The Q2 Factor
Updated: Apr 24
Leica is a German company - they are well organized and committed to their crafts and quality products, and also somewhat predictable. It is also a rather small company as far as the photographic industry is concerned. So the logic goes that in the adaptation of a new sensor - goes with the model that is more affordable to carry volume and more electronic-integration for optimization for such high-resolution sensor - as Q2 is presented.
Q2 will help build the fundamental volume of the new sensor which will be adopted by the SL system next and ultimately the "Messucher" M System.
Q and Q2 closely resemble the look and size of the M camera, so the camera carries the brand look of the classic - the flagship system of Leica and also makes it easy as a second camera to shoot side by side with M camera, as I do.
Q2 weights 734g is roughly equal to the combined weight of a Leica Summilux-M 28/1.4 ASPH (440g) and a Leica Summilux-M 35/1.4 ASPH (320g) - an excellent combination to complement the M camera with added 4K video as a bonus and costs much less. The 35mm crop would reduce the JPEG resolution but not effect DNG and will still produce equivalence of 30MP (6704X4472 pixels) file - still 25% more than the full resolution of the existing M10 cameras.
Q also serves as an entry model to full-frame Leica and probably, at the moment, the best high-end travel and photojournalism camera.
The Q2 is of course not the replacement of the classic M. The M system architecture allows the use of modern EVF to accept lenses with technical movements, for example, the Schneider - Kreuznach PC-Super-Angulon 2.8/28 on M10 through R-Adapter M and the Macro-Elmar-M 90/4 with Macro-Adapter-M on Leica M10-D, among many possibilities. The classic all mechanical M mount is an engineering beauty but cannot defy its age. The ability of backward compatible to a sea of legacy lenses and accepts the state-of-the-art lenses of modern time is the strength of contemporary full-electronic-mount with a short flange distance which is probably something the engineers at Leica have to work out to liberate the M system to the higher potential of coming future.
The Leica SL is a proven example that Leica understands what meant to professional photographers and the direction of digital photography moves toward to. The L-Mount Alliance will likely better prepare Leica for the unavoidable revolution the M system desperately needed.
The benefit of an electronic system is the ability to miniaturize, accuracy, speed, efficiency and wireless communication - while depends on a power supply, so is the civilization. The Q2 resembles the look and size of an M camera is a result of a design decision than of engineering limitation. The human factor is one and to host a comfortable size of rear screen another. The Q2 is roughly the size of a Leica M10 mounted with Summilux-M 28/1.4 ASPH. The Summilux 28/1.7 ASPH on Q2 is slightly bulkier and a tab shorter physically than the faster and pure mechanical Summilux-M 28/1.4 ASPH on M10 which hints that Leica is technically capable of producing a series of F/1.7 autofocus lenses to fit the size of a modern M in the same chassis with M mount with electronic contacts while still accepts legacy mechanical M lenses. The in-camera image stabilizer is also becoming indispensable with sensor resolution north of 30MP, subjective of course, for cameras primarily shoot hand-held.
Change is inevitable and resists to evolve is not a good policy. Image sensor development is on the run itself to cover all needs and applications, and it will only go higher and faster because that is what brilliant designers and engineers in the laboratories do and manufacturers are likely to profit from what's next than what's past. Eventually, limitations hit, and that is time for future technology.
Extra Note :
The Q2 is, of course, a fantastic camera and a worthy upgrade if one is already using Leica Q, I would, and I did. The new battery BP-SCL4 with a capacity of 1,860mAh has a CIPA rating of 370 exposures, but my own test suggests that it is probably good for 1,500 exposures - base on I shot 1,255 captures (107.74GB) on my SONY G SDHC 128G UHS-II card on Q2 in 28-30 degree C ambient temperature with 1/4 capacity remaining on single charge battery. A spare battery is always a better option although I assumed most users would find one cell plentily enough.
The new interface is simple and easy to navigate especially for users with digital backs experiences and of course, the existing Q user. The initial set up requires just a couple of minutes and switching modes or adjustments during shooting are easy and fast.
Edit January 2020 - On the Leica M10 Monochrom and M10-R - I was wrong! or may I say Leica is wrong? As it turned out, Leica chose a 40 MB sensor for the Monochrom version, and later on, the R Version; I owned the M10 Monochrom and M10-R, and it is an improvement over the original M10 and my beloved M10-D, and very pleasing color renderings. I do not think the 40MB sensor is better than the 47MB sensor on the Q2 and the SL2. I do not know the reason behind such move, a move that causes more management efforts and inventory costs than adapting the one proven with Q2. It is Leica!
Leica Q2 is the result of a well-balanced design and engineering executions and a very competitive photography tool. The simplicity and elegance of Leica Q2 are what I preferred a camera to be as an industrial designer, and intuitive layout of essential controls allows me to shoot as naturally as I am a photographer want a camera to be, understand that there is no perfect camera.
Leica Q2 is not a bespoke camera, so it is no surprise that some may prefer one feature over another. My image blog is not so much about camera review but more of a personal image journal, although I cannot help to get into gear discussion as an industrial designer, I care about what the camera can deliver than what I dislike about it.
The half camera jacket featured in the image is the one I sometimes use when I find an integrated handgrip and Arca-Swiss type dovetail bottom plate for the situation requires agility or quick engagement and release with accessories using Arca-Swiss type clamp. I must admit the design of the half jacket is not appealing and poorly finish, but it is useful and affordable.
I don't usually endorse accessory but this is a recommended combination - the original Really Right Stuff TFA-01 solid Aluminum pocket tripod with BPC-16 Panning Micron Ball, now I don't go on a trip without it. The LIM's case for Q2 is only useful when I need the Q2 on tripod. As I designer I think the LIM's case looks clumsy, like a design that is half-finished, and poorly finished using poor quality material - but it servies its purpose for Q2 to stay on a tripod, and it is not expesnive. The Q2 inside the LIM's half-case looks like a Korean camera. Not that I don't like Korean camera, but I prefer the look and feel of a German camera.
The fast sequential shooting capability of Q2, up to 10 fps, also makes it an ideal tool for quality HDR landscape (5 exposures on graduations of +/- 3EV), a very appealing tool for fine art landscape photography in a travel-friendly package.
The exceptionally bright Summilux lens on Q2 accepts 49mm accessories which makes it a rather compact and versatile travel landscape camera coupled with Lee Seven5 filter system which I use, as on the picture below. The compact and powerful travel clamp system from Really Right Stuff is one of my travel necessity for photography.
My Q2 Image journal:
I lost count of how many times I walked pass this door on the street I walked numerous time every week since 2013, only to take a shot of it 8 years later.
February 19 Bangkok, Thailand
January 2021 Chiang Mai, Thailand
Telephone Booth - I came to Thailand in the early 90's when the household phone is not popular outside of the center of the city and time consuming to wait for one, and costly to skip cues. It was a time when the public phone is necessary yet challenging to find one, and when found, usually not working.
In 2021, the need for a public phone booth may be debatable, but easy to find one. However, I lost interest to discover if it works yet otherwise find it an interesting photography subject.
Using my Q2 for the alternative visual presentation for my "Cycle of Life" project!
Have fun with Leica Q2 Monochrom
Leica Q2 is almost a fault-free camera that deals with almost all situations with accuracy in focusing, exposure, and high quality. The only issue to pick is probably it has a relatively small buffer for such a high resolution that can shoot fast. I have never use the Continuous-H mode, mainly with the Continuous-L, and almost every time I hit the buffer limit. The use of sequential shoot is not for bracketing purposes but to capture a slight variation of shots in action, either on-street or portraits. However, Q2 is still a fantastic camera that, IMHO, has no better replacement than March 2021.
March 31 Bangkok Art and Culture Center
Get to take a couple of snapshots of Bangkok Art and Culture Center while awaiting the admission of the event "Videos of the East, Videos of the West" held by Ambasciata d'Italia
The delay movie and the delayed launch...
James Bond decided enough is enough, and the move "No Time To Die" delay due to the Wuhan Pandemic should end and to release in October 2021! The decision also gives the official release of the 250 "007" limited edition Q2 to meet their long waited customers - I am not one of them.
It is no different from my Q2 that I am using since March 2019 except it costs more for its limited edition status and the British racing green leather, looks nice, I must admit.
Included in the limited edition set is a 007 style Globe Trotter suitcase that looks nicer than really useful, not for me, anyway. For those who may like it, act fast!
October 19 Bangkok, Thailand
October 25 The Bangkok railway Station, Thailand
November 3, 2021 Icon Siam
November 4, 2021 Teochew Opera performance at Long 1919 Bangkok
November 22 Anastasiia Burdak at the Bangkok Railway Station, Thailand
December 1 Tutayev, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia
December 13 Bangkok, Thailand
January 3-5 Bangkok - Nakhon Si Thammarat - Songkhla - Phatthalung
January 8, 2020 around Bangkok
January 28, 2020 The Bangkok Railway Station
January 30, 2020
At the end of February of a leap year, on February 29, 20202 with Victoria Pacheco at The Bangkok Railway Station
Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Not much shooting with Leica Q2 during the CCP pandemic time. I should!
Anyway, as rumor accurately indicated, Leica has released the Monochrom version of Leica Q2 on November 10, 2020.
I wish a different Q2 for the Monochrom version, maybe a 35mm or a 40mm fixed lens, or even a zoom, but it is still a wonderful camera with the original Summilux 28/1.17 ASPH.
Leica delivers another good strike.
Project : Cycle of life
"Death is the start of a beginning, life is the start of the end, and the cycle continues forever."
~ Tim I. Gurung, Afterlife
December 24 Craftsman at the Wat Wiwekaram, Sangkhlaburi, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
The Leica Q2 is a fantastic camera with very capable lens that is one of the best camera Leica has ever made and offered. Unlike all the other cameras Leica currently sells, the Q2 is the only one that has no close competitor, in its class, with its potential image quality. It is a pity during this CCP virus pandemic year that my Q2 has not been use more often.