20 Jan 2013

Myanmar and the Leica X1

Another batch of photos from my Myanmar trip.
Since I have posted the first batch of the Myanmar photos and a story has appeared on the Steve Huff website I have received a number of emails asking questions about the camera and processing including some from Leica X1 users.To save me answering them individually here is some more info on the photos.
All the photos were taken with my Leica X1.I use the camera with the white balance set on AWB ,the focus set on 1 point H ,the exposure metering set on multi-field and the ISO set on Auto most of the time.
I don't vary the settings as much as I should ( I would like to use spot metering more) but the LCD screen is so dim-shame on you Leica you could easily have fitted a much better screen- that in bright sunlight it is very difficult to change them.
I took the Myanmar photos as jpeg and DNG (RAW) files with the jpeg setting on vivid.Most of the photos are straight from the camera and have not been post processed .
I use a 35 mm Voigtlander optical viewfinder on the camera all the time.I cannot take photos without a viewfinder.Holding the camera at arm's length in front of my face like a new dad changing a dirty nappy (diaper) is no way to get good photos.
I have two batteries for the camera-the original Leica supplied battery and a spare purchased off eBay from an Australian company for $30.The two batteries seem to be identical in performance and a genuine Leica battery costs $120.
I carry the camera in a leather half case which I bought from a Thai supplier off the Etsy website for $50.
I used a Kiwi filter tube and lens hood( eBay $40) and a B&W clear filter to protect the lens from dust .I don't usually use this set up but Myanmar was very dusty and it was a wise precaution.
I took a polarising filter but found that it was unusable in the bright sunlight due to the poor LCD screen.This was not a problem as the jpegs have turned out with very saturated skies anyway.

One of the emails I received rather curiously asked me whether I felt that my pictures from the trip would have been better if I had taken a "serious" DSLR and a couple of lenses.My answer has to be a conditional-yes. Having a wide angle lens and a fast longer lens would have been great but it is a matter of convenience.But against this the X1 does deliver exceptional image quality (IQ) and a certain"look".
Carrying and using a light compact camera with just a fixed lens is a joy not a chore and above all else I am convinced that having the fixed lens means that I concentrated only on framing the shot not selecting the right lens and this shows in the photos .So in its way the X1 forced me to take better photos.
I hope that this info is useful particularly to the X1 owners who are still struggling with their camera .

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