After owning the Leica X1 for a couple of months my local camera store, Ace Photo, was having their semi-annual sale. I loved the X1’s IQ but was looking for more speed and wondered if the X2, which was introduced in May 2012, could provide that. I had read many reviews about the X2 which indicated that would be the case but hadn’t had an opportunity to demo one. Ace Photo doesn’t demo new Leica cameras as they know Leica customers are particular about opening the Leica box for the first time. They keep them sealed, which I personally appreciate. If I am going to spend money on a Leica, I want to be the first person to open the box and hold the camera.
I sold some equipment I wasn’t using and went to the sale. Yes, they had a black one in stock and I was able to get a discount because of the store wide sale. This was somewhat of a leap of faith as I was looking for a faster camera that was a little more versatile. Did the gamble pay off?
In a word- yes! The X2 is a faster camera that still has the signature Leica image quality. It auto-focuses faster and seems to process quicker. It is faster than the X1 but not as fast as an Olympus OM-D. It does have a redesigned flash, which I like better, and the big advantage is that I can use my Olympus VF-2 electronic viewfinder with the X2. On the X1 you can us only an optical viewfinder. This makes a big difference as I no longer have to hold the X2 at arm’s length. I can hold it up to my face like a normal camera. The EVF is sharper and easier to see than the LCD on the back of the camera, which is a disappointment to say the least. I wish, as many others do, that the X2 had a built-in viewfinder but that is not something Leica has chosen to do. As a quick preview, the X Vario doesn’t have one either. 😦
Right after I purchased the X2 I took it to a local street fair held in the downtown area where I live . I wanted to test the auto focus to see if it was fast enough to use instead of the zone focusing I was forced to use on the X1 because its auto focus is so slow. To my delight it worked great and I got some really nice images. The X2 is indeed faster, more versatile and you are still able to purchase one new. It will cost you $2000 unless you can find one on sale. The X1, as I said in my previous review, is no longer available new.
There are faster cameras for less money. I knew about them and still chose to purchase the X2 as I like the way Leicas feel and are laid out. I talked about that in my previous review of the X1. I love the pictures that I get out of my Leica’s too. For me that is the most important thing. If you like the X1 you will love the X2 and there is no learning curve as they are basically laid out the same.
The X2 has the same excellent fixed lens as the X1. I find this more of a challenge when composing my pics. I had to learn to zoom with my feet. If that is not your cup of tea, the next review may be. Up next- the new Leica X Vario.