1 hour with Leica X2: AF, Controls, High ISO


Sunny Day by the harbor
ISO 100 f4 1/2000

It’s really not my first hour with it. But it’s the time spent as soon as I got my camera set up (AF area mode, image stabilization, OVF mode and some more). I only spent approximately 15 mins during the day and 45 mins at night. Many of you know I do not shoot just about any photos. Only those that impresses while I see them. So although I specified the time I spent shooting, it has nothing to do with the quantity of photos. I care more about quality. I would really want to keep more photos and select them off as a post. However, I wanted to do a brief run through of my further first impression after setting up the camera and end with a period. I’ll shoot extensively with it starting tomorrow.

Baby girl
ISO 6400 f3.2 1/250

It did not take long for me to familiarize with all the controls (thanks to the experience I had with X100). I read the manual and it’s a perfect guide to understand what owners should know to set up the camera properly. I fell in love with it already.

AF is something I do not dare trying in street photography, until I often found that it’s not possible to zone focus in dim places or at night which I usually spent time on. My Ricoh GRD allowed me to AF in just about any situation. I learned how I should be shooting at night effectively without blur. It’s no trick but to stand still and steady the camera.

Same school uniform, a very different life and environment
ISO 6400 f3.5 1/200

How does it translate into the X2?
I think it’s the AF area mode that makes this camera so great as a whole. Sure, I would prefer zone focus over it during the day for quicker action. Like I’ve said, when situations don’t allow (at night); the only way to do it effectively is the AF area mode. And I had acceptable results from it. It even makes framing a lot easier (traditionally 1-spot center focus). With an OVF, I do the framing; it does the focusing. How sweet?!

All the control buttons, dials, wheels make sense. What I love best on the X2 is actually the aperture dial. In the OVF mode (LCD screen turned off when not doing setting adjustments), I could still know what f-value I’m shooting at from the markings. And better yet which I found myself keep track of, is how many steps I’ve turned without even looking. I found myself using this dial a lot at night rather jumping into the ISO adjustment.

Black dog guarding
ISO 6400 f4 1/200

The very same dial position is an EV dial on a X100 which was something I rarely use. Leica has the EV control as a button, makes sense? The AF/MF switch is actually a button which I could be used to pre-focus in AF before going to MF. In other words, the AF can be used as a AFL in tricky situations.

The menu is a one long page of list. I found it easy to navigate. No complicated submenus and tabs. Make sense?

High ISO
I have not been shooting with the max ISO. I limited it to 6400 and images can get noisy. I do not have a choice really. I can certainly try 3200 in the future but that’s going to decrease my shutter speed quite some. I tend to shoot between f2.8-4.0 in the evening mostly with ISO 6400.

I’d mention about the noise grain in the future. As it’s something I’m experienced or good with. All I can say in this stage is, the grain is very solid vs Ricoh’s softer ones.

I get the type of candid shots I wanted from my GRD with the X2. I think more or less has something to do with the all black body?

Remembering the Victims of 10/1 Ferry Crash

Finally, you might not have heard of the tragic ferry accident in Hong Kong happened on the National Day (October 1st, 2012) for Republic of China, left 39 dead; including a young child just passed away tonight – Oct 5th. It was happy day once and turned into a chaos. It’s a day which we won’t forget. It’s the first serious incident that I’ve ever witnessed, required the entire city to mourn for the victims.

(Photos are not SOOC and I’m still working on the color saturation, etc.)

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