LEICA X2: THE NEXT GENERATION OF THE LEICA COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERA

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Solms, Germany (May 10, 2012) - Leica Camera AG presents the X2, a new addition to the X-line of compact digital cameras. Handmade at Leica’s headquarters in Germany, the Leica X2 features a new APS-C-format professional CMOS image sensor with over 16.5 megapixels (effective 16.2 MP). In combination with the high-performance Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens, a classic focal length for photojournalism, this sensor ensures maximum image quality and sparkling brilliance. With its refined styling and high-performance technical features, the Leica X2 offers unsurpassed performance in a compact package.

The Leica X2’s autofocus system has also been enhanced, allowing the camera to adapt to all shooting situations with enormous flexibility and enabling fast, extremely precise and almost silent focusing. The camera’s profile is complemented by numerous setting options from full manual control to automatic functions and an intuitive handling concept. These features make the Leica X2 the ideal premium-class compact camera for discerning photographers who wish to concentrate completely on their subjects and appreciate creative and true-to-life pictures.

The CMOS image sensor of the X2 is unusually large for a camera in the compact segment. Despite its high resolution of over 16 megapixels, each individual pixel on the sensor is very large, allowing the X2 to gather more light. The resulting benefits include low image noise, a high dynamic range and accurate color differentiation. The crop factor of the sensor is 1.5 in comparison with 35-mm film format, meaning that the Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens of the Leica X2 becomes a universal reportage lens with an effective 35-mm-equivalent focal length of 36 millimeters. This is considered to be a classic focal length amongst prime lenses and has captured innumerable iconic images. The moderate wide-angle character and natural rendition of dimensions by the high-performance lens of the X2 open up a broad spectrum of different options for capturing those decisive moments in outstanding, authentic and richly detailed picture quality.

As a result of its simple operating concept, the Leica X2 offers clearly laid-out functions and intuitive handling. At the same time, it offers an impressive range of automatic and versatile manual setting options. Thanks to the ease of switching between manual and automatic control, photographers can concentrate completely on composing their subjects and choosing the decisive instant to shoot in any situation. The dials on the top deck provide grip when setting the shutter speed and aperture. Moreover, changing the plane of focus, the white balance and other imaging parameters allows photographers to consciously influence the look or mood of their images. In live view mode, the generously sized high-contrast 2.7" monitor offers photographers complete control at all times and a bright and detailed view, even in strong light.

The features offered by the Leica X2 provide greater creative freedom and a wide range of photographic options. For instance, the Leica X2’s large sensor and fast lens make it ideal for shooting in available light. The camera also features a pop-up flash that can be activated whenever an additional light source is required. If more lighting power and flexibility are required, the accessory shoe of the X2 offers full compatibility with the Leica SF 24D and SF 58 system flash units.

The Leica X2 is characterized by clear lines and an intensely focused design concept. The linearity of its design and its compact, handy form are reminiscent of the Leica M-cameras. This, in combination with its robust, all-metal construction and premium, high-grip leather trim makes the X2 a classic Leica camera in both looks and feel. The camera is available in a discreet black or elegant silver finish.

 

An extensive range of accessories is also available to adapt the Leica X2 to each photographer’s individual photographic needs and style. A new offering is the Viso-Flex high-resolution electronic accessory finder with 1.4 megapixels and a 90° swivel function for shooting from unusual angles. Also available is a bright-line mirror finder that can be mounted on the accessory shoe and ensures a bright and clear view at all times, with no drain on the camera battery. An accessory handgrip increases the hold and stability of the camera and makes it easier to shoot one-handed. Leica continues to offer a comprehensive range of bags and cases: a premium-quality black leather case to match the elegance of the X2, an ergonomically designed camera protector in untreated leather, an ever-ready case in organically tanned cowhide to protect the camera during use and a system bag that offers more room for the camera and a range of accessories.

Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®, is also included in the X2 package. This digital image processing software offers a wide range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images. Leica X2 customers can download the software free from the Leica website after registering their camera.

The Leica X2 is available now through Leica dealers including the Leica Store Washington DC. The optional accessories will be available after the market launch of the camera.

The price of the Leica X2 is $1,995.00.

Technical data LEICA X2
Lens: Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH.8 elements in 6 groups1 aspherical lens
Focal length: 24 mm (36 mm equivalent in 35-mm format)
Apertures: 2.8 to16 (1/3 EV increments)
Focusing range: 30 cm–infinity
AF focusing: 1-point, 11-point, spot, face detection
Image sensor: APS-C CMOS image sensor with 16.5 MP (effective 16.2 MP)
Resolution: JPEG in 3:2 format: 4928 . 3264 pixels (16.1 MP), 4288 . 2856 pixels (12.2 MP), 3264 . 2160 pixels (7.1 MP), 2144 . 1424 pixels (3.1 MP), 1632 . 1080 pixels (1.8 MP) DNG in 3:2 format: 4944 . 3272 pixels (16.2 MP)
Image quality: JPEG super fine, JPEG fine, DNG + JPEG super fine, DNG + JPEG fine
Exposure control
Exposure modes: Automatic program (P), automatic aperture priority (A), automatic shutter priority (S), manual setting (M)
Exposure compensation: Increments: 1/3 EV increments, range: ±3 EV
Automatic exposure bracketing: 1/3 to 3 EV increments, 3 exposures
Metering modes: Smart multi-segment metering, center-weighted metering, selective (spot) metering
White balance: Auto, halogen, daylight, flash, cloudy, shade, electronic flash, 2 manual settings, manual color temperature setting with fine tuning
ISO sensitivity: Auto, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 6400, ISO 12500
Shutter speeds: 30 s–1/2000 s
Continuous shooting: 3 fps or 5 fps, max. 8 consecutive exposures with constant shooting speed in DNG + JPEG fine quality
Film modes: Standard, dynamic, natural, b/w natural, b/w high contrast
Flash
Flash modes: Auto, flash exposure correction, red-eye correction, fill-in flash, slow sync, studio, 1st/2nd curtain sync
Hot shoe: Compatible with Leica SF 24D, Leica SF 58 flash units
Monitor: 2.7" TFT LCD with 230,000 pixels, wide-angle field of view: 100%
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  • h

    And wait, what’s the difference between the X2 than the X1?

  • Chris

    Double number and double price

    Or could be the EVF

  • Ryu

    In other words, an X1 with possible faster AF and an evf attachment but nothing really new.

    • Ryu

      They didn’t even bother to upgrade the LCD! What’s up Leica?

  • southbymidwest

    Well, it looks like Leica is now working with Olympus… take a look at that EVF! They clearly just replaced the top plate from the old Olympus VF-2.

    http://www.clearingthevision.com/wp-content/uploads/vf2_21.jpg
    http://media.teds.com.au/teds/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/o/l/olympus_vf-2_viewfinder-angle-100077.jpg

    • Igor

      Actually, Olympus obtains its EVFs from Epson. Anyhow, let’s not forget that the digital camera designers, as most other electronics manufactures, are roughly a smart designer-collectors of electronic parts made by various companies.

  • Anthony

    A little disappointed. Basically this is just an increase of 4 megapixels, the addition of separate viewfinder, and perhaps faster autofocusing. The #1 thing I was hoping for – faster 2.0 lens – was left out and I’m not sure why…. maybe to set up their mirror-less system?

    • Ryu

      Yup, the least that they could do was to make the lens faster

  • J Shin

    Looks like the price is $1999. http://www.adorama.com/ILCX2B.html

  • and

    I think the B&W M is a brilliant move!
    The X2 I just don’t get. So much has happened the last year in the mirror less world that this feels like…I don’t know what to say…nothing, yeah, feels like nothing.

  • Justin Crook

    Its still an inferior camera to the x100 but now its even more expensive? The x100 can now be purchased for a little over £600. I was hoping that the x2 would be a huge improvement over the x1 and an improvement over my x100, but looks like I’ll be sticking with the Fuji.

  • pizza pizza

    i’ve often wondered if Leica reads the forums and listens to customers’ requests for product improvements. here is a case where it appears they did not. same f 2.8 lens as X1, really? a $525 EVF? yikes.

    maybe their limited size/resources played a role in how much redesign they could do on the X. i expect they have several new products that they are still working on for photokina, such as the M10, the new EVIL system camera they mentioned a few months ago, and possibly an upgraded S camera as well. seems there is a lot going on, plus the new factory plans.

    but i’m disappointed that the X changes so little. I would have thought the mounting competition in this segment would force Leica to make substantive upgrades for the X2, and there just does not appear to be that kind of storyline here.

    we will not need to wait long for competitors to resume their announcements of new APS-C mirror-less systems in the lead up to Photokina.

    • http://www.steveniphoto.wordpress.com steven

      while i agree with some of your points, i disagree with others. “the guy who shoots people in the face”… are you referring to bruce gilden? if so, i suggest you look at all of his work. a lot of his photo essays on magnum are astounding.

      also, i do think that leica does listen to their customers, but we can’t all get what we want. i wish the lens was faster, but they also boosted the ISO performance up from what i’ve heard. f/2.8 to f/2 isnt too much of a difference especially if we gain 2 stops or so in ISO performance.

      as for the b/w m9 too each his own. i think its stupid too but it does have its benefits for using a monochrome only sensor.

  • guy

    this is such a huge disapointment,
    has leica heard of fuji x100 ? I am ordering one next week after 6month of waiting for leica’s answer.

  • R!

    Why leica is so greedy,230 000 pxl 2,7″ LCD ,I don’t get it !!??

  • CHD

    A 230k pixel LCD…what a joke. My 5D2 LCD has over 900k LCD….and it’s a camera that was introduced 4 years ago. Pathetic.

    Come on Leica, if you’re not going to use an LCD that is capable of checking focus accuracy than why even bother giving us one.

  • Dave

    Another object that appeals to the newly rich: the Chinese and Russian alike. I was told by a Salesman in Leica Hong Kong that 90% of their customers are now from mainland China.

    The rest of us may better stick with the Fuji x100.

  • Nobody Special

    Three ‘words’ to describe Leica.

    Kaufmann, Kaufmann, Kaufmann.

    He owns the majority stake in Leica and is not my favorite person right now – okay – he has’t been my favorite person/owner for the last three years. But somehow at his direction, he has managed/insists to bring goods that no one asked for – except the digital M, which was a no-brainer.

    Wouldn’t it be fun to have him in a room full of Leica owners ready to ask him all the ‘sticky’ questions he never answers??? I would pay to attend that!!!

  • BC

    I would have purchased an X1, if Leica had provided a pop-up viewfinder instead of that useless flash. Why would anyone want an on-camera flash when you’ve got a great lens and a clean 1600 ISO?

    This would be a great compact everyday camera with an optical viewfinder. It’s a big letdown if you need to make it as big as an M9 just to frame your shots in daylight.

    The Fuji isn’t in the same league. It’s way bigger, and it has lousy raw support. Good for posing, but not so much for making prints.

  • Kenny

    I’m actually glad that there isn’t much change. It cancels out any temptation of an upgrade.

    Quite happy with my X1, despite its quirks.

  • anon

    I think leica’s problem is that they’re not really a tech company…they make good designs and great glass, but have to source the electronic components from others…they either have to sink serious money into hiring better engineers and setting up a fab of their own…or partner up with one of those “others’

  • Disappointed

    Why is it still the same retractable lens, with the same optics, and the same slow aperture?
    Want to know if there are improvements in manual focus control though..
    It is really disappointing to see just improvements like a bump in pixels, ‘faster’ autofocus and improved flash (?), if they are improvements at all.

  • max

    What the hell is this viewfinder about? Leica was supposed to buid an integrated system instead of this giant ugly thing. The price went up? For what reason?

  • Anthony

    Sad. Had they made this f2.0, perhaps improved design with integrated viewfinder (not a $500-600 extra), along with the increase in megapixels and auto-focus, this camera would be a no-brainer at $1995. Even if the specs are similar to the Fuji at double the price.

    But it seems Leica is being either cocky or indifferent, assuming people will just buy regardless of improvements.

    I get that they are a “premium” brand, but Leica needs to start thinking a bit more like Apple and systematically improving each key feature aspect of the camera, as Apple has done with the iPad, iPhone, etc. Just that mindset alone would have told them f2.8 is unacceptable, as is the weak LCD screen, or the lack of integrated viewfinder.

    This sucks because I would have been ready to pre-order one today, but now I think I’m going to wait and perhaps save my money for the mirror less system, or perhaps wait for the M10. Hopefully those are a bit more progressive….

    • Philip

      I agree totally. Leica can learn a lot from Apple…and they should, before it’s to late! It’s like the time when Sculley was manager of Apple. Things are going very wrong. Wrong decisions, too much products, wrong prices. This should turn into : less products, more improved quality, sharper prices ! Leica is counting too much on their name and their history. Beauty, technological evolution and price of their products should be more in balance!

      • Ray

        I can’t agree more on this. Apple has developed its own design philosophy that blends in so well with their actual products, addressing most if not all needs of users. We need a leica that is designed for users. Come on leica, just a faster lens, one or just half a stop would make it a game changer (at least a little more comparable to X100).

  • Fish Nose

    Leica – the brand where they sit together around the coffee table and say,
    “Okay, what can we think up now to make them part with huge stacks of money for nothing much…let’s see. Ah yes! A monochromatic camera!”
    “Nah, no-one would buy that, it’s ridiculous. One creates B&W in post after all.”
    “Yes, but I betcha there’s a whole bunch who would actually buy this. For LOTS of money, because then it’s really unreasonable, and all the more attractive.”
    “Okay, what the hell.”
    More thinking around the table…..
    “And we can do a ridiculously expensive compact as well!”
    “You gotta be joking!”
    “Hell no. We make it really difficult little bugger, no viewfinder, we don’t upgrade anything much on it and we put up the price like crazy. They’ll buy it, I know these guys. They got all that money burning holes in ther pockets. All those crazy wealthy Chinese… and the Russians!”
    “Okay, what the hell, go for it. It costs us almost nothing to develop anyway.”

  • Alan

    If this had been what Leica offered when they introduced the X1, I would have jumped at it, but things have moved on since then. To me personally the add on VF makes a big difference and I will certainly give the X2 a look when it arrives, but I’m not waiting in nervous anticipation

  • AlonzY

    Disappointed!… And x2 is not compatible with new generation SD cards SDXC…. It’s just a copy’ of x1.
    The positive, is that today, 11th May, it’s clear and I stopped to dream about x2 and will look elswhere for a small camera.
    Perhaps an M9 or an M10 in September… But with the “rich marketing strategy” of Leica, even if I could pay witout problem such a sum, I became more and more unconfortable… I don’t want to be a bling-bling man… I’m just a passionate and discrete photographer.

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      I am also curious about the M10 in September, but I think the price tag will be in the 5 digits $.

      • MichalK

        Hi

        I have been considering Leica M for about 2 years now. I love the lenses, but the body is sooo poor in so many ways… LCD, ISO, White Balance, Battery life and the list goes on and on…

        I am, as a lot of us, waiting to hear about the M10 with high expectations.

        However, after seeing the “let down” of the “X2 upgrade”, I am more and more convinced that M10 will be even less of an upgrade.

        I would not be surprised, if the “improvement ” of an M10 would only be a better LCD, 1 stop better ISO and that is it! Possibly frame lines from M9 Titan and some cosmetics like the dot, top plate LCD from the M8 and some other useless stuff that costs nothing to develop…

        And quite possibly $9,999 to keep it below 5digits.

        I’m really loosing faith here…

        MK

  • Antonio C Cardoso

    Leica took off the red dot logo from the M series but keeps it on the lower end (Panasonic?) models. Why?

  • http://techandgadgets.tumblr.com/ Jaak

    Being avid Leica fan, I’m absolutely negatively surprised. Leica launced their new large sensor compact camera X2, their own camera, not rebranded Panasonic Lumix. This should be tour de force of photography technology, but…

    Leica X2 got only 230K pixel LCD screen! Compare to

    Fujifilm X-Pro1 1230k pixels
    Samsung NX200 614k pixels
    Sigma DP1 Merill 920k pixels
    Panasonic Lumix GX1 460k pixels
    Yes, Leica uses the same screen from M9, but M9 is rangefinder, X2 LCD screen is main focusing tool. Shame! Leica should not do compromises like that. Five times worse screen resolution, compared to Fujifilm. New electronic 1.44Mpix Visio-Flex viewfinder (identical to Olympus VF2 viefinder, not related Panasonic LFV2)

    • http://leicarumors.com LR admin

      I think the X2 will be the last camera of this product line for Leica – I just cannot see how this can succeed in the future with the latest (great) offerings from Fuji, Olympus, Sony and Panasonic.

    • Gordon

      I have absolutely no idea why everyone is hung up on screen resolution. The camera has auto focus. You only use the screen for framing at best, and ideally use an OVF for that. You point the camera, a green dot says its in focus where the square is, and you press the shutter. What more do you need?

      Oh and for what its worth, if you actually bother to read a review from someone who has used the camera, you will find they say the lcd is heaps better than the old one, despite being the same res. Not that it matters.

      So stop moaning about specs, and go and try the camera out for real.

    • Gordon

      One last thing. You’d think that people here would realise that that the only thing Leica worry about is the end result. Thats why the lens is 2.8 not 2.0 because they refuse to compromise the quality of the lens, even if we all think it would be nice to have an extra stop. The screen res doesnt matter to them either because its designed primarily for framing only. Higher res would be nice but its not necessary. This camera is designed to do one thing well and thats produce great quality pictures. Yes it could have all the latest tech bells and whistles, but actually all of that is just that. Bells and whistles. And when have Leica EVER put anything on a camera that isn’t totally necessary?

    • http://jimsink.com jim sink

      Are you buying a LCD screen or buying a camera ? Get off you “Tech High-Horse”.

  • peter drijver

    there is no excuse for this DIY hot-shoe

    • Guy

      That hot shoe even makes x1 look much better… And that horrible evf plastic thing…
      Someone mentioned an optical viewfinder in place of the popup flash, I totally agree, this would have made so much more sense

  • Neil hoyte

    How much money does this company have to make before it gives something back?

    • Yadda

      I think you misunderstand the purpose of a company. Perhaps what you are thinking of is a charity.

  • Ryu

    Probably you haven’t heard that Leica is one of the best lens maker, so making it f2 should be a walk in the park for them. Fuji did it so I’m sure they can do better. Re: LCD, if I’m buying something that cost almost the same as a 5d mark 2 which btw is a full frame, I damn hell sure expect a better LCD screen and why would you rely your shot entirely on a green light. It doesn’t exactly tells you what it’s focusing on.

    • Gordon

      Um, I have heard that Leica is one of the best lens makers. Thats because I test lenses for the film industry, so i happen to know just a little bit about the optics involved.

  • Robert Falconer

    $2000.00, huh? Suddenly the X-Pro 1 doesn’t seem so outrageous, does it?

    Vastly superior sensor design with greater overall control and interchangeable lenses.

    No brainer.

  • Jan Nicolaisen

    I’m the proud owner of a X1. I have also sugested a X2. But in a different way: Just like the X1, but with a 70mm. Nothing else. Keep it simple!

  • http://jimsink.com jim sink

    To all the people here “slamming” the X2…..one question, do you want to buy one or just
    BITCH about it.

    • kv

      I think they wanted to buy the X1, but the camera’s feature is much inferior to users’ expectations and its competitors in the market. It makes much sense to bitch about it. This is a compact camera, which is supposed to be a consumer’s product. A price plan like this sounds like Leica expect buyers to buy their camera at a very expensive price no matter how the quality of the actual camera really is. I feel like Leica is giving long-waiting for X1 buyer a big insult in the face…

  • http://steveniphoto.wordpress.com steven
  • Gordon

    I really think people should try the camera before bitching about it. I tried it out today. The screen is bright and sharp. The focus is snappy. It feels hefty. The dials are stiff and lovely.

    But apart from all this, the images are great, and all the above is the last concern.

    So stop bitching about the specs on paper and only offer an opinion when you have tried it out.

    Its great. And I bought one.

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