situation. The dials on the top deck provide grip when setting the shutter speed and aperture. Moreover, changing the plane of focus, the white balance and other imaging parameters allows photographers to consciously influence the look or mood of their images. In live view mode, the generously sized high-contrast 2.7″ monitor offers photographers complete control at all times and a bright and detailed view, even in strong light.
The features offered by the Leica X2 provide greater creative freedom and a wide range of photographic options. For instance, the Leica X2’s large sensor and fast lens make it ideal for shooting in available light. The camera also features a pop-up flash that can be activated whenever an additional light source is required. If more lighting power and flexibility are required, the accessory shoe of the X2 offers full compatibility with the Leica SF 24D and SF 58 system flash units.
The Leica X2 is characterized by clear lines and an intensely focused design concept. The linearity of its design and its compact, handy form are reminiscent of the Leica M-cameras. This, in combination with its robust, all-metal construction and premium, high-grip leather trim makes the X2 a classic Leica camera in both looks and feel. The camera is available in a discreet black or elegant silver finish.
An extensive range of accessories is also available to adapt the Leica X2 to each photographer’s individual photographic needs and style. A new offering is the Viso-Flex high-resolution electronic accessory finder with 1.4 megapixels and a 90° swivel function for shooting from unusual angles. Also available is a bright-line mirror finder that can be mounted on the accessory shoe and ensures a bright and clear view at all times, with no drain on the camera battery. An accessory handgrip increases the hold and stability of the camera and makes it easier to shoot one-handed. Leica continues to offer a comprehensive range of bags and cases: a premium-quality black leather case to match the elegance of the X2, an ergonomically designed camera protector in untreated leather, an ever-ready case in organically tanned cowhide to protect the camera during use and a system bag that offers more room for the camera and a range of accessories.
Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®, is also included in the X2 package. This digital image processing software offers a wide range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images. Leica X2 customers can download the software free from the Leica website after registering their camera.
The Leica X2 is available now through Leica dealers including the Leica Store Washington DC. The optional accessories will be available after the market launch of the camera.