I wanted to wrap up my thoughts on this camera for anyone who might be interested. Nothing earth-shaking here. Bottom line: I didn’t buy one and won’t be buying one. Below are a few pros and cons, some of which may repeat my earlier post, and all of them are my opinion only:
Excellent image quality – RAW files processed efficiently in Lightroom using the Adobe camera profiles. The “Auto” function in the Develop Module worked amazingly well. I could be comfortable with the results and seldom feel like I am compromising quality if this were my only camera.
Lightweight and Compact – The camera was very well-constructed and has a certain “heft” to it that speaks of quality, but is very light. I use a thin strap on my Fuji cameras, and it would easily accommodate the Leica. Although the Leica probably deserves a fancy custom leather job…. 😉
Good battery life – this is not fully tested since I made a point of recharging it daily. I only had one battery with the rental so I didn’t want to chance running out.
Size – I don’t have large hands, but it is a small camera and seemed to be a little small for me. I never felt like I was going to drop it, but some of the controls were a little touchy.
Manual zoom & focus – The primary zoom mechanism is a toggle switch that surrounds the shutter button. Many camera have that but I just never feel like it is very precise. In addition, there is a lens ring that can be set up to function as a zoom control. I actually prefer that, except that the zoom ring is right next to the aperture ring and I kept inadvertently changing the aperture!
Menus – people complain about menus on all cameras. This one was fine – I was able to figure out just about anything I needed easily. I think I went to the manual a few times but it was mostly out of curiosity.
The “Only Camera” Question – I could see myself having a camera like this as my travel camera. The photos are good enough that I don’t think I would worry about having the “wrong” camera with me if I left the Fuji at home. The zoom range is a little limiting for me, mostly on the long end as I like to get close to my subjects and frame tightly. That isn’t a big deal and there are plenty of pixels for a little cropping if necessary.
Lens Choice – I’ve gotten used to the ability to put together a kit of lenses for a particular trip. Going out the door with a Fuji body and a single prime lens is a great way for me to simplify and narrow my seeing. Traveling with a lens or two or the whole bag gives me endless choices. That can work both ways, but I’ve gotten comfortable with the idea of making a choice and living with it.
What’s Next? – I have a rental Fuji XT3 coming today for an upcoming trip. I can’t wait to try it out and compare it to my aging XT1. I’m not in the market for a new camera, but with a price point very similar to the Leica, it feels to me like the better option when and if the time comes to upgrade.
More words and photos to follow – stay tuned!