Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why you should AVOID the Leica Vario X

Here is the deal of the century, the D-Lux 6 cost roughly US$800, while the brand new Vario X from Leica just coasted into the store at about US$2850.

The D-Lux 6 is 10 megapixel while the Vario X is 16 megapixel. But let's look at the real deal. The lens on the D-Lux is a f/1.4 min aperture while the Vario X weighs in at f/3.5. The focal length equivalent of the two is about 28-70mm for the Vario X while the D-lux 6 is a 24-90mm.

Now we all know that the D-lux is rebranded LX-7 but the lens is supposedly from Leica.
So here comes the beef. If the two can take decent pictures, which one would you buy? Trusted that one has a lower price and the other is overpriced.

Personally, if I wanted to buy into the Leica Mystique, then the D-Lux will do it for me. As for the Vario X, well, it's just not one of those "gotta have cameras".

If you really want to buy into the Vario X, you're better off buying a Fuji APS-C variant with a mount to fit those Leica lenses. The XE-1 cost only US$800 a pop. If you are going to spend up to US$2850, you better splurge that on a Summarit M mount lens. A 35mm f/2.5 Summarit cost less than US$2K. There is enough left over for you to get the Leica M mount adaptor for sure.

Since Leica doesn't make their own sensors. The only thing you'd buy into is the lens and lens element. It might seem trifle but really, the Lens quality should be a tad better than the stock LX7. You can't possibly call it a Leica if you can't even beat your altered ego. The difference isn't that much but for casual shooters, I think this is well worth the investment if you are not into doing post production edits on your computer. Leica's lenses are good to go after the first shot. Rarely will you find the need to do stuff with it unless of course it is about dynamic range. Now dynamic range is a sensor problem. Even though the Leica branded lens element will give you a better contrast and color rendition, highlight and lowlight clipping will still appear.

Noise handling between the D-Lux 6 and LX7 won't change either since the two similar in many ways.   And the Leica D-Lux comes with Adobe Lightroom, which to me is the ultimate insult. Why the fuck would I buy an expensive camera so that I can edit my images on Lightroom? The whole point of investing in an expensive camera is to DO AWAY with the computer work. If the end result is good enough to eat, then Lightroom is a complete waste of time.


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