Pirelli 2014 Calendar Girls

Pirelli 2014 calendar is a very special edition. The iconic Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli is notorious with the Pirelli calendar for 50 years! For a half-century Pirelli was responsible for making tyres and calendar :)

However, most of us never able to get a Pirelli calendar. We had to satisfy ourselves with Pirelli P7 or Pirelli PZero shoes.

Seems like Pirelli 2014 calendar is captured Christian Louboutin, Leica, and a company that makes black and white shirts and underwear :)

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Leica Mini M X Vario

Leica Mini M X Vario is the latest digital camera from the Leica. Mini M X Vario offers the world’s first APS-C CMOS sensor with on-board zoom lens. APS-C CMOS sensors are relatively larger than the traditional pocket camera sensor and offer better quality pictures. Leica Mini M X Vario offers 16.5-megapixel picture quality but megapixel does not mean everything. The size of the sensor and the quality of the lens are the main determinant to improve the quality of the pictures, otherwise increasing the megapixel without improving the hardware will not provide you any good quality. That’s why Leica is one of the class leaders to combine large size sensors with high quality lenses. 

Mini M X Vario offer 1080p Full HD video recording and sharing them on social media networks without the necessity of transferring into another gadget. The ISO range of the Leica Mini M starts from 100 up to 12500. Higher ISO level enables to take photos with low light conditions but try to increase shutter speed instead of that! 

And also, you have the full manual controls on Leica Mini M X Vario to control shutter speed and aperture level. The TFT LCD screen offers outstanding 920,000 pixel in 3”-inch! Lastly, you have the chance to take RAW pictures with the Leica, that’s a really big advantage in a small camera.

The price of Leica Mini M X Vario starts from £2150! And if you have chance, you can have a try at Mayfair, London store of Leica. Or visit the factory at Solms, Germany. You need to take a train from Gießen to Solms. If you miss the Solms station, you will see the factor on railway route.


Leica D-Lux 6 Edition by G-Star RAW

Leica D-Lux 6 Edition by G-Star RAW. This is the latest collaboration of Leica with the Dutch fashion brand G-Star. G-Star is a well-known denim brand with a contemporary collection. Don’t worry the Leica camera is not covered with denim, instead D-Lux 6 Edition is finished with unique green colour of G-Star.

Leica D-Lux 6 Edition features 1.7” CMOS image sensor with full-HD video recording. Also, full manual controls are available to make the most it from the 1/1.7” CMOS image sensor. D-Lux 6 Edition has a wide range of exposure compensation from -3 to +3 with 1/3 steps. ISO level starts from 80 to 12800, but try not to use 12800 level! Shutter speed varies from 1/4000s to 250s. Also a ND-filter is present for nature pictures. And lastly, D-Lux 6 Edition features the HDR mode to take photos with different exposure levels.

Leica D-Lux 6 Edition is available for £850 from the Leica Store Mayfair at London.






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Leica X2 Product Review

The X2 is the latest compact camera from Leica housing a DSLR sensor (APS-C CMOS), and offers full manual control like that found in a DSLR camera. Thanks to dials placed on the X2, it is really easy to change the shutter speed and focal length. In many compact cameras and some DSLR cameras, these functions are frequently hidden under the menus where you really have to browse through the menus just to change the shutter speed. In my personal opinion, the design of Leica X2 is really ergonomic and makes it extremely easy to control the settings.

The principal functions of the Leica X2 are namely automatic program (P), automatic aperture priority (A), automatic shutter priority (S), and manual setting (M). You choose the appropriate menu by selecting the A mode on the dial or by selecting the desired values. Of course, you need to be familiar with photography to get the most out of these settings; otherwise the results may not be at their full potential. However, having these easy controls will also allow you to become familiar with the fundamentals of photography with ease.

The main advantage of the APS-C sensor within the X2 is the improved image quality thanks to the ability of larger sensors, which bring in more light than those, which are smaller ones. Even in low light conditions. Moreover, you don’t need to bear the extra weight of a DSLR camera, and fundamentally the Leica X2 is a camera with a DSLR sensor, which can fit right into your pocket.

The Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH lens is Leica made as well and is comprised of, 8 elements in 6 groups, as well as 1 aspheric element. The 8 elements are a major plus for improved picture quality, when you have less elements in a lens, the light received by the sensor gets better. Moreover, the f/2.8 value (it goes up to 16) enables the sensor to receive more light, which creates blurred backgrounds.

Also, the Elmarit lens gives you amazing results and extreme sharpness and detail on the pictures. This does not happen coincidently as Leica is renowned as one of the best lens manufacturers in the world and their lenses are used in a wide range of areas.

The ISO levels on the Leica X2 are; 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, and 12500. However I never needed to use more than ISO 400 as the APS-C sensor receives a lot of light in any conditions. Even in low light, the Leica X2 produces very good pictures. Back to ISO levels, it is not good to use high ISO levels, because this increases the noise level in the picture and reduces the quality. Therefore, go for the lowest ISO level, mount the cameras on a tripod, reduce the aperture value and increase the shutter speed. For the X2, Leica should have a lower ISO than ISO 100, because in many cases the camera receives more than enough light and I felt the lack of a lower than ISO 100 level.

Image saving formats are DNG and JPG with fine and super fine levels. However, the Leica X2 does not enable you to save solely to DNG files, but you have to save with a JPEG copy as well. Unfortunately, this consumes memory space and extra work to delete JPEG files when you transfer the pictures into your computer.

Lastly, I really like the gold-coated USB connection port and the battery performance. Gold is the most conductive material and improves the data transfer speeds! Other disadvantages of the X2 include no video recording facility, but this is of course not critical for everyone. Another point is that the macro focus range starts from 30 cm and sometimes you may struggle but not a big problem as well. Many people never use macro function at all.

Every product has downsides but you can compensate these with the superior advantages. This is especially relevant to the Leica X2, which boasts great ergonomics, ease of use, and superb picture quality, which of course cannot be ignored. Also the battery performance was more than adequate. I did not need to recharge the battery for two days.

Finally, Leica X2 is an excellent camera from packaging to picture quality. You will not be disappointed with your purchase, and also you will have a DSLR performance that can fit into your pocket without any extra weight and a complex menu structure. Also, during the events I attended with Leica X2, you will be treated as a professional photographer and receive plenty of attention!

Photos were taken in: Birmingham City Centre, University of Birmingham Business School, Main Campus and Vale Village Mason Hall, London SMMT.

The price of Leica X2 is £1500 and more information is available on Leica’s website.
The rest of the photos are in Cars & Life Facebook Album.
Night Photos
Train travelling around 200 km/h

Leica V-Lux 40: Early Valentine’s Day Present

Leica V-Lux 40 is a pocket size 14,1-megapixel digital camera with 20x optical zoom. And the cheapest Leica you can purchase, with the price tag of £550! I know this price tag is very close to some of them DSLR cameras on market. However there is minor a problem, if you want to buy a DSLR with a 20x optical zoom lenses from Leica, the price tag will not stay inside the barrier of £550. It will jump to shocking levels!
Basically, Leica V-Lux 40 offers the best Leica experience for this. V-Lux 40 offers the usual suspect, the GPS function with touch screen display. I really don’t understand the point of GPS on a digital camera, as long as you won’t be constructing a building in the middle of Sahara desert, why do you need to tag your photos with GPS data. It consumes battery power, but people love it!
As you expected, the menus of Leica is from the Panasonic however, when you experience the V-Lux 40 you will realise that the menus on Leica is more comprehensive and provide more manual control than the Panasonic version! 
V-Lux 40 also offer 3D recording, which I find it another pointless function on digital camera, again people love this!
The lenses of the Leica offer 24-480 mm wide range with F/3.3-6.4. And the ISO levels up to 3200. According to results from the 3200 ISO level, the level of noise is acceptable but high ISO level is never recommended by the photographers. Do your best and try to take photos in lower ISO level with longer shutter speed by tripod. You will definitely see the improved quality of the photos. In addition, Leica is one of the best lenses makers in the world, if you manage to push the limits of the V-Lux 40, the results from the Leica will be amazing!
Many people will think that, you used a DSLR while taking the photos.
Lastly, each compact camera comes with the tendency to fall and hit to ground. Therefore, I highly recommend you to buy the original case for the Leica. It is £80, but you already paid £550 ;) 
Leica V-Lux 40 would be a great valentine’s day present. It is one of the best camera maker and never dissatisfied their customer and you will not feel that you bought something just expensive. Leica is expensive but it does worth!

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Leica M Monochrom: Full Frame Black and White

Leica M Monochrom, you didn’t read wrong or I did not make a typo. Leica recently introduced a monochrome (black/white) digital camera. For many people, they will say this “why”. Let me explain, before the digital camera era, you had opportunity to take black and white photos with black and white film. In those years, the films were available as colour or black and white.
However, as the technology developed and we throw out analogue cameras. Thus, taking black and white photos turned into a problem. Unlike old times, the modern digital cameras use filters to turn coloured photos into black and white. This may not sound that bad, but for professionals it is not something that nice. Because, the original photos is manipulated by software and the quality is definitely reduced.
So, Leica introduced a full frame 35mm (18-mega pixel) digital camera with changeable lens. Leica M Monochrom enables you to take pure black and white photos without any software manipulation and bring very high quality results. Moreover, M Monochrom offers full manual modes, so that you have the full control of the camera. Additionally, you can use any lens that matches with your purpose. Thanks to black and white full frame sensor, the light sensivity of Leica M Monochrom is better than colour cameras and provide better results, the highest ISO level is 10000 with very low noise ratio.

Price of Leica M Monochrom is around £6000. Why so expensive? Because, full frame sensors are nearly twenty times more expensive manufacture than normal sized one. As a result of this, the price of the camera jumps to this level.

For more technical details please check the Leica’s website

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