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Herr Barnack

T, X2 or X-Vario? Which would you choose and why?

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In trying to get a handle on Leica's product strategy, a few questions have been rolling around in my mind; here they are for your consideration (due to the prohibitively high cost of the S system, I have deliberately omitted it from consideration) -

 

1: If for whatever reason the M240, M Monochrom or M-E are not options for you and you were to choose between the T, the X2 or the X-Vario cameras - which of these three would you choose, and why?

 

2: Are the M240 and M Monochrom to be looked at as Leica's premier cameras, the holy grail cameras for the most passionate/obsessed/committed Leica shooter?

 

3: Is the M-E to be considered a second tier camera?

 

4: And are we to regard this trio of Leica cameras as their "midrange" digital cameras?

 

5: Are the T, X2 and X-V enthusiast's cameras for the market segment who wants a high performance, small but capable digital camera who cannot or will not spring for an M240 or MM?

 

 

What say you, forum members?

Edited by Carlos Danger

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In trying to get a handle on Leica's product strategy, a few questions have been rolling around in my mind; here they are for your consideration (due to the prohibitively high cost of the S system, I have deliberately omitted it from consideration) -

 

1: If for whatever reason the M240, M Monochrom or M-E are not options for you and you were to choose between the T, the X2 or the X-Vario cameras - which of these three would you choose, and why?

 

2: Are the M240 and M Monochrom to be looked at as Leica's premier cameras, the holy grail cameras for the most passionate/obsessed/committed Leica shooter?

 

Yes, they are the 'essence' of Leica, if you believe their marketing.

3: Is the M-E to be considered a second tier camera?

 

Most definitely, and priced accordingly with features omitted.

 

4: And are we to regard this trio of Leica cameras as their "midrange" digital cameras?

I think the T is the mid range, and the X series is the low end (for Leica)

 

5: Are the T, X2 and X-V enthusiast's cameras for the market segment who wants a high performance, small but capable digital camera who cannot or will not spring for an M240 or MM?

 

Who knows. I'd say they have a variety of places.

Firstly, for the M shooter who wants a quality small autofocus kit. I know its hard to use cheaper plastically camera after using a metal piece of quality.

Secondly, those who want a leica who don't have the cash for an M OR want autofocus

Thirdly, those who buy what they want without though of money, and don't want a manual focus camera.

There's a big overlap with 2 and 3 btw.

If had the need (and cash), I'd get one as an autofocus family camera to supplement my M6, which is really more about the enjoyment of use for me.

 

Michael

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I am an M typ 240 owner with a Canon EOS-M which I use as a small "take anywhere" camera for occasions when I don't specifically plan on shooting but don't want to be without a decent camera. I could see either a T or and X filling that "back-up" role.

 

But, honestly, I don't think that is Leica's strategy with the T. I don't think they are trying to sell another camera to current Leica customers. I think they are trying to make a pathway into the Leica universe for somewhat younger and more casual shooters... people who want autofocus, wireless transfer and a touch screen and can't yet easily afford an M anyway.

 

Once they have those people in their store, on their mailing list and, dare I say it, on this among other forums, they have an opportunity at a customer for life.

 

A younger person with an interest in photography who graduates from a point-and-shoot to either a Leica T might later become a full blown enthusiast and end up spending their retirement funds on M's and M glass. (Not that any of us would do that, mind you.)

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It's actually very simple.

 

  • The Leica M is a Professional camera, is for those who desire a full-frame rangefinder camera with some modern features, like focus assist etc.
  • The Leica T is a Prosumer camera, for those who desire a compact modern interchangeable lens camera that is made by Leica (read quality, prestige, brand) and which will allow them to use Leica glass. It is for those users neither keen in full-frame nor desire a rangefinder.
  • The Leica X is also a Prosumer camera, for those who desire a flexible, utilitarian, all-in-one high-quality compact camera from Leica. I suspect many buyers in Asia, if they have the spending power, will opt for the T.

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M cameras (all types) and X cameras are very similar in many ways. They share the same design philosophy as the original screwmount Barnack Leica with their simple analog controls. The T camera is wholly different, designed for those who like and are used to a touchscreen interface as found on smartphones and iPads and their ilk.

 

Personally I am not a fan of touch screens, modes, and menus. I haven't seen a T except for pictures but it looks far more computer-like. I find simple manual controls far more straightforward and intuitive. I also find LCDs hard to read, especially in bright light. For me, an X camera would be the best back-up for an M, even though I can't fit M lenses. I would have preferred an X camera with interchangeable lenses.

 

X2 or X Vario? The 35 lens is surprisingly versatile and makes the X2 nice and compact. However, the zoom lens, even though it is on the slow side, is an all-in-one solution for many situations, making the X Vario probably the more practical choice.

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In trying to get a handle on Leica's product strategy, a few questions have been rolling around in my mind; here they are for your consideration (due to the prohibitively high cost of the S system, I have deliberately omitted it from consideration) -

 

1: If for whatever reason the M240, M Monochrom or M-E are not options for you and you were to choose between the T, the X2 or the X-Vario cameras - which of these three would you choose, and why?

 

2: Are the M240 and M Monochrom to be looked at as Leica's premier cameras, the holy grail cameras for the most passionate/obsessed/committed Leica shooter?

 

3: Is the M-E to be considered a second tier camera?

 

4: And are we to regard this trio of Leica cameras as their "midrange" digital cameras?

 

5: Are the T, X2 and X-V enthusiast's cameras for the market segment who wants a high performance, small but capable digital camera who cannot or will not spring for an M240 or MM?

 

 

What say you, forum members?

 

1. The T, undoubtedly. I currently shoot the M9 and MM. I tried an X2 in a store and didn't like it - rather slow in operation and I was not impressed with the build quality. The XV is too large for me, and the lens speed too slow. IQ is obviously v good.

 

2. Yes, I think so.

 

3. I don't regard it as inferior to the M9, really - the differences are negligible.

 

4. I think so, the T slightly higher.

 

5. I suppose so, but the XV does not seem so small when I've seen it in the flesh.

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Advertisement (gone after registration)

In trying to get a handle on Leica's product strategy, a few questions have been rolling around in my mind; here they are for your consideration (due to the prohibitively high cost of the S system, I have deliberately omitted it from consideration) -

 

1: If for whatever reason the M240, M Monochrom or M-E are not options for you and you were to choose between the T, the X2 or the X-Vario cameras - which of these three would you choose, and why?

 

2: Are the M240 and M Monochrom to be looked at as Leica's premier cameras, the holy grail cameras for the most passionate/obsessed/committed Leica shooter?

 

3: Is the M-E to be considered a second tier camera?

 

4: And are we to regard this trio of Leica cameras as their "midrange" digital cameras?

 

5: Are the T, X2 and X-V enthusiast's cameras for the market segment who wants a high performance, small but capable digital camera who cannot or will not spring for an M240 or MM?

 

I would most likely choose the T, as the X2 and X Vario are limited in their capabilities. The X2 cannot shoot video nor change focal lengths, and the X Vario cannot change lenses. The T has the benefit of going from a X Vario-like lens to any lens in the M system, as well as at least four native T lenses. You could also use any of the dozens of native M-mount lenses from over the years, and those currently produced by other companies like Zeiss and Voigtlander.

 

The X Vario has a haptic shooting experience that utterly thrills me, but is ultimately limited by its 28mm wide end and relatively slow aperture. With the T I can fit a Voigtlander 12mm and get an 18mm field of view, or a 15mm to get 22.5mm. Or I can put a Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 on the T and get a fast 75mm portrait lens. Although the all-metal body of the T seems iffy from a tactile factor, the plastic and silicone T-Snap case should provide a nice grip.

 

Lots of people lust after a M240 or Monochrom. Fewer lust after a S. Leica is synonymous with the high end rangefinder camera, and all other rangefinders are compared with them. Once upon a time, photojournalists and photographers made their money with rangefinders, often Leicas. But the SLR and now DSLR occupy the majority of the professional market, and rangefinders are now considered mostly a secondary camera in a professional kit, if that.

 

The M E is essentially a M9 without the framelines lever. Everything else is internally the same. Not sure if it is considered 'second tier', but I think more people want to buy a M240 than a M E.

 

The X and X Vario cameras were seemingly designed to appeal to those who associate Leica with the traditional rangefinder, but offer functions and qualities not available in the M9. Pocketability, video shooting, a zoom lens, an EVF. The T seems to be more mass market and is a huge break from Leica's traditional offerings, but at the same time seems to maintain Leica's ethos of high quality craftsmanship, build quality, image quality, and a very stripped-down photographic experience.

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1: T because of the lens options. Not sure about the XV, but the previous X cameras were often criticized for being rather slow in operation...

 

2: When you think about Leica from a traditional sense, then the M series would seem to be the pinnacle of 'the Leica photographer,' though I suppose the S system sets a pretty high standard too.

 

3: I think the M-E is a stop-gap. Leica recognizes that even their clientele are price sensitive and the M-E offers an entry point into the M system. It's also a camera that's pretty much been paid for, in terms of R&D, etc., and if they had a surplus of sensors and other M9 parts kicking around, might as well keep making a version of the camera as long as it sells. I wouldn't be surprised to see a future full frame version of the T fill the gap between the current T and M systems...

 

4: The T is the midrange. The X system I believe sits lower. I guess the entry level cameras are the rebadged Panasonics.

 

5: I have a difficult time envisioning the X series as a substitute for someone because they can't afford an M. If someone wanted an M for its features, I think they'd find a way to get into the system, either with a used M8 or M9, or they'd go to something else that gives them similar control, if not in a quite so similar package... say, a Fuji X camera or some other interchangeable lens system. Maybe the T would fit in here, but I don't think the X would be satisfying for such a photographer. For me, I'd rather get an RX1 or a GR than an X camera. However, the T is compelling, in part because I can adapt lenses to it...

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I am an M typ 240 owner with a Canon EOS-M which I use as a small "take anywhere" camera for occasions when I don't specifically plan on shooting but don't want to be without a decent camera. I could see either a T or and X filling that "back-up" role.

 

But, honestly, I don't think that is Leica's strategy with the T. I don't think they are trying to sell another camera to current Leica customers. I think they are trying to make a pathway into the Leica universe for somewhat younger and more casual shooters... people who want autofocus, wireless transfer and a touch screen and can't yet easily afford an M anyway.

 

Once they have those people in their store, on their mailing list and, dare I say it, on this among other forums, they have an opportunity at a customer for life.

 

A younger person with an interest in photography who graduates from a point-and-shoot to either a Leica T might later become a full blown enthusiast and end up spending their retirement funds on M's and M glass. (Not that any of us would do that, mind you.)

 

Ah, now it makes sense - the T is a "gateway drug!"

 

The X-Vario left me cold; my reaction to it was along the lines of WTF?? IMO, the T is the camera that the XV should have been to begin with ( though the XV does have a fan base).

 

The T is an interesting little camera, particularly since it is M lens compatible. However, I will save myself $2445 USD (T camera plus EVF cost) and use my M as my every day carry camera. Those dollars will nearly pay for Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M f/ 3.4 ASPH Lens 11145 B&H Photo Video

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It's actually very simple.

 

  • The Leica M is a Professional camera, is for those who desire a full-frame rangefinder camera with some modern features, like focus assist etc.
  • The Leica T is a Prosumer camera, for those who desire a compact modern interchangeable lens camera that is made by Leica (read quality, prestige, brand) and which will allow them to use Leica glass. It is for those users neither keen in full-frame nor desire a rangefinder.
  • The Leica X is also a Prosumer camera, for those who desire a flexible, utilitarian, all-in-one high-quality compact camera from Leica. I suspect many buyers in Asia, if they have the spending power, will opt for the T.

 

Indeed very simple.

 

I see some characterize the X as "less good", or further down on the Leica tree, compared to the T. In terms of the number of features, sure. The T is a newer camera, with wifi, touch screen, and other doodads. In terms of IQ - not at all. I think the X cameras and the T camera, using the standard lenses, delivers more or less the same IQ - as they all got the same sensor, and they all have proper Leica glass.

Edited by JorgenD

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without having touched a T I prefer the design / user interface of the X-Vario

However I find the X-Vario rather slow, I have to say too slow for me (and I still own one).

I wish a camera with the user interface of the X-Vario but the speed and interchangeable lenses of the T.

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3: I think the M-E is a stop-gap. Leica recognizes that even their clientele are price sensitive and the M-E offers an entry point into the M system. It's also a camera that's pretty much been paid for, in terms of R&D, etc., and if they had a surplus of sensors and other M9 parts kicking around, might as well keep making a version of the camera as long as it sells. I wouldn't be surprised to see a future full frame version of the T fill the gap between the current T and M systems...

 

.

 

 

Worth remembering as well that the M-E has a CCD sensor, whereas the M240 is CMOS. I think they continue to sell it to satisfy photographers who want to stick with CCD for now.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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X2 if you want the most compact and can work with the FL

XV if you just want a mid-range zoom for this class of camera. Dials, build, handling all excellent.

 

Both of the above have a silent shutter, the T does not. The XV has a closer focus distance for the zoom.

 

The T if you want interchangeable lens, touch screen and shiny shiny

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1: If for whatever reason the M240, M Monochrom or M-E are not options for you and you were to choose between the T, the X2 or the X-Vario cameras - which of these three would you choose, and why?

 

2: Are the M240 and M Monochrom to be looked at as Leica's premier cameras, the holy grail cameras for the most passionate/obsessed/committed Leica shooter?

 

3: Is the M-E to be considered a second tier camera?

 

4: And are we to regard this trio of Leica cameras as their "midrange" digital cameras?

 

5: Are the T, X2 and X-V enthusiast's cameras for the market segment who wants a high performance, small but capable digital camera who cannot or will not spring for an M240 or MM?

 

 

What say you, forum members?

1. x vario or T. i love the new controls for the T, particularly, the double dials at the top.

2. m240 definitely the premier camera. in a way, many of its features were added to compete with the market. the video function for instance, isn't that good. compared to canon, it's not even close.

 

MM - the absolute purists' camera. premier? yes.

 

3. M-E. i would say it is 2nd tier, and i own one, but at the same time, it's the only leica digital is pure photography. i wish they upgrade the screen. it's so uninspiring. i look at previews and i don't get excited. but when i bring it to lightroom, WOW!!

 

4. more affordable by the enthusiast who can't afford an M system. i think it's a great line, and the quality is right up there. mid range in terms of price, not in quality.

 

5. yes, but also for an M system user who likes to own a few more and different leica cameras.

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I chose the X2 and would do so again. I wanted a compact to supplement my SLR system and do not want another set of lenses to invest in/drag around. Besides, for a compact, the X2 is less expensive than the new T. For all its technological advances, the T lacks the dials and feel of what I expect in a camera. I guess that comes from being old enough to have begun this hobby with a film SLR in the 1970s. In any case, I am adverse to touchscreens in place of traditional means of selecting aperture and shutter speed.

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T - because of the interchangeable lenses. It is what kept me from buying an X2.

 

And I really am interested in the new UI and touchscreen (yes I'm an iPhone/iPad user....). If it is as good and intuitive to use as the reviews have said I will be very happy.

 

And the wifi/remote app! I have this on my Canon 6D and I love this feature. I use it all the time. Not for sharing pictures. But my tripod and the remote app are invaluable to me. I'm happy this is coming to Leica.

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The T looks sexy but I love the X Vario. One of the biggest pluses for me, is the silent leaf shutter. The ability to sync with flash/strobe at any shutter speed makes it very unique.

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X-Vario over Leica T - the lens is better I think and no dust on the sensor

 

Dunno about the optics, I have a feeling all are superb. I like the look of the X-Vario, too, but alas you can get dust on the sensor of a fixed-lens camera and when you do there's not a lot you can do about it except send it back to the factory for a professional clean. Just a factor to be aware of, IMO, not a deal-breaker.

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The cited cameras are designed for different market sectors. The determinant will be the main purpose for the intended camera. We have different needs. Impossible to generalise. For me a compact X works well alongside a system camera, but could, in extremis stand on its own.

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