Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica Q: Long term review and deciciso​n on upgrading to the Q2

Leica Q: Long term review and deciciso​n on upgrading to the Q2

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To upgrade or not to upgrade, that is one question facing satisfied owners of the Leica Q. Is it worth dibbing in the old 2015 model in favour of the 47MP Q2 with its improved ergonomics, simpler controls?

The choice was relatively easy for me since I had sold my original Q in anticipation of the Q2 and I definitely love the new camera. The user interface has been simplified with the now-standard three-button layout introduced on the CL, the diopter control now stays where it’s put, and the addition of weather sealing is definitely an asset.

My only reservation is whether or not I need that 47MP sensor which definitely uses more resources, both in terms of storage and speed. On balance, I have to say that if I still owned the original Q, I would probably still be sitting on the fence.

Allen Murabayashi of photo resource organisation Photo Shelter has been happily using the Q for nearly four years and has amassed a wealth of experience after taking over 60,000 images. Unlike in my case, with a gap between the cameras, he made the move straight from one to the other and his impressions are fresh in the mind.

The latest Q2 closely follows the styling of the original but tempts with a 47MP sensor. Some consider this to be a mixed blessing, however.

As an overall view of the two Qs, he says he would have been happy to continue using the original model for several more years if it hadn’t been for the arrival of the Q2:

If one measure of a good camera, is the one you’re inclined to carry with you, the Leica Q fits the bill. For those who want more fine-tuned control, better low light performance and higher image quality than a smartphone, a dedicated camera is the only way to go. Yet size and weight can be a strong disincentive. Happily, this hasn’t been the case with the Leica Q, and if Leica waited another few years before releasing the Q2, I have no doubt that I would have continued to strap the Q around my neck.

I suspect many owners of the original Q will have similar views. If you are in this position of owning the Q and wondering whether to take the plunge with the Q2, it’s well worth reading Allen’s full review here on PetaPixel. It’s also a good guide if you are in the market for the Q and are wondering whether it more makes sense to go for a used model and save a stack of cash.

Where do you stand? Have you ever owned a Q and are you tempted to upgrade to the Q2?

8 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Mike, as you are aware, I purchased the Leica Q-P, knowing that it indicated that the Q2 had to be arriving any moment. I absolutely love it – the stealth finish is the most gorgeous finish I have seen and has to be seen and fondled as photos do not do it justice. I love the Leica script on the top of the camera which makes it look so elegant and finely crafted. I do not need more than 24MP for my purpose for this camera and the rendering is truly lovely. It also has lower noise than the Q2 at higher ISO which is important to me. A competent reviewer (Reid) showed that down sampling Q2 files provides similar performance but I do not want more processing complexity. I love the interface so do not need any improvement on that front except for get rid of video!
    So I think there are three choices: Q, Q-P, and Q2. We are blessed to have these excellent choices and to select which amazing finely crafted tool suits are needs the closest.

  2. As a non-Q-owner, the biggest drawcard of the new one for me would be the ability to crop in to a 35mm FOV and still have a seriously large and detailed file. A little more versatility in a fixed lens camera makes sense when considering the shooting envelope, as per the resolution gain of the Fuji X100F over the earlier X100 models.

    However, if i was ever to buy a Q, i think the savings on an original model would be enough to sway me in that direction. Because my biggest interest in the Q would be to sample that wonderful manual lens and overall handling, and the original appears no worse off in that department.

  3. I originally looked at the Q as a complementary to my SL cameras, but there were a few things I didn’t like about it. I guess I was spoiled with the EVF in the SL but I couldn’t get on with the EVF on the Q; The 28 was a bit too wide and if cropped the files would be too small. (there is a whole discussion to be had on this) and the battery too small for professional use. I’m happy to say all these things and more have been addressed in the Q2.

    • Thanks for mentioning the battery which, in its self is a good reason to upgrade. Not only is it larger, as you say, it is the same as that used in the SL with the wonderful pop-out feature first introduced on the Leica T and then carried over to the SL. I do find the separate SD card door a little fiddly to operate but this isn’t a major problem.

  4. I don’t have a Q (or Q2), but anyone I know who has one loves it. I looked at one some years ago and decided it was just too big for a ‘compact camera’. Nowadays my compact camera is a smartphone (with Leica lens, of course) which is a ‘stand in’ at times when I don’t have a camera with me. The next issue also relates to size. I have used cameras with sensors of 36 Mp and 45 Mp (no prizes for guessing the make) and I have found that, as the Mp number increases, post processing becomes increasingly more glacial unless you also upgrade your computer. There is a definite trade off to be considered here. The Q/Q2 is, of course, predicated on its ability to crop images to to produce different ‘focal lengths’ and the higher Mp does help in that regard and this is another trade off to be considered. Going back to a point mentioned above, a smartphone image is just as good for a lot of online published or shared stuff. The larger sensor in the Q/Q2 will have advantages when it comes to printing, competitions or for personal satisfaction and, of course, the lens cannot be matched by that on a smartphone, even one that bears the name ‘Leica’. The smartphone will, of course, have a lot of computational features which have yet to make their way into mainstream cameras. Mine can give ‘f0.95’, via software of course. It really is a game of trade offs. I think that the ‘sweet spot’ for sensor size is 24 Mp, which is good enough for most people, particularly with a good lens. My M10 with a 50 Summilux M lens will give image quality as good as any 40+Mp camera can give. It is good enough for me, anyway. So, the Q with 24 Mp and a great lens should also give great images. Leica users are spoilt for choice these days.

    William

    • Yes, I think 24 MP is a good place for 35mm-full-frame sensors. I have been glad that Leica hasn’t played the megapixel game with the M models, but we will see how long that continues.

        • Yes, the M10 seems to really be a mature digital M. It will be interesting to see if Leica does, for example, a 24 MP model and 47 MP model on the next M, as it seems to be increasingly popular for other makers to offer both levels, or continues with one base model (upon which to build -P and -D).

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