Leica X2 review

Viewfinder, LCD and live view

New to the Leica X2 is an accessory port that allows the Leica EVF-2 viewfinder to be attached. This is the same 1.4-million-dot electronic viewfinder as the Olympus EVF-2. In fact, I mounted the Leica viewfinder on an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera and it worked perfectly. This is interesting, as the Olympus viewfinder can be used on the Leica X2. Not only is the Olympus EVF-2 viewfinder around £100 cheaper, but it is also available in a silver finish, which will complement the silver version of the X2 rather nicely.

I really enjoyed using the X2 with the Leica viewfinder. The combination works well and once again it gives the feeling of using a traditional film camera. The viewfinder is bright, with a good refresh rate, and it certainly displays a better-resolution image than the rear LCD screen.

Of course, electronic viewfinders aren't to everyone's taste, so thankfully there is also an optical, hotshoe-mounted viewfinder also available. The Brightline Optical Viewfinder has the advantage of not relying on the camera's batteries and being brighter than the electronic display. It is also cheaper and will appeal to more traditional photographers.

Whether the electronic or optical viewfinder is preferred, I would recommend that one of the viewfinders be purchased with the X2, due to the poor-quality LCD screen. While most manufacturers now use at least a 3in monitor, the X2 offers a smaller 2.7in, 230,000-pixel (690,000-dot) display. Its specification really is quite dated now, with even £300 compact cameras offering 3in, 921,000-dot screens. The resolution makes it difficult to discern details, and as the screen is also fairly reflective it is difficult to see in bright sunlight.

Using the viewfinders really changes the experience of using the camera, and I would recommend that potential purchasers of the Leica X2 also factor in the cost of buying one of them. Of the two viewfinders I actually enjoyed using the EVF more. It offers a high resolution, with all shooting information, and acts as an angle finder, allowing the user to shoot at low-angles simply by rotating the hinged finder through 90°.

As a camera designed purely for photography, there is no video-shooting option in the Leica X2, and neither should there be.