May 242011
 

Leica X1 vs Fuji X100 – Part 2

Full size image  Throwdown!

Ok guys, this will most likely be my last post on the X100 vs X1 thing, but I was going over images from yesterday and processing the RAW files and found the Fuji can easily equal, if not surpass the X1 when it comes to sharpness and detail. Now, I have said it a gazillion times, sharpness is not going to make or break your photo unless you need that sharpness for a detailed landscape, BUT just want to point this out for those who thought (including me) that the X100 would not be as good of a landscape camera.

I am going to present a few shots from each camera here in FULL SIZE. Meaning, if you click on the image you will see the full size, 12 MP image from each camera. These were processed using ACR in Photoshop CS5. All editing was done during the RAW conversion.

You will see that the Fuji is pretty damn good when shooting RAW, better than its JPEGS for sure. The following comparisons are not “side-by-side” shots but there are one or two shots that are the same.

1st, the Fuji Pics. Keep in mind these are all between 6-8MB each. I saved them as a level 10 JPEG after the conversion from RAW.

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…and now a few from the X1, same thing. All from RAW, saved as a level 10 JPEG in CS5.

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So what do YOU think? I think Leica should think long and hard about adding a built in VF/EVF to the X2, put on a faster lens (maybe even a 1.4 or 1.8 just to up the stakes), add video (my prediction is this is going to happen), and add 6400 ISO capability. Speed up the AF and put an aperture dial on the lens. Add in good manual focus control as well. So all of this while keeping it as small or smaller than the X100 and the X2 will easily be THE camera in this category to own. I’m drooling just thinking about it. On the other hand, if Leica releases and X2 down the road with another 2.8 lens, no VF and the AF is still slow then they may as well not even release it. I am hearing rumblings from within the Leica camp that they may be working on something totally different and unexpected, so we shall see. My guess is a 2012 release for an X2.

The good thing is, IQ wise, the nearly 2 year old X1 is still up there in overall quality. That means the X2 should be something special.

Oh, and a few people asked me if I thought something like a Fuji X100 or Leica X1 would give better image quality than something like a Canon 5D and 35L. Well, to be honest, I think they can. There is something to be said about a fixed lens camera combo where the sensor has been tuned to the lens. Of course these cameras will not offer you the speed or versatility of a huge DSLR setup, but you will get relief from your back aches and fantastic image quality that is tough to beat with a DSLR and lens. As always, just MY opinions but I would rather treck out with an X1 or X100 than a huge DSLR and 35mm lens.

Let the commenting begin!

 

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  148 Responses to “Leica X1 vs Fuji X100 – Full Size RAW comparison!”

  1. I don’t see them putting a F1.4 lens on a X1 type camera.. Not to Leica standards anyway.. It would cost too much and eat into M sales.. F2? well maybe but price would still be pretty high. . A viewfinder /video.. I can see. Tilt screen would be sweet.

  2. I think that even if the X2 didn’t have a viewfinder, if Leica could make the manual focus fast and user friendly — something better than the endlessly scrolling thumbwheel — it would attract far more photographers even if the image quality was equal to the fuji.

  3. Give me either of them….with a 50mm equiv. lens. I know 35mm does it for some people, and may be more of a classic “street shooting” focal length, but it’s too wide for me. X200 or X2 with 50mm, please!

  4. I can’t see the next X, if there is one at all, upping the specs too much. It would canibalise sales of digital M cameras. As much as I’d like to see a super new Leica X come and kick Fuji’s ass into touch, I’m not sure it’ll happen. But then I love being proved wrong :-)

  5. Somtimes when I can’t sleep I imagine all the things the X2 could be… :)

  6. Thank you so much for the uploads.

    With regards to the RAW captures of X100 I have seen something consistently (besides the fall off). The sensor has issues processing fine diagonal lines. It comes off a jagged (or aliased) rendering of the subject.

  7. Hahahahha!

    Fuji X100 owners should be over the moon with this, it’s hard to tell any difference what so ever.

    Does make a current purchase of an X1 a little of off-putting though.

    Great review, and a dam fine job sir!

    • Not really… just imagine only two dials: one for aperture and one for shutter speed. lovely in its simplicity over menu diving…

      • And imagine an aperture ring on the lens, like in the old days, plus two dials on the camera body, one for shutter speed and one for EV +/- ;) No menu diving for exposure compensation, no need to take the eye from a brilliant VF for changing aperture or shutter speed. Sounds like dream, doesn’t it? But it’s real, and can be bought.

        • retow. Right! Aperture with clicks on barrel, distance on the barrel and ONE dial including shutter release. Have ever seen the one? The neatest solution on earth. On one dial you can see at a glance: M shutter speed/ A with + -/ ISO.

      • I don’t have to imagine two dials. I’m looking at my X100 and there they are, one dial for aperture and one for shutter speed. But wait, I also have one for exposure compensation – does the X1, or do you have to menu dive for that?

        • Hah, Retow, we are in synch but I liked your response better ;)

        • Actually… the X1 does have a EV button indeed. No menu diving…

          • Indeed, you push the dedicated button and then use the scroll wheel to change EV whilst looking at the low res lcd screen.

          • So what exactly do I have to menu dive for that you can do with mechanical controls on an X1?

          • Yeah, I’d call that menu diving. On the X100, you just move the EC control and see the change instantly in the viewfinder.

            The Leica does have a manual control for the timer though. That’s worth something…

            Sorry, I really love the X1 but I can’t stand completely untrue comments like this that make it sound like you have to menu dive to operate the X100 exactly how you would the X1. The X100 simply has more menu options – you don’t have to use them, they are options. All basic exposure controls are handled by them old timey knobs to great and simple effect.

          • LOL!

            Everyones gone button mad, but look the pictures are pretty much the same..

            Who cares!

  8. Hi Steve, many thanks for your in-depth X100 review and (entertaining) comparison with the X1 – great job.

    I fully agree with you statements on the RAW capabilities of the X100. I took the X100 with me to Majorca for a week and left my other equipment at home. I did not regret it. In case any is interested in some X100-images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/echodyne/

    Cheers,
    Jens

    • Hi Jens, great photos from Mallorca, makes you book immediately a trip :))
      Could you let me know how you would compare X100 with Nex 5?
      Thanks, cheers,
      Bogdan

  9. Steve,

    Thanks for the extensive comparison. While it is apparent that the X100 is a bit noisier than the X1 (sky looks like printed on Kokopelli Satin paper) and that both cameras are able to capture incredible details (weak AA is today’s trick, I presume), what surprises me is that each camera misfocused a good proportion of shots (I am referring to 100% converted raws).
    At the end of the day, even if noisier and less user-friendly, I think I will pick the X100 mostly due to OVF, less shutter lag and 2 stops low-light advantage at base ISO (one on the lens and one on ISO itself).
    Best regards,
    Mauro

  10. Man, that’s some beautiful country. Steve – we are driving from TX to San Diego in a few weeks and planning an overnight somewhere south of Tempe. Any suggestions for a family friendly outdoorsy stop?

  11. Great one, Steve! This just seals it for me…

    Sorry all X100 fans, even the RAW are still flat. Sharp, yes. Detail, yes. But flat… :(((( Only first image is kinda not flat, all others are flat, flat, flat. Ugh…

    Here’s a link to the LFI magazine X1 Master Shots gallery to show what I mean all this time by good dimensional pictures. My goodness… Oh, don’t even bother try looking at the M9 Gallery just yet because you will sell the so-called camera X100 so fast the UPS guy delivering it has not even signed your name. You will then borrow, cheat, steal, kill, fast for months -I dunno- just to get a hold of that beautiful optical engineering piece. I mean, which brand of camera on this God’s green earth ever used “Lanthanum” material in their lenses? :) c’mon!

    Link: http://gallery.lfi-online.de/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=lastup&cat=-18150

    Just my 0.95 cents…

    Sorry…

    • Andrew,

      You said Steve’s son was “submerged” in the wall in the X1 shot and that it made your head hurt. Meanwhile, you thought the X100 photo was from the X1 because of its 3D look. ;)

      This, along with not personally seeing this horrible flatness you describe, makes me dubious but hey, they are your eyes and you have a right to your opinion.

      Showing me a link of photos taken by brilliant photographers is not going to sell me on the 3D quality of Leica lenses, but it will sell me on the skill of said photographers at bringing out the dimensionality of their subjects. Thanks for the link. :)

      • Nice link, but Andrew, just out of curiosity, do you actually look at the photos or just paraphrase the same comment as soon as you see that something about X100 vs Xprecious is posted? If this was the poll I would vote for the second option and pretty should I would be right unlike you with x100/x1 poll.

        • And the purpose of paraphrasing is…? D’oh! *Homer here…

          It’s just my personal observations that are being confirmed over and over again, that’s all. I dont have X100. I was dying to see side-by-side comparison. Why? Cos I couldn’t decide if I should:
          A) re-get X1
          B) get X100
          C) wait for June leica announcements of possibly new toy (some hints a new noctilux even)
          D) wait for X2
          E) buy nothing but travel
          LOL
          Clear as mud? I don’t even know why I am answering myself to you all. You’re not the boss of me (my wife is..LOL)

          If you disagree, that is perfectly fine bro. Get x100 and get it pregnant if you love it so much LOL, I couldn’t care less to be perfectly honest. And, neither should you. But, thanks for your comments. Love it…

          • Hi dude!
            i love ur comment cuz i have the same problem!!
            (the most closely answer is A)I think

            & that thing about wife is Awesome!!! haha

            Greatest comment ive ever read)

            PS:Sorry for my english

        • M,
          I don’t know how kong you’ve been following this X100 thing.

          I have followed it since Day 1 they announced in Photokina last year, bro. Every single minute development I followed it like Buddhist monks memorized their morning rituals. Can you imagine? I followed it through its dedicated website, videos, first pictures in flickr, first comparison. Why? I was also enamored by it’s promises and potential. I waited and waited for my ultimate source of review: Steve’s real world! That’s why I am so relieved… It’s been agonizing past 8 months of waiting and longing for his reviews, mate. Can you feel my pain LOL

          Cheers,
          Andrew

      • Yes I did and it did hurt my head. It’s because I was looking at it long time.
        With the test, in my defense (it’s not applicable now anyway), I looked it up very fast. I was busy at work and just caught a glimpse of it (thus, my erroneous guessing). When I looked it up at night at home, I did doubt my earlier choice but I remained quiet because if I did change it, it will be funny too. Besides, to me that was just the FUN test. I did say I can be wrong because I knew i did it so fast in a cheap laptop not in my iMac. And I was wrong in that particular instance. But I was happy again when I saw more pics side-by-side. You tend to identify a pattern with that.

        Seeng MORE pictures side-by-side, I can see my observation all this time clearly (because usually pics appear all by itself, ie in flickr it’s x100 pics alone without the x11 and vice versa). That’s why I don’t know if it’s just my eyes, but I was glad Steve shared a similar feeling.

        I didn’t say this to make excuses, of course. But like I said, X1 produces dimensional drawing MORE CONSISTENTLY. In x100, sometimes you see it, sometimes you don’t. That’s my problem, anyway. I like beautiful pics (with dimensions).

        Again, I don’t mean 3D but rather the positioning/drawing of objects to create illusion of depth. How many times should I explain this? *sigh* The picture of your son is 3D enough but look at the other elements behind your son (the pool, the shed, the tree etc). They are all appearing like side-by-side to each other and not one behind another like actual situation. You can’t see that??? (Steve does know what i am talking about). I can’t help you, then. Sorry…

        Look at the pictures in the link. Compare it with the ones from x100. You will see flat vs dimensional (again, I don’t mean 3D). They are very, I dunno, life-like. I am not pixel-peeper, I just love looking at photos.

        I came from all these Japanese brands, you name them I probably have used them. They all seem “flat”. But NONE of those (including x100) pleases my eyes like Leica did. Even the under-rated, hated-for-it’s-price x1. In fact, it rejuvenated my long-dead interests in photography. But, of course, this is MY personal experience. I m just sharing it. If you can accept it, fine. Otherwise, it’s fine too. But name-calling, mocking etc, hmm, I believe that’s uncalled for, don’t you? Let’s be civilized and stick to the subject.

        You’re welcome…

        • Andrew,

          Now you are seeing things because I certainly did not call you any names. If you feel I was mocking you, my apologies, perhaps I came off in that manner but I was simply making the point that you were adamant about your decision in the blind test and you were clearly mistaken, as were many others.

          The reason I believe you and others were mistaken is because there really isn’t much difference between the two lenses. The perception of depth has much more to do with the subject and lens combination than Leica magic 3D pop.

          You keep referring back to the picture of my son at the pool when I clarified that the photo was not meant to be demonstrating depth, but rather sharpness.

          How about these…

          [img]http://gallery.me.com/wadsworths/100824/Easter-202010-20007/web.jpg?ver=12725782900001[/img]

          [img]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5063/5551418689_1684abcea1_b.jpg[/img]

          • Hi Chad, those pictures look really nice. Looking forward to get my X100.

          • Chad,
            Apologies accepted. Thank you.

            I said X1 produces dimensional drawing MORE CONSISTENTLY. With X100 sometimes I see it, sometimes I don’t. That’s it! That’s why I wrote my question in the beginning: is it just me and my eyes? I wasn’t sure because sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. Do you know that feeling that you think you see ghosts but you’re not sure thinking your eyes playing tricks on you until you have someone come in with scientific approaches confirm/not confirm what you are seeing?

            Nice pictures, but again, flat flat. Here’s what I meant (let’s go through it slowly):

            A) 1st picture: the man and the girl look 3D pop, I like. Again, sharpness, detail are there.

            However, here’s where my problem comes: please look at the circumference of the man and the girl. Focus your attention there for minute, trace their outline and look at the house as you do that. Now, can you see that the house behind them look like it’s “flattened” on the same plane as the two people? It is presented like the house is actually pushed forward a couple of feet. It doesn’t look like it’s behind the two people.

            You know how a tele lens compresses the background, pushing it forward much more than they actually are. This lens looks like it’s doing it. But we all know this is a wide lens. That’s my problem. This I think is due to lens design or material. It’s how a lens draws. It can’t be resolved using computer algorithm like you would to distortion, color, etc.

            2) 2nd picture: again the woman looks great. Color, detail looks great.

            Here my problem is less severe than the first pic. I think it’s because there’s no solid object right at the back but spaces so my problem is less pronounced. But where there’s solid object behind the main subject, it looks as though they are pressed together.

            I hope I explain it clearly…

            Please, see the LFI X1 Master Shot gallery then you know what I am talking about. Or, even better, get yourself an X1 and shoot it alongside 100. I don’t have X1 any longer so I can’t show it. I am using M9 and I doubt it’s proper comparison.

            Cheers,
            Andrew

          • Ok Andrew,

            So I to be clear, they both look flat, flat, flat but you like the second one better.

            I’m seeing a trend here as the first one was actually taken with an X1 and the second the X100.

            Sorry for the “gotcha”. I’m really not trying to be mean spirited here. This is all in fun and to be honest, I prefer the first image (the X1 file) in this particular comparison :)

            Do I think that my X1 images out pop the X100’s as a whole? No, I think they are equal, with possibly some extra pop from the X100 at f/2.

          • Chad I’d just like to say that both of those photos are almost film like in their depth, particularly the one of the beautiful woman smoking. Really great images.

          • I never said I like second better. I said the problem is less severe cos it doesn’t have more solid background to evaluate as the first.

            Why don’t you compare for yourself both X1 and X100 shots, but don’t do it just one set. Do it like tens or hundreds. Then you will begin to see what I am talking about.

        • Thank you Darell.

          Both cameras really are supremely capable of capturing depth and that filmic quality that we strive for in digital.

          • No, that’s okay. Anyway, thats a cheap shot, mate! I was ensnared by your pretention to peace, I was deceived by it. O knew I should’ve been careful with you. But I gave you the benefit of the doubt and went with it. I let you have it. I am also beginning to see a trend here with your character.

            Dude, I still like X1. Regardless of your cheap tricks. Like I said, X1 produces dimensional drawings MORE CONSISTENTLY. Does it mean that it can produce flat pics? Yes. But I just see it more from X100.

            You know what, again, I was looking at the shots from my cheap laptop, though. I was just rushing home from my office when i looked at it. Again, no excuse but thats just what happened. So can I be wrong? Definitely! I did say the first pic it pops, right?

          • He heh heh :)

          • Chad my dear friend,
            Here’s the bomb…

            I have seen enough from Steve, your pictures and I am convinced X100 is not for me, for now. I have made up my mind. Can I be wrong? sure!

            However, you, my friend… I made YOU say (clearly i might add) that you liked X1 pics after adamantly defending the X100, so i rest my case. Wat the heck is that???

            And that, my friend, is my “gotcha” for you. I knew all along that pic is from X1. I knew you would pull that below-the-belt, cheapshot tricks on me. I played your game, buddy..LMAO ROTF

            How do I know this? About your mischievous misleading and defensive subjectiveness and confusion ? Very simple, from your getting personal attack and beloved pic of your son, mate! You keep turning around, defensive all along, saying many times (it’s recorded here) that that X100 pic of your son is NOT meant to show dimension but sharpness. Here’s what you said:

            “You keep referring back to the pIcture of my son at the pool when I clarified that the photo WAS NOT MEANT TO BE DEMONSTRATING DEPTH BUT RATHER SHARPNESS”

            Dude, WTH??? *sorry, I lost my respect to you… Do you have a slightest idea what you are blubbering about there?

            A great tool (uhm, like X1) and certainly most of Leica WILL SHOW you those dimensional, depth, sharpness CONSISTENTLY! You don’t have to make, or mean it. It just does! Apologizing for your own X100 pics?? LOL

            But all in all, I am now turned off by X100. All your beliggering to me only prove to me more and more that it sounds like you regret ditching your X1 to rush after the x100 only to find you browsing the eBay to find another x1,don’t you? Cmon, just admit it…LOL

            Bye,
            Andrew ;)

          • Andrew, this is all in fun, you don’t need to defend yourself or tell me you have lost respect. That isn’t necessary.

            And if you are so turned off by the X100 due to my “blubbering” as opposed to the merits or deficiencies of the camera, then that is your prerogative but this strikes me as odd. There are plenty of excellent examples of what the X100 can do, they just aren’t compiled in a beautiful LFI gallery that is curated by photo editors. If you choose to dismiss the quality of the Fuji, you are welcome to.

          • Thank you… I did dismiss it. Case closed, mate…

            Let’s move on with lives, shall we? And take photos. Please share them here or blog, or flickr.. Have we seen Daily Inspirational from you? Please share and compile your thoughts on the X100 or other cameras. Would be a nice one, I am sure Steve would love it.

            Cheers

          • See my post below. With links. You can also find me on Flickr.

            How about you? Is there somewhere we can view yours?

        • “dimensional drawing” ?? “the positioning of objects” ??

          what a bunch of meaningless nonsense.

        • Have to agree – The Leica glass has it’s own look that no company has been able to match.. I have both X100 and X1 and the X100 might be on the chopping block for me. Too much gets in the way of shooting.

    • Andrew,

      with all due respect, and even being an M9 (and also former M8 and MP) user, I find it difficult to agree with you.

      Both cameras stand in the same IQ ballpark. You might prefer one or the other, but your eminently subjective comment about flatness sounds placebo-induced. Unless you would be so kind to explain how, where and to what extent some images are “flatter” than other.

      LFI, as a reference source, is conflicted by definition and as such committed to show only the “best of the best”, even at the not-so-hidden price of some obvious “enthusiastic processing”, so to speak.

      Capable hands and eyes will be able to get excellent images from either X1 or X100, without anyone being able to blindly pick the correct camera without extensive and subjective exposure to its performance.

      Out of that realm, it’s all claims and, not in your case, perhaps genuine, if not unrestrained, fanboy attitude.

      M

      • Please see my comments above. I have explained this solo many times. It’s not placebo induced, bro (whatever that means). Steve does know what I am talking about.

        By all means, give your best shots with X100. Let’s compare them with X1 best shots (ie in gallery). The reason I out that link so I can show you what I meant by “good dimensional pictures” I was talking about.

        Fanboy? No, sir! If it is “I want the best money can buy” attitude, then yes.

        Why can’t you accept that these are my personal opinions and move on with it? Are people hinting a regret of jumping on the x100 wagon so fast they become defensive about it? Hehe

        Thanks M,
        Andrew

    • There was and still is something called APO-Lanthar if you know what I mean.

    • Hey Andrew, why not get the real thing. Instead of those flat X1 and X100-2D-images, you can get this kick ass 3D camera: FinePix REAL 3D W1. Ha..ha.. :-)

      • Sounds good…lol

      • AH, he doesn’t have to switch to Fuji – now he can get real 3D (or psuedo) with the new V-Lux 30

        “The newly developed 1/2.33″ CMOS sensor of the Leica V-Lux 30 guarantees outstanding image quality and allows photographers to capture image sequences with the camera’s fast, continuous shooting mode. The Leica V-Lux 30 enables consecutive burst shooting at a rate of ten frames per second at a full resolution of 14.1 MP, or 60 frames per second with reduced resolution in a choice of individual aspect ratios. This allows users to reliably capture fast moving subjects – for example when shooting sports or wildlife. Its brand new 3D mode lets users take fascinating, creative images. In this mode, the camera combines two suitable shots from a sequence in a “stereo image pair” and saves them as a 3D image in MPO format.”

    • Thanks for sharing this link Andrew: (http://gallery.lfi-online.de/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=lastup&cat=-18150=).

      Many great photos.

  12. Steve, forgive me but I need to ask a philosophical question: why do you use the x100 when you have a brilliant M9 and 35 Summicron at your disposal? As an extension of your eye or your sensibility, what does the Fuji give you? That’s what I’m missing in all this talk of sharpness, flatness, IQ, etc. Does the Fuji give you some oomph that the other cameras don’t? Thanks. I love the critiques and the heat they generate among readers.

  13. Steve, thank you so much for these wonderful postings (as always). Sorry if I made some controversial comments but God knows, I meant no disrespect to your fans here. I respect each one of them as better and more experienced photographers than me…

    Ok guys, I am not going to answer/defend any more on this X1 vs x100 comparison (not that I am rude or anything like that). But this is Steve’s “house”, let’s respect it. It’s not about me. I appreciate all the comments and lessons (and my new titles, got a few cool ones LOL). I apologize if there’s any words that may have offended you in any way, shape or form.

    Please enjoy X100, or X1 or whatever cameras you have. Like they said “The best camera is the one thats with you”. Daily Inspirational, please. Love them! Read them every morning.

    Keep shooting…!

    Photography is fun!

    Andrew

    • Andrew, do happen to post under a different name on the Leica forum? You know I’m talking about a guy who would almost claim that the X1 beats the Canon 5D II for video shooting, and I think he actually believes it;).
      It just can’t be that a Nissan GTR beats a Porsche 911 Turbo and costs less than half. Or can it?

      • Nope, that wasn’t me. First, I never shot videos. Hate it (aka not good at it…LOL)

        In Leica forum, my name is similar, andrekeli. You can go ahead and check out my postings there. I never remember saying those things. You can come back to me if I am wrong and show me if I said that.

        I know, but sometimes price is just a marketing tool. Being a businessman myself, I know this is tricky. That’s why I rely on Steve’s reviews a lot. He’s just my guy I go to every time I got confused with new gadgets hehe. I took some optical engineering courses in university year ages ago but I am no way an expert. So I rely on form/usability/IQ reviews aka real world experience reviews.

        But my experience so far in European vs Oriental products have been concluding that European products are of higher quality (reliability is a different issue though) than those Oriental counterparts (they are not far behind though). But this is MY personal experience and there has been exception-to-the-rule cases here and there.

        Best,
        Andrew

  14. Steve,

    Your “X2″ sounds nice!

    Should your version become a reality let’s say a 14MP sensor. F2 (or better) Lens. OVF/EVF…what would guess they’d ask for it?

    My guess is you add all those features in and it becomes significantly more expensive than the X1. (My guess is they continue to market the X1 along side the X2) And does this make it too expensive for a single focal length camera regardless of IQ?

    What do you think the tipping point is between cost and IQ for Leica fans?

  15. I agree on the x1 vs x100 and I love my x100, but it can’t outperform to a 5d2 and 35L in any capacity. They are clearly different beasts but if they were the same price and size didn’t matter, the canon combo destroys the Fuji in pure iq. I can post some comparisons, though not taken side by side if you want.

  16. The X1 shots still have more dimensionality than the X100 images, which remain a bit flat.

    • Thank you, tribalknowledge… :)

      • Another way to describe that quality – as the word “dimension” seems to often point to the word “three” – is to say that the X1 images have a greater sense of space.

  17. The X1 with the external viewfinder has the advantage of the finder being directly over the lens which reduces parallax . Of course, the data isn’t overlaid as it is with the X100 and there is no eye-level EVF, but I find the external finder does increase the camera’s usability significantly (albeit while adding $350 to the cost – which is somewhat compensated by the free copy of Lightroom). Both are excellent cameras that cater to somewhat different personality types – the feature lover and the fan of directness and simplicity.

    Whether or not the X2 has video or not doesn’t really matter much to me. For video, I find zoom more essential than it is with photography. Do you think video will be added to M cameras one day?

  18. I’d like to amend my previous comment on X100 here. Last time, I did not check the images from the X1. Now that I compare, it looks like both of them render very fine diagonal lines (the X100 shows a tad more than X1) jaggedly. It’s as if they are over-sharpened.

    So, now I wonder whether this is a by-product of using the specific RAW converter, or the way it’s converted since the JPEGs do not display the same drawback.

  19. Steve,
    Just a few words of thanks and applause for your consistently objective professional evaluations. This comparison was very helpful.
    David

  20. Some excellent suggestion for what a X2 should be. I would prefer the EVF as an optional add on though, to keep the size small. My dream X2 would be a Ricoh GRD size camera with an APS-C sensor and leica F2.0 glass….*wiping dribble off my chin*.

  21. It’s time to sell the X100 before its price takes the same way as the Sigma SD14’s did.
    The image quality of the X1 is much better than the X100’s one. I absolutely love Leica’s deep, natural colors, the excellent micro contrast, and the broad dynamic range. Leica cameras have a very nice sensitivity in dark situations (color, contrast, and detail are rendered), and they also have a very nice roll-off of highlights.

    • The only prices heading south right now are used X1s. Black ones are going for $1500 on the Bay, with accessories. All of a sudden there is a dearth of them out there. I wonder why…

      • Strike dearth, meant abundance! :)

      • Chad,
        For a two-year product, a drop of $400 is not bad at all.

        That’s one thing I like about Leica, either way you don’t lose. You keep the camera it still make great pictures. You sell them, you did not lose that much money (in lenses they may even go up in values).

        Can you say that for other brands? I doubt it.

        I recently sold away my Olympus EP-L1 +kit lens after only 3 months of use, and it was valued at half the new price. Ouch!

        • I’m comparing the retail price of a new black X1 which is a 7 month old product and retails for $2,000 plus tax. The auction I saw also included a grip and extra battery so what’s that, and additional $300 retail?

          Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that Leica is normally a great bet for solid resale value but at a drop of over 25%, the X1 is not doing so good at the moment. For example you don’t often see a mint M9 going used for $5,250 7 months after introduction at $7000.

          • It’s difficult to calculate values like that, since the X1 comes with a Adobe Lightroom license that can only be used by the original owner. So secondhand Leica X1 cameras are always at least 20% cheaper when even maintaining their value.

          • That’s a good point, regarding Lightroom. Still, I think (and I could be wrong) X1 resale values were higher prior to the release of the X100 and there appears to be more X1s up for sale than in recent months.

            Doesn’t mean much since each sale is just a chance for someone new to experience the X1 but I was responding to the original comment that claimed some prescience on the future resale value of the X100, when to be fair, X1 prices have themselves been recently heading south.

  22. Chad,

    You need to remind yourself from time to time that X100 users are guests here. This is a Leica site first and foremost that does a nice job of highlighting other cool cameras. There is no way you will be able to convince everyone here that the X100 is on par with X1.

    I don’t think you need to refute everyone who says otherwise…we get it. You love your X100. ;)

    • Dave, I think you are misrepresenting Steves intentions by labeling this as primarily a Leica site. I am sure that Leica users who visit this website are photographers first, and as such, they care about the medium more than they care about the tools, lets keep it that way and not try to create cliques that are unnecessary and counterproductive.

      Moreover, these reviews are by nature more helpful for people in the market who are NOT Leica owners and want an honest comparison to decide which product to buy. If you own a M9 or a X1 already, such comparisons would probably be of very little value to you.

      Cheers.

    • Dave,

      As Arjun stated, I’ll let Steve weigh in but I don’t think this is a “Leica Site”.

      And for the record, I love the X1 and can appreciate it for what it offers.

      Also, I don’t see you complaining about the myriad of posts that blindly claim the X1 to be superior from users that have never even used an X100.

      • You’re right. I shouldn’t single you out. The point counterpoint was just getting a little wearisome IMO (and I’d rather not skip your posts as I think you have talent and add value to the forum.)

        I never said it was a Leica only site. I said it was first and foremost. A better phase would have been “a majority of the discussions involve Leica gear and therefore there is a large population of readers who love Leica gear here.” You don’t have to agree with me though. All you have to do is look at the Tags in the right hand column to see what gets discussed the most here.

        And to borrow from Seinfeld, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!” In fact I quite enjoy being exposed to it since I’ve always be a 35mm shooter.

        • Thanks Dave.

          Just so you and others reading understand, I am not a Fuji “fanboy” that is here to battle to the end on the superiority of the X100. I own Leica, Fuji, Ricoh, Contax, Sony, Oly, Mamiya and my beloved Polaroids so like many of us (besides having occasional problems with GAS ;) I am in love with making images from all sorts of gear and exploring the different results. I’m convinced that it can help a photographer grow.

          What rubs me the wrong is the blind allegiance some seem to have with any Leica product. We all know how wonderful it is but it is not the end all. When a camera like the X100 comes along and offers everything it does, we should all be rejoicing at full volume, encouraging the camera companies to keep moving in this direction.

          Best.
          Chad

          • Dave,
            Be careful… I m beginning to suspect Chad is a Fuji employee or at least a shareholder posing as a photographer..LOL

            He seems to be spending most of his time online here (on Steve’s and maybe other websites) catching, shooting down everybody that says any bad thing about his X100, rather than out there making photos (and later defending them)..LOL

            Andrew

          • Yes, be very careful David, I am not to be trusted! ;)

            For the record, I am not a Fuji employee or shareholder (I can’t believe I’m even justifying this) but I am a photographer.

            Old site here: http://www.showperformance.com
            New one (in construction): http://www.cargocollective.com/chadwadsworth

  23. Steve,
    A good review which was really interesting to see you compare the cameras.
    I think that as photographers we all see rendering in different ways, to my eye I thought the X1 was better overall however.
    I am looking forward to see your M9 X100 comparison.
    In the mean time I’m sticking to my M9 .

    Ross

  24. I don’t think that Leica can (legally) replicate the Fuji viewfinder system. My guess is that if an “X2″ was to come along, it would have a M style viewfinder with a fixed lens, basically an M lite — because this is the type of camera that Leica is good at designing. But for me (sorry to keep harping on this) and lot of others who aspire to own a Leica, the issue is not as much with the product as it is with the pricing of their products. Even if they come up with a X100 beater, if it is going to cost $2000 minimum, it is still going to be out of the reach of most photographers. It is important to consider that by the time the X2 releases, Fuji too (hopefully) would have released their own improved version and the existing X100 would have probably fallen in price. This would further increase the opportunity cost for people in the market for a Leica of comparable specs. Quality is no longer an excuse behind which Leica can hide and justify their prices, because Fuji has shown them they can develop and sell products that are more innovative and of equivalent quality, at substantially lower prices.

    I promise this will by last comment about Leica prices :-)

    • I am wondering, where’s X100 made? Does it say Japan or China/Taiwan on the body?

      Thanks

      • Hand assembled in Japan.

        • Is this one of your tricks again? Lol

          My bets that their parts are probably made in China/Taiwan. This is usually the case nowadays (even with Leica parts being made in other European country). But they are assembled just in Japan to give it a high value.

          • It says “Made in Japan” on the bottom of the camera. See below statement from one of their engineers regarding the components being manufactured in Japan.

            http://www.finepix-x100.com/en/story/mechanical-2

            “In order to assure the premium quality level of the X100, we have manufactured almost all key parts in Japan. When consumers take the X100 in their hands, we want them to experience the tactile pleasure of holding quality that is the product of not only FUJIFILM but also of top-class domestic component makers.
            Maki Wakita Chief Engineer, Electronic Image Product Development Centre, R&D Division.”

          • Some people have said that the X100 looks and feels cheap. I strongly disagree but again, this is subjective. To me, the build quality is fantastic and I have no doubts that this is a product that was engineered and assembled to very high levels and will last a very long time. Comparing it to the X1, which is also well built, the Fuji has better metal top deck controls while the Leica has better plastic buttons and dials on the rear. The body construction is equally solid between the two with no flex at all anywhere in the chassis. I had some problems with the vulcanite peeling on the X1 after only a few weeks but so far the Fuji’s covering is stuck on solidly. I also like the metal lens surround on the Fuji compared to the plastic telescoping surround on the X1.

          • Chad,

            Are you Maki Wakita, the Chief Engineer?

            My goodness, talking about fanboy-ism…

            You even know and quoted the Chief Engineer of Fuji…
            I don’t even know who’s Leica’s bosses are. LOL

            Take care
            Andrew

          • Yup, you got me! But my friends just call me Waki.

            You are a funny guy Andrew.

        • Hi Maki… :) oh sounds better now… LOL

          Thanks, mate. I take it as a compliment. You too in fact.

          Bro, I knew what you were trying to say with X100. I agreed with you for the target market that X100 is made for. For me, yeah, call me nuts. I want more.

          I did follow up the Fuji intensely like you do, maybe. I love its technology so much, the retro look, the promises. I waited for 8 months. But, it’s so close… I am disappointed with myself. It’s also because Leica is coming up with this new toys.

          I love gadgets, cameras especially. I didn’t have the luxury of owning one when I was little, was too busy and poor too. Now that I have made some money I want to do it. It’s just a hobby for me. It’s my escape from reality, ironic? As soon as I place that VF on my eyes, my heart just beats regularly, my blood pressure down, my cares and worries gone for a while… I dunno, just me…

  25. […] Images at Photographybay (Click here). Leica X1 vs Fuji X100 – Full Size RAW comparison at SteveHuffPhoto.com (Click here). Fuji Finepix X100 Aerial Examples at DigLloyd (Click here). Leica X1 vs Fuji X100: Which Photos […]

  26. While I agree with most of what you say I have to disagree with you on the point about either an X100 or X1 being about to match the IQ from a 5DMKII plus 35L, the 5DMKII and 35L can pretty much hold its own against the M9 plus 35 Lux or Cron, yes the M9 does beat it but not by much

    • My M8 and 28 Elmarit beat a 5DII and 35L…The M9 and 35 Lux would slaughter it.

      http://web.mac.com/videoman69/Steve_Huff_Photos/CANON_35L_REVIEW.html

      • If you count the presence of huge colour noise blotches and abundance of oversharpening artefacts in the M8 photo is a positive things than definitely yeah, Leica beats Canon as none of these are present in the Canon shot

      • while I’m not going to argue with you I will say this, the example crops of the flowers in your review show two things

        1: your copy of the 35L was poor and you have to accept that from some one who owns a good copy, yes Canon QC isn’t up to that of Leica.

        I had my 5DMKII, 35L, 50L & 85L all calibrated by Canon

        2: out of focus rendering from the M8 plus 28mm is plain nasty but I think that might in part be due to over sharpening during PP

        the Canon setup isn’t as small, light or discrete as an M9 and even the best L lenses may not perform quite as well as those from Leica but you have to look really close to see it.

        • also remember that the M8/9 are not a competitor to the 5DMKII and neither are the X1/X100 to the 5DMKII

      • +1 LOL
        uhm… how about The Noct? :p

        • I treated myself to a new noctilux last Novemeber, it’s an amazing lens but as a standard go everywhere 50mm its not so good, for that I’ll stick with the Cron, which at f2 renders better than my Canon 50L

          • As for ergonomics and backbone health standard, 5DmkII is definitely not a good carry everywhere camera either…LOL

          • Of course!

            Darn it! I missed my cron. Traded it for 50lux, now I friggin regret selling it! I m now looking for a chrome cron. But I am waiting for this June announcements from Leica. Heard there’s possibly 50cron asph? Or 50 noctilux? 21 f3.8? Possibly something small too, X2 maybe? Lol

  27. Hi Steve,
    I think the main advantage of a hybrid viewfinder would be a more precise framing and a precize indication of a small focus point (in spot AF mode). The first point is achieve for some part in the x100, the second not.
    With the x1 I can choose between smaller and no OVF or putting the viewfinder on the camera (and I guess still not much if any bigger than the x100). So I question if I want a bigger x2 with included viewfinder. Faster AF would be great though. Even if detail and sharpness of the x100 is as good or even better from most comparison images I have seen I just liked the x1 ones better. Clearer, more 3d, more alive, more natural. Not that I find the x100 images bad in any way, but for my taste it is IQ-wise #2.

  28. Hi,for what concerns comparison between a Canon 5D (mk I) and an APSC (i have a Ricoh GXR with 28mm) i can say that although the Ricoh is really really good the 5D has slightly better IQ and better ISO. But yes it weights 4 times more.

  29. I see very little difference in IQ between the X100 and X1. Both are about as good as a DX sensor can be. The X1 has a slight engineering advantage, because they use a 2.8 lens instead of a 2.0 lens, and Fuji made some tweaks to get the lens to be very short. Think of the difference between the ZM 35/2.8 and the ZM 35/2.0, and also that the ZM 35/2.0 is rather long. Plus, the Fuji has better AF and better high ISO performance. All in all, I’m impressed that the X1 is as good as it is, since this is from a few years ago and they didn’t have any predecessors in the compact/DX format.

  30. In my opinion, the IQ is very very close. Even though I guessed correctly, I certainly couldn’t tell between the two photos of Brandon. IF there is any noticeable difference (particularly in terms of color or contrast), most photographers that use ACR, LR, Aperture, PS, or whatever else typically give photos a tweak or two to make it to their liking. So at the end of the day, when it comes to IQ between the X1 and X100, it’s a matter of preference by the user, whether the photo is a straight out of camera JPG or a tweaked RAW (or JPG) file. Cheers!

  31. The only problem with these comparison shots Steve is that to me most of the X1 shots are better photographs. I genuinely prefer the images you have shot with the X1 though in the two similar shots I would be happy with either result. Given that the X1 is £1k in the UK and a secondhand X1 is similar it really is just a matter of which form type a parson prefers.

  32. Thanks again Steve, appreciate the comparison. I like the color, tone and contrast of the X1 but the EVF was a must have for me so I am a happy owner of a X100. I hope Leica and others follow the X100 path with large sensor, compact bodies that have built-in finders. I would love a digital version of the classic Minolta CLE. Sony, are you listening (NEX-7)?

  33. So every X100 user knows..

    Lightroom 3.4.1 update
    May 24, 2011
    The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.4 update includes these enhancements:

    Additional camera support for several new camera models including the Canon Rebel T3i, Nikon D5100 and Fuji FinePix X100
    Corrections for issues introduced in previous versions of Lightroom 3
    The Lightroom 3.4.1 update includes an important correction for a bug introduced in the Lightroom 3.4 release

    English: Windows | Macintosh

  34. Today I played 1 hour with the X1. Everything as expected with a nasty exception: up to 2 seconds focus lag ? I am talking about static subjects, 100 iso, 2.0 firmware and good lighting. Focusing poor lighted subjects took up to 3 seconds.
    Manual focus had zero lag, but also M8 and M9, and to some extent also the S90, have zero manual focus lag.
    That is even worse than with the X100.
    Both X1 and X100 look very awkward at what they are made for: street, reportage, environmental portraits. Humans on average move on meter (or 3 feet) per second, even one second focus lag wastes the moment.
    I do not know what Leica had in mind when they decided to implement such a slow contrast detection algorithm. Maybe a view camera, or a landscape camera, or a still life camera. I really do not know.
    That’s a pity, since the X1 is a very fine piece of hardware, delivering slightly better IQ than the X100 (yes, I made some comps on that). I could even ignore the absence of a usable OVF (my second deal breaker), but 2 seconds focus lag make the cam unusable, at least for my intended usage.
    I admit to be a lucky guy, I can have either the X1 or the X100 for the same price. I think I will skip both.

    M

    • M
      IMHO, Leica is not a laptop with a lens like all these Japanse brands. They make cameras. Pure and simple. That’s why their algorithm sucks. Their strength has been on their lenses designs (which IMO is the nuts-and-bolts of cameras really, I can be wrong though).

      For example. I was following closely the Nex-5 (almost bought it). I remembered when they upgraded the firmware. Guess what, the upgrade now allowed you to take 3D pics. I thought about that for a moment. No change in lens, sensor, body etc. Just the software… And lo and behold you can take a 3D pics just with a change of firmware. What does it say to you?

      Mind you, I came from all these Japanese brands before. Still do for other things in house.

      This is PROBABLY (I can be wrong though) the reasons why the Japanese products don’t seem to put heavy emphasis on their lens design, materials, and manufacturing. I was looking at Nikon system for a long-range shooting need that I can’t get with M9 (eg concerts from far seats). After getting used to Leica lenses built and materials, frankly I was turned off when I looked the build quality of their lenses. This shows how smart the Japanese are in making mass market products that are within the reach of majority of people without sacrificing quality much. I think they saw only a small group of certain perfectionists who only want best. Others can accept this mediocre quality, as long as they have a camera. That’s probably where the bang for the buck.

      Just my 2s

      • Andrew, save your money for seats closer to the stage

        • LOL, …or make friends with a famous artist like Seal-Steve (man, I am green from envy looking at them LOL) and get backstage passes. Hmmmm….

          You know, I walked into 3 different stores several times and still couldn’t bring myself to reach for my wallet despite the price agreement. Why? Seeing the huge body and huge plasticky yet heavy lenses all over again brought back memories of neck, shoulder and knee pains… :( *sorry to dslr fans out there, this is just my body experience (I need to exercise, yes). I think for studio work is ok, not for streets. I can and will get robbed immediately LOL

          For the record, Nikon dslrs do make great pics…

          • My job doesn’t have me photographing concerts (Canon kit for work, Leica for personal use) but those Seal shots of Steve’s are V cool

    • Have you ever used a M series camera for street ? You seem to think that a good “street” camera is supposed to track people on the move at a rate of 3 feet per second. Some can, must most can’t focus a M on moving subjects that quickly, I certainly couldn’t.

      Rather what one does, just as street photographers have done for ages, is zone focus ahead of time. you anticipate the scene in your mind, then its a quick lift of the camera to your eye to frame the scene, take the shot, and put the camera back down. Quick, discrete and effective.

      If your thinking your going to quickly grab the camera, let it AF and do all the work for you, then the X1, X100 M9 etc all aren’t for you. You’d be better off with a D3 and even then still miss a bit.

      I don’t think you really understand the fundamentals of how true street photography is done.

  35. Chad,
    Sorry I can’t find your links.

    I usually just posts in my FB, Leica FB, LFI, Leica forum and just reactivated my Flickr. I try to keep to a minimum number of sites. I get confused with too many. I don’t have the time either. I set up a blog in Word Press for just photos but didn’t have the time to learn and organize it.

    How about you?

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  36. Chad says:
    May 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm
    The only prices heading south right now are used X1s. Black ones are going for $1500 on the Bay, with accessories. All of a sudden there is a dearth of them out there. I wonder why…

    Well, I don’t know about $1500. I just sold my X1, with accessories for $1857. I was very pleased with this outcome. I used the proceeds to buy the limited edition wooden boxed set Fuji X100.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270748902734&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT#ht_1026wt_1141

  37. Ok, guys a lot of discussions about X1 versus X100. I’m reluctant to sell the X1 and need good reasons to keep it next to the X100. In my opinion, the X100 is the superior photographic tool and considerably more useful when going on a trip with only one camera, sorry Leica.
    However, there are times when size matters (e.g. on the slopes) or I simply don’t want to be the guy with the camera (business trips, social events) but still wanant to have the ability to shoot high IQ pictures if an opportunity comes along or I’m just in the mood. And this is where the X1 shines, it fits nicely into a pocket, whereas the X100 simply is too bulky.
    Any other reasons why it makes sense to have both cameras?

    • Retow,

      Ten years ago I owned two Harley Davidson: a nasty & noisy FXR and an easy-to-drive Softail Custom. After one year of dust gathering, the FXR found a new owner.

      It is difficult to justify two very close cameras on a small weight and size difference only. It’s up to you, of course. Personally, I would keep just one based on my preference and buy an Oly XZ1 for when pocketability matters.

      Mauro

    • Retow,

      This is my biggest complaint about the X100 – size. If they could stick the hybrid VF in something the size of the X1 and get rid of the lens protrusion completely (make it telescope) then we would be close to the quality of the great film compacts like the Contax T2/T3 and Leica CM.

      Until then, I’m shooting my film compacts and scanning when I need something truly pocketable and using the X100 and NEX for when I’m ok with a neck or wrist strap. You could sell that X1 and buy an even smaller Contax T3 with tons of film and processing!

      • Here are a few from the T3!
        [img]http://gallery.me.com/wadsworths/100009/43270022/web.jpg?ver=12481169080001[/img]

        [img]http://gallery.me.com/wadsworths/100009/43270010/web.jpg?ver=12481168610001[/img]

        [img]http://gallery.me.com/wadsworths/100161/60820012/web.jpg?ver=12503919960001[/img]

        • Great shots. I used to have a T3, what a lens, they don’t make compacts like it anymore. I still have a GR1, though, and it’s even shirt pocketable.

          • Thanks. Yes, the GR1 is a fav of mine as well. I just shot a couple rolls last month with it. Wait until Ricoh puts a FF sensor in the GRD. Someday, hopefully…

            It is too bad we have had to wait so long to get back to the quality level of film compacts.

        • I have an old Olympus Stylus Epic that I love. It’s fast and pocketable too.

  38. Leica, please skip updating the X1 and bring us a Digilux 2 mark 2 instead with 12 mp, high iso, smaller body and an improved viewfinder and you’ll finish the conversation!

  39. How good is the X100? I don’t know. Leica is Leica or still Leica, even shoot with a Leica compact camera… the image feel good, the camera feel solid, the people around feel that luxury in you hand, and it keep that feels till it down and laid in the showcase… It’s not about the technology or what ever, it’s about the soul that Leica put in a piece that make you laugh happily!

    :-)

    • Given that Leica’s compact’s are actually made by Panasonic I’m not really sure how they are magically injecting “soul” into them.

      That red dot logo they add to them must be dipped with some powerful narcotics to make one laugh happily and forget they just paid 50% more for a rebadged Lumix.

      M cameras, sure, those do feel cool, like a mechanical piece of art, but the compacts….. Just can’t buy it.

      • You’re simplifying things a little here. (and the X1 is not a rebranded Lumix of course…) I don’t think people who buy the Leica dlux5 think they’re buying into the typical Leica soul of photography really. Just like the Lumix LX5 it is a fine point-n-shoot camera with a fast lens and a bigger-sized sensor. The price difference is not just a matter of paying the Red Dot-tax though. The digilux comes with Lightroom, which is an excellent program to edit and organize your photos with. The digilux als produces DNG files as raw vehicle, which I really prefer over the proprietary Lumix files. The jpeg rendering of the digilux-5 is also more natural than the Lumix LX5, which looks like pimping its colors a bit. All in all, the price difference is really there and not just a price hike for a rebranded Panasonic.

        BTW… I myself own the LX5 while my girlfriend bought the dlux5… so we’re seeign both cameras here every day :) I like the design of her camera much better really, but I am happy with my pocketable Lumix LX5, while just using her version of lightroom :)

  40. I am still waiting to handle an X100. The X1 seems to handle well enough, though I would want to add one of those thumb-rest extensions, that mounts on the shoe. Handling qualities are so very important, at least to me, when the technical aspects are so nearly equivalent, and especially so with nerve damage affecting certain movements and strength in my right hand. Really, however, I am thinking about saving longer, or selling some things, and shopping for a well-preserved M8.2, rather than settle for an X-something. I have my Canon DSLRs to use in the meantime.

    Regarding the apparent cheapness of DSLR lenses, mentioned above, not all are the same. Nikon / Nikkor autofocus lenses do seem awfully cheap and “plastic-y” to the touch, but the older Nikkor AI-s
    manual-focus lenses can be a joy to handle. Canon lenses vary in the amount of plastic used. Tokina makes some really nice glass for both Nikon and Canon, and Tokina still knows how to use metal.

  41. Steve, Where were these photos taken? I’m curious about the location. It looks beautiful!

  42. Hi everyone!
    It took me a couple of hours reading all your comments. Very interesting indeed.
    In the past I owned a M4 Leica + lenses. All stolen in Italy while checking in a hotel.
    After this been shoting with small pocket cameras. Currently with a Canon S90 Power Shot doing a great job. Now I’m awaiting the Leica X2. I read here comparison between cars?
    Well, you can get a Nissan sports car for half the price of an equivalent Porsche. However, a Porsche is always a Porsche. You just don’t buy figures, you buy a feeling and that applies to Leica.

  43. Leica lack the vision and the technical knowledge and experience to match any top digital camera manufacturer today. With these stupid special edition games, pricing and reluctance to embrace the digital advantages such as autofocus, high ISO image quality and responsive electronic handling, they do place themselves in a niche that breeds conservatism and hinder innovations.

    If Canon or Nikon start competing in this rangefinder-style such as Fuji X100, Leica will wither and die in the full frame and crop sensor market. The only significant difference between DSLR and Leica M8 or M9 is the size and when that is eliminated, the much lower overall performance and price for DSLR or X100-like cameras will win.

  44. [img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/10369730@N08/5929777992/in/photostream/[/img][img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/10369730@N08/5929233035/in/photostream/[/img][img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/10369730@N08/5929764816/in/photostream/[/img][img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/10369730@N08/5929743480/in/photostream/[/img][img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/10369730@N08/5929787248/in/photostream/[/img][img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/10369730@N08/5929794676/in/photostream/[/img][img]http://www.flickr.com/photos/10369730@N08/5929801996/in/photostream/[/img]

    Some pictures I snapped from X100.
    Does some look 3D to you?

  45. Some pictures I snapped from X100.
    Does some look 3D to you?[img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6023/5929801996_63b3bbbed1_s.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6023/5929794676_63f1b0c4ee_s.jpg[/img][img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6147/5929233035_4b59f5aa59_s.jpg[/img][img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6008/5929787248_3d603a836b_s.jpg[/img][img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6015/5929777992_c4a1d396fd_s.jpg[/img][img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6150/5929212629_04dc6bec23_s.jpg[/img][img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6138/5929764816_abf8eb1f18_s.jpg[/img][img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6025/5929202811_ddcc659739_s.jpg[/img][img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6149/5929748098_43bf026d4d_s.jpg[/img][img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6011/5929743480_7f5fccd18d_s.jpg[/img]

  46. I know I’m very late with this comment, but just now came across all the back-and-forth about “flat” images (Fuji X-100) and “3-D” ones from Leica’s X-1. It seems there was a lot of doubt about Leica images having a certain indefineable “something” that others don’t –or at least not as often. Well, I can’t explain it –and I certainly haven’t shot with an X-1 or an X-100– but I’d like to tell you about an evening in a cabin in Yosemite about twenty-five years ago that I believe will confirm that there is, in fact, a Leica Magic. My daughter and her husband, my son and his wife, and my wife and I were vacationing after returning from shooting a feature film in Nepal. I had brought my Leitz slide projector and we were spending an evening projecting our Kodachrome slides from the Nepal trip on a 60″x60″ matte-white screen in a totally dark room. My son’s slides were shot with Canon lenses on his F-1 and my son-in-law’s with Nikkor lenses on his Nikon. My slides were shot with Leitz lenses on my 2 M-6 bodies and an R body. All of us are good photographers, so artistically all the pictures had equal merit. In fact, my son-in-law, who was our director of photography in Nepal and is an A.S.C. member is an incredible photographer. Well, the bottom line is that we photogs were astounded that each of the Leica slides seemed to “pop.” I don’t know what “pop” means, but like pornography, I know it when I see it. I also cannot explain it. But slide after slide, the Leica stuff compared to the Canon and Nikon (which, of course, were excellent in their own right) exhibited a certain “roundness” an indefineable –pop! We three boys knew which slides were which, so we asked the three women if they could identify which chromes were taken with the Leica equipment. 300 Pictures later, they had done so without a single mistake! Can any of you out there explain this rather strange phenomenon? By the way, the Nikon and Canon lenses were all top-of-the-line and we were all using a mix of focal-lengths, both hard-glass and zoom. As I shut down the slide projector, my son-in-law mentioned that the Panaflex camera we were using in Nepal used lenses that, although branded “Panavision,” were made for that company by E.Leitz, Canada. Go figure! And remember, when that movie is projected on a 40-foot wide screen, those individual 35mm movie frames are only half the size of the slides we were looking at –and, believe me, the movie looked fantastic –you might say it “popped!”

    • I think Ernie that pop is created by what’s known as micro contrast a feature of Leica’s obsession building lenses of very high quality.

      It seems to me that cover up one eye and keep still and the world is suddenly 2D. Much like a photograph. I think it’s our eyes lens design that gives us such amazing contrast and sharpness. It’s just focused light after all projected on a surface. Perhaps this elusive look is due to Leica designing lenses that resolve detail at a level closer to our own eyes. So when looking at Leica pics the pop is similar to the difference between reality and a lesser photograph to some small degree.. just a thought anyway. What’s the DP’s name?

  47. I just got my X100 last week. I rented the X1 for a week. Lame. Love to own a M9 to match my M6, MP, and LTM gear. But I shoot Rollei and 4×5 Linhof most days. 95% of what I shoot is film. I got the fuji camera for my wife but I have to say I’m in love with it. I love Leica, I love Linhof and my German LF Lenses more. But for digital and for what I can see. And yes I can see. The X100 is just as good. The camera itself is way better in a million different ways at a much cheaper price than the X1. The Leica Hall of Fame it worthless to me. Good PS can create anything with a few amazing images out of millions. But for day to day shots or backups which is really what the X1 and X100 are for serious photographers, they are equal in many ways but I think Fuji wins in the end. I love my Leica’s, I hate the people who worship them. I like the review and contrast from the original article. Thats my piece.

  48. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was wonderful. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already Cheers!

  49. Hello,

    first of all thanks for all the info you provide on your website, I’ve been spending here more and more time. Especially since I decided to make up my mind about x100 vs. X2 – I love your comparisons, photos and points you make about cameras in general.

    Since I am leaning towards x100 I’ve been closely looking at x100 samples. I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen so far. Here, however, I am curious about some jagged lines and artefacts I do see in x100 photos but do not see in X1 ones.

    I am surprised nobody seems to have noticed and would like you to comment on these in the 3rd photo from the top. If you look for people with red/purple clothes you should see what I mean – unnaturally sharp and jagged edges. I’ve seen that in some other photo on your site but can’t find it. In comparison, X1 is smooth and artefact free.

    Is this matter of conversion? Is this something I will see in the photos? I decided I would not pixel-peep on X100 files and compare to DSLRs I am used to shoot with however I can’t help myself to look at details at least before I make the decision.

    Additionally, I have seem samples showing X1 (I was comparing with X1 when there was no X2) sharpness to be noticeably better (mainly edges but across the frame) than x100 however in some other samples I’ve seen now that x100 looks as sharp as X2. So I am a bit puzzled. I know I want to use the camera for landscapes as well and I am wondering whether you would say there really is a difference in terms of sharpness between x100 and x1/2 (x2, since I want to go for 35mm). At that would be printed mainly A4, A3 maximum.

    Looking forward to your comments,
    Best Regards,

    Petr

  50. Proper article as always, Steve. Cheers for that!

    I find the X1 files looking better, in almost every comparison. But it it subjective, as many of you already stated.

    A question; Would you guys (that tried the cameras) say the X1/X2 is on par with a M8 IQ wise?
    Or is they even superior? Thanks!

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