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Review: Leica XE

by Chris Gampat on 10/09/2014

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Leica XE product images (2 of 10)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 2.5

Leica has long been known as a company that has paved the way for modern photography. But in recent years, they seem to be taking the back seat to many Korean and Japanese manufacturers. Still though, Leica has their core customers and considering economic disparity these days, there are many folks with deep pockets that want all their cameras. But Leica’s X series of cameras haven’t always been a big hit. Sure, they’ve got an APS-C sensor at the heart, a nice size, and beautiful looks–but when you start talking about the price you’ll want to cry a bit and wish that you were a trust fund kid living in Williamsburg.

But recently at Photokina 2014, Leica decided to try again. This time, the Leica XE has a 16.2MP APS-C sensor, a 24mm f2.8 lens, and a 2.7 inch 230 Dot LCD (which actually isn’t too bad in real life practice). But otherwise, the camera is still very much the same. Considering that Leica is slow to innovate, we can only expect so much.

What we didn’t expect, on the other hand, is to be this surprised by the camera.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X30 first image samples (1 of 28)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

This weekend, we got a lot of gear in for review. But from what we saw on our Instagram, many of you are really interested in seeing results from the new Fujifilm X30. We just got the camera in yesterday and so far it has been impressing us quite a bit. The image quality is very good overall, though the RAW files aren’t supported as of the publishing of this article. Instead, we’re relying on the JPEG output which tends to render images a bit too cool for our liking–but still offers nice colors overall.

Using the camera is a bit weird. At f2, you can’t shoot at above 1/1000th and instead you’ll need to stop the lens down. We wish that the control ring around the lens had clicks as you turn it so you can intuitively feel how many stops you are manipulating. Instead, it is really smooth. The back exposure wheel feels great, but we instead believe that this camera should have had a dedicated shutter dial. When using it in aperture priority though, you won’t pay most of this any mind.

We love the EVF, though sometimes it can stutter to switch from the LCD screen to the EVF. For my eyes though, I wish that the diopter went deeper into the negative range. However, this won’t really matter because of the relatively small sensor and the fast autofocusing. Additionally, you can increase or decrease the size of the focusing point.

Other than that, the WiFi transmission is smooth and simple. More photos from the camera are after the jump.



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Efficiently Complete A Photography Assignment-04076-20140814

When trying to become more serious about your photography, you’ll often go after photography assignments and gigs. You clients will need specific images for presentations, articles, etc. If they cannot find the right stock photography or create the images themselves, they hire a photographer to create these images for them. I have recently started going on assignments for my company and there are some lessons that I have learned. The biggest is that photography is a cooperative craft at times. Sometimes you have to capture another person’s vision.

Here are five tips from my experience to help you get through things quickly.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 7D Mk II first impressions images (1 of 7)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 3.2

The Canon 7D Mk II has been in development for many years now, and the company’s track record of staying conservative sticks true to this latest product. When the first 7D launched, it made waves in the APS-C world with its super fast FPS rate and its complementary features to the 5D Mk II. Canon’s choices to stick to the safe side and make modest improvements isn’t a bad one per se at all–but we’d be telling complete lies to say that we didn’t expect more.

As far as the feature set goes, Canon has a 20.2MP APS-C sensor at the heart of the camera that also shoots at 10fps, houses dual DIGIC 6 processors, 65 cross type AF points, a 100% viewfinder, a magnesium alloy camera body, dust and weather resistance that is said to be 4x better than the original, GPS integration, a CF and SD card slot, ISO ranges from 100-16,000, a custom movie servo mode and much more.

We took a look at the 7D Mk II earlier last month.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (1 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

With Zeiss’s new 85mm f1.4 Otus reviewed, we took it upon ourselves to do an informal comparison of two of its biggest and closest competitors: the Rokinon 85mm f1.4 and the Sigma 85mm f1.4. Now granted, neither of these lenses are said to be targeted at the higher end photographer. But with Sigma’s offering being a couple of years old and Rokinon’s not being so old either, we decided that it would be great to see just how the three perform against one another.

Editor’s Note: Again we are saying that this is an informal comparison to see how the three stack up against one another. We’d like to remind our readers though that each offering is pretty darn solid, but if anything this is more of a measure of how the technology has progressed.

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Refining My Streetphotography -04879-20140829

On the surface, street photography can look easy. You go for a walk and take photos. But I have learned enough to know there is a lot more to it. Picking up your camera and going for a walk is only the beginning. Street photography is an art form that has been practiced for some time. A person can only get better through practice. Over this past summer, I took it upon myself to try to refine my street photography. There are many lessons to be learned from photo walking almost every day.

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