Last year I discovered that I was getting tired of small sensor cameras. Many of them were/are very good for what they are but I was having less and less use for them. My Leica D-Lux5 had not seen much use in about the last 8-9 months that it was in my possession, except for the same kinds of imagery that would have been best served by using my iPhone 4s.
No, I'm not saying the iPhone was a better imaging platform. Not by a long shot. Ever. Not for my uses. It just got to the point where I was using one of the best Point and Shoot camera in its class for silly snapshots and nothing more, which was a pure waste of such a great and capable little camera. It has since found a new home with a good friend in The Netherlands who has been having a great time using it. Thus began my quest for a smaller camera, to be used when I didn't feel like lugging my 25 pounds of Nikon everywhere I went.
I was giving the Fuji X-Pro1 a serious look and was ready to take ups friend's offer to borrow his when I came across a deal I couldn't refuse. A Fuji X-E1, with an 18mm f2, the 18-55 f2.8-4 "kit" lens which was a damned sight better than any other kit lens on the market as far as I was concerned and a Zeiss 32mm f1.8, which as one would expect from such lineage was also an excellent lens. I added adapters that would allow me to use my old Olympus prime lenses as well as one that would allow the use of Leica M mount lenses.
My initial objective was to carry LESS. As it turned out, while it was less that my Nikon gear (No, I had no intention of getting rid of that) it was still too much. I wanted one camera, one lens and the best possible image quality I could get in that category. I started looking into the Canon G1x II, the Nikon P7700 (Same as the newer P7800 but without an EVF) and a few others. With the exception of the Canon, all of them brought me right back to the smaller sensor sizes that I no longer had an interest in.
The XE-1 is an excellent imaging platform, with the exception of fairly bad low-light autofocus and terrible manual focusing when it comes to using older lenses with adapters. The focus peaking was barely usable, which defeated my intention of using my Olympus optics or any Leica optics I planned to purchase in the future. I wanted to simplify, not complicate.
Enter the Leica X1. 12MP APS-C type sensor, 24mm f2.8 (Taking crop factor into consideration, 36mm) fixed lens and SMALL. Add the optional hand grip and the size was perfect for me. I had it for a weekend before a funny (Seriously. It was funny) set of circumstances removed it from my possession. About two days later, I bought a slightly used Leica X2 instead. Having a better sensor at 16MP as well as even better low light capability and a few other things I liked about it. The option of adding an EVF (I'm not the greatest fan of them but I can see how one would come in handy) made a difference as well. The autofocus is considerably faster as well.
I don't see a fixed focal length lens as a disadvantage. Lighter in weight, smaller and it inspires one to see things differently.
Limitations? No. Only possibilities.
#leica #leicacamera #leicax2 #x2