Saturday, January 8, 2011

My first real view of the Leica X1

I'm about a year behind with offering any sort of review of the Leica X1 then again I'm not a professional reviewer and as they say, "you pays your money and ya takes your chances".  In this case since you didn't pay anything you should have very high expectations...

I've written briefly about the Leica X1 and how it was my first exposure to Leica. I liked the little camera then and after today I find I still do. For the most part.

Nothing is perfect, not my Cambo WRS, nor the Phase One P45+ or for that matter my Leica M9. It would be a very dull boring world if everything was perfect. You get used to it and after awhile you overlook the little things that nagged you. I feel the very same about the little X1. It's not perfect but I'll live with the little nagging things that's come up with this mornings shoot.

What don't I like? Not too much. I don't like the fact that I can't shoot in RAW only. While I don't hate Jpeg I simply choose not to use it as a capture method. The X1 forces you to shoot a combination DNG/Jpeg. Just a waste of card space as far as I'm concerned.

I also found that the dials controlling the shutter and aperture can move without me knowing it. I had that happen this morning to both dials which resulted in interesting images.

100% crop
Third dislike is the LCD screen brightness or lack thereof. I had the screen set for the brightest setting and still had problems previewing the image prior to capture. The after capture preview wasn't much better. I will admit this was late morning and it was bright. I also remember having a similar problem with the Canon G9; I simply couldn't see what was on the screen if I wore sunglasses. And before anyone asks, no I did not have sunglasses on.

So there you have it, my top three things I dislike about the Leica X1.

Desert Panda
Dispite the above comments I still like the little camera very much.  I like this camera for what it is, a small lightweight camera that can fir inside a (large) pocket and capable of capturing images with Leica quality.  Will I use it to produce large landscape images?  No.  That's why I have medium format and the M9.  What I see using this camera for is a lightweight method of carrying around while we walk the streets of where ever we happen to be.  Likewise I see taking this into restaurants where I enjoy shooting at the hip so to speak.  I see this as the camera we'll take with us when we go into an area where you really don't want people to notice the camera and lastly I see this as a resident jeep camera for those times you say I wish I had a camera.

Once again I wish to thank my very good friend Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration who helps feed my camera addiction.   If you want a reputably, trustworthy camera dealer with great staff you can look no further.

All the images here are offered in black & white. I had set the "preset film" to B&W Natural which in turn turned the LCD to black & white. Not thinking or realizing I was taking 2-images for every shutter release I went about the shoot fat dumb and happy. It wasn't until I returned home to find that the 36-exlosures were in fact 72. Reviewing the images in CS5 showed the color DNG file and a black & white Jpeg file. I processed only the DNG files in CS5 using Nik Silver Efex Pro to produce the images I wanted.

I think a have a slight learning curve ahead of me...

Thank you as always for allowing me to share and please feel free to leave a comment here if you have any questions or comments.


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