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Leica Q2 Full Review

The Leica Q2 is a new premium compact full-frame camera with retro styling,a new 47.3-megapixel full-frame sensor, and a 28mm f/1.7 prime lens.


|  Leica Q2 in Mirrorless Cameras
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Leica Q2 (2)
 

Quick Verdict

The Leica Q2 offers a unique set of features, and a unique, high-quality camera, with a Leica 28mm f/1.7 ASPH prime lens, a 47mp full-frame sensor, high-speed continuous shooting, as well as CINE-4K video recording. Thankfully it also offers exceptionally sharp images, with a unique look. There's a famous Leica red-dot, and this is a camera that feels special. 

+ Pros

  • 47mp full-frame sensor
  • Extremely sharp results 
  • High quality 28mm f/1.7 lens
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • CINE-4K / 4K video recording
  • Extremely solid build quality
  • Weather-sealed
  • 10/20fps continuous shooting

- Cons

  • Price (which could be justified)
  • 28mm lens may not suit everyone
  • No USB connection or other ports
  • Raw needed for best results
 

 

Leica Q2 (15)
 

The Leica Q2 is the second Leica Q camera and was introduced in 2019 with a new 47 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, the lens remains the same, and is a Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens with built-in optical image stabilisation (OIS). The camera also supports CINE-4K video recording, high-speed continuous shooting, and a simplified control system, as well as manual controls. 

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Leica Q2 Features

Leica Q2 (1)
 

Leica has a new fixed lens, full-frame camera in the Leica Q2. The new model is aimed at professional photographers looking perhaps for a second camera, travel photographers wanting a camera that is small, light and discreet, and, finally, "influencers" who want their Instagram photos to have a different look and feel to everyone else's images.

The Leica Q2 was built with three main intentions; those of 'simplicity', 'quality', plus a focus on the 'essentials' - namely, Jason Heward, Leica UK, MD, explained, a desire to help photographers creatively achieve what they had set out to.

The Leica Q2 arrives on the heels of the four-year-old Leica Q, which, the company claims, is one of the most successful cameras Leica has ever made.

The intention of the new Q2, as with its predecessor, is that it is easy to use. The focus on simplicity and quality is also reflected in its fixed focal length 28mm f/1.7 maximum aperture lens. 

Jason told us this was a 'super-fast lens and AF system, coupled with an incredible viewfinder.' The camera is naturally compatible with the relatively recently introduced Leica Fotos app – memorably described as a 'gallery in your pocket'.

Also present at the London launch was Leica user and portrait photographer Arteh Odjidja, who reminded us that the original Q (Typ 116) camera came out in 2015 and has been very much in demand ever since – hence a raft of limited edition versions and different coloured models following in its wake.

The Leica Q2 replaces the Q and Q-P (which was a special edition version of the Q). The camera is weather-sealed, with an IP52 rating, has a magnesium alloy body, and is made in Germany.

Since the Leica Q was first announced, a number of years have passed, and with that, Leica has been able to introduce a number of new features to the new Leica Q2.

New in the Leica Q2:

  • 47.3mp Full-Frame CMOS sensor
  • 4K video, with CINE-4K
  • OLED viewfinder
  • 0.15 second AF
  • 20fps continuous (using electronic shutter)
  • Lower ISO speed of ISO50 available
  • Simplified on/off button
  • Simplified rear controls
  • Control wheel on the top now features a middle button
  • Updated dioptre dial (pops out)
  • 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm digital zoom (crop)
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • New larger battery

 

The Q2 has Program, Aperture, Shutter, and full manual shooting modes, giving you full manual controls, as well as a range of scene modes that can be selected in the menus. There are options to choose different Leica film styles, and these can be adjusted. Some of the scene modes offer "creative" effects, such as miniature, panoramic and HDR shooting. 

The OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF), has 3.68million pixels, with dioptre correction. The camera will automatically switch between the EVF and rear screen when you hold the camera up to your eye. 

With the marketing tagline of 'accept nothing but perfection', the Leica Q2 camera appears very similar to the original Q, with some slight ergonomic differences.

In terms of burst/continuous shooting, the camera offers up to 10fps if the mechanical shutter is utilised. Otherwise, it’s 20fps with the aid of the electronic shutter. Leica is describing the Q2’s autofocus performance as ‘fast’ at 0.15 seconds. The camera features a Leaf-shutter - for virtually silent shooting.

Also improved over its predecessor, it claims, is a high-resolution touch screen at the rear, and the fact that the accessible light sensitivity range now starts out at a lower ISO 50 setting (as opposed to ISO100 previously).

The Leica Fotos app, when used in conjunction with the Q2, can now 'wake up' the camera, as well as acting as a remote and means to transfer and share your images. To enable this, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (Low-energy) are built-in. 

Talking of pictures, if you do need to get closer to your subject than the 28mm lens will allow, the Q2 features a 75mm digital zoom function which provides an equivalent crop. Leica reasons that the camera is so high resolution that your images won’t be unduly affected by a lesser pixel count as a result of said crop.

Leica Q2 (5)

Key Features

  • 47mp Full-Frame CMOS sensor
  • Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH.
  • Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) 
  • 3inch touch-screen, 1040K dots
  • OLED viewfinder, with 3.68mp (dots) 100% view, dioptre adjustment
  • 225 focus fields
  • 10/20fps continuous shooting speed (mech/elec)
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE
  • Weather-sealed (IP52) rating 
  • CINE-4K / 4K UHD video recording
  • ISO50 to ISO50,000
  • 17cm macro focus
  • Built-in panoramic mode and HDR shooting

Leica Q2 Handling

Leica Q2 (8)

Handling - The integrated thumb rest means that the camera sits comfortably in the palm at least, while the build quality feels as robust, durable and strong as you'd expect a camera with an asking price of £4,250 to feel.

In fact, the camera gives a real feeling of quality. The camera is so solid, in fact, if you were looking for the definition of solid, then you could use the Leica Q2 as an example of what solid feels like. The camera weighs 734g with battery.

The grip on the front of the camera gives a good area to hold on to, with a textured rubber feel, however, there is no protruding grip on the front, which means the rear thumb grip becomes more important, as well as the use of the strap. The rear does not have a texture (other than smooth), nor does it feature any kind of rubber coating, instead you hold on to the matt finish of the camera, using your thumb in the indentation. This isn't really as big an issue as it sounds, and we didn't have any problems holding and using the camera. However, we would recommend trying the camera in person if possible so you can feel the camera in person to see if it suits your needs. 

Leica Q2 (11)

The controls on the back have been simplified, with just three buttons on the left of the camera screen, rather than the 5 found on the Leica Q. The function (Fn) button can be customised, so you can choose what control this accesses when you press it. There's a small button next to the thumb recess, and the command wheel also features a button in the middle. All very subtle, and discreet.

Pressing the middle button in the middle of the four-way controller/direction pad switches the display on the rear screen, but also switches between photo mode and video mode. The 4-way controller may seem a little small to some but doesn't take too long to get used to. 

You can turn the (aptly labelled) macro dial to the macro position, to activate the macro mode, and as you turn this, a ring moves forwards to update the focus distance markings to show the new, closer focus distance. The closest focus distance then becomes 17cm.

Leica Q2 (9)

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has a rubber surround, it's not as soft as you'd find on other cameras, such as the standard EVF surround on a DSLR, however, as the surround isn't easily replaced, it makes sense for it to be made from a tougher material. The surround is relatively comfortable in use, our only complaint would be the white colouration that occurs, however, this can easily be cleaned off. 

In handling the camera, we found the eye sensor was swift and responsive in use and this comes with a funky new push out/push in diopter adjustment control - again maintaining the camera's sleek, minimalist lines. The new high-resolution viewfinder is said to have a slightly different design to the original 'Q'. The resolution and quality of the viewfinder is good, with a clear display, and the viewfinder also gives a large view of the scene.

Viewing the screen outdoors is good, as long as the sun is not too bright. The menu button brings up a one-page menu with your favourite settings, scroll to the bottom of this and you can access the full menu options. The screen is clear, with easy to read text and options. 

There are 225 focus areas available, covering a wide area of the frame. Focus is relatively rapid, and we didn't worry about the speed in use.  

Leica Q2 (13)
 

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 350 shots according to Leica / CIPA test results, which is reasonable but may mean you'll want to invest in a spare battery. The Q2 uses a new battery, with a 1860mAh capacity. You can't charge the battery in the camera, as there is no USB port, or HDMI out port, or any other ports for that matter.


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Photographs taken using the Leica Q2

In oblivion . . .Arley in WinterPlant reflections in the canal

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Comments


Niknut Plus
12 3.3k 82 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2019 4:28PM
Ģ4579 ????????........Oh bugger.....I'm on the wrong planet again !!!!BlushBlushBlushBlush
Fma7 7 1.1k United Kingdom
6 Sep 2019 8:21PM
Don't buy a case for it as you won't be able to pose with it
10 Feb 2021 4:10PM
I saw a review online written by a news photographer who uses a Q2 for his job. In four years, he shot over 500,000 (yes, half a million images - not a typo) with his Q2 with no malfunctions, no failures, no shutter assembly issues. That is impressive by any metric.

To put those 500,000+ exposures in perspective, I remember reading that Nikon and Canon's pro DSLR bodies have shutters rated for 300,000 exposures. I have never read of any DSLR made by any maker that made 500,000+ exposure with no problems.

Yes, the Q2/Q2 Monochrom are costly. Quality, craftsmanship, durability and reliability are not to be had at bargain prices.
GEONYC 2
19 May 2022 11:34AM
I donīt see the justification for the price of a Leica Q1 and Q2 when cameras like the Nikon D750 and D850 with interchangeable lenses are almost half the price, NOW, as well as the Sony A7s and The Canon R models. By the way, from what I heard they are NOT made in Germany. You will notice it only says Leica Camera Wetzlar Germany, NOT made in Germany. Again, I heard they are made in Austria and/or Portugal. I would double-check to see if the lenses aren`t actually made in Japan. P.S. I have been a journalist in the field of photography for over 25 years.
saltireblue Plus
12 13.0k 82 Norway
21 May 2022 7:55AM

Quote:I donīt see the justification for the price of a Leica Q1 and Q2 when cameras like the Nikon D750 and D850 with interchangeable lenses are almost half the price,

As with everything else in life, it is personal choice. You don't have to buy a Bentley or a Rolls-Royce - cheaper care are available, but at the end of the day they do the same thing . get you from A to B. Such is it with cameras, too. At the end of they day they take a photograph.
GEONYC 2
21 May 2022 10:08AM
Thanks for the excuse for the high price of the Leica Qs and for all Leicas for that matter. To take your analogy with cars. They may all get you from place to place but you are missing my point. The main reason we have magazines for Cameras and cars is to test and tell their audience what is good or bad about them. I have a choice of going to a fast-food restaurant or not, right? but there are many people who donīt know the difference and suffer from the difference. Try to consider me as someone who, instead of saying, "Itīs Ok, fast food is OK." I am with the people who say, "Learn how to eat healthily and donīt support a company that is doing harm to your body. That is closer to my analogy. That is why it is my opinion and my comment. Why donīt you write your own comment about them? You are like many people on YT who write comments against a person who has a different opinion than they have and try to state what YOU think about a subject, instead of lecturing me. Do you know that the reason the Qs are marked with the words, Leica Wetzlar Germany., is because they canīt write Made in Germany, because they are not made in Germany. That is what I wanted the people on this site to be aware of. Is that OK?
ZenTony Plus
6 13 2 United Kingdom
21 May 2022 10:04PM

Quote:I donīt see the justification for the price of a Leica Q1 and Q2 when cameras like the Nikon D750 and D850 with interchangeable lenses are almost half the price, NOW, as well as the Sony A7s and The Canon R models. By the way, from what I heard they are NOT made in Germany. You will notice it only says Leica Camera Wetzlar Germany, NOT made in Germany. Again, I heard they are made in Austria and/or Portugal. I would double-check to see if the lenses aren`t actually made in Japan. P.S. I have been a journalist in the field of photography for over 25 years.


I am slightly surprised that as a photographic journalist of 25 years you are comparing the Leica Q2 with with the Nikon 850. There is no comparison. The 850 whilst being a superb camera (I had one) is just a LUMP. The reason I abandoned it was that it was just so heavy; even before you add the 28mm lens. Have you actually held the Q2; wherever it is made it is quality and for street photography, incomparable. A much more reasonable comparison in my view would be the Panasonic Lumix LX100ii. At a quarter of the price of the Leica it is worth a look at plus of course it does have the Leica lens.
GEONYC 2
22 May 2022 11:17AM
Herr Barnack: Thank you for your personal opinion, based on one article, which I would say, in my personal opinion, qualifies as, "HearSay" Information, and the opinion of one person. I assume, you, like many people seeking information for their buying choices and/or opinions instead of seeking information from at least two or three different opinion positions. only seek the opinions of those who
they agree with. I would mention the fact that most camera magazines and independent internet and YT sites havenīt to my knowledge, ever picked a Leica SL as the best mirrorless SLR. The Qs do get mentioned as best in their class, "Premium". That may be one of the reasons for their price and/or their very existence. I do wonder why they donīt have interchangeable lenses. Can you tell me where any
Leica camera has been shown to produce a better photo, leaving out one of the main reasons for Mīless cameras, Than any top model
from Sony, Canon, or Nikon? I will accept your method of finding ONE example. I as a photographer have, over the 25+ years, chosen my cameras based on their picture-taking qualities, not speed or size, or weight. As a matter of fact, a heavier camera/lens usually means
more metal. I hope you might agree with me in this case. I have never even thought of buying a smaller and/or lighter camera until I wanted one to keep in a sports jacket pocket,, at private parties/dinners, "Just in Case". Sorry to go on for so long. To end: My choice was,a camera that was very close to a Q, albeit smaller, lighter with 24MPs, but an APS-C sensor. nowhere as good or as fast as a Q., not even close, but it does produce very good A4 prints and in emails. I could have bought 10 of them for the price of a Q, I have written to Fuji asking for a new improved/updated model which could compete very well with many Leica APS-C and rival a 24MP Q, if they added a better shutter, steady shot, and a hot-shoe. It is a Fuji XF10. which I bought used for 330€ with 2x batteries and case. Its regular price is about 450€. I await your reply. What about engaging with my comment as to where Qs and other Leicas are made.
Your replies seem to be very selective, with just one example and..avoiding the rest. Ido have one question: How tall are you and how much do you weigh? Your need for a smaller, lighter camera may hinge on the factor.
GEONYC 2
22 May 2022 12:13PM
To ZenTony: I am even more surprised that someone who may be "Zen" would be surprised, even "Slightly" by anything, but call what has been tested and/or commented on most photo mags. and sites as in the top three to five DSLRs. I do have to correct what I said.
I could find two Sonys and Canons that could compete, fairly with my Nikons. I also wonder where the word "Lump" fits into a reasonable
opinion of an experienced photographer. I would ask you what size hands you have and would suggest a case with wheels. I use a very small shopping bag to carry one body and two lenses as a way of carrying my cameras in the street, and a single sling. A rather small bag which olds two bodies, a lens, and a small flash, or one body and two lenses. I have to add, that I usually carry an 18-35mm and an 85mm, which aren't very large. I am not a paparazzi who needs a longer lens. You have also made a few misleading and wrong comments. Once you qualify that the Qs are made for street photography, you have invalidated your comment by saying it is incomparable for street photography. I have used a couple of Sony A7s and now use my D850 in the street. I can see that your personal opinions blind you to the fact that other people have other opinions and use their cameras in different ways and different places.
Your most incorrect statement is wrong in two ways. Lumix G9 is about 990€ and a 25mm is under 200€and a Lumix DCLX 100M2 which is the closest in size has a 28-70 1.7 zoom and a better video sells on Aīzon for about 850€ which is about 4.5x cheaper. I am more surprised that it was your choice to pick a Panasonic camera because they use "Leica" lenses, which they don't and never have. The Leica branded lenses were not made by Leica. The new Lumix lenses are called, "L" mount. I wonder what the "L" stands for since they are made in Japan by Sigma and used by Leica and Panasonic, and I assume Sigma. My surprise is turning to a mild shock that you, like most of the people I communicate with here and on YT, have opinions but seldom do the research. That is the main difference between a Photogrpher, as you and a photographer, and a Journalist like I am. As last, I do have to point out that about 90% of the street photographers shoot with smartphones and small Sony and Panasonic. Can I get one, "Sorry, I was wrong", maybe two? Aso, my point about where Leica cameras are made you missed the point. again. It is a misleading statement to help justify the extremely high prices especially if/when you have to add a lens that starts in the 1000s. It is also possible that SONV and others raised their prices because they are cheaper than Leica. Just a personal speculation.
ZenTony Plus
6 13 2 United Kingdom
23 May 2022 9:37AM

Quote:To ZenTony: I am even more surprised that someone who may be "Zen" would be surprised, even "Slightly" by anything, but call what has been tested and/or commented on most photo mags. and sites as in the top three to five DSLRs. I do have to correct what I said.
I could find two Sonys and Canons that could compete, fairly with my Nikons. I also wonder where the word "Lump" fits into a reasonable
opinion of an experienced photographer. I would ask you what size hands you have and would suggest a case with wheels. I use a very small shopping bag to carry one body and two lenses as a way of carrying my cameras in the street, and a single sling. A rather small bag which olds two bodies, a lens, and a small flash, or one body and two lenses. I have to add, that I usually carry an 18-35mm and an 85mm, which aren't very large. I am not a paparazzi who needs a longer lens. You have also made a few misleading and wrong comments. Once you qualify that the Qs are made for street photography, you have invalidated your comment by saying it is incomparable for street photography. I have used a couple of Sony A7s and now use my D850 in the street. I can see that your personal opinions blind you to the fact that other people have other opinions and use their cameras in different ways and different places.
Your most incorrect statement is wrong in two ways. Lumix G9 is about 990€ and a 25mm is under 200€and a Lumix DCLX 100M2 which is the closest in size has a 28-70 1.7 zoom and a better video sells on Aīzon for about 850€ which is about 4.5x cheaper. I am more surprised that it was your choice to pick a Panasonic camera because they use "Leica" lenses, which they don't and never have. The Leica branded lenses were not made by Leica. The new Lumix lenses are called, "L" mount. I wonder what the "L" stands for since they are made in Japan by Sigma and used by Leica and Panasonic, and I assume Sigma. My surprise is turning to a mild shock that you, like most of the people I communicate with here and on YT, have opinions but seldom do the research. That is the main difference between a Photogrpher, as you and a photographer, and a Journalist like I am. As last, I do have to point out that about 90% of the street photographers shoot with smartphones and small Sony and Panasonic. Can I get one, "Sorry, I was wrong", maybe two? Aso, my point about where Leica cameras are made you missed the point. again. It is a misleading statement to help justify the extremely high prices especially if/when you have to add a lens that starts in the 1000s. It is also possible that SONV and others raised their prices because they are cheaper than Leica. Just a personal speculation.



I have little hands.
Let me explain further.
I do not have a Leica Q2. I could not afford a Leica Q2. And I fully appreciate that all cameras have their strengths and weaknesses and of course to a large degree it is subjective. However my comments were made on the back of a particular friend of mine who is recognized as one of the world's leading and award winning photographers. He has Nikons as his first choice camera, but he has just bought the Leica Q2 and stated to me that it is one of the finest street cameras that he has come across. In my naïve Zen state I accept his word. I have no agenda; I have no particular desire to own a Q2.
What I do see here on EPZ that some of the best "photographs" are not taken with the "best" cameras and some of the "worst" pictures can be taken by the "best" cameras and that sort of tells you everything about photography. It is the photographer that makes the real difference.
GEONYC 2
23 May 2022 10:49AM
TonyZen: I donīt know why I have to repeat myself, so please read my last comment to you over. I think your Zern attitude and your passive ways do not fit very well in a situation where you think one person`s opinion means so much. Many photographers in UK/EUR buy Leicas to get close to the Leica company for support and to be shown in Leicaīs galleries and a sense of pride. As you said a Q is ONE of the best. To me, one of the finest is the one that gets the best shot. Also, I donīt use the word finest. I would use the same word EPZ uses, "Best". Also, I would say, "Everything is subjective" There are thousands of award-winning photographers in the world. I would say a photographer that wins a prize at World Press Photo or one of the USA/UK/EUR photo events counts more than in most other countries, just as a Football/Basketball/Golf/Tennis player(s) winning an MVP/championship in those places To end I would rather hear from a person who uses a Q, not from a very nice, (Passive sounding) person from, I assume, Asia. I am from NYC. I won an award there many, many years ago and people still ask me about my award, which means very little to me. A money or equipment award means a lot more to most photographers. As far as fame is concerned I am more on the ZEN side. I am much more about my family, Friends, and Cameras, in that order.
ZenTony Plus
6 13 2 United Kingdom
23 May 2022 3:32PM
Did I say who which what award ? I don't think I did. For me everyone's opinion is interesting; yours included. However I don't have to agree. I sense a huge amount of anger in the way you respond to opinions that differ from your own. It's an opinion. Respect that for what it is. But there again you are from NYC. All said.
Have a nice day.
ZenTony Plus
6 13 2 United Kingdom
24 May 2022 7:27AM

Quote:Thanks for the excuse for the high price of the Leica Qs and for all Leicas for that matter. To take your analogy with cars. They may all get you from place to place but you are missing my point. The main reason we have magazines for Cameras and cars is to test and tell their audience what is good or bad about them. I have a choice of going to a fast-food restaurant or not, right? but there are many people who donīt know the difference and suffer from the difference. Try to consider me as someone who, instead of saying, "Itīs Ok, fast food is OK." I am with the people who say, "Learn how to eat healthily and donīt support a company that is doing harm to your body. That is closer to my analogy. That is why it is my opinion and my comment. Why donīt you write your own comment about them? You are like many people on YT who write comments against a person who has a different opinion than they have and try to state what YOU think about a subject, instead of lecturing me. Do you know that the reason the Qs are marked with the words, Leica Wetzlar Germany., is because they canīt write Made in Germany, because they are not made in Germany. That is what I wanted the people on this site to be aware of. Is that OK?


Leica Q2 is made in Germany. That is manufactured in Germany. That is not made anywhere else in the world other than Germany. The Leica SL2 was rebranded and made in China as the Panasonic LX100ii

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