Leica Q2 Monochrom Review

Although the Leica Q2 Monochrom is not exactly cheap, it is one of the least eye-popping options available from Leica. Unlike the color-capable Leica Q2,

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Although the Leica Q2 Monochrom is not exactly cheap, it is one of the least eye-popping options available from Leica. Unlike the color-capable Leica Q2, this monochrome camera provides an entirely original collection of headline characteristics in a sleek and contemporary body.

$5,339.95
in stock
7 new from $5,339.95
1 used from $4,509.75
as of January 18, 2024 4:27 pm
Amazon.com
Last updated on January 18, 2024 4:27 pm

Although smartphone cameras have made tiny cameras nearly obsolete, the Leica Q2 Monochrome is still one of the few that can take photographs of a professional standard.

It uses the Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH fixed lens with the camera’s 47.3MP full-frame sensor.

Leica Q2 Monochrom Features

One of the most puzzling features of Leica’s Monochrom cameras is their monochrome focus. However, the Q2 Monochrom’s unusually wide-angle 28mm f/1.7 lens choice is worth pondering.

The image quality is superb and maintains a high level of sharpness across the whole aperture range, including when used wide open. In addition, the lens only exhibits a marginal amount of barrel distortion, which may be adjusted for.

Unfortunately, 28mm is pretty broad and considerably less flexible than 35mm or 50mm, so some may wish this camera had a 35mm lens instead.

Leica Q2 Monochrom Design

The Q2 Monochrom, although a tiny camera, looks and feels remarkably like a Leica because of its sleek matte black chassis and minimal exterior buttons.

While most cameras have a window for a viewfinder, the Q2 Monochrome doesn’t. Instead, it employs a bright and crisp 3.68MP OLED electronic viewfinder.

The manual aperture ring, focus ring, shutter speed dial, and thumbwheel are all needed to operate the camera.

The menu is where you’ll find the vast bulk of your controls. However, you can designate quick shortcuts for what you use most often to FN and the thumbwheel.

The camera’s menu and controls are designed to be user-friendly. So even if you don’t read the handbook and spend the first few hours figuring out where everything is, you’ll eventually figure it out.

The Q2 Monochrome has a satisfying weight of 743g, which is on the high end for a small camera with a fixed prime lens. It also feels sturdy in hand and exudes undeniable quality and flair.

The camera is heavy enough that holding it in one hand isn’t ideal, and the thumb groove on the rear doesn’t do anything to alleviate that.

Leica Q2 Monochrome Image Quality

The Q2 Monochrome is a joy to shoot with. The monochrome-only sensor may sound ridiculous at first. Still, the improvements in image quality make it clear that Leica, with its deep understanding of its clientele, has hit upon a brilliant idea.

The Leica Q2 Monochrom’s eye-watering price tag makes having a black-and-white-only camera out of reach for many photographers, even at entry-level camera costs.

The Q2 Monochrome may not make sense at first. Still, you’ll quickly see why it makes sense once you see the quality of the images captured by a camera without a color array filter and the need for an interpolation algorithm. Even if doing so precludes the use of color during capture.

Due to its unique sensor design, the Q2 Monochrom can capture images at very high ISOs with far less high ISO noise than typical color cameras.

Because of the little noise, you may confidently utilize Auto ISO up to its maximum setting of 6400 for general photography.

The Q2 Monochrom is thus ideal for the high-ISO work of street and documentary photographers; at lower ISOs, the 28mm lens may also be helpful for landscape photographers.

Leica Q2 Monochrome Specs

Sensor ResolutionActual: 50.4 Megapixel
Effective: 47.3 Megapixel (8368 x 5584)
Aspect Ratio3:2
Sensor TypeFull-Frame CMOS
Image File FormatDNG, JPEG
Bit Depth14-Bit
Image StabilizationOptical

Lens

Focal Length28mm
Digital Zoom2.7x Maximum
Maximum Aperturef/1.7
Minimum Aperturef/16
Focus Range11.81″ to Infinity / 30 cm to Infinity
Macro
6.69″ to Infinity / 17 cm to Infinity
Optical Design11 Elements in 9 Groups
Filter Size49 mm

Exposure Control

ISO SensitivityAuto, 100 to 100000
Shutter SpeedMechanical Shutter
1/2000 to 60 Seconds
Electronic Shutter
1/40000 to 1 Second
Metering MethodCenter-Weighted Average, Multi, Spot
Exposure ModesAperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
Exposure Compensation-3 to +3 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
Continuous ShootingUp to 10 fps at 47.3 MP
Self-Timer2/12-Second Delay
Special OptionsFireworks, Landscape, Miniature Effect, Night Portrait, Panorama, Portrait, Sports, Sunset
Internal Recording ModesH.264/MP4
DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 23.98 fps
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/29.97 fps
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/29.97/59.94/119.88 fps
Broadcast OutputNTSC
Audio RecordingBuilt-In Microphone (Stereo)
Audio File FormatAAC

Viewfinder

TypeBuilt-In Electronic (OLED)
Resolution3,680,000 Dot
Coverage100%
Diopter Adjustment-4 to +3

Monitor

Size3.0″
Resolution1,040,000 Dot
Display TypeFixed Touchscreen LCD

Flash

Built-In FlashNo
External Flash ConnectionHot Shoe

Interface

Media/Memory Card SlotSingle Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
WirelessWi-Fi
Bluetooth
GPSNo

Physical

Battery Type1 x BP-SCL4 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 1860 mAh (Approx. 350 Shots)
Dimensions (W x H x D)5.1 x 3.1 x 3.6″ / 130 x 80 x 91.9 mm
Weight1.6 lb / 734 g (With Battery)

Packaging Info

Package Weight4.805 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)8.8 x 8.5 x 6.6″

Leica Q2 Monochrom Final Verdict

$5,339.95
in stock
7 new from $5,339.95
1 used from $4,509.75
as of January 18, 2024 4:27 pm
Amazon.com
Last updated on January 18, 2024 4:27 pm

While its 47.3-megapixel full-frame sensor helps justify the price, there’s no denying that the Q2 Monochrome is a hefty investment for a tiny camera. Moreover, a monochrome sensor makes it unusually specific, even for Leica.

And suppose you don’t mind shooting only in black and white. In that case, it produces stunning image quality, making it a much more affordable option than an M10 or M10 Monochrom for photographers who want to own a Leica camera.

Leica Q2 Monochrom FAQs

What is so special about Leica Q2 monochrome?

The Leica Q2 Monochrome is a specialized variant of the Leica Q2 camera that can only take pictures in black and white. It provides monochromatic images that are both distinctive and very high quality.

When was the Leica Q2 monochrome released?

In March 2020, the Leica Q2 Monochrome was made available to the public.

Does the Leica Q2 monochrome shoot color?

No, the Leica Q2 Monochrome only captures black-and-white images. It is developed solely to take photographs in black and white.

Why is Leica Q2 monochrome so expensive?

The high-quality materials and construction of the Leica Q2 Monochrome, along with its advanced features and local manufacturing, contribute to the high cost of this camera. However, those who appreciate the craft of black-and-white photography will also find that it provides a one-of-a-kind shooting experience.

Is the Leica Q2 monochrome for beginners?

It’s possible that the Leica Q2 Monochrome was not intended to be used by those just starting in photography because it requires some photographic know-how and experience to operate successfully.

Does Leica Q2 monochrome shoot 4K?

Yes, the Leica Q2 Monochrome can record 4K video at a frame rate of up to 30 frames per second.

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