Leica x (typ 113) overview

The painter — shot on Rochester High Street

I am writing this in mid-December 2017, around the first anniversary of my purchase. How do I feel now? Oddly, I am still massively happy with my decision. I have been baông chồng khổng lồ Whitby several times this year, and on each journey my X has been a constant companion, taking shots of a myriad of different things. I have sầu taken it into the heart of the Lake District and found it a joy khổng lồ use, and light enough for it to lớn stored in a backpaông chồng fitted with the Hadley’s padded insert. The streets of Rochester are a constant in my life, và I have sầu loved taking street shots, portraits & of the many historic buildings in the area. It even attended a family sự kiện in the run up lớn Christmas 2017.

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The image that showed me manual focus can be better than tự động hóa with the versatile X

The only time someone has pointed it out was while we were descending from Haystacks in the Lake District towards the Honister Slate Mine in October. A chap asked me what I thought of the Leica – I was honestly taken bachồng as no one had ever mentioned it before. I gave hlặng my honest view (it is in here), at which point he informed me he was a Leica software engineer. He told me that the camera stood out a mile, & he recognised it instantly.

A shot at Dungeness showing the exceptional colours from the sensor

What vị I lượt thích about the camera?

I shoot the most of my work in manual mode, it is one of the crowning reasons I bought the X in the first place. And this camera is like a dream lớn use in manual mode, even manually setting the ISO as I have done for years with my D300s. This camera is so simple when used like this. It has made me wonder why we need the plethora of automation that has appeared on other camera systems in recent years. Or is that a sad reflection on some of my fellow photographers, who need the automation lớn overcome a laông chồng of understanding about the basic principles of photography?

Whitby reflection in the late afternoon glow

I have sầu learned lớn love sầu the manual focus system deployed in the X by Leica. It is something that was new to lớn me, but I have found it a joy khổng lồ use. In fact in a similar vein to lớn using the camera in full manual mode, it adds another layer of involvement in the images as you frame them. Using it for a portrait shot is one of the most satisfying experiences I have had with any camera.

My wife’s pride and joy, this is a canvas that hangs in our home

The lens is a real beast. I have been using the 35mm f/1.8 DX on my Nikon D300s for years, và have really enjoyed it và have produced some excellent images with it. The lens on this Leica, though, is incredibly impressive. Some of the results from it are amazing when you consider the cost of the camera. It also has a really nice bokeh, nicer than the Nikon version in my humblest of opinions.

The button và thực đơn layout are absolute genius. Almost everything is either a single button press away, or a quiông xã flick through the small number of menus. In fact in this area Leica is clearly putting, Nikon, Canon, Sony và one or two other camera manufacturers to shame. For me, Nikons are a bloated mess of features that I never or rarely use. It’s mainly for that reason I hung on khổng lồ my D300s for so many years because of its simple button layout that allows easy adjustment without using the screen menus.

A Whitby sunmix in late July, shot from the roof tops of The Crescent

What would I lượt thích to see improved?

The future of the Leica X range is clearly shrouded in doubt at this moment, more so by the recent appearance of the CL. But if you happen khổng lồ work for Leica, and you are reading this article, then I would consider the following to lớn be key areas that would make the X a game changer.

An improved sensor, but more about the ISO range rather than necessarily about the number of megapixels. The results beyond around ISO 800, are in my view not really great. Occasionally you get a shot that is, but I grew to lớn have sầu little confidence in the consistency shot on shot. What is impressive sầu is that this little camera does give sầu my old D300s a run for its money up khổng lồ ISO 800, & I hated shots above sầu this level of sensitivity from the Nikon.

Towards Black Nab at Saltwick Bay

Auto-focus tốc độ is poor và focus tends to hunt. In some situations even in daylight I have automatically switched khổng lồ manual focus. One street shot, that I tried to capture early on, was constantly out of focus with the tự động switched on. Once I turned it off, my first image came out sharp, and in focus. The lighting was fine, but the shop background had a lot blaông xã, & I assume it was this that caused the focusing issues. In poor light, it’s easier to learn khổng lồ use manual focus, as the camera will otherwise produce more misses than hits.

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A colour shot of steampunk camper at Whitby Steampunk festival in July 2017

A change of rear screen for bright sunny days, as I found a small number of occasions in bright light that seeing the rear screen was a challenge. However I never really experience the same with my iPhone 7 Plus, as I just adjust the brightness to lớn compensate. So this is fixable, và yes I accept the X is năm trước tech, and the iPhone 7 Plus 2016.

If the screen doesn’t present as a realistically achievable khuyễn mãi giảm giá, then adding the EVF currently on the CL would overcome the issue. It might even win over Steve sầu Huff. Alternatively I am sure the Q’s EVF could be embedded in the current X toàn thân shape, with only the loss of the pop up flash (I have never used it, so no loss there). Let’s be honest, improve the sensor, EVF & Autofocus, & charge somewhere similar khổng lồ the original price for the X, & this will literally fly off the shelves, possibly without harming either the Q, CL or M ranges.

The Admiral von Tromp at Black Nab, Saltwiông xã Bay — shot during a sunset

Oh, yes, get rid of the đoạn Clip button, in fact Leica go one better, get rid of đoạn Clip all together. If I want to lớn make videos of my day-to-day life, my iPhone covers me adequately for that. I use my Leica to take still images only, and that is all I have sầu ever done with my cameras.

The final area that could be improved to lớn make this a game changer is a quicker shutter. Even raising it khổng lồ 1/4000 would be good for those really sunny days. I wouldn’t necessarily want the even higher speeds, unless of course it’s easy lớn engineer a quicker than 1/4000 shutter while in development. If the CL’s shutter was used, then that would be another outstanding inclusion.

A long exposure night shot at Whitby Abbey during the Goth Week illuminations for Halloween in October 2017

I have khổng lồ say that my year with the Leica X has been really enjoyable. For the first time in a few years I am looking forward to year two with the same camera. I just enjoy the results this small film looking camera can produce. I admit I have encountered a small number of occasions where I wished for the Nikon và my bag of bits & bobs – shooting Whitby Abbey in the dark last month being one of them. Yet on the majority of days out I have welcomed the lighter kit & the corresponding absence of discomfort. I have sầu just engaged with the world around me, và taken the images as they have appeared.

Reading through this article, I have sầu to lớn accept that I have sầu effectively compared the X to lớn my ageing D300s, a DSLR that was considered Pro in its day. But when the D300s is coupled khổng lồ the 35milimet f/1.8 lens, other than weight & kích thước, in the right circumstances the Leica produces significantly better images that are more pleasing lớn the eye.

“Alas poor Alex, I knew him well!” A shot of Alex, taken in monochrome

If Leica ever want someone lớn kiểm tra a potential future X, with a similar lens style, then I would be happy lớn vì it. If my suggested improvements above are adopted in an X body toàn thân, with the same lens it would interest me. For now though, I have sầu started a Q fund, & in a few years’ time I will see if I can save sầu enough to buy a Q, although it might take a while.A Q.2 or even a Q3 might be the current Model when I get there. Until then I will enjoy the X.