Looking at non M Leica’s and other options

Leica X VarioI am forever blogging that I am looking for the perfect compact camera.  As one does not exist I keep considering areas that I am willing to sacrifice, such as ergonomic’s or image quality.

To this end I have spent a good part of this week in between gardening/house work and editing clients photographs investigating the high-end Leica options.

The options currently are:

  • Leica X2 fixed 35mm field of view (24mm, f/2.8, DX sensor)
  • Leica X Vario 28-70mm field of view (18-46mm, f/3.5-6.4, DX sensor)

When the Leica X1 was released it was exceptional and there was nothing like it except Sigma’s DX Foveon compact.

Since the X2 was released we now have lots of large sensor’ed compact and now CSC system cameras just as small.

The pro’s for these are image quality, lens quality, build quality is all very high,.

The cons: X2 is over priced for what you are getting and the Vario while stunning image quality from a great lens is just very slow.  Here in the UK one would constantly be cranking up the ISO.  Also neither have a viewfinder.

Fuji X100sIts interesting that several Leica M shooters I know have gone for the either the Vario, or the Fuji X100s.  I know one review who said the Vario on image quality but the X100s on practicality, the fantastic optical viewfinder, and faster autofocus won him over.  One should note that the photographers that went for the Vario were also based in sunnier climates, though again if your out in the sun and want to use flash the X100s has some fantastic tricks like a built in ND filter and a leaf shutter for high flash sync speeds.

Leica T 701As Fuji have done such a good job borrowing some of the best bits from the Leica M, like the ergonomics and the viewfinder it would be nice if Leica could borrow Fuji’s implementation of the X100s’s viewfinder/evf combination and launch a Leica T Pro?

I have also recently spent some time getting my bicycle back into working order.  I seem to struggle to find time for the gym so now try to cycle into Lincoln once a week which has made me think about cameras that would suite small bicycle bags.  Certainly I would not want to be bothered with too many pieces; carrying a body and viewfinder would be too much. This is where an all in one design like the Fuji X100 score highly.

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