Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica Q: What’s next for Leica’s biggest success story?

Leica Q: What’s next for Leica’s biggest success story?

504
8
  Beihai Park or Hyde Park? Guess. The Q was a nifty performer at the Naked Bike Ride in 2015
Beihai Park or Hyde Park? Guess. The Q was a nifty performer at the Naked Bike Ride in 2015

Sometimes Leica is predicable. For instances, the well-worn path of new models based on whatever M is current. First comes the M-P, then, nearer to the end of the product cycle, the M Monochrom. With the last M, the 240, we were treated to further variations on the theme, the screenless M-D and the stripped-down M262. There is a logical progression. 

You can also read much into discontinuation of particular finishes, too. The titanium TL was withdrawn some months before the TL2 arrived. Now the titanium-finish Leica Q has been dropped for no apparent reason. While it was more expensive than the standard finishes, I understood that it had been popular and it isn’t obvious why Leica would simply drop it.

  The Leica Q was definitely my cup of tea, here at the St.Crux church hall tearoom in     Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate , York
The Leica Q was definitely my cup of tea, here at the St.Crux church hall tearoom in Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate , York

Could this change presage an update to the Q itself? It was introduced in early 2015 and it is perhaps too soon to expect a major overhaul. On the other hand, this has been one of the most successful (perhaps the most successful) camera to come from Wetzlar in many a year and an update might be on the cards.

  Many shades of grey, but no longer the precise Titanium Gray, even if Leica did manage to misspell it for much of the world market
Many shades of grey, but no longer the precise Titanium Gray, even if Leica did manage to misspell it for much of the world market

Yet there is little that is crying out for improvement with the Q. I liked it instantly and spent nearly a year with it as a constant companion. I tested it originally in June 2015 and then wrote about my long-term experiences nine months later. 

  At first many prospective buyers were put off by that 28mm fixed lens. They would have preferred 35mm as on the Sony RX1. But we have come to accept and love the wider angle
At first many prospective buyers were put off by that 28mm fixed lens. They would have preferred 35mm as on the Sony RX1. But we have come to accept and love the wider angle

There isn’t much not to like about the Q. The camera already has the 24MP sensor that features in the SL and the M10, a very fast Maestro II? Processor and a superb viewfinder. Next to the finder in the SL, this is the best I have used. Perhaps a few tweaks on autofocus speed would help but there is really nothing major that I can think of that would make the Q very significantly better than it is. Direct access to exposure compensation might be worth having and, possibly, an M10-style ISO dial would attract new customers. But the form factor and superb performance of the Q was obviously right from day one. It will be interesting to see if the discontinuation of the Titanium Gray Q presages any further excitement. 

____________

8 COMMENTS

    • I too have thought about this but I have concluded that another full-frame system camera based on the Q is unlikely. This is because the native (SL) lenses are all enormous and would produce a very unwieldy camera when mounted on a Q body. It’s a pity.

  1. Mike

    I would like to see one or two more Q bodies. Perhaps with an 18mm and 60mm lens, or a 45mm and 70mm lens. A combination that would make a good two or three camera set.

    PaulB

    • Yes, this is attractive. It’s a bit like the Sigma model — different cameras with fixed lenses instead of one body and a bag of IC lenses. I suspect, though, that this won’t happen. With Leica’s pricing it would be a very expensive method of working. We’ll have to wait and see.

      • Mike

        Yes, having a kit made of two Q bodies would seem expensive, especially from the point of view of the real world. But, from a Leica perspective not really.

        If Leica would keep the price of the new cameras close to the price of the current Q, you could have two cameras with lenses for $8,000-$9,000. Which is than an M-body and one comparable lens. Or, possibly three cameras with lenses, at $12.0K-$14.0. Since an M10 with 50mm Lens will cost between $10.0K-$16.0K, depending on if you choose the Summilux or the APO Summicron lens.

        For this to happen, all that is needed is for Leica to be willing to eat their own lunch.

        PaulB

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.