Leica X2 Review Image

Leica X2 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Introduction

The Leica X2 is a 16 megapixel compact camera with a 36mm fixed lens and a 2.7 inch LCD screen. The X2 has an APS-C sized, 23.6×15.8mm CMOS sensor with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which promises to deliver similar image quality to a DSLR camera. The image-stabilized Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 lens provides a focal length of 36mm in 35mm terms, there’s a pop-up flash and a hot shoe, and the X2 offers a full range of advanced controls from manual exposure to manual focus. Other key features of the Leica X2 include an improved autofocus system, a sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,500, maximum shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second, JPEG and DNG RAW file support, and a continuous shooting rate of up to 5 frames per second. The recommended retail price of the Leica X2 is £1575 / $1995 / €1550. Also new to the X series is an optional Viso-Flex high-resolution electronic accessory viewfinder (£360) with 1.4 million dots and a 90° swivel function for shooting from unusual angles, and a bright-line optical viewfinder (£269) which provides a bright and clear view at all times, with no impact on the camera’s battery power.

Ease of Use

Compact cameras with features we’d at one time have found more familiar on a DSLR are very much in vogue. So one that effectively delivers on such a promise is arguably akin to photography’s holy grail. This, the second generation of Leica’s high-end premium digital compact to incorporate an APS-C sensor naturally follows on from the 2010’s original X1. Between the release of forebear and successor – with the X2 originally announced last May – players such as Fujifilm and more recently still Nikon have pitched ‘more affordable’ APS-C incorporating alternatives such as, respectively, the ‘X’ series and Coolpix A. So, in the wake of these, can the rarified Leica X2, which still inevitably commands a luxury price tag, claim to be top dog for ‘real’ discerning photographers?

Well for starters the 12.9 megapixel APS-C sensor of the X2 has been upgraded in what’s claimed to be a ‘brand new’ 16.5 megapixel CMOS chip, boasting an effective 16.2MP. This pumps out a purported 16.2-megapixel effective resolution. As with the original X1 though, the provided 24mm f/2.8 lens on the front (36mm equivalent in 35mmm terms due to the 1.5x crop factor at play here) cannot be detached or swapped. However it is a Leica lens, an indicator of quality worn as a badge of pride when licensed to other manufacturers, including Panasonic. And there is the ability to incrementally alter aperture from f/2.8 to f/16 via the dedicated top plate dial.

As a result, and this was also true of the X1, the X2’s looks mirror its maker’s rangefinder cameras, such as the M8. As well as two rather stiff top plate dials via which manual adjustments can be made to shutter speed (from 30 seconds to 1/2000th of a sec) and the aforementioned aperture there is a disc-shaped flash neatly sunk into the top plate. Spring-loaded, it leaps forth with a thumb-shove of the manual catch provided top left of the back plate, its minimalist appearance adding to the camera’s cachet of cool.

Naturally there is a vacant hotshoe for accessory flash too, to which can alternatively be attached Leica’s lovely optical ‘Bright Line’ viewfinder for around £269 or an EVF 2 electronic viewfinder if preferred, which will set you back around £360. Yes, admittedly that last price would buy you a high-end compact with a 1/2.3-inch sensor outright, but such a camera is not quite in the X2’s rarified class.

As with its predecessor, the Leica X2 comes enveloped in a robust all-metal German manufactured construction that manages the trick of not feeling like a dead weight when transported in a baggy winter jacket. We had the outwardly reserved matt black version in to take a look at, although the other main option comes in a swish looking silver (don’t tell us you were expecting pink?). However pay a couple of hundred quid extra and take advantage of Leica’s ‘a la carte’ service which adds three additional body colours, including a fetching titanium, 10 different leather trim options and even the chance to have your camera body engraved to truly personalize it.

Something of a specialist tool for those more used to shooting reportage style – due in part to being more portable than an SLR – as with the previous X1 the X2 doesn’t feature anything as frivolous as a video mode. Likewise the size of the back plate LCD remains a relatively modest 2.7-inches, plus the resolution – in the absence of any provided viewfinder out of the box – stays fixed at a lowly 230k pixels. We might have expected a screen size and/or resolution hike this time around – but we haven’t got it.

But the question is: will minor omissions be proved insignificant in return for stunning images and a built-to-last construction? We hope so, as the gripe with Leicas largely appears to come down to the price tag, which sees them earmarked either as playthings of the rich or for successful pros only. To address this point, in fairness it could be argued that there was never the time that anything ‘quality’ came cheap – even in the midst of a prolonged economic downturn.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90
Front Rear

The actual price of the camera is £1575 – a slight hike up from the £1395 of the X1, and without optional attachments, which makes it almost as much as a full frame Canon EOS 6D, to put it into perspective. On the plus side the Leica also comes with a two-year warranty as opposed to the usual one, a year’s accidental damage cover, and a download option for Adobe Lightroom, with code provided once the product has been registered.

As with the X1, and indeed Nikon’s newest ‘A’, the fact that we don’t have a zoom to play with here prompts a more considered approach to picture taking, in that the photographer has to physically step forward or back to alter what’s included in the frame. You also have to get up close to and interact with your subjects; a camera for surreptitious candids this is not. Leica claims that the 24mm lens was chosen because it’s a classic length for photojournalism, with minimum focus distance remaining at 30cm. Sounds unremarkable, but in truth that’s as close as you’d probably want to get to anybody unless you were puckering up. It also suggests the camera’s auto focus mechanism has been improved this time around for an altogether faster and quieter performance.

From the X2 immediately seduces, even if it does look rather minimalist in its matt black form. Still, this does mean that the (in)famous red Leica badge and logo very much stands out due its position top left of the lens, hard plastic clip-on cap provided as protection for that renowned glass.

Just right of the badge, if viewing the camera front-on, and nudging closer to the lens surround, is a small porthole containing the traditional AF assist/self timer lamp. Between top and bottom of the faceplate there is also a wide band of leather effect padding that is largely there for show than serving as a practical form of grip. In fact there is nothing resembling a traditional handgrip provided with the camera at all, though there is an optional accessory grip for just under £100. Having said that, the solidity and weight of the X2’s build – a heavier than average for a compact 345g with battery – means that it didn’t feel like the Leica would suddenly slip from our grasp at any point.

The lens ring itself also has a ridged edge, which provides something to grip with your left hand if wanting to hold the camera steady – whilst making sure fingertips aren’t straying in front of the lens, of course. It can also be unscrewed for the threading on of attachments.

The X2’s top plate meanwhile features most of the attributes we’ve already touched on, such as the pop up flash, hotshoe offering full compatibility with the Leica SF 24D and SF 58 system flash units, aperture and shutter speed dials, plus the on/off switch that ergonomically encircles the shutter release button. This isn’t just a power switch however as the two ‘on’ settings provided here directly alternate between single shot (‘S’) and continuous shooting (‘C’) options (3fps or 5fps to a maximum 8 shots) – so you’ve always got these drive modes literally at the tip of your forefinger.

Flick the switch to ‘S’ or ‘C’ setting and the Leica readies itself for action in 2-3 seconds, lens extending from flush with the lens surround to stand proud by just over an inch whilst the rear screen bursts into life. Squeeze the shutter release button in single shot mode to take a maximum resolution ‘Super Fine’ JPEG and the screen displays the resultant image for what seems like a slothful five seconds. Take a top quality JPEG and Leica’s ‘DNG’ file version of Raw and the camera isn’t any noticeably slower however. Plus the advantage of the DNG format is that it can be opened directly by Photoshop without specialist conversion software required. Though the auto focus occasionally hunts to find a target, overall it’s quick to lock onto and determine focus and exposure.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90
Front Top

Media of choice is the expected ‘all varieties of SD card’ whilst the unit also comes with 110MB of internal memory out of the box.

The back of the Leica X2 features the aforementioned switch for raising the flash over at the left hand side, whilst a command dial sits over at the top right.

With the 2.7-inch LCD screen taking up a little less than two thirds of the back plate, this has left room for a row of five function buttons ranged vertically down the left hand side of the screen, whilst over at the right hand side sits a familiar cross key/command pad style arrangement, encircled by a scroll wheel. Rather than the latter providing a faster means of scrolling through captured images however, a clockwise turn enlarges a portion of a captured image, whilst an anti clockwise spin presents up to 16 thumbnails on screen at a time.

The buttons at the left of the LCD are both clearly marked and instantly comprehended. From the top we have a ‘play’ button for reviewing previously captured images, whilst next up is a combined delete/focus button. The ‘focus’ element comes into play once the user has switched from default auto focus to manual focus via a press of the AF/MF button placed at six o’clock on the cross key arrangement; whereby a central portion of the image is enlarged – as when using live view on a DSLR for manual focus – and a sliding scale of between 0.3 metres and infinity (and the same distance given in feet) provided to adjust the focus range accordingly. With the smaller screen scale and lower resolution we found it trickier to accurately determine pin sharpness than we might have liked, but at least the function is there.

Alternatively if leaving the camera to its own auto focus devices the user has a choice of a single point AF, a DSLR-like 11-point AF, spot or face detection AF settings.

In addition, it’s worth mentioning that a press of the delete button immediately brings up the option to delete one image or all, with your choice highlighted by a black overlay on an otherwise dark grey background. As conventional wisdom usually has it that a lighter colour highlights the menu option in play – rather than black, as here – we were brought to the threshold of accidentally deleting all images on several occasions until we got used to this bucking of tradition.

The next button down on the backplate strip of five is for manual white balance adjustments, and here, in addition to automatic, the usual suspects are provided: tungsten, fluorescent, flash, (daylight) cloudy, (daylight) shady, along with the ability to take your own white balance setting. The button directly beneath governs ISO settings, with here the range going from ISO100 to a top end ISO12500, presented as with the previous setting as a toolbar overlaying the right hand side of the screen.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

The bottom button of the row of five on the X2 is similarly self-explanatory being labeled ‘info’, though in truth it’s function is closer to that of a standard ‘display’ button rather than providing the on-board manual its name might suggest. A press of this in capture mode removes icons for the shooting mode in play, number of shots remaining, battery life, focus and metering mode from the screen to provide a clear view of the subject, whilst a further press brings up a nine zone compositional grid for which to practice our Rule of Thirds.

Moving to the set of cross keys on the right of the screen, at twelve o’clock we find an exposure compensation button, with adjustable settings ranging from a standard -3EV to + 3EV. Subsequent presses call up a further exposure bracketing option across the same incremental steps, plus flash exposure compensation. Moving clock wise through the cross keys, and at three o’clock we find a button governing the more comprehensive than usual flash settings. These cover: auto, auto with red eye reduction, forced flash on, forced on with red eye reduction, slow sync, slow sync with red eye reduction, plus a fairly blinding (yet effective) studio flash option for triggering external slave flash units. The next button that comes into play is the already covered auto/manual focus button, while the last of the four options is presented in the self-timer control. This throws up an option of two seconds or 12 seconds, and that’s it.

In the centre of these four buttons we find perhaps the most important of all the controls on the camera back – namely the menu button. As we’d expect this is where the nitty gritty of the camera’s operation is decided and acted upon. Naturally enough it’s here that we choose the camera’s resolution, with options ranging from 1.8 megapixels all the way up to 16 megapixels, plus opt for a level of compression. The JPEG options are either JPEG fine or the optimum ‘super fine’. Then there’s the chance to pair a super fine JPEG with a DNG file, or a fine JPEG with a DNG file. We don’t then get the opportunity to shoot Leica’s version of Raw on its own. Also via the menu screen’s we can select the camera’s metering modes, with multi field metering, centre weighted metering and spot metering all offered up. Further options include the ability to turn image stabilization on or off, individually adjust sharpening, saturation and contrast in camera – with the default setting being ‘standard’ and the other alternatives ranging from ‘low’ to ‘high’. Interestingly we also get ‘preset film’ options ranging from the default standard through vivid, natural, black and white natural and black and white high contrast.

Whilst the left hand flank of the X2 is devoid of features save for a lug for attaching the strap, the right flank features a flip open door protecting two ports: one a five pin mini USB socket and the second for HDMI output.

The base of the camera meanwhile features a marginally off-centre screw thread, with a large catch protected compartment housing both the supplied BP-DC8 lithium ion battery and port for optional removable SD media alongside it. The battery is good for around 260 shots according to the manual and claimed CIPA standards (although the inistial press release claimed 450 shots), from a full 200-minute charge, which is hardly that impressive compared to a compact system camera for less than half the price or even a DSLR for a comparative cost which will deliver four times as many images. However it’s horses for courses – we were shooting fro the best part of half a day, some 150 shots on the camera and just a third of the battery depleted in terms of the visible icon – and this performance is at least comparable with other fixed lens premium cameras. But what of the images the Leica X2 delivers? Do they knock spots off the competition and justify the price tag here? Click forward to our next section to find out…

Leica X2 Review Image

Leica X2 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Leica X2 is understandably a bit of a curiosity in the current marketplace – but it definitely has personality. It’s a camera that works best when used for considered image taking (and making) – for when you have time to focus on your subject (forgive the pun). It’s not a happy snapper but neither is it the master of all trades. Rather it delivers the goods in the best way possible when used for general everyday scenes, and at its brightest f/2.8 aperture we were still able to ape a DSLR and achieve those attractive shallow depth of field shots that everybody loves.

Comparing a DNG file and a super fine JPEG alongside one another it’s clear that a greater amount of texture and detail has been retained in the former (the subtleties of cloud formations in the sky or the depth to brickwork for example) – and it’s in this mode that images have more of a three dimensional depth and visual punch, with JPEGs looking (as is often the case with any digital compact) a tad flat when delivered straight from the camera. Naturally the DNG files also allowed us to pull detail back from highlights that was simply bleached out in the JPEG version.

Unless you’re getting up close to a subject and deliberately looking to blur everything beyond the subject itsself, then detail is maintained into the corners of the frame in wide shots, although there is a slight smudging at the extremities under very close examination. Inevitably perhaps there are some instances of purple fringing, as we get with 99% of digital compacts, and here at least such aberrations are kept reasonably tightly under control.

In terms of low light performance the Leica X2 delivers a good fist of it up to and including the very top ISO12500 setting. Although yes there is grain visible across the entirety of this image it’s very fine grain and if the shot were converted to black and white, such a look would actually prove pretty effective. Again a very fine degree of grit is present at ISO3200 and ISO6400, so stick to ISO1600 to play it safe.

In short, plenty of detail to play with here in a variety of shooting conditions.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Leica X2. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12500 (100% Crop)

 
 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web – Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don’t like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Focal Range

The Leica X2’s lens provides a focal length of 35mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

35mm

Chromatic Aberrations

The Leica X2 handled chromatic aberrations extremely well during the review, with very limited purple fringing mainly present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Leica X2 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 30cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Leica X2 are Auto, Auto+Red-eye reduction, Forced on, Forced on+Red-eye, Slow Sync., Slow Sync.+Red-eye reduction, and Studio first curtain. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off – Wide Angle (35mm)

Flash On – Wide Angle (35mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Auto setting or the Red Eye Fix option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red Eye

Red Eye (100% Crop)

Night

The Leica X2’s maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds in the Manual mode, which is great news if you’re seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/3 second at ISO 3200.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Leica X2 Review Image

Leica X2 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Leica X2 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Leica X2 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We’ve provided some Leica RAW (DNG) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/20s · f/2.8 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/40s · f/2.8 · 36mm · ISO 200
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/80s · f/3.5 · 36mm · ISO 400
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/160s · f/4.5 · 36mm · ISO 1600
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/400s · f/5.6 · 36mm · ISO 6400
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/200s · f/4.5 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/400s · f/5.6 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/320s · f/5 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/320s · f/5 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/500s · f/5.6 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/200s · f/4.5 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/500s · f/5.6 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/250s · f/5 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/640s · f/6.3 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/60s · f/3.5 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Leica X2 Review Image

Leica X2 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Product Images

Leica X2

Front of the Camera

 
Leica X2

Isometric View

 
Leica X2

Isometric View

 
Leica X2

Isometric View

 
Leica X2

Isometric View

 
Leica X2

Rear of the Camera

 
Leica X2

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

 
Leica X2

Top of the Camera

 
Leica X2

Bottom of the Camera

 

Leica X2

Side of the Camera

 
Leica X2
Side of the Camera
 
Leica X2
Front of the Camera
 
Leica X2
Memory Card Slot
 
Leica X2
Battery Compartment

Leica X2 Review Image

Leica X2 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Specifications

Lens LEICA ELMARIT 24mm f/2.8 ASPH. 8 elements in 6 groups; 1 aspherical lens
Focal length 24mm (35mm equivalent: 36mm)
Apertures 2.8 to 16 (1/3EV increments)
Focusing range 30cm – infinity
AF focusing 1 point, 11 points, spot, face detection
Image sensor APS-C CMOS sensor with 16.5 megapixels (effective 16.2 MP)
Resolution JPEG in 3:2 format: 4928 × 3264 pixels (16.1 MP), 4288 × 2856 pixels (12.2 MP), 3264 × 2160 pixels (7.1 MP), 2144 × 1424 pixels (3.1 MP), 1632 × 1080 pixels (1.8 MP) DNG in 3:2 format: 4944 × 3272 pixels (16.2 MP)
Image quality JPEG super fine, JPEG fine, DNG + JPEG super fine, DNG + JPEG fine
Exposure control
Exposure modes: Automatic programme (P), automatic aperture priority (A), automatic shutter priority
(S), manual setting (M)
Exposure compensation: Gradation: 1/3 EV increments, range: ±3 EV
Automatic exposure bracketing: 1/3 to 3 EV increments, 3 exposures
Metering modes Smart multi-segment metering, centre-weighted metering, selective (spot) metering
White balance Auto, halogen, daylight, flash, cloudy, shade, electronic flash, 2 manual settings,
manual colour temperature setting with fine tuning
ISO sensitivity Auto, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 6400, ISO 12500
Shutter speeds 30s – 1/2000 sec
Continuous shooting 3 fps or 5 fps, max. 8 consecutive exposures with constant shooting speed in DNG +
JPEG fine quality
Film modes Standard, dynamic, natural, b/w natural, b/w high contrast
Flash  
Flash modes: Auto, flash exposure correction, red-eye correction, fill-in flash, slow sync, studio,
1st/2nd curtain sync
Hot shoe Compatible with Leica SF 24D, Leica SF 58 flash units
LCD monitor 2.7″ TFT LCD with 230,000 pixels, wide-angle field of view: 100%
Playback/review
modes
16-thumbnail display, zoom review (16× max.), image rotation, deletion protection
Internal memory Approx. 110MB
Memory card
compatibility
SD, SDHC, SDXC
Interfaces HDMI out, USB (USB 2.0 high speed)
Battery (rechargeable
lithium-ion)
Capacity: approx. 450 exposures
Dimensions (WxHxD) Approx. 124 × 69 × 51.5mm
Weight Approx. 316/345 g (without/with battery)
Package includes Battery (Leica BP-DC8), battery charger (Leica BC-DC8), battery case, leather neck
strap, USB cable, lens cap, user manual
Software Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® (download option after product registration)

Leica X2 Review Image

Leica X2 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Conclusion

Don’t have the need to zoom, swap lenses or shoot video clips, but do have enough cash for a holiday somewhere exotic – or that of a semi pro digital SLR – in your back pocket ready to spend instead on a deliberately compact camera with a build that should last the test of time for considered image taking? Then the Leica X2 may well be your perfect photographic companion.

And, for those who truly want to push the boat out and outwardly personalise their X2 – now you can, as its maker has launched an ‘a la carte’ service, with prices for additional body colours than silver or black plus trims starting at £1710.

Whilst the traditionalist-looking X2 isn’t a budget option by any means and we’d find it hard to justify the expense ourselves, it is capable of delivering shots that are lovely enough for you to consider leaving the DSLR at home on occasion and pocketing the X2 instead. And naturally, if street photography is your aim, the relatively compact yet reassuringly chunky dimensions of the Leica means that (human) subjects aren’t going to be so easily intimidated by it. Plus the build should ensure that, if it does become your regular travel companion as it should, then it will be capable of offering years of luxurious service.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 3.5

Leica X2 Review Image

Leica X2 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Leica X2.

Canon PowerShot G1 X

Canon PowerShot G1 X Review thumbnail

The Canon PowerShot G1 X is a serious compact camera with a large 1.5-inch image sensor. Building on previous G-series models, the G1 X also offers a 4x, 28-112mm zoom lens, 1080p HD video with stereo sound, 3 inch vari-angle screen, optical viewfinder and manual controls. £699 / €799 / $799.99 is a lot of money to pay for a fixed-lens compact camera – read our Canon PowerShot G1 X review to find out if it’s worth it.

Fujifilm X100S

Fujifilm X100S Review thumbnail

The new Fujifilm X100S promises to be a faster version of 2011’s hit camera, the X100, with the S clearly standing for Speed. The X100S also incorporates a new 16 megapixel sensor with the optical low-pass filter removed, some clever manual focusing aids, a better electronic viewfinder and the same gorgeous retro styling and handling of the original model. Does it live up to its potential, or is it too little, too late? Read our expert Fujifilm X100S review to find out…

Nikon Coolpix A

Nikon Coolpix A Review thumbnail

The Nikon Coolpix A is a new pocket camera for professionals. The Nikon A features the same 16 megapixel APS-C sensor as the D7000 DSLR, a 28mm f/2.8 lens, full manual controls, 1080p HD video recording, a high-resolution 3-inch LCD screen and 4fps burst shooting. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix A review to find out if this justifies the £999.99 / $1099.95 price-tag…

Olympus XZ-2

Olympus XZ-2 Review thumbnail

The new Olympus XZ-2 is a serious compact that’s aimed at the enthusiast and professional user looking for a small yet capable camera. A 12 megapixel 1/1.7 inch CMOS sensor, fast f/1.8 maximum aperture, high-res 3-inch tilting touch-screen LCD, and a full range of manual shooting modes should be enough to grab your attention. Read our expert Olympus XZ-2 review, complete with full-size JPEG, RAW and movie samples.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Review thumbnail

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 is the latest premium compact camera hoping to find a place in a professional photographer’s pocket. With the fastest lens of any compact to date, the LX7 also offers an improved 10 megapixel sensor, full 1080p HD movies and an even better control system than the previous LX5 model. Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 review with sample JPEG, RAW and video files now.

Pentax MX-1

Pentax MX-1 Review thumbnail

The Pentax MX-1 joins the growing list of premium compact cameras aimed at advanced users. Offering a large 1/1.7″ 12 megapixel sensor, fast f/1.8 4x zoom lens, tilting 3-inch LCD screen and an appealingly retro design, does the Pentax MX1 offer enough to compete in this increasingly competitive market? Read our detailed Pentax MX-1 review to find out…

Ricoh GR Digital IV

Ricoh GR Digital IV Review thumbnail

The GR Digital IV is the 2011 version of Ricoh’s compact camera for serious photographers. With a fixed focal length 28mm wide-angle lens, high-sensitivity 10 megapixel sensor, excellent 3 inch LCD screen and faster auto-focus system, can the Ricoh GR Digital IV justify its equally serious price-tag of £499 / $599? Read our Ricoh GR Digital IV review to find out…

Samsung EX2F

Samsung EX2F Review thumbnail

The Samsung EX2F is a new pocket camera for serious photographers, sporting a super-bright f/1.4, 3.3x zoom lens, sensible 12 megapixel sensor and a swivelling 3 inch AMOLED screen. 1080p video, RAW shooting, ISO 80-12800, 10fps burst shooting, image stabilisation and full manual controls complete the EX2F’s star attractions. Read our Samsung EX2F review to find out if this is the advanced compact camera for you…

Sigma DP1 Merrill

Sigma DP1 Merrill Review thumbnail

The Sigma DP1 Merrill is a new serious compact camera featuring an intriguing 46 megapixel APS-C sensor from Foveon and a fixed 28mm equivalent lens with a fast aperture of f/2.8. Read our in-depth Sigma DP1 Merrill review to find out what this unique camera is capable of…

Sigma DP2 Merrill

Sigma DP2 Merrill Review thumbnail

The Sigma DP2 Merrill is a new serious compact camera featuring an intriguing 46 megapixel APS-C sensor from Foveon and a fixed 45mm equivalent lens with a fast aperture of f/2.8. Read our in-depth Sigma DP2 Merrill review to find out what this unique camera is capable of…

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 Review thumbnail

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 is the first ever compact camera with a 35mm full-frame sensor. Promising to combine high-end DSLR image quality with compact portability, the Sony RX1 also features a 35mm Carl Zeiss prime lens with a fast maximum aperture of f/2, full 1080p high-definition video, high-resolution 3-inch screen, manual shooting modes, 5fps continuous shooting, ISO range of 50-25,600, and 14-bit raw support. Read our expert Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 review to find out if it’s the best compact camera ever made…

Leica X2 Review Image

Leica X2 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Leica X2 from around the web.

ephotozine.com »

The Leica X2 is the latest serious compact camera from Leica, replacing the Leica X1, and features a 35mm equivalent Leica Elmarit f/2.8 ASPH. lens, 16.2 megapixel APS-C sensor, ISO100 to ISO12500, improved focus and is one of the smallest cameras available with a large APS-C sized sensor.
Read the full review »

stevehuffphoto.com »

Here we are at the end of May 2012 and I have been shooting with the new Leica X2 for just about a week. I have shot quite a few snaps and images with it already (I am a slow going type of shooter, NOT a machine gunner) and have found it has given me some really cool keepers that I am happy with. It’s a funny thing because when the original Leica X1 came out I loved it, and for good reason.
Read the full review »

pocket-lint.com »

The Leica X2 is a bit like the Ferrari of the camera world. It looks gorgeous, has some enviable features, but it’s also extortionately expensive. And it’s that last point that will price it out of most people’s reach.
Read the full review »

whatdigitalcamera.com »

Leica’s line of rangefinder cameras and lenses have been used by photographers to capture some of the most defining and iconic images of the 20th century, the brand long synonymous with engineering excellence and quality. Today, cameras such as the M9 and the most recent X2, carry the brand into the digital age.
Read the full review »

Leica X2 Review Image

Leica X2 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

SOURCE:http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/leica_x2_review