SO beside those comparisons and images, what is your conclusion so far?
Which system do you prefer for which occasion and why?
There are 2 subjective points from my memory using S and now haveing used x2d (a little bit):
- I prefer the size advantage of x2d over S.
- I think to remember the S lenses to render a little more smooth bokeh and less vignetting. The closest lens seems the 80/1.9
- I really like IBIS
- I find the AF of the x2d more exact; with the S, specially with some lenses like the S100mm, it seemed more difficult to nail focus, specially at medium distances;
At the moment my S system collects dust; MP is same for me like for you - I dont really need the 100MP for my applications, doesnt hurt though
I had an X1D (first version) and the 21, 30, 45, and 90 lenses. Nothing felt right. The 21 was too wide, the 30 not wide enough, the 90 not long enough nor large enough aperture. And the camera was slow slow slow. Perhaps it was my lack of Phocus (hah!), but the color profiles didn't grab me either, and I mostly converted to B&W.
What a difference a few years made! The biggest surprise is that I like the color every bit as much as the Leica's. They're not identical, but the X2D has an even more natural feel - something I could never get from the Fuji. The X2D + 21/4 is just a better carry around super-wide combo than the S3 + 24/3.5. I never thought I would say that. If I really want that 24mm FoV, there are pixels to spare (the only reason I DO like the high pixel count). For this kind of photography, which is 90% of what I do, the IBIS helps a little, the better AF helps more, and the half-the-weight helps the most!
The size advantage diminishes significantly as we go past 90mm. The S3+120/2.5 is a better balanced combo with better bokeh than the X equivalent, and the X2D+lens is even a bit longer. Here's where we should love IBIS.... but at this resolution and focal length, AF starts to break down for anything that isn't a really easy target. This means assisted manual focusing and here, the Leica is still superior. Unless I'm missing a setting screen, the live view magnification on the X2D is not very strong nor is its magnification adjustable. So there's nothing to help other than the (very good) EVF. Yes, IBIS keeps the image from jumping around, but it's still easier to tell exactly WHERE you're focused with the S with its higher magnification and focus peaking. So, very much to my surprise, it's easier (hand held no less!) to focus the S3 + 250/5.6 or S3 + 180/3.5 than the X2D + 135/2.8+1.7x. I expect that to shift to the Hassy's favor if and when they implement better focus aids. But I never count on future upgrades. What works now is all there is! And, as we often forget, 1/6 second at ISO 100 may be great to hand hold, but things can move a lot in 1/6 second. 1/120 second at ISO 2000 may be a better shot despite the decreased DR. Mountains may hold still for IBIS, but leaves, trees, people, and Soup will not.
Then there's the shutter. For XCD or HC lenses, of course, the X2D does swimmingly. But if you go outside that for, say, the Zeiss 110/2 or one of the Superachromats, (or Pentax 67 lenses
oh, and I have a Mamiya 645 shift lens on the way) then you are stuck with the ES. IBIS helps here, but moving subjects are not going to look good, and indoor lighting makes horizontal bands due to its inherent flicker. The S, on the other hand, can use the leaf shutters on HC lenses and has a focal plane shutter for everything else. So we have the weird situation of old Hasselblad lenses working better on a Leica than on the new Hasselblad!
On lens rendering - I finally took my own advice and looked at the default settings. So often we think we're comparing cameras and lenses when what we're really comparing are some RAW converter's defaults. The Hassy images come into LR - even through Phocus - with more sharpening applied than do the Leica's. I changed the default to "no sharpening" and the rendering difference lessened considerably! This isn't magic, and the look of the S70 or S120 is not going to be perfectly matched, but it makes the X2D OOC results a lot more pleasing. (BTW, I just don't care for the Leica S100 - I can't give a reason, unless it's the difficulty focusing.) I have to explore the 135/2.8 in better light. I think I might like it a lot. The 120/4 has not yet endeared itself to me. Maybe if I took some macros...
So here we are. I prefer the X2D for things I was expecting the S3 to be better at and vice-versa! I expect that in a firmware update or two, I'll just prefer the X2D for (almost) everything. But I'm never selling the S glass. Like some of the Zeiss glass, or Leica M, it is the best of its generation. Will a mirrorless S4 bring it back to prominence? I don't know nor do I particularly care (again, the camera you can put in your hand now is the only camera that exists).
But in the end, when I next walk out the door, an X2D with XCD 21/4 mounted, a 45/3.5 and *maybe* a 90/3.2 will be in the bag.