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Leica Q2 Review

The Leica Q2 is an innovative small camera that has been redesigned while keeping many of its excellent image and optical characteristics. It is distinguished by its improved sensor design and its user-friendly operation.

High-resolution still photography together with recording in DCI and UHD 4K video may now be accomplished thanks to an updated CMOS sensor with 47.3 megapixels that cover the complete frame and an image processor called Maestro II.

The image processor also contributes to a wide sensitivity range of ISO 50-50000, as well as a rapid continuous shooting rate of 10 frames per second at full resolution. The increased resolution also enables a set of one-of-a-kind crop modes, which mimic the experience of shooting with larger focal length lenses and include fields of view equivalent to 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm.

Regarding the lens, the Q2 is equipped with the same amazing wide-angle prime Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. the fixed lens as the Q1. This lens has been tailored to the sensor’s design to provide remarkable resolution and clarity.

The lens design features three aspherical elements, and its maximum aperture, which is brilliant at f/1.7, makes it suitable for operating in low-light circumstances. In addition, a macro option enables the photographer to deal with subjects as near as 17.8 centimeters away.

In addition to its strong image and optical capabilities, the Q2 continues to be a portable and easy-to-use camera ideal for candid shots taken on the street or while traveling.

It features the same battery as the top-of-the-line SL mirrorless camera for extended battery life. It has a sleek chassis made of magnesium alloy that is weather sealed so that it may function in challenging settings.

A high-resolution 3.68MP OLED electronic viewfinder is offered for smooth and clear eye-level monitoring, and a rear 3.0″ 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD also offers uncomplicated playback and settings management. The viewfinder may be used for eye-level monitoring.

Built-in Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi enable wireless sharing of photos and videos and remote camera operation from a connected mobile device using the Leica FOTOS app.

Leica Q2 Processor

The redesigned imaging system of the Q2 incorporates a high-resolution 47.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor and an updated Maestro II image processor. This combination allows for more flexible image creation along with smooth color and tonal rendering, a broad 13-stop dynamic range, low noise, and a wide sensitivity range from ISO 50-50000.

The processing capabilities also allow for rapid shooting performance, which may reach up to 10 frames per second at full resolution with a mechanical shutter, in addition to an extremely swift 49-area focusing system. JPEGs and 14-bit DNG files are the two options for recording still images.

The increased resolution also enables unique digital zoom capabilities, simulating working with different focal length lenses. For example, images with a field of view of 35 millimeters (mm), 50 millimeters (mm), or 75 millimeters (mm) can be created with a resolution of 30 MP, 15 MP, or 7 MP, respectively.

The Q2 is not only capable of taking still photographs, but it also has enhanced video recording capabilities. These include the ability to record video in DCI 4K24p and UHD 4K30p resolutions, as well as high-speed Full HD recording at up to 120 frames per second.

Leica Q2 Image Quality

The image quality of the Q2’s Raw files is very impressive; they are particularly sharp in the vicinity of the camera’s center, and their noise levels are on par with those of the very best of their competitors. It is slightly less sharp than the images captured by cameras equipped with dedicated 85mm lenses in the outermost corners. Still, it sharpens considerably as you move closer to the image’s center.

This could be a result of the fairly extensive distortion correction that was incorporated into the design of the lens that was used in the camera; we will investigate this further on the following page.

The Leica’s performance lags behind that of its contemporaries when using higher ISO levels, with the gap widening to one full stop as the settings increase.

When seen in JPEG format, the narrative has a few more negative aspects. The color response is among the worst we’ve seen for some time, with a distinct magenta tinge to the reds and a green hint in both yellows and blues. The detail capture, however, is still very good.

This is not just something that we are observing in our studio scene; the shooting that we have done in the real world has also left us disappointed. When you combine this with the Q2’s relatively unreliable white balance and extremely muted default contrast, it’s safe to assume that you’ll need a Raw processing plan to get the most out of it.

At high ISOs, the noise reduction feature of the camera does a reasonable job of balancing the amount of noise reduction with the amount of detail retention; however, in the process, low-contrast detail is lost.

However, it is important to keep in mind that Leica has always chosen to leave a little more luminance noise in than its competitors, and regardless, Q2’s performance in this regard is an improvement over that of its predecessor in this regard.

Leica Q2 Lens

Adopting a fixed wide-angle Summilux 28mm f/1.7 prime lens is largely credited with contributing to the success of the Q-series.

This lens features three aspherical elements to reduce distortion and spherical aberrations for clear and precise rendering. Leica’s expertise in optical design was combined with a design that was ideally suited to the image sensor to create this lens. Its quick maximum aperture of f/1.7 performs exceptionally well in low-light circumstances and provides enhanced control over the depth of focus.

A specialized macro focusing position may also be utilized for dealing with subjects as near as 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) away, increasing the camera’s flexibility. Additionally, optical image stabilization helps to compensate for the impacts of camera shake, which results in crisper handheld photography.

Even though it comes with a high price tag, the Leica Q has maintained a spot on our list of the finest small cameras for some time now. It has been there for a good reason… our reviewers praised it, not the least of which was for its excellent image quality.

And it is quite probable that the Q2 will not only replace the Q in our list once we have undertaken a thorough field and lab test, but it will also establish a new standard for how well tiny cameras work.

The sensor is the most significant improvement to the camera. The resolution of the Q2’s full-frame sensor is twice that of its predecessor’s 20.3 megapixels, making it one of its most notable features. That makes it one of the cameras with the greatest resolution currently available, even compared to professional DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

We have reason to believe that the sensor that is included in the Leica Q2 is the same one that will be included in the Panasonic Lumix S1R, which will be available for purchase later on in this month.

Leica Q2 Features

One of the cameras in its long history of Leica that has sold the most units is the Leica Q. And despite having been on the market for almost four years, the camera is still back-ordered. Leica intended to provide the camera with a significant update without compromising the underlying philosophy behind it to promptly replace its predecessor with the Q2, which it has done.

One crucial detail is that the wide-angle Summilux 28mm f/1.7 Asph lens has not been altered in any way. This is an unusual feature for a tiny camera, as it allows for manual focus adjustment, distance scales, and a dedicated macro mode.

However, you may also utilize this lens in a variety of AF settings if you so want. Whether you are using the autofocus or the manual focus mode, there is a broad variety of functionality available to you to guarantee that the target area is in crisp focus. Although peak focusing is undeniably one of the most helpful tools for this, there is also auto magnification to consider. Additionally, the face detection mode is available as an option in the AF system.

Leica Q2 Specs

Body typeLarge sensor compact
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution8368 x 5584
Other resolutions28mm: 6000 x 4000, 4272 x 2848 | 35mm: 6704 x 4472, 4800 x 3200, 3424 x 2288 | 50mm: 4688 x 3128, 3360 x 2240, 2400 x 1600 | 75mm: 3136 x 2096, 2240 x 1496, 1600 x 1072
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels47 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors50 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB, ECI RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 50-50000
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
File formatJPEGDNG
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF1.7
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointSingleContinuousTouchLive View
Digital zoomYes (1.2x (35mm equiv), 1.5x (50mm equiv), 2x (75mm))
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range30 cm (11.81″)
Macro focus range17 cm (6.69″)
Number of focus points49
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.76×
Viewfinder resolution3,686,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/40000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Scene modesSportPortraitLandscapeNight portraitSnow/beachFireworksCandlelightSunsetDigiscopingMiniature effectPanorama
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hotshoe)
Flash X sync speed1/2000 sec
Continuous drive20.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions4K/30/24p, 1080/120/60/30/24p
FormatMPEG-4
MicrophoneStereo
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB chargingNo
HDMINo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notesWiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (IP52 rated)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionBP-SCL4
Battery Life (CIPA)350
Weight (inc. batteries)734 g (1.62 lb / 25.89 oz)
Dimensions130 x 80 x 92 mm (5.12 x 3.15 x 3.62″)
Other features
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Leica Q2 Verdict

One of our favorite types of tiny cameras is the Leica Q and based on our little time with the Q2 so far, we strongly feel that it will soon become our new best friend.

The Leica Q2 is indeed a pricey camera, but if you are looking for the pinnacle of luxury cameras, this is it. It can function either as a completely manual street camera or as an automatic point-and-shoot camera, and it does both jobs with equal aplomb.

And wow, did that 47-megapixel sensor come through for us? When we quickly captured some photographs during the press launch, there was a lot of detail that we were able to capture, and there is a lot more of it in the files.

Leica Q2 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Sharp, stabilized lens with good Macro performance
  • Good image quality
  • Excellent Raw performance
Need improvements
  • Er, no USB port
  • No in-camera Raw conversion
  • No USB charging
  • Limited control in video mode
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
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The Leica Q2 is an innovative small camera that has been redesigned while keeping many of its excellent image and optical characteristics. It is distinguished by its improved sensor design and its user-friendly operation. High-resolution still photography together with recording in DCI and UHD 4K...Leica Q2 Review