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The new Leica T System
The new Leica T System, testo e foto by Juza
. Pubblicato il 24 Aprile 2014; 1 risposte, 10211 visite.
The Leica T is one of the most innovative cameras ever made by Leica - it combines a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor with a high quality, minimalistic camera body and a all-new full touch user interface. I have been one of the lucky few that have tested it well before the official announcement: let's discover the new Leica T system!
A completely new interfaceEven though I was expecting a new mirrorless from Leica, I did not expect something like the Leica T. The camera body has very few controls, and the whole back is taken by a large LCD screen... yes, there are zero physical controls here: everything is done on touchscreen! If you are used to smartphones, the Leica T will soon feel familiar; most of the gestures and menus are similar to those of modern smartphones. The menus had been created from scratch with touchscreen in mind, so they are much more 'finger-friendly' than menus of Canon and Nikon cameras. You can even create a custom menu with the controls that you use most.
On the top of the camera there are two dials; they don't have fixed function, you can assign them the purpose that you prefer - for example, you can use one dial for ISO and the other for shutter speed, or one for aperture and the other for exposure compensation. The only other controls are the shutter release and the video button (you can take full HD 1920x1080p @ 30 FPS videos.)
The Leica T does not have a built-in viewfinder, but you can use an high resolution external viewfinder... if you really need it: personally, I'm getting used to frame the photos with the main LCD on the camera back and I rarely use the viewfinder; I feel that the LCD screen help me to 'see' how the final picture will look. Even with my Canon 70D, that has a very good optical viewfinder, I use the LCD most of the times, so I think that I'd rarely use the external viewfinder on the Leica T, that has the best LCD screen that I have ever seen on a camera.
Thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi, it is possible to control the camera remotely with your iPhone (currently the app is available only for iOS, but in future I expect to see an Android app as well). You can see the live view photo and you can set shutter speed, ISO, aperture and so on remotely, using your smarphone as a remote control.
Overall, the camera body looks fantastic: high quality, excellent finish, minimalistic look and a large, sharp and bright screen. The Leica T will be available from late May in silver and black colors, plus several bright colored covers for those who prefer more vivid colors. Being a Leica camera, I expected a very high price - instead, the Leica T costs around 1500 euros (body only), a reasonable price for a Leica (remember that the Leica M cost 6000 euros!).
Image quality and lensesImage quality is good between 100 and 1600 ISO; at 3200 and above it is a little noisier than recent APS-C cameras, but you can still get good results if you apply some noise reduction - the following image, for example, has been taken at 6400 ISO. Of course the fine detail is not very sharp, but the photo is still usable.
Leica T (Typ 701), Leica Apo-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH, 1/1600 f/2.0, ISO 6400, hand held. Click here to download at full resolution.
At low ISO instead the detail is excellent, the Leica T gives sharp, pleasing results. Photos are saved in DNG raw file format, so you can open them with every version of Camera RAW, no need to wait for the latest version (thanks Leica! I wish that other brands did the same...we really don't need countless different raw formats). The next two samples had been taken at 100 and 800 ISO; they have been post processed with ACR and Photoshop CS5.
Leica T (Typ 701), Leica Vario-Elmar T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6, 1/200 f/4.0, ISO 800, hand held. Click here to download at full resolution.
The 'kit lens' for the Leica T is the new Leica 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6, a compact, sharp lens. This is an AF lens: another big news of the Leica T system is autofocus, done by a fast and silent AF motor inside the lenses. Other than that, the second lens announced with the Leica T is the small and light Leica Summicron T 23mm f/2, that gives the equivalent of a 35mm lens.
Of course, you can also mount all Leica M lenses: I have tried it with the Leica Apo-Summicron-M 90mm f/2 ASPH and I really liked it; the only thing that I miss is the focus peaking of the Leica M, that helps a lot with MF lenses (of course you can magnify the photo for accurate focussing even with the Leica T, but it is not as immediate as focus peaking).
Many other lenses are coming, and in a couple of years the system will be complete with wide-angles, primes, macro and short tele lenses: if you like Leica products, the new Leica T offers a premium grade, stylish and relatively affordable mirrorless system.
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