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Leica X2 versus Om-D for me
Old 06-28-2012   #1
texchappy
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Leica X2 versus Om-D for me

I've narrowed down the digital choice for me to the Leica X2 and the OM-D E-M5. I had decided on the X2 and then watched this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPbvV...ayer_embedded#! and it got me thinking about the Om-D.

So here's my appraisal of the pro's of each for me and my wife:

X2----
1. Leica Quality
2. Leica Image Quality
3. Size
4. Made in Germany
5. Leica customer service
6. Fits my shooting style (if I have one)
7. Love the control layout
8. APS-C sensor


OM-D---
1. Images online appear comparable to the X2
2. Great lenses and the versatility they bring
3. wouldn't have to keep the D40 to shoot longer (birds, wildlife)
4. waterproof
5. outstanding image stabilization
6. better autofocus (and possibly better manual with some lenses)
7. better fits wife taking pictures

So, input por favor.

Seems to come down ultimately to Leica quality versus Oly versatility.


BTW: I have decided that I can shoot film with my Zorki and F2 for quite a while to see if I like film for those who have followed my not so internal debate on that issue.
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Old 06-28-2012   #2
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As satisfied owner of an x1 (actually thinking about putting an OM-D beside) I think it depends mainly on the use you do. If you are sure the 35mm (equivalent) fits to your style (and I guess with the higher Mpx of the x2 if you need you can crop a lot) the x2 is a very simple camera. It's a pleasure to have in your hands. IQ excellent. For sure the OM-D can be more versatile. I think IQ also good. Low light capacity due to the image stabilization and high iso should be good. A difficult choice, but no mistake in any case.
Just my opinion!
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Old 06-28-2012   #3
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There is also the issue of cost. OM-D is much cheaper. I got he 17mm and even though its supposed to be a bad lens, the combo seems very nice to me. The IQ of the OM-D is worse if you look very closely, but in real use, you will probably not see a difference. AF, is think also cannot be compared.
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Old 06-28-2012   #4
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Just my two cents, but I have long cherished my Olys for image quality. High ISO noise is just one characteristic of IQ, and the OM-D is in my mind "Very good" in that department, but overall "excellent". I have written about this elsewhere, but one of the great pluses of the Oly is the JPEG engine...it's just stunning. With other cameras (like the Ricoh GXR) I had to shoot in RAW...the jpegs were not nice. The X100 JPEGS were okay. The Oly JPEGS I have used for years straight out of the camera, with little to no processing. And this is for print assignments. I'm not as good at processing RAW files as that engine is. It's a big plus in my book, but if you're a RAW shooter than it means very little. Anyway I'm not familiar with the X2 image quality but it was would have to be something else to topple the E-M5's (especially with the lower AA filter they've been using since the E-5 and the later Pens).
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Old 06-28-2012   #5
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I'm very biased in this competition since I'm returning the E-M5 and have taken a liking to the X2. However, you have to be really excited about the X2 (and a 35mm lens) to pick it over a system camera. The value and versatility winner is the Olympus. The X2 is beautiful, small, light, and will give you excellent results (some feel the same way about the E-M5 too)... but it is also super expensive for what it is, is limited in comparison (which I feel is a pro), and is a no-frills design. You have to be sure that a digital barnack will work out for you. Remember, all of the size attributes of the X2 can be said about the E-M5 with a pancake lens.

I guess what I am saying is that it takes a special type of crazy to buy a Leica X2 because you have to ignore the value for your $ aspect (unless of course it checks off everything you want in a camera). The great thing is, you cannot go wrong with either IQ wise.
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Old 06-28-2012   #6
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I don't have either and I'm not planning on purchasing either.

You have made pros and cons but it's always helpful to narrow things to down to the essence of the decision.

1. Can you live with a single focal length?
2. Do you need a discrete camera (OMD is SLR-like)?
3. Do you need fast autofocus?

In most every respect the OMD (IMO, from what I've seen) is a better/more capable camera. And the image quality and build quality appear to be a wash (don't get all sucked into the "Leica glow" BS). You say it's about Leica quality but I just don't see that here. If you were talking about M-mount Leica lenses and ultimate quality sure. But not in this comparison.
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Old 06-28-2012   #7
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In thinking about having two boys (4 and 9) the video and waterproof are definitely a big bonus for the OM-D. I would get the 12-50 lens just for the waterproof aspect. The video I've seen is stunning.
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Old 06-28-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy C View Post
In most every respect the OMD (IMO, from what I've seen) is a better/more capable camera. And the image quality and build quality appear to be a wash (don't get all sucked into the "Leica glow" BS). You say it's about Leica quality but I just don't see that here. If you were talking about M-mount Leica lenses and ultimate quality sure. But not in this comparison.
+1

Olympus has always been synonymous to quality in my book.
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Old 06-28-2012   #9
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Not sure why you have given a default assumption of "quality" to the Leica. It's not built like an MP. It's a nice digital camera - that's all. As far as image quality goes, it's probably on-par with others in its class, at lower price points. There's no magic in it, despite the hype. Same comment, with regard to it being "made in Germany." Where's the advantage in that?

I'm going to suggest that you don't make a decision based purely on your list analysis. Get your hands on them. That makes all the difference in the world. I recently spent an hour or so in B&H, trying the lot of mirrorless cameras for the first time, and i came away with VERY strong opinions — opinions i never would have had without first hand experience.

I've owned a lot of Leicas in the past (don't have any now, though), and wouldn't buy the X2. Far too much money. Far too slow. I just saw a video 'summary' of the current crop of compacts, and the reviewer said of the X2, "it's about simplicity — a pure Leica shooting experience." He was speaking of the things the X2 DIDN'T have. An optical or built-in EVF, for example. Somehow, when it's a discussion of a Leica product, the negatives applied to other products become labeled as positives.... He also spoke of "the Leica look" in X2 images. Which is odd, since Leica has been making cameras for a hundred years, and the Leica look has never previously had anything to do with what comes out of one of these digitals.... Whatever. I would be VERY concerned about Leica's support of this product. I don't doubt they'll support the M range, but the compacts are another matter. They will no longer deal with the Leica CM, for example - another 'premium' compact camera they used to tout as the "compact M." Well, it's abandoned now. An orphan, after the hypegloss wore off.

I'm no fan of the Olympus, either, actually. But, only because i had an immediate (and intense) reaction to the feel of it. But, that was with one of those cheesy zooms on it. And, having just seen a video with a grip on the camera, i have a feeling i might feel differently about the OMD with a grip and with a solid prime mounted. But, still - it felt like an 'electronic device' in the shape of a camera - not what i was hoping for.

Handle them. Find a good store. Or order from a reputable retailer with a good exchange policy. Amazon, maybe?
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Old 06-28-2012   #10
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Thanks for the input CK. Very thorough and thought out. Part of the reason I posted my analysis was to see where it was faulty. Most of the data in it was gathered from what I've read on line and this is driving home what I already knew - anybody can put something on the web.
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Old 06-28-2012   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CK Dexter Haven View Post
They will no longer deal with the Leica CM, for example - another 'premium' compact camera they used to tout as the "compact M." Well, it's abandoned now. An orphan, after the hypegloss wore off.
But they will still deal with the older minilux. The CM situation is due to a part that is no longer available. Same thing with the Nikon 35ti... certain parts are not available, so certain aspects cannot be fixed.
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Old 06-28-2012   #12
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
But they will still deal with the older minilux. The CM situation is due to a part that is no longer available. Same thing with the Nikon 35ti... certain parts are not available, so certain aspects cannot be fixed.
That's interesting, but i thought the Leica policy was not to service the camera AT ALL. Not that they couldn't fix one particular problem. It would be nice to get a 'final ruling' on this, just for the sake of accuracy. I sold my CM a long while ago, and only found out about the service issue after i considered acquiring another. Still, aren't there other non-M Leica products that they no longer stand behind? I was under the impression the CM was not a unique matter.
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Old 06-28-2012   #13
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The om-d has a real (electronic) viewfinder built in.

The x2 is a point and shoot without a viewfinder unless you put that wonky electronic viewfinder made by olympus that leica charge an extra couple of hundred dollars for on top of it.

I know which I'd go for. Do you really want to be taking photos like you would with an iPhone - arms outstretched, squinting at the lcd screen, dissociated from life around you?
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Old 06-29-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CK Dexter Haven View Post
That's interesting, but i thought the Leica policy was not to service the camera AT ALL. Not that they couldn't fix one particular problem. It would be nice to get a 'final ruling' on this, just for the sake of accuracy. I sold my CM a long while ago, and only found out about the service issue after i considered acquiring another. Still, aren't there other non-M Leica products that they no longer stand behind? I was under the impression the CM was not a unique matter.
I had a CM that needed repair, so I called Leica NJ. They said it was due to a part, but I guess they could be wrong. They did offer to sell me a D-Lux4 dirt cheap though because they couldn't service the camera anymore. I'm not aware of other Leica products that can't be serviced, but I'm sure there are.
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Old 06-29-2012   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
The om-d has a real (electronic) viewfinder built in.

The x2 is a point and shoot without a viewfinder unless you put that wonky electronic viewfinder made by olympus that leica charge an extra couple of hundred dollars for on top of it.

I know which I'd go for. Do you really want to be taking photos like you would with an iPhone - arms outstretched, squinting at the lcd screen, dissociated from life around you?
This isn't fair at all. The VF-2 is actually very good (and not so wonky) and the camera is still (seemingly) smaller and lighter with the VF than the OMD. I chose the X2 over the OMD because the X2 feels like a camera and the OMD does not. The X2 is not more a point and shoot than any other camera on the market with manual controls.
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Old 06-29-2012   #16
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The auto focus of the OMD is stunning IMO ... in decent conditions it feels as fast as my D700!

More than likely the OMD will have taken the shot while the Leica is still trying to focus ... and the OMD is very easy to focus manually which is an atribute none of it's contemporaries possess.
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Old 06-29-2012   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
The auto focus of the OMD is stunning IMO ... in decent conditions it feels as fast as my D700!

More than likely the OMD will have taken the shot while the Leica is still trying to focus ... and the OMD is very easy to focus manually which is an atribute none of it's contemporaries possess.
While what you say about the OMD is very true...you're exaggerating. The X2's AF isn't bad at all (from someone who has actually used both). Perhaps you are thinking of the X1.
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Old 06-29-2012   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
While what you say about the OMD is very true...you're exaggerating. The X2's AF isn't bad at all (from someone who has actually used both). Perhaps you are thinking of the X1.

Of course I'm exaggerating ... this is RFF after all!

I've always been curious about the Leica but there's no way I'd pay the entry fee!
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Old 06-29-2012   #19
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I've always been curious about the Leica but there's no way I'd pay the entry fee!
Understandable... you have to really buy into the philosophy of the camera to spend $2000.
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Old 06-29-2012   #20
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Understandable... you have to really buy into the philosophy of the camera to spend $2000.

I really like the philosophy of a small bodied simple camera with a decent sized sensor and although I didn't like the looks much at first I certainly did when I saw one in the flesh. It makes the X100 look chintzy IMO!
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Old 06-29-2012   #21
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Leica X... or Olympus OM-D ? This is a problem. The only way is to have them both
I'm a satisfied owner of the x1 since more than 1 year and with the money necessary to upgrade to x2 I plan to buy an OM-D, not sure yet which lens...maybe just an adapter and I'll use one of my M lenses...
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Old 06-29-2012   #22
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Another question: why aren't you considering the X100?
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Old 06-29-2012   #23
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Another question: why aren't you considering the X100?
Heard some really good things about it so Iím not sure to be perfectly honest. I know that some of the things Iíve read about the Pro X1 put me off.
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Old 06-29-2012   #24
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Originally Posted by texchappy View Post
I've narrowed down the digital choice for me to the Leica X2 and the OM-D E-M5. I had decided on the X2 and then watched this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPbvV...ayer_embedded#! and it got me thinking about the Om-D.

So here's my appraisal of the pro's of each for me and my wife:

X2----
1. Leica Quality
2. Leica Image Quality
3. Size
4. Made in Germany
5. Leica customer service
6. Fits my shooting style (if I have one)
7. Love the control layout
8. APS-C sensor


OM-D---
1. Images online appear comparable to the X2
2. Great lenses and the versatility they bring
3. wouldn't have to keep the D40 to shoot longer (birds, wildlife)
4. waterproof
5. outstanding image stabilization
6. better autofocus (and possibly better manual with some lenses)
7. better fits wife taking pictures

So, input por favor.

Seems to come down ultimately to Leica quality versus Oly versatility.


BTW: I have decided that I can shoot film with my Zorki and F2 for quite a while to see if I like film for those who have followed my not so internal debate on that issue.
Totally different cameras to be used in totally different ways.

Do you want a system camera or a fixed lens camera?
Something very small and pocketable, or something that is akin to a small SLR in size (with an SLR's system options to make decisions about)?

The Olympus is a very nice camera and the initial purchase is less expensive, but as soon as you add a couple of additional lenses to gain the benefit of its features and versatility, you've spent more than the X2 costs. At least I would ... that's the point of a system camera, you build a system with it.

The X2 is a "buy the camera and a viewfinder, maybe a case ... you're done: go make pictures" proposition. It is an intentionally limited, simple camera by comparison to any system camera. It's much smaller and lighter, and has very easy to learn and use controls.

They are different cameras intended for different kinds of use.
Decide what you want, no one can do that for you.

(Me: I have several system cameras and the systems to back them up. The X2 appeals to me for its simplicity, excellent image quality, excellent controls, and the constraints it imposes. Creativity expands in an environment of constraints.)
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Old 06-29-2012   #25
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I do have to say though that the image quality of the E-M5 is really damn good. Totally different than m4/3 from a few generations ago... and the 20mm panasonic is awesome on that camera. I may not have liked the aspect ratio and ergonomics, but there is no denying that it is capable of killer IQ. Olympus has a winner on its hand even if I didn't care for it in use. AND even though I prefer the X2 for my needs, I cannot say that Leica has a winner on its hands (in the same fashion as Olympus)... it'll be just another luxury niche compact for them.
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Old 05-20-2014   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
Do you really want to be taking photos like you would with an iPhone - arms outstretched, squinting at the lcd screen, dissociated from life around you?
Hah, it's interesting you say that. I saw Ben Lowy talk last night who dropped all professional camera equipment for an iPhone to shoot photojournalism and street. Part of the reason he did that is because a camera and viewfinder would often disassociate himself from a situation or person, whereas shooting with a phone he could make eye contact and get in closer to the action.

I have also found this to be true when shooting on the street with my phone instead of a rangefinder.

But you are definitely right, often enough it is hard to compose with a screen.
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Old 05-20-2014   #27
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Hah, it's interesting you say that. I saw Ben Lowy talk last night who dropped all professional camera equipment for an iPhone to shoot photojournalism and street. Part of the reason he did that is because a camera and viewfinder would often disassociate himself from a situation or person, whereas shooting with a phone he could make eye contact and get in closer to the action.

I have also found this to be true when shooting on the street with my phone instead of a rangefinder.

But you are definitely right, often enough it is hard to compose with a screen.
I've revisited my thinking with this too... the Ricoh GR has shown me that I actually like to use an LCD with wide angles on the street (partly for the reasons stated above regarding the iPhone). However, with normal lenses, I don't like it. I prefer an VF of some sort. I don't use the iPhone for photography.
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Old 05-20-2014   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texchappy View Post
I've narrowed down the digital choice for me to the Leica X2 and the OM-D E-M5. I had decided on the X2 and then watched this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPbvV...ayer_embedded#! and it got me thinking about the Om-D.

So here's my appraisal of the pro's of each for me and my wife:

X2----
1. Leica Quality
2. Leica Image Quality
3. Size
4. Made in Germany
5. Leica customer service
6. Fits my shooting style (if I have one)
7. Love the control layout
8. APS-C sensor


OM-D---
1. Images online appear comparable to the X2
2. Great lenses and the versatility they bring
3. wouldn't have to keep the D40 to shoot longer (birds, wildlife)
4. waterproof
5. outstanding image stabilization
6. better autofocus (and possibly better manual with some lenses)
7. better fits wife taking pictures

So, input por favor.

Seems to come down ultimately to Leica quality versus Oly versatility.


BTW: I have decided that I can shoot film with my Zorki and F2 for quite a while to see if I like film for those who have followed my not so internal debate on that issue.
I own both Olympus E-M1 and Leica X2. Both are fine performers. The X2 is obviously a camera with more limited versatility given a fixed lens; the E-M1 outfitted with a single 17mm f/1.8 lens isn't that much larger or heavier, or difficult to use. And the differences in image quality between them is virtually non-existent. Same goes for the E-M5 or E-M10 only a little moreso as both of those are a bit smaller than the E-M1.

What it comes down to for me is responsiveness. The X2 is slow in operation by comparison to the Olympus cameras. Slow to start, slow to focus, a bit more shutter lag, a lot more time between shots.

Since I bought the E-M1, the X2 sits in the cupboard.

G
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Old 06-08-2014   #29
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I had an X2, sold it, bought an RX100m2, and my replacement (used) X2 arrives tomorrow. The RX100m2 does everything the X2 did and quite a bit more, but it just lacked the feel in the hand and the UI was far more computer and less camera.

I'm keeping the RX100 as my wife rather liked it on our last vacation and of course it is much better for wider or longer than 35mm shots. The RX100 series are really the only cameras that, in my opinion, rival the X2 for image quality while retaining the X2's pocketable dimensions.
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Old 06-08-2014   #30
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Darn, I knew I shouldn't have read this thread. Guess what I want now?
Hint: it doesn't have an "M" in the name which is weird considering the brand. Hmmm...
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Old 09-19-2014   #31
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I had the X1 for a day and a night and wasn't happy at all for many reasons. The X2 is most likely better, but the initial experience left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The X1 was noisy in focusing, slow in auto exposure, the aperture blades made a godawful TICK TICK TICK under changing light conditions, and even the files didn't seem as high quality as I had hoped.

The EM-5 is a wonderful camera in so many respects and I far prefer it to the X1 and a fair few other cameras. For a while, I was shooting the EM-5 in preference to the M9. The EM-5 was my equal-second camera when I went to Hong Kong in 2013, alongside the M9.
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Old 09-19-2014   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
Leica X... or Olympus OM-D ? This is a problem. The only way is to have them both
I'm a satisfied owner of the x1 since more than 1 year and with the money necessary to upgrade to x2 I plan to buy an OM-D, not sure yet which lens...maybe just an adapter and I'll use one of my M lenses...
robert
I own them both: Olympus E-M1 and Leica X2.

The E-M1 and E-M5 are a bit different in size and control layout, but very similar in overall capabilities and use. Both of these are system cameras with extensive accessories and lenses available. The X2 is a fixed lens compact with only a couple of accessories available.

Both the Olympus and the Leica are excellent cameras. They are very different in use.
  • The difference in sensor size is a wash—the E-M5 and E-M1 sensors are very much the same sensitivity as the X2 sensor, and similarly clean at extraordinary ISO settings.
  • The Olympus cameras are faster and more responsive on autofocus and shot-to-shot recovery speed.
  • The Leica is much easier to set up and use in zone-focusing/street shooting type situations.
  • The Leica has much simpler controls and no customizations; the Olympus have extensive control customizations and significantly more in-camera features.
  • Both have excellent service and support from the manufacturer.
  • The Leica is a delight to use for most average shooting circumstances with an optical clip-on viewfinder and its simple controls. The EVF is not necessary for eye level work unless you are working the lens wide open and at close distances.
  • The Olympus is a delight to use and operates more like a very responsive, professional SLR.

It's worth having both. I use the E-M1 much more than I use the X2 as it is more versatile, but the X2 is much more convenient to have with me all the time for those occasional shooting moments due to its smaller size, lighter weight, and simpler operation. In a way, I consider the X2 as the "portable visual notebook" camera where the E-M1 is the "compact professional camera."

Buy whichever one works best for your uses. Or whichever one you like more... it doesn't matter. Once you have whichever, adapt to its particular capabilities and constraints and make great photographs. A day and a night with either is nowhere near sufficient to become familiar and comfortable with their capabilities. Either is a camera that you can use for years of excellent photography.

G
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Old 09-19-2014   #33
robert blu
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Italy
Age: 67
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Just for the chronicle, two years later than my comment Godfrey reported above I still have and use the x1 and never upgraded to a different x or another camera!
robert
PS: too many options in the market...and the x1 is still a good everyday camera...
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