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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. 


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

Plant reflections in the canal

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Niknut Plus
11 2.9k 82 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2019 4:28PM
4579 ????????........Oh bugger.....I'm on the wrong planet again !!!!BlushBlushBlushBlush
Fma7 5 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.

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