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New Leica X2 has same Olympus-Epson EVF? And Black and White craziness…


Is it just me or is that new Leica X2 having the same Olympus VF-2 external viewfinder? As you know the Oly EVF is made by Epson so this really could be the same…
That said, it’s interesting to see how much you have to pay for a camera with a unique Black And White sensor….$7999 at Adorama (Click here to read specs of the M Monochrome). I am wondering if Olympus and Panasonic should do a camera with B&W sensor too! Would be intriguing!

More reviews about the B&W madness at MirrorlessRumors (Click here).

USA deal: Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 in Stock at Adorama (Click here).

  • Crazy. I bet the X-2 is made by Olympus, because the accessory port is proprietary. So it’s a Leica with a Zuiko lens….actually, it looks like a remodeled single focal length XZ-1!

    • spam

      So you think they have fitted an APS-C sized sensor into a XZ-1 body? A collaboration between Panasonic seem much more likely, Leica supply Leica (branded) lenses to Panasonic and rebrand Panasonic compacts as Leica (currently the Fz150 and Tz30).

      And the viewfinder could also be Panasonic, it’s the same spec as the new one for GX1.

    • Reverse Stream Swimmer

      The Leica EVF is identical in specification and layout to the previous Olympus VF-2 electronic Viewfinder:

      Remember also that Olympus already has built a camera for Leica, the DIGILUX 3:

      There are more business done between the camera companies, if you start looking. Olympus may well have been doing consulting work for another camera brand here.

      • DC

        Just to be clear, DIGILUX 3 was made by Panasonic, not Olympus. The equivalent model was Panasonic DMC-L1.

      • The DIGILUX 3 was a Panasonic camera. It was built when Panasonic and Leica were very close partners, before Leica started making their own digital products (which happened in 2009) and Panasonic had a presence in the Four Thirds system. The DIGILUX 3 is identical in specification and and similar in body design to the Panasonic DMC-L1.

  • Bronica

    It’s only a Elmarit, not a Summicron :-(.

  • Yeah some poor soul is going to be walking around thinking they got a Leica…until they see someone with a EP3 and VF2.

  • 1213

    you pay for german engineered leica quality not a BW sensor.

    and everyone with an IQ above a banana knows that the EP3 has no aps-c sensor.

    this is no m43 crap

    • No, it’s a long way from m43 crap. It has an 8 year old Japanese screen, a 3 year old Japanese EVF, and probably a 3 year old Japanese Sony sensor.Mind you, they are probably all made in China or Thailand anyway.
      Definitely German crap, not a m43 turd at all….. very German! Leica, I salute you…and your new factory in Portugal.

      • Fish

        Haha priceless

        • growup

          this camera has more soul than any of these market flooding m4/3 toys – how many product cycles have been launched since the e-p1 and the gf1 by the way? – will ever have. this camera has a real leica lens – it gives you an incredible clear file (RAWs!) and great colours that will make you smile. it is indeed a leica and it has a proven sensor with both – great dynamic range and incredible high iso noise (RAW-FILES!). if you’re looking for market-compatible tech-species, go for these crap 4/3 crop-sensors of your “toys of the month”. if you’re planning to grow up as a photographer just think about the picture you will take and the lens you might be happy to play with. go for a sigma dp1 or dp2 or even for a fuji x100 but pleas forget these little 4/3 cash cows. first i thougt that the x1 was a leica labeled panasonic but i found out that it is a leica – and most important: it has a leica lens.

          i don’t want to offend anyone – just trying to offer another point of view.

          • Vlad

            Yeah right, you aren’t trying to not offend anyone. Hypocrite.
            And it has a soul? Seriously? For the price of that Monochrom soul, which would apparently be 6800 euros here in Europe, without even looking for deals, I can get a Nikon D800 (2900), a Sony NEX 7(1175), an Olympus OM-D (1100) and a Nikkor 14-24/2.8 lens (1685). Those will allow me to grow as a photographer, no problem. And I will have a camera for every situation under the sun.

            • +1

            • Chez Wimpy

              But what use is all that gear when you sell your soul in the process? Deal with the Devil if you ask me!

            • Andrew

              Actually I rather enjoy my Leica Monochrom. Yes, it was very expensive, but so are the top full-frame Canon and Nikon pro bodies. Yes, those big DSLRs can do all sorts of things the Monochrom can’t, and if that is what you want then go for it.

              For me, I find the Monochrom really forces me to concentrate on the image, to take care with the basics of exposure, focus, composition. It also is small, light and unobtrusive when I’m out and about.

              It is a niche product within Leica’s already small niche, and I like it all the better for it.

          • “great colours that will make you smile”

            Sorry but I don’t get how a black and white camera could get great colours without using LSD.

            Joke aside… if you respect Leica and Leica product, remember that Leica joined the 4/3 and the micro 4/3 standard. If they don’t use that sensor size because they want a better quality does not mean they think the 4/3 sensor is crap. You think it is crap. And I would like you to try out one of that “little 4/3 cash cows” with a real Leica lens (Summilux 25mm 1.4 or Macro-Elmarit 45mm 2.8 or an adapted old lens) . Maybe you would like it.

      • Cheese knuckle


        • growup

          the x2 will cost 1.700 euros, noone was talking about the monochrom-thing … buy whatever you want and look out for as many situations you like but you might respect that there might be some that are happy just to concentrate on only one field of view. and thanks for your “hypocrite-offense” – i cannot see any reason to get offensive at all.

          • Vlad

            “you pay for german engineered leica quality not a BW sensor.”

            He was talking exactly about the monochrom-thing.

      • Cheese knuckle

        Owned Fool

      • Ernest.orf

        + 1000000000

      • Rutrem

        same high quality as German cars… if u r lucky and buy a good one u can be happy until first check up, then u will start to cry and curse :)
        well said DonTom Japanese sensore/evf,made in China or Malaysia…

      • Brad H.

        I respect Leica…. but only with the optics and the Leica S2. I cannot believe they’re using a screen superseded in 2005 and utilising virtually the same sensor and still charging an astronomical price. Add to that the fact that if you shoot at highest quality, that annoying bottom plate will be moving on and off quite a bit….

        And yes, optics are made in Germany. All other components are made in Portugal with final assembly in Germany. Panasonic optics are engineered by Leica but made in Japan.

    • Bob B.

      1213…do I smell a Leica owner?????

      • growup

        well i guess they implemented that crappy screen just for the reason that they want their new customers to adapt to the viewfinder. i am pretty sure that the x1 and the x2 are intended to be the drugs that do offer incredible image quality and lead to the desire to take the final step to the Leica M8, M9 or M10 …

    • Ulli

      then its leica crap, and its so expensive because they know they wont sell alot, dedicated black and white cameras have a history of being abnormal priced. But it has an advantage in detail resolving. If the OM-D would be dedicated BW it would be very expensive too.

    • @1213 You must be the poor soul.

    • Dave

      No it’s overpriced overhyped Leica crap. Do you seriously think this pile of crap is worth anywhere near the asking price?

  • Alan

    It is not crazy, it is just not very well executed. Firstly, it is only 14/8 bits, which is no better than many colour DSLR. The whole problem with digital monochrome is that you get 14/8 bits instead of 42/24 bits for a colour image. As a result, you get obvious banding not seen in analogue B&W pictures. The cheapest way for a manufacturer to do fix is to replace the colour filter on a conventional sensor with an ND filter of 0, 1/3 and 2/3 eV. Of course you would need a 24 bit monochrome monitor and printer to view view the output. But it you are going to make custom monochrome output devices, you may as well go all the way and use a hexagonal pixel array to eliminate moire. THEN you would have a wonderful camera.

    • Ulli

      it would maybe only a problem if you make prints of a 8 bit file i think.

    • Andrew

      Look at the raw files and all thoughts of it being equal or inferior to a converted DSLR file will vanish. It has a level of true resolution (you get every pixel instead of half for one color and a quarter for each of the other two), sharpness (no AA filter) and tonality (CCD rules) that you will need medium format to match.

      Not for everyone, but for those who love B&W this is about the best you can get.

  • 1213

    it´s 14 bit RAW.. and 8 BIT JPG.. please tell us how to make a 24 BIT JPG!! please!!! clown….

    • Bob B.

      oooohhhhhh….and angry Leica owner….hmmmmm…….

    • mooboy

      It was quite clear he was talking per channel. If you’re either too angry or too stupid (I’m guessing the latter) to understand what someone is saying you shouldn’t call them a clown – because it just makes you look dumb.

  • janajan

    i see some strange artifacts in the example images at dpreview.

    look at the example image with the ladder. look at the wood.
    there is a repeating pattern.

    and no that is not a wood structure.

    • Andrew

      Likely moire, as the Monochrom (and other digital Ms) doesn’t have an AA filter.

  • Fish

    People need to go to the mirrorlessrumors site and check out the review video. They give an example of how much detail is retained in the shadows of an image and it really is impressive.

  • Jeremy

    With products like this, I hope I never “get” the point of owning a Leica, because it will mean I have lost any touch with reality. The ft/aps-c argument is all but dead, and in any case Leica’s sensors are hardly groundbreaking. The Fuji X-pro1 sensor is the current benchmark, and it’s expensive at a quarter of the price. This is purely novelty jewellery that happens to take pictures. If it wasn’t, they would be installing b/w sensors in their flagship cameras.

  • Vivek

    If the GH-2/OMD 16MP NMOS sensor loses its Bayer and the thick stack of filters, the sensitivity will be truly incredible. Even a run of the mill CCD seems to have jumped in sensitivity by at least 2 stops!

    [I did send a request to Panasonic > a year ago to do exactly that, although it was literally a stab in the dark and I don’t even know if the message ever reached anyone who can do something about it.]

    BTW, only the display in the EVF is made by Epson. The optics, housing and integration are made by Olympus, Leica etc

  • I can never figure out how to turn my color pictures into B&W with photoshop, this camera is gonna be perfect!!

    • “Shift + Ctrl+ U” to unsaturate
      “Layers > New Adjustment Layer > Black & white” to make an adjustable layer

      Two minutes on Google saved me %100 or more on my leica purchase… because I don’t NEED an $8000 camera that can ONLY shoot B&W. Call me poor, but I have better things to spend money on.

      • Joshua, Jon Peterson was obviously joking. :)

        Otherwise, B&W sensor is not as much about lack of color as about pushing other IQ parameters up.

        • Forgive me, it’s hard to decipher sarcasm from truth on the internet. Everyone is so passionate about everything, I have difficulty determining if they’re really passionate or sarcastically making fun of something/someone.

  • The viewfinder definitely resembles the Olympus EVF-2 up to the exact layout of the accessory port connector.

    Makes one wonder whether other Olympus stuff for the PEN accessory port will fit, too, like the macro light.

    The camera itself is said to be manufactured in Germany, but of course that won’t include things like the sensor – or, for that matter, the LCD monitor or the electronic viewfinder. Just like, say, Olympus doesn’t manufacture their sensors and displays either.

  • Bob B.

    Whateva??? Totally laughable. I wonder when the special edition for $9999.00 will be released. Um…gotta run…I am going to take some photos.

  • Nawaf

    Those strap lugs! The horror!!

    • Bob B.

      LOL! Nice call!!!! (actually the images from the Monochrome camera are QUITE impressive…but so out of mosts normal human being’s photo budget).

  • Yup. That looks like a VF-2. Bet it doesn’t cost the same as a VF-2. White paint is REALLY expensive. Five letters worth is a FORTUNE.

    • floyd

      In the UK the Leica viewfinder is listed as £360, the VF-2 from Olympus store direct £224.67.

  • llama

    I think a lot of people are getting a bit confused and thinking that the X2 (shown above) costs $8000 and has a B&W sensor.

    Two different cameras people…

  • The leica monochrome is not the first monochrome only digital camera, and I seem to remember that their were earlier kodak black and white only cameras.
    It does seem like a ridiculously expensive way to emulate shooting on film, that would buy you one hell of a dark room set up, and a lot of film to go with it.
    The X-2 looks nice though, but am still more interested in the up-coming Sigma DP1/2 merril cameras.

  • > I am wondering if Olympus and Panasonic should do a camera with B&W sensor too! Would be intriguing!

    They should do Foveon-like sensor instead, while maintaining (most of) the actual level of performance (sacrificing MP count if needed). That would be to me revolutionary. B&W art filter I can apply myself later.

    P.S. Can’t wait for the DPR’s studio test shots of the monochrome Leica – to compare them to Sigma SD1. THAT ought to be intriguing.

    • avds

      Or maybe they should increase MP to stratospheric amounts and do the Nokia Pureview thing with m43 :)

  • Brad H.

    Oh man, c’mon Ricoh, put Leica in its place with a monochrome lensor!! So that we can have a live-view capable monochrome CMOS sensor with an LCD that has a higher pixel count than the population of an Oceanic island nation.

    They couldn’t even inject anything too worthwhile with the X2 either.

    Can’t wait for the M10!

  • jim

    B+W will give excelent high ISO – an asto king maybe!

  • E-1

    Great that someone pushes this idea.

    What I’d like to have from panasonic is – there was once the Tri Olympus rumor – a prism that splits the colors and 3 m43 sensors in one camera. m43 is ideal with the sensor being smaller than APS-C. Think about the quality from a camera with a red, green and blue sensor. Without a color FILTER!

    • Ulli

      with 3 times 5axis ibis units? i wonder how big it would be ;-)

      • I don’t about its size, but I bet it could keep a unicycle upright with that many gyros…

      • And think about the unbearable noise! :)

  • Alfons

    Wow, Leica’s are such fashion pieces. Asking your self whether to buy Leica or other digital camera is like asking your self wether to buy Luis Vuitton bag or just a bag.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Leica and fashion? Are you serious? Have you seen the people who carry Leica’s? Fat, dumpy middle-aged men, usually with beards. Fashion is a thing on magazine covers they pass at the corner newsstand. ;-)

      • Vlad

        Hey, beards are cool!

  • I will get that crazy new Leica BW camera and the new 50mm lens (also ridiculously expensive) once I have won the national Lottery. After that I will get myself a three-piece tailored suit and a nice hat and head to nearest café terrace so I can display the Leica with a moleskine diary on the table while sipping a latte. Yeah right.

  • Duke

    Lost all respect for Leica after this announcement. Was planning to get an M10. Not anymore.

    Monochrom is fine imo.

    This X2 is an utter disgrace. They just chucked in a worse but higher MP count sensor and tweaked the design – the x1 actually looked better. 2003 lcd tech. Its shameless and tells you a lot about Leica as a company.

    Anyone who buys this over an x100 is a chump.

  • See or my link to his site at – he tried the Leica EVF on Olympus E-M5 and E-PM1 cameras, and it worked! So yes, this must be the same Epson/Olympus EVF used here…

  • The only question worth asking about the X2: Is the AF fast enough?

    The X2 competes in price and size with the NEX7 and the Oly OMD. If it has a seriously fast autofocus, then it will hurt both Sony and Oly sales.

    If it is just an X1 with a VF and different color buttons, then they are counting on the name to sell their product instead of their technology. This is not a good strategy for long-term success.

    (The new M9 with the BW sensor obviously takes good pictures, but it is a specialty camera, for people who think AF is lower-class, and not in my price range anyway. They will sell all they make, but only because they won’t make very many.)

    • Geoff

      How do you figure that the X-2 competes with NEX7 and E-M5, the Leica is a compact with 24mm lens, according to Adorama, the best thing about it is that it comes with Lightroom bundled with it. But then is is a Leica so there are many people who will buy the Red Dot.

      • spam

        He said in price and size and I agree. I’d expect anyone looking for a high quality compact with around 35mm equivalent would consider NEX7 with 24mm F1.8, and E-M5 or even G3 with 20mm F1.7. If they don’t want a built in viewfinder then NEX-5n/GX1/E-PL3 which are cheaper too.

        • Vlad

          I doubt it will hurt the sales of those two, as they are better featured.
          Considering the price of an X2 and the viewfinder, it is actually above the price range of the others.

          • spam

            Better featured if you ignore the lens.

            • Vlad

              Spare me the “amazing Leica lens” speech. Nothing wrong with the Zeiss 24mm, which is also faster in our comparison.
              For 2300US, ie. 200US less than the X2 plus EVF, I can get the NEX-7 plus the Zeiss. Interchangeable lenses, video, high-resolution tilting screen, integrated better EVF, peaking, faster shutter,… do I really need to continue? Obviously, better featured.
              And for around 150US more than the X2 plus EVF, I can get the OM-D with the 12mm/2 Olympus, the 45mm/1.8 Olympus and the 20mm/1.7 Panasonic. None of which will disappoint in image quality.
              Tried a Leica, liked it, but all of their products are simply completely overpriced.

              • So true. But you could always save money by getting a VF-2 instead of the identical Leica version. Identical except for those five letters painted on the front. :)

                • Geoff

                  Yeah, you could have the silverone!!!!!

              • spam

                I’d take a NEX-7 over X2, or any Leica (except to sell it again if I got it for free). That don’t prevent me from seeing the attraction of the X2 and the M- and S-series too. Overpriced? Leica is able to sell them at that price.

                People pay for features and what you (correctly from your point of view) say about intrechangeable lenses, the excellent quality of the Zeiss 24mm and all the extra electronic features and video in NEX-7 and E-M5 are advantages to you. To other (some) poeple all this is uneccessary crap that makes the camera less friendly to use. Simplicity is also a feature, and diffent people value different features. Underspeced and overpriced for you, just right for someone else.

                And the Zeiss 24mm might be as good as the Leica one, but that don’t prevent the Leica lens form being really good and a reason for getting a X2.

                • Andrew

                  I had the NEX7 and Zeiss 24, and they were excellent. I now have the X2, not because it is better, faster, more feature-packed or even for better look, feel and build. The reason I went with the X2 is because it is MUCH smaller and can fit in an average jacket pocket while delivering better IQ than anything else of the same size.

                  I’m not sure which has better IQ between the two, they are definitely comparable. The Zeiss 24 seems to distort more, but at f/1.8 it is significantly faster and can actually yield decent selective focus at closer distances (so can the Leica, only less so).

                  The Leica’s 24mm has no distortion that I can see, though it is early days yet. Both have outstanding sensors, with the Sony benefitting from its higher resolution and the Leica (also a Sony sensor) having better high-ISO performance, as do most 16MP Sony sensors.

                  A better comparison to the X2 is the NEX5n, which most people seem to consider the best NEX for image quality and size. Where the 5n falls flat is in its controls, and of course that Zeiss 24 makes any camera it is attached to bulky.

                  The X2 is an (expensive) niche product, but for non-photography trips it is, at least for me, the ideal tool. Then again, I have drank the cool-aide and am a real fan of Leica, mainly for the lenses. The Elmarit 24 on the X2 is a terrific lens. AS GOOD as the Zeiss 24, and a whole lot smaller.

    • Oh, Jeez. The NEX7 and EM-5 come with a built in EVF and zoom lens for $600 or more less than the X2 without a VF. By the time you add a VF, there’s $1000 or so difference. It won’t touch the Sony & Olympus sales one jot.

      The competing camera is the Fuji X100. $1200 for the same sensor, a faster lens of the same focal length, a built in hybrid EVF and a higher resolution rear screen.You can buy two X100’s for one X2 with the VF2 (and Leica do call it the VF2). And the X100 looks more like a Leica than the Leica…..

      Oh, and did anyone think to mention video? Look what you can do with two X100’s…..oh yes, the X2 doesn’t do video….

      • Swejk

        To dark blue, and clouds, waterfalls and everything is bleached white …
        I mean, it’s very bad video dynamics. : ° (

  • Anonymous

    The rumoured specs prior to release of x2 included a 35 1.4 lens and faster autofocus. If it had these or even a 24 mm f2 then I would have been tempted. The old LCD screen is a disgrace the 2.8 lens takes away one of the great assets of Leica lenses, that being sharp images with an isolated background, apparently the autocus is better, no video is a dealbreaker for a lot of people. It will take good images in particular situations but frankly this is a massive disappointment. Fuji xpro1 with 35mm lens for me.

  • om-4

    I don’t think Oly should do a B/W sensor but a oversized square sensor before Sony snags that niche.

    Are you listening Olympus… Square sensor please!!!

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