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I was going to comment, disagreeing with that paragraph, but I couldn't turn what he was even trying to say into something to disagree with.

 

Given that it's not his own language, all seems intelligible to me, whether or not you agree with the observations.

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I had forgotten I was still subscribed to Reid Reviews and finally got round to reading about the CL .......

 

....and then remembered why I let my subscription lapse before ....

 

I've read more exciting bus timetables ........ just a tiny bit of enthusiasm or praise above 'quite nice' would be ok ...... just a little bit of Huff wouldn't go amiss....

 

but there again...... 

 

I have found it an understated but essentially faultless little camera that does everything you want with no fuss or aggravation. Image quality with the suite of SL and TL lenses cannot be faulted.

 

No great innovations, no real surprises, no gimmicks, just does what it says on the tin ..... effortlessly. A perfect foil for the SL as a second body or substitute when travelling light. 

 

Maybe there isn't anything to gush and crow about ..... 

 

I thought that Reid's CL review and his follow-on Fuji comparisons were very fair and quite positive.  His reviews are always understated and technical. Within the context of his reviewing style, he seems to really like the CL.

 

My only complaint about his site is that, as others have noted, his B&W images--for reasons I don't understand--appear to be low contrast, bland and flat, from medium light grey all the way to medium somewhat darker grey.  Like a Polaroid printout from 1970.  But his images aside (and maybe he has reasons for those images in terms of his analytics?) Reid Reviews is a very honest, thorough and technically superb review site and I never fail to learn something.  

 

His focus seems to be on technical excellence  and, unlike certain other review sites, there's no "you gotta buy this now!!!  (site links helpfully enclosed) It is beyond amazing!! It cures potato famine, levitates and is so incredible that it is the best camera I have ever used (this week)!!!!!" snake oil  hype. I want my review sites to be smart (unlike TCS whose Leica reviews are simply bizarre) and, above all, honest. While I read (sometimes) the hype-masters, often for their inadvertent humor, I trust Reid Reviews. 

Edited by Ron Weissman

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Camera makers must be finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves as product quality is generally very high now. So how to create a USP? Nikon’s 850 is clearly superlative but these are big and heavy systems. Sony A series are technically at the top of the tree but the cameras are too compact in many ways, with too many buttons to fiddle with, while thevlenses are as big as those for SLRs. For me, Leica’s USP has always been the combination of compactness, beautiful construction and top of the pile IQ. The CL does not disappoint in this regard and I feel it is pointless to nitpick. That’s why I feel reviews are rather pointless at this level. It’s a bit like comparing Bentleys, Porsches and Ferraris. They are all brilliant but serve different tastes. I like the CL particularly for its colours and it’s adaptability. For street photography I prefer to zone focus with M lenses, particularly the 21/3.4, but otherwise the native zooms are clearly excellent. The only real downside for me is the lack of a USB port to enable tethering in studio but so long as Capture One does not permit this it is of little matter since LR tethering capabilities are so poor. It is also great as a back-up to my SL, which I use mainly for landscape as its ergonomics and EVF are tailor made. I do wish that Leica would include self-cleaning sensors though. Well maybe they do but if so they are not fit for purpose. The sensor on my SL got polluted to such an extent on a recent visit to China that it looked as though it had measles!

Edited by Waterden

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I don't have any problem with the way TCS reviews Leicas. These are premium-priced cameras, so it's totally fair to have strong feelings about them one way or another: When they work for you, they really work. When they're a dud, you feel stronger about them being duds than you would about other cameras.

 

Chris (TCS reviewer) gave the T a very flattering video review at a time when most other reviewers were panning it. He also gave the M10 a very positive review based mostly on the fact that it had gone back to a slimmer body profile, which shows he understands the general gestalt of Leica photography.

 

He has shown that he is willing to sign on with new Leica systems, and with very small upgrades to existing systems. He's just not charmed by the CL. And while I find a number of things about the CL desirable, I have to agree: Since I bought my T, neither the TL2 nor the CL has been convincing enough to get me to upgrade. I would very much like to, and await the camera that will entice me.

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I’ve had my new digital “Classic Leica” CL for two months.  Here’s my constructive critique:
1)  No means of a/c power?  The CL’s batt. duration is quite finite.  It would’ve been useful to have a means of connecting a/c power, e.g., if indoors and stationary.  No such luck w/ the CL–so you’d better have a pocket full of spare batteries...
- Come on Leica, my old Leica DMR, Digilux 3, V-Lux (Type 114), etc., all have the ability to run off of a/c (usually via a discrete little rubber-covered port)...  Why not your $3,000+ CL?

2)  No connectors?  It would’ve been nice to have HDMI, etc. connection ports.  There are none on this camera. :-(  WiFi is nice, but it can’t do everything that a cable can.
- By the way, the CL’s WiFi feature is a little quirky (not very user-friendly)...

Note: My little old D-LUX 2 has both 1 & 2 above (minus WiFi), in a nice, discrete, little side door/compartment, on the side of the body.  Would it have been too monumentally difficult for Leica to have designed the same thing for this $3,000+ camera?  And I don’t believe that it would’ve detracted from the aesthetics of the camera one bit.

3)  Focus-assist zoom isn’t new to the camera word.  And there’s a nice 2x, 4x focus-assist zoom feature on the CL (right wheel) that works with ALL lenses.
- The CL can accommodate virtually any Leica lens ever made, via perfectly engineered Leica OEM adapters--except for the ephemeral, but very nice, old Leica 4/3 ‘D’ lenses (i.e., I know of no 4/3-to-R or -M adapters.  Now there’s a nice trivia factoid w/which to stump other Leica afficionados)–and it handles them as if they’re native lenses–this is the best feature of this camera (& why I bought it)!
- If there were a means of capturing the zoomed image of the CL’s nifty 2x, 4x onboard focus-assist zoom, it would make all of those lenses virtual zoom lenses–yes–even the venerable-but-quite-fixed focal length M glass!  But, alas, there’s no means of capturing a photograph of the 2x, 4x focus-assist image–what a shame. :-(
- It would be nice to get this ability--in a S/W update?  Leica, I hope that you’re following...

4) There’s no Multiple Exposure feature in the CL.  ‘Come on Leica, my old Digilux 3 & V-Lux cameras have this!  Why not your $3,000+ CL’?
- It would be nice to get this ability--in a S/W update, as Leica did for the Digilux 3.  Leica, I hope that you’re following...

5) Thumb grip:  If you use Leica’s OEM one, you loose the flash hot shoe.  It seems, for the price that one pays for a Leica, that Leica could’ve engineered a thumb grip that retains the hot shoe mount on top...this isn’t rocket science.

6) Hand grip (w/ finger loop, if you like): If you use Leica’s OEM one, you loose the tripod hole/mount.  It seems, for the price that one pays for a Leica, that Leica could’ve engineered a hand grip that retains the tripod mount on bottom...this isn’t rocket science.

7) OEM half-case: If you use it, you loose the hand grip & the tripod mount.  It seems, for the price that one pays for a Leica, that Leica could’ve engineered a half-case that accommodates/preserves the hand grip & the tripod mount...this isn’t rocket science.  Instead, top-dollar-paying Leica patrons must scour the earth (& this Forum) to find an aftermarket maker who can make these...

Note on 5, 6 & 7, above: Call me sentimental, but it seems that Leica engineers of old (50 - 70 years ago) would’ve considered all of this in their design/s.  Alas, gone are those days...

8) Though I can appreciate Leica’s “clean lines & simplicity” design philosophy for the camera exterior, I would’ve appreciated a few more menu software (SW) options.  After all, SW, i.e. menu space, is unlimited & has no bearing on the camera’s "lines"...

9) The CL uses the MAESTRO II processor, the same as its bigger, more expensive brethren.  No complaints there!

Would I recommend the CL to a friend?  YES–in 1/25000s of a second.  It’s a beautiful, immensely powerful & capable little camera that punches above its weight.  Leica can correct the SW omissions via a SW update.  And the other “omissions” aren’t that big of a deal, I guess (unless you’re OCD, like me).

Otherwise, I think that Leica masterfully walked the tightrope between not impinging too much into their SL & M lines & producing a camera that attempts to harness the power of both, albeit w/ an APS-C (not Full Frame) sensor.  In that sense, Leica, really got it right in this diminutive camera–kudos to them–finally.  BTW, I like the throw-back to Oskar Barnak’s camera of old (I wonder if making the top & bottom plates silver colored (i.e., unpainted) would’ve gone even farther in that direction?)...nice touch Leica!

My two cents...

Snapshots of CL taken w/ Leica Digilux 3 (4/3 format camera) + Leica D Vario-Elmar 1:3.5-5.6 /14-150 ASPH E72 & integral flash (no post-processing).  Apologies for the poor composition–it was early morning & I had to get ready for work (not in photography)... :-)

Edited by Leitzfan

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I ws just wondering what Leica hided the red dot with their half case, but I see you got it back

 

First one seen with a finger loop, I suppose it is a large. Do you like it ?

 

PS you will also loose the hot shoe when you use the Thumbs Up but at least you can operate the left button. I would welcome a haf case with grip form Leica. 

Edited by mhoutman

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I ws just wondering what Leica hided the red dot with their half case, but I see you got it back

 

First one seen with a finger loop, I suppose it is a large. Do you like it ?

 

PS you will also loose the hot shoe when you use the Thumbs Up but at least you can operate the left button. I would welcome a haf case with grip form Leica. 

Hi mhoutman– Yes, I had to “manually” get the Leica dot back.

  Yes, I’m surprised that Leica covered the dot w/ their own half case–a marketing faux pas, IMO.

 

Yes, the OEM Finger Loop is a size Large.  I thought that I had big hands; but I only place my ring finger & pinky trough the Loop when I shoot this camera anyway (my various Leicas require slightly different handhold arrangements); so, I probably should’ve bought the size Medium or Small for this camera.  Oh well...

 

If by “Thumbs Up” you mean the Leica OEM Thumb Grip, yes, you make a good observation; it inexcusably covers the hot shoe.  I mention this in Item 5 of my review above.  Could’ve/should’ve been designed to preclude this disadvantage, IMO.

 

Re. The half case–you’ve made another good observation.  I mention its shortcomings in Item 7 of my review, above...

Edited by Leitzfan

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Hi mhoutman– Yes, I had to “manually” get the Leica dot back.

  Yes, I’m surprised that Leica covered the dot w/ their own half case–a marketing faux pas, IMO.

 

Yes, the OEM Finger Loop is a size Large.  I thought that I had big hands; but I only place my ring finger & pinky trough the Loop when I shoot this camera anyway (my various Leicas require slightly different handhold arrangements); so, I probably should’ve bought the size Medium or Small for this camera.  Oh well...

 

If by “Thumbs Up” you mean the Leica OEM Thumb Grip, yes, you make a good observation; it inexcusably covers the hot shoe.  I mention this in Item 5 of my review above.  Could’ve/should’ve been designed to preclude this disadvantage, IMO.

 

Re. The half case–you’ve made another good observation.  I mention its shortcomings in Item 7 of my review, above...

 

I tried both the Leica Thumb Support and match technical Thumbs Up but prefer latter. (both cover the hot shoe)

 

I sold my Leica half case again because I prefer the Leica handgrip to have beter handling with heavier lenses like the 35 mm and 60 mm...

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Guest VVJ

A lifestyle review... The name of the website should have warned you... 

  Still better than the one on DPReview though...!

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Too much coffee, but I liked the cats.

 

The camera is pretty nice as well.

 

- Vikas

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