A Closer Look at $5,000 Leica Q2 Camera

Everything about the Leica Q2 is elegant, and the price tag is no exception. High-end cameras are a thing of beauty like the pictures they shoot. Though they’ve just hit the market, getting your hands on the Q2 is an absolute must for any serious photography buff or professional who wants the top-of-the-line deluxe model. One look at the vintage-inspired simple good looks and impressive list of features will have any photographer looking for the nearest place to get on the waiting list. Owners of the original Q will be green with envy at the enhanced features.

Upgrades

The previous and already incredible sensor was 27 megapixels. The Q2 sports a massive 47.3 for almost double the clarity. The improved sensor has a native ISO of 50. This extremely low ISO aids in the dynamic range under some conditions. Additionally, the more rapid and accurate autofocus and optical stabilization that kicks in automatically when shooting under 1/60s have been added to complement the enhanced sensor capabilities.

4K video shooting with multiple options for shooting, simplified button layout and the larger battery with a redesigned card door all help refine the Q2 for better usability in any circumstance or shooting condition. New electronic shutter options now go up to 1/40,000sec which is more than double the speed of the previous 1/16,000, though the mechanical range is unchanged. A new OLED display gives beautiful blacks and lacks many of the minor flaws of the Qs sequential field display.

Features

  • No need to swap out accessories
  • Magnesium shell covered in leather is water and dustproof and conforms to the IP52 standard
  • Very intuitive and easy to understand operation
  • Summilux 28mm f/1.7 Asph Wide-Angle Lens
  • Top ISO 50,000
  • Top Mechanical Burst Mode 10 FPS
  • New Electronic Shutter Mode with 20 FPS
  • Full Manual Focus Control
  • Macro Mode
  • Distance Scales
  • Eye-level Electronic Viewfinder
  • Auto Magnification
  • Face Detection Mode
  • Crop Options
  • EVF is 3.68 million dots and automatic activation when you raise it to your eye.
  • The LCD screen on the back is 3 inch/1.04 million dots
  • 35mm, 500mm and 75mm settings (with resolutions of 30MP, 14.7MP, and 6.6MP)

Positive

Everything about the eloquent and minimalist Q2 is superb. The sleek and classic looks and stellar engineering feel amazing in your hands. The Q2 has certainly raised the bar for all compact handheld cameras, just as its predecessor did before it. Leica managed to expand upon the Q without losing the best parts of it. The result is easier handling and improved capabilities while staying true to the core of the predecessor.

Of particular note is the improved image quality. The sheer range of both manual focus and autofocus controls exceeds expectation. The flexibility in editing and cropping on the hi-res files also feels like a nice bonus.

Negative

There simply isn’t much you could say that is negative about the Q2. Some would say the price is prohibitive, but you get what you pay for. If you want a truly top of the line camera, then you’ll be paying for that. At around five thousand dollars it certainly isn’t a cheap camera, but it shouldn’t be.

Both the LCD panel and lens are fixed, which might be a downside by some accounts, but not every buyer wants to deal with zoom and upgraded optics. The simplicity and lack of any need to port around a bag of accessories is just as easily a selling point as a problem. Again, this is a matter of opinion.

There is no built-in flash or mic input and in spite of the new and improved videography capability, the Q2 is designed to take still shots. Videographers might wish for finer video controls and an articulating display, but the new capacity feels more like a bonus novelty than a primary purpose for this model.

Conclusion

If the Bugatti Veyron by Mansory Vivere was a camera, it would want to be the Leica Q2. In other terms, the Q2 is the Alexandrite of the camera world, rare, precious, valuable and stunningly beautiful. Leica cameras are so peerless that after four years of sales the original Q is still on backorder. If that doesn’t explain the value and worth of owning a camera like the Q2 then words cannot suffice.


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