Leica X Vario

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Leica X Vario

Postby kimchi » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:55 pm

Leica have announced their new 16MP APS-C fixed lens zoom 18-46mm f/3.5-6.4 camera

http://us.leica-camera.com/photography/compact_cameras/x_vario/


The wide-angle to telephoto zoom range of the Leica X Vario offers great scope for creative composition, whether used for capturing indoor scenes, sweeping landscapes or intimate portraits.


I don't see how this lens is especially useful for any of these needs. Creative composition will be limited by such a slow lens, and shooting indoors at f/3.5 isn't ideal. An EFL 28mm isn't going to produce particularly "sweeping" landscapes. You can pretty much forget about shooting "intimate" portraits using f/6.4 either as much of the background is likely to be in reasonably distracting focus.

The camera will no doubt have Leica build quality and handling with the usual traditional manual controls, and I'm sure the lens will be of excellent quality despite its very mediocre specs, but I can't really see anything here to tempt anyone whatsoever (except the red dot).

Leica's M-series, coupled with one of those great lenses, still has something unique and unparalleled to offer the serious photographer despite the enormous price. However, even if the rumored price of the X Vario (north of $3000... without the optional viewfinder :shock: ) were reduced by half, offerings other manufacturers (especially Fuji) just blow it out of the water.

I don't want to be over-critical of a new untested camera, but can anyone help me out here?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/53061745@N02/

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Re: Leica X Vario

Postby Bjorn van Sinttruije » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:15 pm

I think it's a pretty silly attempt, the lens in particular. While I like the concept of a camera like this, and would have to say that most features seem perfectly acceptable, the lens just isn't. In terms of range, it lacks a bit at the wide end, as you say. Even 16mm (24mm equivalent) would have been better. The speed of the lens is where the main problem lies. I remember reading rumors a while back that said it would be f/3.5-6.4 and I thought that couldn't be true, surely Leica would do better than that. Turns out they didn't. The reason why, I think, it to keep the optical performance as high as possible: the clever lens designers at Leica might be able to make a faster lens, but it just wouldn't live up to Leica standards. Still, as is, the camera is pretty useless in anything but broad daylight...

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Re: Leica X Vario

Postby Bjorn van Sinttruije » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:49 pm

It's funny how Leica's latest YouTube video, featuring the X Vario, is about a photographer who did a series on "Mistakes".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-HZpDX--g0

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Re: Leica X Vario

Postby Bob Andersson » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:13 am

.
¿Qué? At that price I'd rather have a Sony RX1. OK, the RX1 is a 35mm f/2 prime as opposed to the 28-70mm f/3.5-6.4 equivalent zoom of the X Vario (and that f/3.5-6.4 is a full-frame equivalent of about f/5.6-10 if you are comparing the ability to get shallow depth of field). The Sony actually does boast a full frame sensor sporting 24MP and is smaller, lighter and costs only a little bit more.

So, it's a win for Sony and a loss for Leica? Not necessarily as I don't think Leica expects customers for this camera to be looking for best value. Those customers will certainly want an extremely well engineered product, which I'm sure the X Vario is, but my guess is that they will also value the cachet of owning a Leica.

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Re: Leica X Vario

Postby kimchi » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:31 pm

The lens here has kit-lens specs, but I'm sure it's optically superior to your regular kit lenses, and likely of more value. With this in mind, I'd imagine the cost of gluing this to the Leica wouldn't be similar to attaching an equivalent 35mm or 50mm prime with at least f/2. So why didn't they?

I'm sure most Leica owners (or prospective owners) would be far more interested in something along the lines of a Leica equivalent to the Fuji X100. A $3000 Leica X Vario with a 23mm f/2.0 APS-C would attract even the attention of skinflint photographers such as myself (and perhaps herein lies their rationale :P ). None of the few Leica owners I know own zooms for their M-series, and the last thing I can picture in the hands of a Leica shooter is a slow zoom.

The mind boggles.
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Re: Leica X Vario

Postby Leo » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:59 am

Im so very deeply disappointed in this camera.

For the money you can get a Fuji Xpro1 and a few lenses and all the accessories you need - Probably get better IQ.

I was anticipating a poor mans M - EVERYONE was saying its a Mini M.... I was hoping for a Interchangeable camera system but was say, APS-C and smaller form factor than the M9 or something. Totally an overzealous P+S.

Isn't the Sony RX1 cheaper and can rival the M9's IQ? Surely when Leica said in its press release that they want the non-professional to buy their cameras, surely this isn't it right? Im one of those people - I used to video Weddings, then became a high school teacher, and stuck to Photography as a hobby and a side business, and $3000+ is far too much for a "non-professional" I may as well, save it for a 5D Mark III and use the Canon glass I already have.

Ok, sorry, just got deeply upset - I have this goal at the end of the rainbow and on the way, there are disappointing signposts.
1) Olympus OM1 [Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8]
2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
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