Jun 262012
 

Leica X2 Firmware Version 1.1 is ready for download HERE at the Leica site. It is said to improve higher ISO performance past 1600, improve auto white balance and have general overall performance enhancements. What the “general improvements and performance optimization” means I have no clue so I downloaded this firmware myself and tested out some shots at ISO 1600-12,800 and out in my yard to see if the camera still output overly warm colors.

I noticed the AF is actually a bit faster, or at least seems like it is. May be some kind of placebo effect but it seemed much snappier to me while aiming and shooting, and this is good. Feels a bit more responsive so this may be part of the overall optimization.

Here are some high ISO indoor shots this morning – nothing fancy, just snaps for testing – click them to see the full 100% crop embedded – from RAW

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and one more OOC JPEG at ISO 3200

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Below is another OOC JPEG shot in Vivid mode but at ISO 100. When I shot JPEG’s with the X2 and the previous FW I would get a VERY overall warm rendering. While this is very vivid in color it doesn’t seem as warm to me, so this is probably where the AWB was tweaked. 

AWB doesn’t seem to be as “warm”. Just my initial thoughts, remember, I tested it for just these shots to see if I noticed anything so don’t take these as cold hard facts. I have to shoot more with it to see how it goes. But am happy Leica put out a firmware update so fast, which is unlike them :)

UPDATE: I spoke with Sean Reid of Reidreviews.com and he has been testing this new firmware for a while now. Here is what he mentioned:

I’ve been working with various firmware revisions for the X2 for some time now. In his review of the X2, Steve noted that there seemed to be something strange about the ISO 3200 DNG files from the X2. He wrote:

“One thing I found odd is that at ISO 3200 in both sample shots from the X2, the one above of the bottles and the one below of the Polaroid (I tried three times, same results) show a blurred result. These are all from RAW and I did not add ANY Noise Reduction to any of the samples.”
Then, in another article he wrote:

“Here is what gets me scratching my head. In my review of the X2 I have found that anytime you shoot at ISO 3200, even if you convert the RAW and use ZERO Noise Reduction you still get details smearing. This does not happen at ISO 6400 or 12,500, only 3200. You can see the X2 crop below is smeared and blurred from in camera NR that is even applied to the RAW file when you do not want it there.”
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He was right about that. There was a bug in the firmware that caused those files to be smoothed when they should not have been. We didn’t see the same kind of smoothing in the ISO 1600 or ISO 6400 DNG files from the camera and it wasn’t supposed to be happening at ISO 3200 either. So an important change in Firmware 1.1 is that this problem is now fixed. There may some other refinements but, in my view, that’s the key change. I was glad to see Leica release this fix fairly quickly.
Sean also has a review of the X2 up at his paid subscription site, reidreviews.com

  26 Responses to “New Firmware for Leica X2 – Version 1.1 ready for download”

  1. I would’ve been happy to see the WB fix if I happened to be an X2 owner too. :) That was the most glaring “issue” with the X2 from what I’ve seen here.

  2. Do a favour. Put Leica on a tripod, put ISO100 and then that B&O.

  3. Hello
    Is the X2 an awesome camera? Or does it have flaws
    Yes no cam is perfect but need to know as just ordered one
    Ron

  4. You have the most photogenic trees aha

  5. I’ve been trawling through websites checking the output from this cam. They aren’t bad – but then the guys posting images certainly aren’t Ansel Adams. And that’s what’s holding me back. When Steve posted ordinary, everyday boring shots with his M9 early on, the images were just brilliant. You WANTED an M9 just for those files. Heck, cups and saucers shot with it looked awesome.

    There’s something missing from the X2 output and I just can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps it’s the CMOS sensor. It could be that the guys posting the images are shooting raw.

    HOWEVER. I’ve got some X2 images I shot myself on my laptop at home – and I’ve been playing around with the files – you can certainly get some awesome looking images after a bit of tweaking.

    The X2 has the bones – Elmarit lens, Elmarit lens, Elmarit lens. I think it’s just a matter of squeezing the required output from the new sensor – and yes, maybe the “warmness” generated by the current images is taking away from that Leica glow. Fingers crossed the final firmware will address all that ails it.

    By the way Steve, I don’t think your TV is big enough…………

  6. CORRECTION:

    “It could be that the guys posting the images ARE NOT shooting raw.”

  7. I have one on he way, arriving thursday, I too not seeing the POP, Leica Glow,- X1 has it. Considering sending back and buying a lens for M9P. Steve many are wanting more info on Leica X2. Your initial review and then advising new firmware version you received left many wanting more analysis. Many are waiting to pull the trigger or wait. For me its about image quality. Is the X2 delivering ?. Viewed shots on Flicker and some look good others not have pop to me. Thanks my gear, Chrome M9P, 35 lux FLE

  8. They need to focus on firmware for X1 too!

  9. Thanks for the information and images. The X2 is really “growing” on me.

  10. Hi Steve,
    Brilliant site (That’s english for “AWSOME”), really enjoy reading the blogs/reviews, even the ones that I am not technically Interested in.
    BUT you also upset me deeply… I have my D-Lux 5 which is truly an awsome (That’s english for BRILLIANT) little camera.and I love it to bits. But now, having read your review of the new X2 I just knew that I would love one of those as well.. But as you say, there is no viewfinder, to me a terrible oversite, and probably the D-Lux 5s greatest failing as you can see VERY little in even brightish daylight (You cannot attach the rather mediocre EVF to the camera and keep it on, as will not fit in any case/pocket. So you need to rebuild your camera every time you use it. BANG goes spontiaity). there is also the problem of a fixed focus lens. This is not extreem and can soon be over come by just getting used to it, but a minor irk anyway. No movies, I only use movie mode as a “Note pad” but it is none the less usefull.
    Yes you have beaten me to the conclusion that I reached… I want an M9P But will never be able to afford one. I also know that to some extent I have been seduced by the “Red Dot” but in truth it is because of that dot and the “feel” that it gives you, that I take much better pictures with my Leica, than I do with a friends Panasonic, which is VERY similar.
    So now I am thinking that maybe (If I can live without the “Red Dot”) and although a different beast altogether, then the Fuji X-Pro-1 might be a good alternative to add to my Canon EOS kit. although larger than the X2, and with some failings, the image quality is said to be excellent (By you actually, and by many others). So … Question time… (Drum roll….)

    Is the image quality of the Fuji, up to the standard of the X2? And how does it compare with the D-Lux 5? (Which is the only one of the 3 with which I have any experience).

    • I”d love to know the opinion on the last comparison too!I had a d lux 4 which was amazing, then an m8 which I had to sell as my computer blew up and I had to use that money for a replacement instead of a lense for my m8 thus prompting me to get an X1.Was very slow but achieved some amazing shots of which I blew one up to A1 from raw and its beautiful if i dont say so myself>I have a wedding and a little trip across the states in 3 months(huge really)erm and need a companion.Am now not considering x2 after reading these comments as i loved the output on X1.SOOOOO!!.A d lux 5/X100?x 1 pro/This “Sony”/Sony Nex 5 or if theres something else in the woodwork before end of October Id love some gossip…

      A much and confused very broke but I have to buy a camera Mr Ashley.

  11. With or without this firmwareupdate… Don’t think Leica will sell a lot of these x2. Maybe f1,4 would have been an option but to my eyes the x2 is too ordinary. No strenghts that can compete to the “others” or justify the price.

  12. Ik tried to install the new firmware 1.1 but nothing happens when I switch the camera on, while holding down the INFO button. What is the solution?

    • Not sure. I followed the instructions and it went without a hitch. Make sure you extract the firmware file before dragging it to the root directory of a freshly formatted card.

      • I went to the dealer. He couldn’t also fix the firmware update (nothing happens when I press the button info). He send it back to Leica… :-(
        They promised to return it next week.

        • I received my X2 about a week ago (thanks to Steve’s website and the great customer service of Ken Hansen!). When I downloaded the X2 Firmware Update 1.1 to my computer, the file name is “X2-1_100.upd”.

          Neither my MacBook Air nor my old Compaq PC laptop recognize a .upd file. I downloaded The Unarchiver though the Mac App Store, but that doesn’t recognize .upd files, either.

          Anyone have a solution? Do I need some type of unzip software that can unzip .upd files? Am I just “ingnernt”? lol [I downloaded Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, and the update 4.1 just fine, by the way. : ) ]

          Flustered in Nashville.

          • You do not need to recognize the file, it is not meant to be recognized by your computer at all. You just insert a freshly formatted SD card (format in the X2) into your SD card slot in your macbook and drag that .upd file to the root directory of the card. Basically, open up a finder window, click on the SD card then drag that .upd file to the SD card window. Then eject the card, put it in your X2 and follow directions for updating.

            • Well, I’m now to the step where Ron NL arrived. Steps 3 and 4 in the Leica instructions state:

              Step 3: Download the firmware update file ‘X2-1_100.zip’. double-click on the file to unzip it.
              • Step 4: Copy the unzipped firmware update file X2-1_100.upd to the root folder level of the SD
              memory card.

              Apparently Step 3 is extracting the file, because when I double click on the file, I get a pop up that says, “The contents of the file X2-1_100.zip cannot be extracted with this program” (referring to The Unarchiver program I downloaded earlier). I got the same pop up message even before I hadThe Archiver downloaded to my computer.

              Just dragging the file to the SD card did not work. I got the same results as Ron NL when holding down the INFO button while turning on the X2: nothing. Somehow I need to “extract” the file as you say, Steve, but it’s not working. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

              I’ll try again tomorrow after a good night’s sleep. Or maybe I’ll wait for the 1.2 update. : )

              Ron, perhaps you can let us know the outcome of your issue when you get your camera back. I don’t want to send my new camera back for repairs already! : (

  13. By the way, after deleting The Unarchiver program from my computer, I know get the following pop up when I double click on the file, X2-1_100.zip (per Leica instructions (for unzipping/extracting):

    There is no application set to open the document “X2-1_100.upd”.
    Search the App Store for an application that can open this document, or choose an existing application on your computer.

    There are three choices to click on:
    Choose Application…
    Cancel
    Search App Store

  14. I spoke with Mark Brady at Leica Camera Inc. in Allendale, NJ. Problem solved! When I downloaded the 1.1 upgrade, it appeared on my computer in the unzipped format as X2-1_100.upd. Therefore, I had no need to double-click on the file to unzip it per Leica’s instructions.

    Secondly, I [obviously now] did not know what a “root folder” was. I dragged the file into the folder titled “DMIS” and I also tried dragging to the folder inside the DMIS folder that was titled “Leica 100″ (or something like that).

    Mark told me to drag the file next to the DMIS folder, not to drop it inside the DMIS folder. I did that, and no luck – I held the INFO button, turned on the camera, and nothing prompted me to install the update. So once again I formatted my SD disk, and went through the procedure again, and voila! . . . it worked.

    So, without some ignorance on my part, and perhaps some updating of Leica’s instructions (and more detail on what a root folder is, etc.), things would have gone smoother. But thanks to Steve and the technical crew in New Jersey, I’m back in the saddle, and glad I chose the Leica X2.

  15. Looking throught the Leica X2 images on Flickr, they (to me) seem to have a “Nikon” type of warmth to them. Also, a bright background such as a bright sky seems also to be blown out in a “Nikonish” sort of way. The X2 does have the Leica colors and saturation in the images, however the X1 images seem to look more distinctly “Leica” than the X2. I am curious if any others seem to feel this way.

    • I agree. I feel the X1 gave better IQ with am ore Leica feel. The X2 does not give me that Leica feel or look that I remember from the X1. It’s a great camera and gives quality output but that output has changed since the X1.

  16. I also had difficulty installing the update when following Leica’s somewhat confusing directions. With the Macintosh/Safari Download manager it delivered the file in unzipped form. A small silver colored rectangle icon is the file you need and should read X2-1_100.upd. Nothing further need be done with this file until you are ready to proceed with the next step. Now take your freshly formatted (formatted in the X2) SD card and insert in card reader or memory card slot. When it’s Icon appears on your desktop double click to open the cards window. There will be 1 folder in the opened window. Do not open this folder. Now drag the firmware icon into the open window alongside the folder, not in the folder. Your open window should now show the folder and the firmware icon. Now close the window and use the eject command in your pull down file menu. Now follow the Leica instructions to complete the process. You must have a fully charged battery. My hold INFO button turn camera on step did not work on the first try but I turned the camera off and tried again and finally got the firmware install menu. The installation only takes a few seconds. Next turn camera off and then on again and re-format the card to remove the download. Thanks to responder Alan B for his post which finally got me on the right track after a number of failed tries. Excuse this over simplification but I have aimed this post at others that might have been confused by the Leica instructions. It’s a great camera!

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