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Leica Likes Olympus EVF

Leica opts for Olympus' VF-2 for its new X2 compact camera

Leica decided Olympus' VF-2 electronic viewfinder was the best available for their new X2 compact

Olympus has renewed its ties with Leica for the first time since Leica sold its one and only Four Thirds DSLR, the re-badged Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 which Leica called the Digilux 3. The new tie-up comes in the form of the Olympus VF-2 electronic viewfinder for Pen Micro Four Thirds cameras that have the Olympus accessory port - which means all Pens after the original E-P1. Last week Leica unveiled a revamped version of its X1 compact digital camera, not to be confused with D-Lux models that are re-badged Panasonic Lumix models.

The X2 is entirely designed and manufactured in-house by Leica, as was the original X1 model. Leica decided that the X2 needed an electronic viewfinder and I'm told several different options were evaluated. So it's a little surprising that Leica didn't opt for the EVF Panasonic have produced for the Lumix GX1. Instead, Leica chose the Olympus VF-2, which - as the Leica EVF 2 - is almost identical apart from the Leica brand and shaping of the front of the device.

Leica's EVF 2 is, in theory, usable with Olympus Pens and some Accessory Port accessories should work on the Leica X2

Apart from cosmetic changes the Leica EVF 2 is, apparently, identical to an Olympus VF-2. This means that the Leica X2 has a functioning accessory port and the logical deduction is that some other Olympus Accessory Port devices will also work on the X2, like the MAL-1 macro lights, for example. More complicated devices like the Bluetooth Pen Pal might be asking too much of Leica, but we will try to find out. The Olympus SEMA-1 stereo microphone adapter won't work because the X2 has not audio (or video) functionality.

The official Leica price list shows the Leica EVF2 at 360. An Olympus VF-2 is available discounted to as little as 169.

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