The Leica X1: A Review from the Field

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
Jack
The issue seems that this relationship is a one-way street. Panasonic enjoys the Leica glass for their lens (and other minor features) but Leica does not enjoy (or bother with) the Panasonic innovations.
Maybe it's not that really one way given that in Leica makes quite a profit on the markups for the DLux and VLux cameras! :)

Great review of the X1 Paul! Hoping to see more of your reviews.
 

kathyh

Veteran
Jul 13, 2010
Ottawa, Canada
Kathy
I'm clearly the odd one out. I've had the X1 for over a year and I have never enjoyed using a camera so much. I have added a view finder and the thumbs-up attachment. I have the grip and didn't like it, but I have smallish hands. I have never tried the X100 so can't compare. When my local camera shop finally has one I can test I certainly will and maybe I will be a convert but until then I keep the X1.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
Jack
Interesting that you have the GXR as well. Mine is sitting in a closet waiting for the aps-c sensor zoom (24-80mm or so they say) and the m-mount module to come out. The GXR with large sensor zoom and X100 could make great travel companions:)
@Retow and Christilou -

How is the AF speed of the GXR (with the APS-C sensor modules) compared to the X100 and X1? And how's the EVF for the GXR (assuming y'all have it)? Thanks!
 
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retow

All-Pro
Jul 24, 2010
The thing is that the X100 is designed in the Leica M fashion and the X1 is like a compact design.
IQ, size and weight aside, the X100 handles more like a Leica.
Due to this, it is far superior in handling.
The size and weight really don't matter at this point.
The X1 broke my heart whereas the X100 has freed me in a way no other digital camera ever has.
I use my friend Roger's M9's in more than a few occasions and the X100 is similar in feeling.
The camera offers no intrusion on my vision where the X1 interfered all the time.
Your last sentence says it all. To frame and focus with the X1, one has to look at the camera and is busy (or should I say bothered) with it. With the X100 onel looks through a brilliant OVF at the world, the camera disapears.
 
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ZDP-189

Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/ZDP189">@Z
Apr 18, 2011
Amin, they are about the same weight. IMO, the X1 has the form factor of screw mount Leica combined with LCD composition. The X100 feels like an enhanced 70's rangefinder, but heavier.
 

123compact!

Regular
May 19, 2011
Hey Paul,

Nice writeup. And I agree with just about all of it, save the power down time. I've witnessed a huge delay in power down, especially compared to the X100.

And I don' want to steal ANY of your thunder from your review but please allow me to add a link to my own review I did for Precision Camera back when the X1 was released. Please excuse the weird formatting errors: Leica X1 â

This review may be of particular interest to Serious Compact members since I relate the X1 to other film and digital compacts.

I just want to state (edit: gloat) for the record that in the review I called for a hybrid optical/EVF viewfinder, never thinking someone would do it so soon! Maybe Fuji was listening ??? ;)

Best,
Chad
 

123compact!

Regular
May 19, 2011
Kathy,

The X1 is an excellent camera and to me is still the gold standard for a digital compact. With the X100 you get a better, and more flexible, shooting experience and slightly improved IQ (although there is debate on this and it of course can be subjective) but you sacrifice the compactness of the X1.

I wish I could justify having both but for now I'll continue to shoot the Contax T3 and Ricoh GR when I need a truly pocketable camera and the X100 and NEX for occasions when I can stomach a neck or wrist strap.
 
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retow

All-Pro
Jul 24, 2010
@Retow and Christilou -

How is the AF speed of the GXR (with the APS-C sensor modules) compared to the X100 and X1? And how's the EVF for the GXR (assuming y'all have it)? Thanks!
I have the 50mm (equivalent) macro lens. AF speed is about at the X1's level after FW upgrade, maybe a tad faster, but slower than the X100. I think the 28mm lens focuses faster but have not tried it yet. The EVF is quite good, not at the Olympus EVF level, which is probably the best of the bunch, but nothing to complain about.
 

Paul Giguere

www.paulgiguere.com
May 4, 2011
Wayland, MA USA
Hey Paul,

Nice writeup. And I agree with just about all of it, save the power down time. I've witnessed a huge delay in power down, especially compared to the X100.

And I don' want to steal ANY of your thunder from your review but please allow me to add a link to my own review I did for Precision Camera back when the X1 was released. Please excuse the weird formatting errors: Leica X1 â

This review may be of particular interest to Serious Compact members since I relate the X1 to other film and digital compacts.

I just want to state (edit: gloat) for the record that in the review I called for a hybrid optical/EVF viewfinder, never thinking someone would do it so soon! Maybe Fuji was listening ??? ;)

Best,
Chad
Hi Chad,

Thanks for the comments regarding the review. Actually I still stand by my assessment of the X1's power-down speed which is quite good when compared to similar cameras where the lens must extend and retract into the camera body (although I will admit that I think the Panasonic LX-5 is quite a bit faster than the X1 in this regard). The X100 of course does not have a lens that extends or retracts so of course it's power up/down speeds are going to be faster so comparing the two cameras in this regard is not exactly fair however, I can see if the speed of the camera in how it powers up and down is important to you, this is a real factor to consider.

I'll have a review of the X100 ready soon and will be sure to point this aspect of the camera out in the review (the comparisons to the X1 will be inevitable.).

Best,

Paul
 
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nippa

Top Veteran
Aug 7, 2010
Cheshire UK
Dennis
Perhaps I'm just lucky but I have neither focusing or AWB issues mentioned.
I see no tendency to yellow and while focusing isn't that quick it is almost always spot on. Anything closer than say 4 feet gets Macro Mode!
The use of Manual focusing ( Zone Focusing ) is also very easy after Firmware v2.

It is a difficult camera to love after the rapidity of a DSLR or Japanese P&S but images larger than 20x30 inches look fantastic ( even from upscaled Jpegs ) and for me that's what it's about .. a Wall Poster machine in my pocket.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
I agree with all who've posted here about the love for the X1 - it is a wonderful camera. It just wasn't quite as wonderful for me, but that's just me. I've seen many spectacular photographs taken with both of these cameras!
 
S

shinglj

Guest
X1 Experiences

I was given a sample X1 4 months before release to try for a few days.
I promptly returned it after just 1 day. I made my report.
When the camera was released, again I was given a sample and tested it for 4 days.
The IQ was fabulous but that's all that was. I was heart broken.
I have had a love affair with Leica for over 40 years.
The X1 rekindled my dissappointment with the M8.

Now I'm on the X100 and wondering how Leica can even be entertaining an X2.
Even at $2000.00+, it can never compete with the X100.
I feel bad but that's just the way things go.
I hope Leica can find the magic again but at this pricepoint, to me it seems a useless effort.
Don
I am also a Leica user for over 40 years and can relate to the comments above .I have really struggled with my X1 since I purchased it in January . My experience was not helped when the first camera had a problem out of the box and I was given a replacement .Leica seem to have some ongoing quality issues with the X1 and the camera certainly feels delicate . Notwithstanding all this it can take superb images .I have persevered with it and I have written of my experiences on The Rolling Road: LEICA X1
 

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