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X2D or S3

steveash

New member
I’m interested what people think of the two? Very few of us will have had their hands on both yet but we know the details. On paper there isn’t really a contest but cameras aren’t just about specs but also user experience, colour output, rendering etc.

I have owned both Leica S and Hasselblad X1D and feel torn between the two. If I owned both (not that I have the budget) I imagine I’d mostly reach for the S3 but appreciate the X2D image quality more.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
I have the X2D on order, and the S3 is my main camera, so I’ll be able to compare them directly sometime. As far as specs and contests go, I used the GFX100 for a year. On paper, it is similar enough to the X2D. I had never sold the 37MP S(007) and S lenses. In the end, I sold all the Fuji gear. As easy as it was, I didn’t enjoy using it as much as the S, and I didn’t prefer its output. This was part Fuji's color choices and part their lens choices. I love the S24mm, but didn't care for the GF 23mm - it had a lot of flare. At the long end, the Fuji was, of course, much better, but I'm a WA shooter.

I am not expecting better image quality from the X2D. I've never printed anything that the older 37MP S sensors couldn't handle easily. It comes down to ergonomics, the lens character, and color choices of the different manufacturers.
 
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Greg Haag

Well-known member
I have the X2D on order, and the S3 is my main camera, so I’ll be able to compare them directly sometime. As far as specs and contests go, I used the GFX100 for a year. On paper, it is similar enough to the X2D. I had never sold the 37MP S(007) and S lenses. In the end, I sold all the Fuji gear. As easy as it was, I didn’t enjoy using it as much as the S, and I didn’t prefer its output. This was part Fuji's color choices and part their lens choices. I love the S24mm, but didn't care for the GF 23mm - it had a lot of flare. At the long end, the Fuji was, of course, much better, but I'm a WA shooter.

I am not expecting better image quality from the X2D. I've never printed anything that the older 37MP S sensors couldn't handle easily. It comes down to ergonomics, the lens character, and color choices of the different manufacturers.
Matt, I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts between the two systems!
 

baudolino

Active member
I have used the S3 since launch and now have an X2D on order. In the past, used the S2 and S007 extensively.

I see the following advantages of the X2D:

(a) More compact and lighter, especially with the new "V" lenses. I find it hard to travel (especially on holidays) with the S3 and more than 2 lenses. The Hasselblad 38/55 together are about the size of and weigh less than the Elmarit-S 45. I can imagine the X2D and the 55 going along to a dinner...not the S3 and the 45S. The S3 is a camera for a "day of deliberate shooting" whereas the X2D is a bit more like a "Texas Leica Q2".

(b) Smaller loss of resolution if you often crop to the "Instagram friendly" 4x5 format. I shoot with models and they all want "Insta cropped" images. The Hasselblad's 4x3 ratio makes it easier to compose with the eventual 4x5 crop in mind than Leica's 2x3. I guess it will be the opposite preference for someone who shoots landscapes and often crops to panorama formats (like Josef Koudelka when he shot the Wall with an S2).

(c) IBIS should make a difference. I did a shoot last November with the S3 in cold weather outside, where I combined ambient light and flash. Was shooting handheld and ended up with quite a few blurred images superimposed with sharp flash-exposed image, even though I was shooting at 1/125s with the 70mm lens. With hindsight, should have used higher ISO and faster shutter speed, of course.

(d) I expect more precise AF given that it is "on sensor"

(e) I am curious to explore how well the TTL flash will work with the fast leaf shutters - I have some Profoto strobes and a Nikon Air-TTL trigger. Now, I know that "real men don't use TTL" but hey...outside, with the model moving and the strobe used for fill against strong back / rim light from the Sun...why not.

(f) Once they make Phocus Mobile 2 compatible, I look forward to tethering into my iPad on location. Anything that saves weight is a bonus.

The S3 is still a great camera with some attractive features:

(a) Long lasting battery, no heat dissipation issues even after a full day shoot (unlike the Fuji GFX50S, in my experience)

(b) Sturdiness, weather sealing, simple and logical menus

(c) Amazing lenses, integration via adapters of other lenses including Hasselblad HC, Contax 645 etc.

(d) Full support in Capture One (tethering rock solid, even more stable than Phase One XF in my experience; gorgeous ProStandard conversion profiles).

(e) OVF may matter to some users (not much to me...but I understand some photographers still prefer OVF).

(f) Excellent support from my Leica dealer (persuaded Wetzlar to replace failed AF motors for free even in a couple of lenses older than 5 years, fast turnaround for repairs - usually within two weeks for S items, compared to four months for the M system, in my experience).

However, the S3 imposes a fair amount of discipline and forethought if you want to take advantage of the resolution, mainly using a sufficiently fast shutter speed (or a tripod) and bracketing focus, since the AF is often infuriatingly hit and miss, especially with the Summicron-S 100. And it helps using an assistant or working in a studio or out of the trunk of your car if you want to bring 3 or more lenses. And yes, should get the AF motors replaced in the S/CS lenses because the original ones will all fail at some point, usually at the most inconvenient moment.
 
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Photon42

Well-known member
I would hold off buying an S3 unless you are really absolutely sure this is the thing for you and you already have the lenses you need or can source them at low cost. If Leica ever comes out with a successor, that thing with be EVF based, so you would need new lenses for best performance. To me, the S3 was a half bake update to the 007 (which I owned with three S lenses). I wonder if they actually did sell the S3 to a lot of people who aren't already in the system.
 
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