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Can the X1 replace my M as travel camera for street & people?


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Why even consider an old model now? Because a second hand X1 can be had at steal price. So for those considering a complementary to M please allow me to share some impressions and photos.

 

X1-1101951 by Alf Sollund, on Flickr

Yes, imo the X1 can replace the M as a travel camera. But there is no free lunch, I had to swalloxw some porcupines:
- No viewer. NO VIWER.   N O   V I E W E R  ? Its like selling car without a steering wheel, like a flyrod without line guides. Well you get the idea. Sorry about ranting on (as others before me), but its a riddle how Leica can repeat such as colossal error in their models.
- A keeper rate between 1/2 and 1/10 of the M.
- A little less IQ in terms of raw ingredients to create a photo (making the exposure is just a tiny part), but not that significant.

X1-1101922 by Alf Sollund, on Flickr
- I had to isolate the subject other than DoF (although the bookeh is spendid). Here is an example by panning.

X1-1101690 by Alf Sollund, on Flickr
- 3-4 batteries spent per day

There are some very strong point (as allready stated by severals). IMO:
+ The best handling and usability of any compact. Its like its designed to take photos (as opossed to Fuji, Olympus and such that are designed to fiddle in menues)
+ The best MF implementation I have tried of any compact, given that you pre-focus by distance
+ Can be carried in hand trough a day, or in pocket

+ The ability to create colors with "punch":

X1-1100629 by Alf Sollund, on Flickr

 

Thanks for looking!

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Alf,

 

yes, it can!

When I go travelling, often a decision has to be made for the most versatile camera if you don not want to carry the heavy bulk every day.. The X1( still) is most easy to handle, gives amazing results and is very decent while shooting street.

Thanks for all your pictures giving proof of this.

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I would say that your quoted keeper rate is rather good for candid street photography. Regarding lack of a viewfinder, well you know the answer and am a little surprised you ventured into hot sunny climes without one. However, your posted result are very good and the street art shows the high IQ of X1 pictures.

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I would say that your quoted keeper rate is rather good for candid street photography. Regarding lack of a viewfinder, well you know the answer and am a little surprised you ventured into hot sunny climes without one. However, your posted result are very good and the street art shows the high IQ of X1 pictures.

 

Thanks,

 

The keeper rate is not anytime near 1/2 - 1/10 of photos taken, but 1/2 - 1/10 of my would-have-been keeper rate with a M (for street-like photography I am happy if I keep 5-20 photos of 500 in one day taken with a M, and 1-10 with the X1.

 

Knowing the answer and learning is a bit different.  I must have missed the disclaimer "do not use X1 during exposure from sun"

. No offense meant, you are correct. I did order an OVF, but to late for the latest journey. My bad.Still hard to see why making a camera without a finder (X1)? Even stranger introducing yet another without a finder (X2)? Mindboggling absurd introducing yet another without a finder.(X 113). To use the camera for photography one needs a finder, but not a screen. So a better solution would be to make the screen extra.
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Guest DrPix

Can´t understand this moaning about the lack of "proper viewfinder" on X1, especially vs M´s viewfinder.

What´s wrong in looking at X1´s LCD, at your eyes´level and some 10 cm away from you eyes! It surely beats any M "viewfinder":) Focusing (as slow as it can be) is still light years faster than with M. And you can see almost 100% of your object too! You see also the "real" camera´s exposure. M cameras and lenses have their "advantages" but "street/people" shooting is NOT one of them! For a couple of bucks more you can buy X2  if you MUST have a "viewfinder".

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DrPix, there are valid reasons for wanting real vf. I wouldn't mind having M-style window for vf with focus confirmation dot. That would be enough.

 

reasons for example:

 

- screens wash out in sunlight

- screens eat battery

- in dark places the screen glow both blinds the user and can be distraction to others present

- using vf means you can support camera against forehead, thrid support point -> added stability

- lcd shooting makes you look stupid :-)

- forcing external vf increases size & they aren't as practicsl as internal ones

 

I suppose that's enough for a start.

 

//Juha

Edited by jlindstrom
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Guest DrPix

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I do agree with some of your "reasons" - maybe, except for "looking stupid" while shooting and looking at lcd:). We were supposed to investigate the possibility of having X1 as a M-"replacement" for travel/people/street, right? Not comparing lcd to optical/electronic viewfinder. The advantages of the latter are obvious! Portability/weight and "speed" of travel/street shooting make X1 a serious challenge to M-cameras. X1 worked just fine on many of my travels, like this one to Venice: http://andrzejponiatowski.zenfolio.com/p395435006

DrPix, there are valid reasons for wanting real vf. I wouldn't mind having M-style window for vf with focus confirmation dot. That would be enough.

reasons for example:

- screens wash out in sunlight
- screens eat battery
- in dark places the screen glow both blinds the user and can be distraction to others present
- using vf means you can support camera against forehead, thrid support point -> added stability
- lcd shooting makes you look stupid :-)
- forcing external vf increases size & they aren't as practicsl as internal ones

I suppose that's enough for a start.

//Juha

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Can´t understand this moaning about the lack of "proper viewfinder" on X1, especially vs M´s viewfinder.

What´s wrong in looking at X1´s LCD, at your eyes´level and some 10 cm away from you eyes! It surely beats any M "viewfinder":) Focusing (as slow as it can be) is still light years faster than with M. And you can see almost 100% of your object too! You see also the "real" camera´s exposure. M cameras and lenses have their "advantages" but "street/people" shooting is NOT one of them! For a couple of bucks more you can buy X2  if you MUST have a "viewfinder".

 

I have stated before that the lack of a viewfinder on a 'serious' digital compact (i.e. not a phone of small snapshot digicam) would be a deal breaker for me, but I bought a Canon M last year with 22mm prime (35mm equiv) and planned to use it with an optical shoe mounted finder.

 

I've found myself becoming rather used to just using the LCD now and whilst it's a different way of working, it's very 'workable'. It's good for street too as one can be a little more discreet - I also find the TLR great for street for similar reasons. In fact I'd quite like a digital TLR, square format sensor with a screen and flip up hood on top!

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Can´t understand this moaning about the lack of "proper viewfinder" on X1, especially vs M´s viewfinder.

What´s wrong in looking at X1´s LCD, at your eyes´level and some 10 cm away from you eyes! It surely beats any M "viewfinder":) Focusing (as slow as it can be) is still light years faster than with M. And you can see almost 100% of your object too! You see also the "real" camera´s exposure. M cameras and lenses have their "advantages" but "street/people" shooting is NOT one of them! For a couple of bucks more you can buy X2  if you MUST have a "viewfinder".

 

 

Hmm,

 

First, X1 do not beat M since M have both OVF and LV. Second "Focusing (as slow as it can be) is still light years faster than with M" is a meaningless statement since speed of M RF focusing depends on the user.  At best we can deduce that you might be slow with a M (no offence meant). For me the M is quicker than X1 in responce including my M MF focus time. Even set at MF the X1 is slow in exposure from pressing the shutter, and I can focus + expose quicker on most shots with the M. When X1 in used in AF its my belief that allmost any experienced M shooter can focus much quicker.

 

X1 has the great advange compared to others compacts that is can be focused by meter distance easily. This can also be done on M, and much quicker and without turning on the camera

.

 

The focus help of X1 is of little use for me, so I use MF by distacce for most of my photos.

 

Last;  "M cameras and lenses have their "advantages" but "street/people" shooting is NOT one of them!". Really? Its you right to have you personal opinion, but I belive a lot of M users would disagree with you. I for one find M perfect for street/people. X1 is for me less suited, and for me the screen is worse than using no finder. So without OVF I find it better to just point camera and crop post.

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Guest DrPix

Hmm,

 

First, X1 do not beat M since M have both OVF and LV. Second "Focusing (as slow as it can be) is still light years faster than with M" is a meaningless statement since speed of M RF focusing depends on the user.  At best we can deduce that you might be slow with a M (no offence meant). For me the M is quicker than X1 in responce including my M MF focus time. Even set at MF the X1 is slow in exposure from pressing the shutter, and I can focus + expose quicker on most shots with the M. When X1 in used in AF its my belief that allmost any experienced M shooter can focus much quicker.

 

X1 has the great advange compared to others compacts that is can be focused by meter distance easily. This can also be done on M, and much quicker and without turning on the camera

.

 

The focus help of X1 is of little use for me, so I use MF by distacce for most of my photos.

 

Last;  "M cameras and lenses have their "advantages" but "street/people" shooting is NOT one of them!". Really? Its you right to have you personal opinion, but I belive a lot of M users would disagree with you. I for one find M perfect for street/people. X1 is for me less suited, and for me the screen is worse than using no finder. So without OVF I find it better to just point camera and crop post.

I rest my case. Disagree with most of your "statements" but I am not going to beat the dead horse. Had a look at your pics (many with X1). Absolutely fabulous I must admit! Here are some pics I´ve taken with X1 in Venice.

http://andrzejponiatowski.zenfolio.com/p395435006

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  • 4 months later...

Another travel, another great X1 experience in Roma and Amalfi. This time with an added OVF. A old russian 3,5cm finder. This finder is without framelines, so I had a lot of shots with cropped feets. Must be my inexperience with finder combined with parallaxis?

The camera worked great but I missed a few shots because I didnt turn on "External finnder" in menue, so that the camera went to sleep and took a little time to wake. But altogehter a very pleasant travel companion along with my lady.

 

Please see a few snaps in: https://www.flickr.com/photos/70952617@N07/

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There are some really nice shots in your flickr-stream, Alf! I wonder what your lady said when you took that nice image of the scooter lady...

Edited by Sparkassenkunde
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  • 2 weeks later...

The X1 almost made it, the X2 did better, but the X typ 113 is right on the money. I often carry it when I would otherwise carry the M-P with a 35mm lens and nothing else. 

 

I outfit the X113 with an optical viewfinder and set up the user profiles for one which makes B&W JPEGs and another which makes color JPEGs with my settings. (I always capture raw+JPEG.) 

 

My only complaints with the X113 is that I find it a little too easy to accidentally press a button that changes settings without my noticing it, and that there's no way to completely defeat the auto-review, which slows down the camera too much. I'm still waiting for a firmware update.

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......

 

Please see a few snaps in: https://www.flickr.com/photos/70952617@N07/

Alf, I enjoyed your gallery of pictures from Amalfi. Those taken during 'crossover' lighting are excellent, particularly #14 . I assume all were taken with the X1; (not clear on flickr). Can there be many doubters who would not feel confident in travelling with an X1 after viewing the excellent samples in this thread?

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Many thanks for you kind feedback. Yes, all Roma and Amalfi shots were taken with the X1, most with a OVF attached.

 

@ramarren: Thanks. I lust for a X113. The MF implementation looks spot on. I could wish for even higher resolution crammed into a X1/X2 body

. But the X113 is a very desirable camera.

 

Please also see from my hometown; http://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/253045-blue-is-the-new-white/

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