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Leica Q2 Reporter Review

John Riley has been putting the ultra-robust Leica Q2 Reporter camera to the test which features Kevlar armour and a distinctive matte-green finish that's scratch and abrasion-resistant.

| Leica Q2 Reporter in Mirrorless Cameras

Leica Q2 Reporter Review: Leica Q2 Reporter Flat Front View | 0.5 sec | f/16.0 | 48.0 mm | ISO 100

Quick Verdict

The Leica Q2 Reporter Looks very much like a small M11 but does some things that rangefinder-style Leica cameras don't. A chunky fixed Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens that has AF, a macro range for close focusing, weather sealing to IP52 standard, 10fps, easier handling and a Kevlar armoured exterior. It is of course basically a Leica Q2 with added style, with its green paint finish, the Kevlar that will age to the colour of the paint finish and no red dot to attract attention. What it becomes is a low key reportage camera that attracts no attention. It's also a very functional and easy to use camera capable of some truly excellent images and worthy of bearing the Leica name. All of this, at a price very much lower than an M11 with lens, although admittedly at a still not insignificant Leica price.

+ Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Sealing to IP52
  • Fast and accurate AF
  • Macro focusing range
  • Discrete appearance
  • Tough Kevlar coat
  • Excellent OLED EVF

- Cons

  • Expensive
  • Fixed 28mm lens




The Leica Q2 Reporter, as we might guess from its name, is a variant of the Leica Q2 that is intended for reportage and travel photography. It adds AF to the Leica portfolio, it adds a macro range to the close focusing ability and it adds a Kevlar armoured finish. Leica advise us that the colour of the Kevlar will fade with time into a green to match the colour of the green paint finish of the camera body. No doubt one of these will be saving James Bond's life in some future movie as the Kevlar can stop a speeding bullet, perhaps. The 10fps mechanical shutter is no slouch either and a host of features make this a modern easy to use camera that answers most of the difficulties of handling rangefinder-style cameras. The camera is considerably less expensive than say a Leica M11, so let's see if it delivers the same Leica quality and especially whether the lens has that unique Leica magic.



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Leica Q2 Reporter Features

Leica Q2 Reporter Review: Leica Q2 Reporter Without Hood | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 68.0 mm | ISO 100

Weighing in at 718g, the Leica Q2 Reporter is sealed to a high standard and has an IP52 rating vs dust and moisture. This frees the photographer to continue shooting in inclement weather with confidence. The subdued green colour and Kevlar body armour, plus the absence of the red Leica dot, all add up to a discrete street/reportage camera. For those who miss the red dot, when the camera is switched off it is briefly displayed on the monitor. The baseplate is not removable and the battery is accessed in the same way that the M11 is. A lever releases it and a small push on the battery enables its removal. There is no means of charging or connecting the battery or anything else as there are no sockets on the camera. A sensible improvement is that the card slot is separate from the battery compartment. However, neither the battery nor the card can be removed when the camera is on a tripod. The battery is rated at 350 shots, using CIPA standards.

The back houses the 3-inch monitor and a small buttons bring up the various crop marks for the digital crop modes. This is similar to the way a rangefinder viewfinder works, with progressively smaller bright frames as we look at longer focal lengths. Full-frame is a 28mm lens and crops are offered for 35mm, 50mm and 75mm. These settings are essentially just a crop and could be just as easily achieved by cropping the full-frame image in Photoshop. Resolution is reduced, so 35mm equates to 30MP, 50mm to 15MP and 75mm to 7MP. Full frame is using all the 47.3MP (14 bit) full-frame sensor for 28mm.

Leica Q2 Reporter Review: Leica Q2 Reporter Rear View Crop Lines For 75mm | 0.5 sec | f/16.0 | 115.0 mm | ISO 100

The OLED 3.68MP viewfinder is excellent, a button next to it operating the dioptre setting to adjust for varying eyesight.

The body of the camera is Magnesium alloy for strength and to this, the Reporter version adds the Kevlar coat. This looks good as well as offering a solid grip and blends well with the subtle green paint finish. The rest of the body is devoid of any clutter, leaving just the shutter dial, the on/off switch around the shutter release button and a command dial that is set by default at exposure compensation.


Key Features

  • 47.3mp full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Digital crops equivalent to 35mm, 50mm and 75mm
  • Mechanical leaf shutter 60s to 1/2000s
  • Electronic shutter 1s to 1/40000s
  • ISO range 50-50000
  • Sealed against dust and moisture to IP52
  • Video C4K, 4K and Full HD
  • SD Memory Cards: UHS-II, UHS-I, SD/SDHC/SDXC up to 2TB
  • Maestro II Image Processor
  • Kevlar body armour
  • No red dot for discretion
  • Stylish green paint finish
  • 3-inch monitor
  • DNG and JPEG formats
  • AF focusing locks in 0.15s
  • Macro focusing range
  • Bluetooth
  • Optical IS for stills and video
  • Fixed Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens
  • 11 elements in 9 groups, including 3 Aspherical
  • 350 shots (CIPA)
  • FOTOS App for connectivity
  • Updates via FOTOS App


Leica Q2 Reporter Handling

Leica Q2 Reporter Review: Leica Q2 Reporter Front View | 0.5 sec | f/16.0 | 78.0 mm | ISO 100

The Q2 Reporter offers faster and more familiar handling than the M11, especially adding AF and Image Stabilisation. The IS was found to be good for about a 2.5 stop advantage, worth having but not as dramatic as some recent cameras. This will of course vary from photographer to photographer and even from day today. There is also the macro range so the camera will focus much closer than an M lens will allow. The OLED EVF is excellent and can be used for extended periods without eye fatigue.

Utilising the A settings on the lens and the shutter speed dial, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual modes can be selected.

Placing the camera on a flat surface, it is front heavy and as a consequence tilts onto the lens. This means that a flat table or similar cannot be used to support the camera without the lens being propped up slightly. The push-on lens cap was a little tight, as was the final few turns of the screw-in hood. Such is the expectation of quality that this is mentioned at all as it just falls short of totally slick.


Leica Q2 Reporter Review: Leica Q2 Reporter Summilux 28mm F1,7 Standard Range | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 78.0 mm | ISO 100

Other than a few slight niggles such as the above, the camera handles efficiently and sweetly in every other respect and at a stroke answers all the things about the M series cameras that this reviewer does not totally gel with. This is of course a personal response and there are plenty of photographers who find that the Leica way is the one that works for them.  


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