Leica X2 review

White balance and colour

There are five colour settings on the Leica X2, comprising standard, vivid, natural, b&w natural and b&w high contrast. The saturation and contrast can be adjusted separately, and each of these also has five different strength settings.

Of these colour modes it is best to avoid vivid, unless the saturation is set far lower than the default standard setting. Colours are far too intense, which has an adverse effect on bright blue skies. Bright areas that are almost beyond the camera's dynamic range are saturated, but due to the lack of definite colour detail they are shown as cyan rather than blue. I even had some images that faded from cyan to blue across the scene.

In standard and natural modes, with AWB set, blue skies look better. In fact, they look almost as if a polarising filter has been used. I would recommend using the natural mode and just adding a touch more saturation and contrast to achieve an image that is more ready for printing straight from the camera.

Setting the camera to its black & white shooting modes, I found that the b&w natural mode was a little too flat. Switching to the b&w high contrast mode was better, but even then I found that I was increasing the contrast to its highest setting to really get punchy black & white images. This is, of course, entirely subjective and other photographers may prefer a flatter image with more shadow detail.

One of the advantages of using the DNG raw format is its compatibility with almost all raw-editing software. This makes it easy to correct the colours of images shot with the X2, and to really allow the images to fulfil their potential.

 Image: I found the in-camera b&w high contrast mode could actually do with some more contrast. Pictured is a converted DNG raw file compared to the in-camera JPEG