I am now planning to buy a P&S camera with a wide-angle zoom (at least 28mm) and hesitate on choosing Leica C3 or Yashica T Zoom. I believe they are similar and comparable on optical quality and controllability.
However, I concern more on the optical quality at wide angle because I tend to use it more on landscape shoots. Yashica T Zoom seems to have dark angel problem at 28mm, which can be seen from the s&le photos provided by local dealer. Is it a common problem of wide-angel P&S Zoom? Leica C3 has a lens with larger diameter. Does it perform better in light drop off at the edges? Any experienced users please advise.
You'll have to wait for more people to get their hands on these cameras (the Leicas) before there will be any meaningful comparisons. If price wasn't an object I'd go for the C3, if only because it has a larger aperture at 28mm (3.5 or so vs 4.5 on the T zoom). I can't see the Leica lens being too much different (hopefully no worse) than the Yashicas.
From what I've heard the Yashica is capable of very nice images. From what I've seen on posted photo's, there is some definite vignetting at 28mm, at least under certain conditions. To be honest, I'd be surprised if the Leica did not exhibit some vignetting as well. You have to make some compromises in lens design on cameras of this type. That is why many of the high end P&S zooms usually have only a 2x zoom; less compromise within the limits of the lens performance.
Let us know if you go for the C3, and give us your impressions.
I'm also interested in the T4 Zoom and the C3. You may want to check out Sister Site for info. on the T4 Zoom. Craig Norris has posted some info. and links to pictures he's taken with the T4 Zoom. He says that vignetting is not apparent with print film but is with slide film. See more at:
My experience with vignetting is that it occurs when shooting wide open in very bright conditions, e.g, a clear blue sky. Even the best wide angle lenses will produce light fall (not really vignetting) in this condition. However, a good lens will reduce the light fall off to a minimum and is not so great as to ruin the image.
Looking at the C2 (haven't seen the C3 in real life yet), it's much better than the old zoom camera. It's smaller, better built with better materials and has a real image finder that's clearer and easier to use and more convenient than a Minilux'. If the lens is of the same quality as the previous 2x zoom, than you have a super camera. I wasn't impressed with the C1 (great looking design but awkward handling) and from what I've heard, many defective camera's are being returned and the lens seems to be nothing special. These comments come from a reputable Leica dealer. The C2 enjoys a much better reception, both in camera and in lens quality. If the C3 is build to the same standards, it will be a very interesting camera.
After handling the C3 in real life, I can confirm my initial impression in tha't it is a much better camera than the C1. The outward appearance (body) is similar to the C1 (although a good grip has been added), the viewfinder, optics and controls are all first rate. C1's viewfinder was smalla and blurry, this one has much better eye relief and is very clear and sharp. All controls are easy and the camera feels very substantial. The optics are excellent, judging from the first testshots i've seem. Compared to a similar range Canon zoom, there is a noticable difference in tonal range, contrast and overal sharpness. As for a true p&s camera, it can be highly reccomended.
The C2 and C3's tech specs are published on Leica's website. I believe both camera's have the usual +1.5 ev feature. Vignetting could not be determined, judging from prints. I haven't seem any slides. The prints however, looked extremely well and evenly exposed, beautifully balanced and sharp. I did not notice shutter lag beyond what is to be expected. C3's shutter release is similar in design to the C1, it is almost flush with the upper deck and therefore somewhat difficult to find when you're looking through the finder. However, with a little getting-used to, I don't expect it to be a real problem. With regard to the flash, I believe the flash output is controlled bij the measured (autofocus) distance. There is no manual distance setting, as with the Minilux Zoom. Both camera's have the usual, to be expected, features and nothing more (or less). But you can expect a better than usual lens and better than usual built quality and materials and outstanding design. All in all, both seem te be very competent camera's, enjoyable to use and with a long-lasting value.
I am currently using a Minilux zoom for nearly 3 years and the pictures quality is very good. (My biggest problem is battery high consumption !).
Price is about 1000 euros. leica has released now a new C3 camera at nearly hlf this price (about 500 K euros). I know that the lens range is now 28- 80 mm as seen in tech specs on Leica website.
Would you advise me to change my Minilux Zoom for the C3 ?
Quite a different camera. The C3 is a variant of the C1. My wife upgraded from the C1 to the Minilux Zoom and we use it with Fuji NPH allowing the flash to be turned off most of the time. To date battery consumption has not been noticeable. When flash is required the CF unit is added which is more powerful and provides better illumination.
The C1 is also slow to use in action situations and the optics are satisfactory but not comparible to the Minilux Zoom.
Yes, it is a good lens for a P&S, but not in the same class as the Minilux Zoom.
Let me share a little of my experience. I use Leica M and R lenses shooting mostly transparencies which are projected from a Pradovit (with brightlight kit) onto a 8' x 8' MW screen. When my wife's slides from the Minilux Zoom are interposed, it is difficult if not impossible to distinguish. With the C1 slides the difference is apparent particularly with wide-angle. The fall-off is quite noticeable.
I concur regarding focal length and experience the same frustration with my Vario lenses. The new 1:4/35-70 is stunning, however I still gravitate to the ancient Angenieux 1:2,8/45-90 not only for the range but the speed.
See if you can borrow a C3 and experiment. Depending on how you use it and what you want to photograph it may suit.
Well, thanks for the responses. I'm primarily interested in a zoom and have heard so many good things about the minilux zoom that I wanted to read an objective report about the lens. Maybe I'll reconsider and buy a compact with a fixed focal length. Are there any point and shoots with a 50mm lens?
The European magazine FOTO is supposed to run a comparison of the latest wide angle (28mm - XXmm) P&S zooms in an upcoming issue. The cameras to be included, I believe, are the C3, Olympus Wide 100 (Mju III) and the Yashica T4 Zoom.
As for Minilux (non-zoom) I found it to be very good optically, though the viewfinder is tiny and the control mode switches for the flash, etc. are a pain to use. The Contax T3 is better in this department - and the Ricoh GR1/GR1s/GR1v have the best controls of any.
I would think the Contax T3 is out of my budget while the Ricoh GR1 maybe more suited for my needs (fast and sharp lens, aperture control and manual focus). The Rollei AFM35 look fantastic with one of the fastest lens at F2.6, and seems easy to use. I have read about the S-Apogon HFT lens producing very sharp and balanced images.
On the other hand, I am tempted to get a compact P&S zoom lens over a fixed one for reasons of practicality - I can shoot both wide (28mm) for landscapes, and tele (80mm) for portraits. The new Leica C3 fit this need and looks pretty good, but I have not seen any test images posted on any forums yet. I hope some one could comment on their experience on the C3, and maybe after seeing s&le images of the C3 would convince me on the spot to get one! The Contax T3 images are really great (the URL quoted above proves) and it did moved me to drool and exclaimed "this is it!". However, it's also the most expensive P&S camera to buy.