Leica X1: My Rollei 35S replacement

It's a Leica X1. A little bit larger, but slightly lighter.

One major reason for choosing it is its user interface; I really like the shutter speed and aperture dials as it's a very logical way of selecting P/A/S/M mode and setting the values at the same time and you don't have any separate mode switch.

The menu selection is also done right, for example press the ISO or focus mode button, step up/down to the desired value and just press the shutter release. Really nice way of simplifying handling.

Picture quality is also very good, partly because it has a somewhat larger sensor than the micro four thirds cameras I started out evaluating.

One of the useful menu options, which you only have to scroll one step to reach, is User Profile. You can set three different ones and unless you save your settings to a profile they retain their values, so choosing  a profile acts as a reset. (This is one thing my Nikon doesn't do "right".) The three profiles I've chosen are set up as
  1.  Single focus area in center, center weighed metering, external viewfinder mounted (meaning display is off as default).
  2. Spot focusing and spot metering and 1/3rd step exposure bracketing.
  3. Face detection/multi area focusing and matrix metering.

You can also set up the different "Preset film" (vivid/standard &c) with different values in each user profile which is unusual.

Compared to most DSLRs the menu choices are somewhat limited, but most of the time this is as I want it, because this isn't a DSLR.

Everything isn't perfect though.

There's only a single menu reached by the menu/set button and it contains both what I call "maintenance" items like language, date, copy and format and "photographing" items like resolution, metering mode and sharpening/saturation/contrast. This makes you have to scroll through too many items unnecessarily compared with the dedicated buttons for ISO, white balance, number of focusing areas, flash mode and exposure compensation. Since auto WB works well, I think metering mode is much more important to reach quickly than WB. I'd much rather have a metering mode button than a dedicated self timer button which does nothing but let you choose between 2 and 12 seconds. I see the use for both times, but how often do you need to switch between them -- and not change anything else so a different User Profile would have to be selected anyway?

Image stabilisation doesn't work. Actually it doesn't work in two ways: It doesn't really usually make images sharper and most of the time they become very underexposed. This I think is a bug in the firmware which it shouldn't have been released with.

Auto-ISO is weird: As slowest speed you can only select between 1/30, 1/15 and 1/8. Handheld I think even 1/30 is not a safe speed if you want sharp images even of static subjects; So what's the practical difference between 1/30 and 1/15? Fortunately it's very easy to select the speed you really want by leaving P mode, which leaves max ISO as the only useful option.

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