Leica announces X2: next generation of high-performance compact digital camera


New X2

Leica Camera AG has announced the second model in its X series of digital compact cameras: the Leica X2. Made in Germany by Leica engineers, the X2 features a new, APS-C format, professional CMOS image sensor with 16.5 megapixels (effective 16.2 megapixels), combined with a high-performance Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens – a classic focal length for photojournalism – providing maximum image quality and brilliance.

The Leica X2 features an improved autofocus system, which offers flexibility in a large number of shooting situations and enables fast, precise and almost silent focusing. The camera’s profile is complemented by numerous setting options from full manual control to automatic functions, as well as intuitive handling. Combined with its elegant and stylish design, this makes the Leica X2 the premium-class compact camera of choice for discerning photographers who wish to concentrate completely on their subjects, producing spontaneous, creative and true-to-life pictures.

The 16 megapixel CMOS image sensor of the X2 is unusually large for a camera in the compact category, with each individual pixel being significant in size, and therefore gathering more light. The benefits of this are low image noise, high dynamic range and accurate colour differentiation. The crop factor of the sensor is 1.5 in comparison with 35mm film format, meaning that the fixed Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. is transformed into a universal reportage lens with an effective 35mm-equivalent focal length of 36 millimetres. This is considered to be a truly classic focal length amongst prime lenses, and one that has captured innumerable iconic images in history. The moderate wide-angle character of the lens opens up a broad spectrum of different options for capturing outstanding, authentic and richly detailed pictures.

The Leica X2 is reminiscent of Leica’s M-System cameras, characterised by its compact design and portable nature, combined with classic, subtle styling. The robust, all-metal construction and premium, high-grip leather-style trim makes the X2 a typical Leica camera in both look and feel. The camera is available in a discreet black or elegant silver finish.

With its simple operation and menu system, the Leica X2 offers clearly laid-out functions, with access to the impressive range of settings. The ability to switch easily between manual and automatic control means the photographer can concentrate completely on composition and choosing the decisive moment to shoot. In addition, the easily accessible, robust dials on the top plate ensure accurate setting of shutter speed and aperture, while changing the plane of focus, white balance and other imaging parameters allows photographers to consciously influence the look or mood of their images. In live view mode, the generously sized, high-contrast 2.7” LCD screen offers photographers complete control at all times and a bright and detailed view, even in strong light.

The range of features offered by the Leica X2 provides significant creative freedom in a wide range of photographic scenarios. For example, the large sensor and fast lens make it ideal for shooting in ‘available light’. Furthermore, the camera features a pop-up flash for situations requiring an additional light source. If more lighting power and flexibility are required, the X2’s accessory shoe offers full compatibility with the Leica SF 24D and SF 58 system flash units.

An extensive range of accessories is also available to adapt the Leica X2 to each photographer’s individual photographic style. New to the X series is a Viso-Flex high-resolution electronic accessory viewfinder with 1.4 megapixels and a 90° swivel function for shooting from unusual angles. Also available is a bright-line optical viewfinder, providing a bright and clear view at all times, with no impact on the camera’s battery power. There is also an accessory handgrip that increases the grip and stability of the camera and makes it easier to shoot with one hand. Leica continues to offer a comprehensive range of cases: a premium-quality black leather case that complements the elegance of the X2, an ergonomically-designed camera protector in untreated black leather, a classically-designed, ever-ready case in organically tanned cowhide to protect the camera during use, and a black system/travel bag that offers enough space for the camera and a range of accessories.

Included software
Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac® OS X and Microsoft Windows®, is also included in the X2 package. This digital image processing software offers a wide range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images. The software is available to X2 customers as an online download after product registration.

Pricing and availability
The Leica X2 (in black or silver anodised finish) is scheduled to be available in the UK from May 2012 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk. The suggested retail price of the Leica X2 is £1,575 inc. VAT.

Individual accessories are priced as follows (SRP including VAT):

36mm Bright Line Viewfinder - £269 Classic Black Leather Case - £110
EVF 2 (electronic viewfinder) – £360 Brown Ever-Ready Case - £135
Hand Grip - £92 Black System/Travel Case - £135
Black Leather Wrist Strap - £25 Black Leather Camera Protector - £63

Leica warranty and added value services
The Leica X2 comes with a two-year warranty and a one-year Leica UK ‘Passport’ (complimentary accidental damage cover). UK customers are also welcome to visit the Leica Store and Akademie in Mayfair, London, for a complimentary demonstration or training session on the features of the camera. Technical support by telephone is available via Leica’s London-based Client Care department.

Notes to Editors
For further information, high resolution images or product samples, please contact one of the following:
Jenny Hodge, tel 07920 291920, email jenny.hodge@leica-camera.co.uk
Clare Lingfield, tel 07881 587186, email clare.lingfield@leica-camera.co.uk
Simon Wittenberg, tel 07867 804471, email lcpr@sidhuandsimon.com

Media contact details for Leica North America
Evins Communications, Ltd., Tel: 212-688-8200
Julia Covelli, tel 212-377-3593, email julia.covelli@evins.com

LEICA X2: Technical data

Lens LEICA ELMARIT 24mm f/2.8 ASPH. 8 elements in 6 groups; 1 aspherical lens
Focal length 24mm (35mm equivalent: 36mm)
Apertures 2.8 to 16 (1/3EV increments)
Focusing range 30cm – infinity
AF focusing 1 point, 11 points, spot, face detection
Image sensor APS-C CMOS sensor with 16.5 megapixels (effective 16.2 MP)
Resolution JPEG in 3:2 format: 4928 × 3264 pixels (16.1 MP), 4288 × 2856 pixels (12.2 MP), 3264 × 2160 pixels (7.1 MP), 2144 × 1424 pixels (3.1 MP), 1632 × 1080 pixels (1.8 MP) DNG in 3:2 format: 4944 × 3272 pixels (16.2 MP)
Image quality JPEG super fine, JPEG fine, DNG + JPEG super fine, DNG + JPEG fine
Exposure control  
Exposure modes: Automatic programme (P), automatic aperture priority (A), automatic shutter priority (S), manual setting (M)
Exposure compensation: Gradation: 1/3 EV increments, range: ±3 EV
Automatic exposure
1/3 to 3 EV increments, 3 exposures
Metering modes Smart multi-segment metering, centre-weighted metering, selective (spot) metering
White balance Auto, halogen, daylight, flash, cloudy, shade, electronic flash, 2 manual settings, manual colour temperature setting with fine tuning
ISO sensitivity Auto, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 6400, ISO 12500
Shutter speeds 30s - 1/2000 sec
Continuous shooting 3 fps or 5 fps, max. 8 consecutive exposures with constant shooting speed in DNG + JPEG fine quality
Film modes Standard, dynamic, natural, b/w natural, b/w high contrast
Flash modes: Auto, flash exposure correction, red-eye correction, fill-in flash, slow sync, studio, 1st/2nd curtain sync
Hot shoe Compatible with Leica SF 24D, Leica SF 58 flash units
LCD monitor 2.7" TFT LCD with 230,000 pixels, wide-angle field of view: 100%
Playback/review modes 16-thumbnail display, zoom review (16× max.), image rotation, deletion protection
Internal memory Approx. 110mb
Memory card compatibility SD, SDHC, SDXC
Interfaces HDMI out, USB (USB 2.0 high speed)
Battery (rechargeable lithium-ion) Capacity: approx. 450 exposures
Dimensions (WxHxD) Approx. 124 × 69 × 51.5mm
Weight Approx. 316/345 g (without/with battery)
Package includes Battery (Leica BP-DC8), battery charger (Leica BC-DC8), battery case, leather neck strap, USB cable, lens cap, user manual
Software Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® (download option after product registration)