Leica X2 review


One of our criticisms of the Leica X1 is that its autofocus is slow. Thankfully, this is an area where the Leica X2 has improved upon its predecessor, but while the AF is now faster, it is still not quite as fast as would be expected for a camera with a fixed-focal-length lens.

The contrast-detection AF assertively moves the lens to the point of focus before a green square is displayed to show that focus is achieved. The system is prompt, without being snappy. Recent compact system cameras have made real advances in the speed of contrast-detection AF, and while the Leica X2 is faster than the X1, it still lags a little behind the best focusing speeds that compact system cameras have to offer. In testing, however, I didn't find the AF speed to be a huge issue. The subjects the X2 will be directed at are likely to be static ones, such as cityscapes, or those for which the camera will be pre-focused, like street photography or candid portraits.

The X2 also has face-recognition AF, which detects faces as soon as they enter the frame. I found that for most of the test I set the X2 to 1-point AF mode. An 11-point mode is also available, which automatically selects one of 11 points around the centre of the frame. The final AF option is spot focus, which uses a much smaller AF area to allow focusing with more precision. There are 196 possible positions when shooting in both the AF point and AF spot modes, although the very edges of the frame are unavailable, but as these areas are rarely used for the point of focus it shouldn't be an issue.

Manual focusing is possible on the X2, and is electronically controlled via a dial on the rear of the camera. A magnified view is displayed in the centre of the screen, but its relatively low resolution means it is a little tricky to find the exact sharpest point of focus. Again, this should not present a real issue, as the X2 is unlikely to be used in manual focus all that often.