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View Full Version : Thinking of buying the Leica Digilux 2



gholston
01-26-2005, 06:52 PM
I see and hear a lot of great things about the Nikon D70 and the Canon 20D, but nobody seems to mention the Leica Digilux 2 seen here...

edited out (sorry didnt realize the link rule)

IMO, as a hasselblad user, the lens is really where its at. yes megapixels are important, but sensor size is also very important, as are the controls and engineering of the camera.

it's almost like when computers are advertised, everyone talks about processor speed but only now RAM is getting its just due. (as well as video cards)

there is more to the camera than the megapixel. The Leica Digilux 2 has beat out every other camera in its class and even above it's class by judging the prints made from the camera.

can anyone prove me wrong? yes i know price is a big factor, but at the price of 1499 USD, i would rather have the highest quality piece of equipment, and spend the extra money...


canon or nikon? LEICA

D70FAN
01-26-2005, 10:19 PM
I see and hear a lot of great things about the Nikon D70 and the Canon 20D, but nobody seems to mention the Leica Digilux 2 seen here...

edited out (sorry didnt realize the link rule)

IMO, as a hasselblad user, the lens is really where its at. yes megapixels are important, but sensor size is also very important, as are the controls and engineering of the camera.

it's almost like when computers are advertised, everyone talks about processor speed but only now RAM is getting its just due. (as well as video cards)

there is more to the camera than the megapixel. The Leica Digilux 2 has beat out every other camera in its class and even above it's class by judging the prints made from the camera.

can anyone prove me wrong? yes i know price is a big factor, but at the price of 1499 USD, i would rather have the highest quality piece of equipment, and spend the extra money...


canon or nikon? LEICA

Have you actually seen prints from this camera? Or do you mean on-line prints? And how many cameras are in the digital rangefinder class. Are you comparing this to the Epson RD1?

Surely you jest... ;)

gholston
01-26-2005, 11:33 PM
Have you actually seen prints from this camera? Or do you mean on-line prints? And how many cameras are in the digital rangefinder class. Are you comparing this to the Epson RD1?


I have seen 4 prints just recently printed on an epson 9600 inkjet printer, then compared to prints on the same printer (but different subject matter) from a Nikon D70, and if anything could not tell the difference between the two, but it seemed like the prints from the Leica seemed more "organic" for lack of a better word...

basically i just dont think the megapixel difference showed up, and that the lens on the Leica camera is far superior to that of anything from the Nikon line of lenses.

I could be wrong, surely. I am a BFA photography grad, and have moderate experience in printing digitally as well as C prints.

The Leica just in design alone seems superior. It is put together like a manual camera (like the Hasselblad or the Nikon FM2), and that in itself seems worth it to me. The reason most people stick with Canon, Nikon, Olympus Etc. is because of the marketing of these cameras. The Leica is not seen at "Best Buy" or any old local camera store, where the "Mcdonald's" of cameras are sold.

I'm a bit biased, and possibly judgemental, but common sense just by looking at the beauty of that Digilux 2 should convince anyone. It's not made of plastic for starters. It's a rugged camera, and has won many awards recently as being the best dslr out there.

so, I'm not sure if I'm just trying to convince myself to buy it at that higher price or what, but it just seems like the camera for me.

(my 2 cents)

p.s. the more reviews I read, however, the more I learn. it seems there is a long delay between RAW image exposures and the EVF leaves something to be desired.

it was compared to a canon 10D...

timmciglobal
01-27-2005, 02:05 AM
Yes you are wrong.

#1 rule your forgetting. The most impressive lens in the world means nothing if your using 2.99$ walmart film.

The sensor in the digilux sucks. Sure at lowest ISO and outdoors you're fine, but indoors the camera proves its purly a "I'm a lecia owner" camera.

Better then any lens nikon makes? Well that might be true but you could buy a 20d and a 17>40L for nearly the same price and get something leaps and bounds beyond the digilux.

Tim

D70FAN
01-27-2005, 06:31 AM
I have seen 4 prints just recently printed on an epson 9600 inkjet printer, then compared to prints on the same printer (but different subject matter) from a Nikon D70, and if anything could not tell the difference between the two, but it seemed like the prints from the Leica seemed more "organic" for lack of a better word...

basically i just dont think the megapixel difference showed up, and that the lens on the Leica camera is far superior to that of anything from the Nikon line of lenses.

I could be wrong, surely. I am a BFA photography grad, and have moderate experience in printing digitally as well as C prints.

The Leica just in design alone seems superior. It is put together like a manual camera (like the Hasselblad or the Nikon FM2), and that in itself seems worth it to me. The reason most people stick with Canon, Nikon, Olympus Etc. is because of the marketing of these cameras. The Leica is not seen at "Best Buy" or any old local camera store, where the "Mcdonald's" of cameras are sold.

I'm a bit biased, and possibly judgemental, but common sense just by looking at the beauty of that Digilux 2 should convince anyone. It's not made of plastic for starters. It's a rugged camera, and has won many awards recently as being the best dslr out there.

so, I'm not sure if I'm just trying to convince myself to buy it at that higher price or what, but it just seems like the camera for me.

(my 2 cents)

p.s. the more reviews I read, however, the more I learn. it seems there is a long delay between RAW image exposures and the EVF leaves something to be desired.

it was compared to a canon 10D...

Keep reading. This camera is not really a dSLR. The EVF and not so advanced movie mode is a clue.

I would be willing to bet that most of the camera was designed by Panasonic (Lieca's consumer partner). The .66" 5MP sensor is an oldie, but a goodie (actually a good thing) as most of todays 5MP consumer sensors are .4" or smaller. Again, take a look at the Epson RD1 if you like classic cameras.

Rhys
01-27-2005, 09:05 AM
I like the idea of a Leica lens but if it's purely a Leica lens that's needed then the Panasonics all use Leica lenses.

I looked at the Leica digital cameras with interest a year or two back but was put off by the ridiculous prices on electronic cameras that would be worthless just a couple of years down the road. The Digilux 1 came out at about 1500 I believe. Now you'd be hard pushed to sell it for anything more than 300 as it's so underpowered by today's standards. Leica, it seems to me, has missed the boat totally with digital cameras. People don't want quirky, quaint or big-name cameras. They want cameras with good megapixel coverage and decent lenses. People also know now that anything electronic is going to plummet in value as though it's rocket propelled downwards. Thus, spending high sums on something that'll depreciate at warp 9 is not high on their agendas - especially when they know that they can get the same item (or better) in just 6 months time for half the price they'd pay today. As an example, my Nikon 3100 as 235 when I bought it. They were selling for 109 just six months later. The replacement - the 3200 is going for 125 at the moment - just 18 months later. Why throw hard-earned cash at something that's only worth half of what it costs?

gholston
01-27-2005, 01:35 PM
thanks for the input and i will definitely look into other options. i do like the idea of the manual classic camera feel, as opposed to a "lens connected to a computer" type of camera. and yes i realze that this is not really a dslr as it is a point and shoot, but the lens has a 28-90mm zoom and is all internal, so there is no lens movement at all.

the biggest drawbacks to the Leica D2 that I see are the RAW format processing time (6-8 seconds), and the lcd viewfinder, which a lot of people are saying is not accurate when it comes to the manual focusing.

I may go with the Nikon D70...

Ant
01-27-2005, 05:13 PM
and that the lens on the Leica camera is far superior to that of anything from the Nikon line of lenses.

Hmmm. I think you'd be very hard pressed to back up that statement with any kind of facts.

And even if for one moment we assume you're correct, you're still stuck with only one lens, which really limits your options. At least with a DSLR you've got a lot of lenses out there to taylor to your shooting style.

The digilux 2 certainly isn't a bad camera but it's way overpriced, and you can get a damn good DSLR for the same money.

As far as I can see the Digilux 2 is designed for people who have got too much money ;)

sherlock
01-27-2005, 06:09 PM
Hi,

I agree with Ant, why spend $1600 on a fixed lens which will eventually hamper your abilities somewhere down the road when you can buy a great dSLR such as the Nikon D70 for $1300, with all the bells and whissles and all the expandibility u might need. Also, the noise performance on digicams comes abslolutely nowhere close to that of a dSLR. I just don't understand where you can justify spending the extra money. I know that I am beating a dead horse here, but as Ant said, I think that the Leica Digilux 2 is for people with too much money and not a lot of sense for digital cameras. The only explanation is that they don't need the advantages of a dSLR, or they like the idea of a manual camera.

Andrew S.

jeisner
01-27-2005, 06:40 PM
The Digilux price is due mainly to its brand name IMHO, I have seen many sample pics from it and it is not great, don't get me wrong it isn't bad, but it isn't earth shattering either, well except for maybe the price, as Rhys said earlier if you want a NON-SLR and a Leica lens, save your money and just buy one of the Panasonics.....

Samuel Lo
01-28-2005, 01:45 AM
Keep reading. This camera is not really a dSLR. The EVF and not so advanced movie mode is a clue.

I would be willing to bet that most of the camera was designed by Panasonic (Lieca's consumer partner). The .66" 5MP sensor is an oldie, but a goodie (actually a good thing) as most of todays 5MP consumer sensors are .4" or smaller. Again, take a look at the Epson RD1 if you like classic cameras.


Yes, if you love the image produced by Leica's lens or a leica Fans, have a serious look at Epson's R-D1. I have it for two months and was deeply impressed by it's image and resolution. You may take picture with it when you're still young, not so wonderful when one's getting older and have bad eye sight - it's really, really difficult to get things in focus. (it's a rangefinder cam, not autofocus)

TheObiJuan
01-28-2005, 05:00 AM
better yet, get a 20D and mount a Leica R lense on it.
:D
problem solved.

Rhys
01-28-2005, 08:36 AM
Yes, if you love the image produced by Leica's lens or a leica Fans, have a serious look at Epson's R-D1. I have it for two months and was deeply impressed by it's image and resolution. You may take picture with it when you're still young, not so wonderful when one's getting older and have bad eye sight - it's really, really difficult to get things in focus. (it's a rangefinder cam, not autofocus)

Personally, there are many times when I would much prefer to have manual focus. Mostly, that's when the light levels are low or when something's moving in front of the camera. I find the image stabilisor on the S1 to be wonderful but problematic when panning a video.

I can imagine the R-D1 will be wonderful if one's up in the alps taking photos well away from electricity supplies by virtue of the fact it uses so little power. Interestingly this brings me to another problem... Just where in blazes does one buy replacement funky batteries for the R-D1? It seems to fall down where all these funky batteries fall down - they're never available so when the battery dies, the camera will be landfill. I hunted on google, yahoo and msn without finding a single shop selling the EPALB1 battery. Why they had to make a camera that takes all the low-power advantages of an M series Leica and then lumber it with a funky battery is beyond my comprehension. It's absolutely cretinous!

When I first looked at the R-D1, I had visions of somebody hiking in Nepal with their R-D1 and a pocket full of alkaline batteries. No autofocus to waste power. The LCD could be left switched off. Very low power usage and great photos. Then my vision came crashing down when I discovered the battery problem and the fact replacement batteries don't seem to be available.

Samuel Lo
01-30-2005, 07:49 PM
better yet, get a 20D and mount a Leica R lense on it.
:D
problem solved.


GREAT IDEA! It's not joking, it really works if you have the right mount adapter!

Samuel Lo
01-30-2005, 07:57 PM
Personally, there are many times when I would much prefer to have manual focus. Mostly, that's when the light levels are low or when something's moving in front of the camera. I find the image stabilisor on the S1 to be wonderful but problematic when panning a video.

I can imagine the R-D1 will be wonderful if one's up in the alps taking photos well away from electricity supplies by virtue of the fact it uses so little power. Interestingly this brings me to another problem... Just where in blazes does one buy replacement funky batteries for the R-D1? It seems to fall down where all these funky batteries fall down - they're never available so when the battery dies, the camera will be landfill. I hunted on google, yahoo and msn without finding a single shop selling the EPALB1 battery. Why they had to make a camera that takes all the low-power advantages of an M series Leica and then lumber it with a funky battery is beyond my comprehension. It's absolutely cretinous!

When I first looked at the R-D1, I had visions of somebody hiking in Nepal with their R-D1 and a pocket full of alkaline batteries. No autofocus to waste power. The LCD could be left switched off. Very low power usage and great photos. Then my vision came crashing down when I discovered the battery problem and the fact replacement batteries don't seem to be available.

If power supply is a major problem, there are many solutions:

1 Buy a few batteries and having them fully charged.
2 Bring a power generator. (or charge it inside your car)
3 Take a manual film camera, e.g. Nikon FM2 or even Nikonmatic, after shooting, scan the film/slide into your computer, then you got the digital image.

Rhys
01-30-2005, 09:01 PM
If power supply is a major problem, there are many solutions:

1 Buy a few batteries and having them fully charged.
2 Bring a power generator. (or charge it inside your car)
3 Take a manual film camera, e.g. Nikon FM2 or even Nikonmatic, after shooting, scan the film/slide into your computer, then you got the digital image.

Yes but the whole point is that the RD-1 batteries are simply unavailable. One gets the one supplied and after that there are no more; no second batteries; no replacement batteries. It's like the Fuji @xia which had the built-in battery that can't be replaced. When the battery dies, the camera's headed for the rubbish dump.

As far as using film is concerned, most of us use digital because we don't want to use film.

Samuel Lo
01-31-2005, 11:02 AM
Yes but the whole point is that the RD-1 batteries are simply unavailable. One gets the one supplied and after that there are no more; no second batteries; no replacement batteries. It's like the Fuji @xia which had the built-in battery that can't be replaced. When the battery dies, the camera's headed for the rubbish dump.

As far as using film is concerned, most of us use digital because we don't want to use film.

Rhy,

I agree with you that we don't want to shoot with film. For R-D1, who said there is no spare battery available? I got one with my RD-1!

Rhys
01-31-2005, 12:48 PM
Rhy,

I agree with you that we don't want to shoot with film. For R-D1, who said there is no spare battery available? I got one with my RD-1!

I searched online and the local retailers websites. None of them sell the R-D1 nor do they sell batteries. Even 7dayshop doesn't sell the batteries. None of the places I'd normally go for cameras and bits stock it or its batteries.

If it had a saving grace such as a 2CR5 battery alternative then it might be interesting but chained to some funky designer battery that nobody locally has ever heard of, it's a non-starter.

Samuel Lo
02-01-2005, 11:15 AM
I searched online and the local retailers websites. None of them sell the R-D1 nor do they sell batteries. Even 7dayshop doesn't sell the batteries. None of the places I'd normally go for cameras and bits stock it or its batteries.

If it had a saving grace such as a 2CR5 battery alternative then it might be interesting but chained to some funky designer battery that nobody locally has ever heard of, it's a non-starter.

Yes, for Epson get their own battery (actually they use it on the other epson's model). Please check the Epson website for details. The Digital should HAVE a common type of battery, no matter 2CR5 or AA or even new type, that will be graceful for all the users; but will the manufacturer do that? Battery is their another source of income! (You can imagine now a LIon battery sell for around US$40-$50, how much profit can they have?) There never will have any unity!

Rhys
02-01-2005, 11:42 AM
Yes, for Epson get their own battery (actually they use it on the other epson's model). Please check the Epson website for details. The Digital should HAVE a common type of battery, no matter 2CR5 or AA or even new type, that will be graceful for all the users; but will the manufacturer do that? Battery is their another source of income! (You can imagine now a LIon battery sell for around US$40-$50, how much profit can they have?) There never will have any unity!

Yes. 35mm was a common film standard until out came 126, 110, APS and the various disk formats. I believe all flopped aside from 35mm.

The baffling thing with Canon, especially, was that they started using 2CR5 batteries in their EOS cameras then suddenly changed to a different kind of battery. The upshot was that if a Canon user had several EOS bodies, it was possible for each one to take a different lithium battery.

The same thing happens with digital cameras and phones - companies make a myriad of different batteries - seemingly a different one for each phone/camera. Then just before the first battery dies, they cease sales of the batteries and force everybody to buy a new phone/camera.

Fight back - buy cameras that take AA batteries!

Samuel Lo
02-01-2005, 09:51 PM
Yes. 35mm was a common film standard until out came 126, 110, APS and the various disk formats. I believe all flopped aside from 35mm.

The baffling thing with Canon, especially, was that they started using 2CR5 batteries in their EOS cameras then suddenly changed to a different kind of battery. The upshot was that if a Canon user had several EOS bodies, it was possible for each one to take a different lithium battery.

The same thing happens with digital cameras and phones - companies make a myriad of different batteries - seemingly a different one for each phone/camera. Then just before the first battery dies, they cease sales of the batteries and force everybody to buy a new phone/camera.

Fight back - buy cameras that take AA batteries!


YES! YES! AGREE! Luckily my Nikon D100 and Fuji S3 take AA batteries! I can sell my R-D1, but, my celluar phone does't...

What can I do?

Rhys
02-02-2005, 07:40 AM
YES! YES! AGREE! Luckily my Nikon D100 and Fuji S3 take AA batteries! I can sell my R-D1, but, my celluar phone does't...

What can I do?

Hmm. I have 4 cellphones. 3 take funky batterries. All the batteries are dead from the funky kyocera and siemens phones. I have an elderly siemens C25 and found that by dismantling the battery cassette, I can simply swop over the AAA cells for new ones. Easy :) I guess I'm keeping that phone until it breaks or until we all go over to 3g phones.

Samuel Lo
02-03-2005, 10:02 AM
Hmm. I have 4 cellphones. 3 take funky batterries. All the batteries are dead from the funky kyocera and siemens phones. I have an elderly siemens C25 and found that by dismantling the battery cassette, I can simply swop over the AAA cells for new ones. Easy :) I guess I'm keeping that phone until it breaks or until we all go over to 3g phones.

Thanks! Good suggestion to modify it.

Rhys
02-03-2005, 10:37 AM
Thanks! Good suggestion to modify it.


Inside most strange batteries there normally seems to be a set of AA or AAA type batteries but with solder tags rather than the ends we're familiar with. Those are relatively easy to replace. The usual cautions apply about making sure it's done correctly and the usual dire warnings apply. Personally, I feel that when an item with a funky battery needs a new battery, it's not worthwhile to spend too much on a battery as the electronic item that takes it will usually die fairly quickly afterwards. That's happened to me too many times for it to be a coincidence - hence I stopped buying strange batteries and just get cheap ordinary batteries. I had a laptop-type thing (not an actual PC-laptop) running off a set of AA NiCads that were in a little box, attached by a wire to the laptop-type thing some 10 years ago. The funky battery had died and would have cost more than the NiCads and the box to put them in.

If you standardise on AA batteries and make sure everything takes them, you have no wasted capital when something breaks.

Looking at digital cameras. What happens when an all-in-one breaks?
You have a set of wide-angle and telephoto lens attachments that are unusable.
You have a spare funky battery that won't fit anything else.

Basically, you've spent a ton of money on stuff that's perfectly good but which you'll have to throw away because the camera's broken.

So... my recommendation...

Buy only cameras that take commonly available AA batteries. Don't buy any of these ridiculous add-ons for them. If the camera's not good enough without an add-on, you need a different camera.

TheObiJuan
02-03-2005, 12:36 PM
GREAT IDEA! It's not joking, it really works if you have the right mount adapter!

yep, that is what I am gonna do to my 20D when I get it.
the adapter is made by Novoflex. the only problem with using the leica lens is that you loose auto aperture, and any other electronic controls. focus will be manual, and there is no flash TTL support.

but there shouldn't be any problem with focusing manually. :D
for the ultra sharp photos, it sure is worth it.

Samuel Lo
02-06-2005, 10:41 AM
yep, that is what I am gonna do to my 20D when I get it.
the adapter is made by Novoflex. the only problem with using the leica lens is that you loose auto aperture, and any other electronic controls. focus will be manual, and there is no flash TTL support.

but there shouldn't be any problem with focusing manually. :D
for the ultra sharp photos, it sure is worth it.

Oh! Good, You get a new manual controlled Digital Camera, and you must love the resolution of Leica Lens.