Leica User manual not well written

Antoni Scott

New Member
I just bought a Leica X2 and so far am quite impressed. Unfortunately, in the past I was spoiled by superb image quality cameras first by my old Leica M3 film camera and second by my 2-1/4 Square Hasselblad. Both cameras created outstanding images. When digital came along I took the plunge but was constantly disappointed. My camera's were all Canon's starting out with a surprisingly good Powershot S45. It was a point-and-shoot compact barely smaller than the Leica X2 with a 4 megapixel CCD. Interestingly the color and the exposures were always 100% spot on. I retained the S45 and eventually worked my way up to a 12 megapixel 5D. Although image quality was sharp, contrast was poor, and the exposure was never quite right. I had to shoot in RAW to ever get the exposure I wanted. Additionally their add-on flashes were aweful, It never seemed to work right. I worked my way back to a Powershot S90. Again, fill-flash never quite worked, exposure was never quite right, and so on and so on. I experimented with the Fuji 100s and finally went up to the Leica X2. I never thought I'd pay that much for a compact camera but I was running out of patience.

I think this camera is the first digital camera I have owned that I can say I like. The image quality is better than anything I have seen so far. Although I thought the 16 megapixels could have been a bit sharper, it was the smooth film-like gradations of exposure that sold me on it. Finally, a digital camera that is not plagued with contrast issues. Much to my surprise, when I took some images in low tungsten light and added fill-flash, the result was an image with a little fill, just enough to fill the shadows, but still retaining that low light result that I was looking for. With my other cameras it would take me half a dozen tries and adjustments.

lastly, I prefer, in relatively low lighting situations, such as a moderately well lit indoor areas, to shoot at 1/30th. I set the aperture and ISO to Auto. If f/2.8 was not enough it would automatically up the ISO to get the correct exposure. When I shoot in Manual, the ISO adjustments are in full stop increments, i.e. 100, 200, etc. The only thing I didn't like was that when an exposure required slightly greater ISO than 400, it would require 800, introducing more noise than necessary. In the A mode for aperture, the ISO jumps in 1/3 stop increments, i.e. 100, 125, 160, 200. It says nothing about this in the manual.
So fortunately if I only needed a 1/3 stop increase over f/2.8 it would not jump from 100 to 200 , or 200 to 400, but it would go from 100 to 125, or from 200, to 250. Cleverly it selects just enough ISO to satisfy the exposure and not introduce any more noise than is necessary.

I think the biggest feature of this camera is its image quality and its minimalist features ( yes, less is more) and lastly its dead-on exposure, Wow, I might actually be happy. Now what about those bigger Leica's that cost $10,000.

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