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Leica X1 questions
Old 04-26-2012   #1
Peter_S
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Leica X1 questions

Hi!

I trashed my trusted DP2s and look for a new digital camera. I am fairly set on the M8, and having used M6, M8, DP2 and Contax T3 extensively, I aware of all the conceptual and real-life differences between P&S and RF.

Now - I will continue to work on some reportage-style projects in rather dark refugee collective centers (http://cargocollective.com/Peter_S/T...lective-Center).
I used the M8 for this kind of work before, all good, well, except the noise is sometimes downright ugly and in the end I often just use HP5+ film at ISO 800 or Delta 3200.

So I looked around a bit and the prices for the X1, and, wow, they have come to an attractive point. I know the X1 is better at higher ISO than the M8, but I wonder - after all the firmware updates and bug-fixes, how well, reliable and acurrate does it focus in low light where one would actually use the ISO 1600? The X1 alongside my M6 may work quite well and actually open some new photo possibilities. I will not be taking photos of running kids, but people may not stay steady neither.
If the X1 works as well as the Contax T3 AF-wise, I would be tempted to take the X1 instead an M8 to work alongside my M6.
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Old 04-26-2012   #2
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this doesn't answer your question directly, but how come you haven't looked at any of the fuji x series cameras?

And great choice on the m8 (i just got one). The R-D1 also pairs nicely with an m6 (my film body as well)
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Old 04-27-2012   #3
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I've just recently sold my X1 (not because it was bad, but upgraded to an M9). ISO 1600 can yield acceptable results if shot in RAW and processed well, but the AF is a little frustrating in low light, especially for low contrast targets. It WILL hunt and hunt and hunt. Once it does lock, it's accurate, but it does take a while to get there.

Can't compare to a T3 (never tried one), but it seem slower than a Minilux or a TVSIII, both of which I own and use. If you've ever used a Panasonic GF1, I'd say it's a tad bit slower than that, if that helps.
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Old 04-27-2012   #4
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Hi! Thanks for the replies.
Looked and handled the X100, something that does not get to me. It seems a weird mix - too big for P&S and buttons I cannot operate with gloves on (that is another story an unrelated to my original question). I handled it I do not know, something about that does not get to me.
The X-Pro 1 is too expensive at the moment, and I handled it as well..hm, I prefer M8.

Thanks for the comparison with TVS III - I used before the T3. The T3 seems faster than TVS III, and the T3 is as slow as I would accept an AF to be (the Sigma DP2s drove me nuts sometimes).

M8 it will be, then.
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Old 04-27-2012   #5
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If you have concerns about AF avoid; the X1 is one of the worst performing cameras in this respect.
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Old 04-27-2012   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
If you have concerns about AF avoid; the X1 is one of the worst performing cameras in this respect.
^^ What he said. ^^

The images, though, can be top notch.
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Old 04-27-2012   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogberryjr View Post
The images, though, can be top notch.
^^ What he said. ^^
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Old 04-27-2012   #8
BobYIL
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Peter,

Will you be wearing your gloves while shooting in the refugee camp?

How many cameras will you take with to the mountains?

The X100 looks like an ideal camera for low-light and general shooting for your purposes.

(If it's good enough for Joseph Koudelka then why not? )
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Old 04-27-2012   #9
Peter_S
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Thanks again!
Haha, Bob, no - the glove thing only applies for mountains. A digital P&S has its merits, so has the M8. Cannot afford (and take along) both, so I need to settle for one.
With the drawbacks of the X1, the M8 seems to make more sense.
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Old 04-27-2012   #10
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Since the latest firmware update, the AF speed on the Leica X1 is actually quite OK, and its performance at iso1600 very good. Dark party shot at iso1600:


ben-easter-party7 by aad_b, on Flickr
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Old 04-27-2012   #11
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jippiejee, when was that firmware update released? Not the one from a year ago right? I was always satisfied even up to 3200.
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Old 04-27-2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
jippiejee, when was that firmware update released? Not the one from a year ago right? I was always satisfied even up to 3200.
Yes, I mean that release from one year ago.
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Old 04-27-2012   #13
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Ah, the AF is still slow compared to most cameras then... I used the X1 for a year and waited for that update and I was disappointed. The X100 killed it with regard to AF speed and that is saying something (since the X100's AF is commented on negatively as well).
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Old 04-27-2012   #14
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Weird. Just pointed it at my cat and it focused nearly immediately. I'd say under 0.3 seconds.
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Old 04-27-2012   #15
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Hmmm, that is strange indeed.
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Old 04-27-2012   #16
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The m8 wont be very useable at night i would think, unless there is pretty good lighting. Keep that in mind. The R-D1 will outperform it at 1600 and the x100/x-pro1 will stomp all of them. That being said, i have the m8 heh
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Old 05-03-2012   #17
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In regards to the AF performance vs the T3...the T3 is faster. That said, I liked the output from my X1, great little camera. Not nearly as slow focusing as my Sigma DP1 was.
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Old 05-03-2012   #18
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The x1 is gorgeous in it's simplicity. I used it exclusively for a year and love the little camera... Autofocus is dreadfully slow for me (even with 2.0), but very accurate. At the end of the day though, it takes such wonderful images.

For reference, my main camera is an M6 and my main digital now is an X-Pro 1.
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Old 05-03-2012   #19
Peter_S
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Hi all!

Thanks again. I ordered one the other day to test - some sample photos looked promising....I will try and then decide.

Thanks for the input, it was enough to make me give it a try.
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Old 05-04-2012   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
How long does it take to focus an M8/M8.2/M9? Faster or slower than the "pitiful" X1?
Well, that depends on the situation right? Manual focus, as I'm sure you are well aware of Dave, gives you a few options for focusing (RF patch, zone, scale, etc) without menu diving. I used the X1 for a year and loved it despite the AF. However, once the X100 came around, the X1 was superflous for me. To each his own.

The black X1 is a beautiful looking camera though...
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Old 05-04-2012   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jippiejee View Post
Just pointed it at my cats.
You're now officially a "Leica Guy."
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Old 05-04-2012   #22
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cute kid (nice pic of her).

cute dog too,
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Old 05-04-2012   #23
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The last firmware for X1 was release in February or March 2012.

I have both silver and black X1 in hand. Apart from my preference for the black, the black had MUCH better (look, feel, grip) leatherette than the silver.

For me the X1 is still unique as it offers great IQ in rally small package - the size difference to X100 is noticeable.

Just one point - have a look at the Ricoh GXR. The 28/2.5 and 50/2.5 modules (both APS-C) compare very well to the performance of the X1 (the AF is probably a touch faster). The 50 is also a macro lens and has lovely booked. Not to forget is the APS-C module with M-mount which has no AA filter and the file quality is wonderful. So if you have some M (or ltm) glass around this could be an interesting option.

Concerning both X1 and GXR you may be interested to check out the webpage of Steve Huff - he has some interesting insights how these cameras work in real life environment (and even has some direct comparisons).

P.S. I would have bought the GXR already if Riccoh had release a 35/2.5 lens module as that is my preferred focal length. I found the X1 bit too pricey at the time.
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