Leica Q2 Mirrorless Camera Review by Thorsten von Overgaard: "Not a smartphone camera”

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Link to free eBook “The Moment of Emotional Impact”: http://newsletter.overgaard.dk

Article on Leica Q2: “Long Live the Q” (A work in progress):
https://www.overgaard.dk/Leica-Q2-digital-rangefinder-Page-2.html
Article on Leica Q: “To be, or not to be, that is the Q”
https://www.overgaard.dk/Leica-Q-Hemingway-digital-rangefinder-.html

“Leica Q Video Masterclass” and “The Leica Q Know-All eBook”:
https://www.overgaard.dk/Thorsten-von-Overgaard-Gallery-Store-The-Overgaard-LeicaQ-Video-Masterclass.html

For my article about the HISTORY OF LEICA, see my extremely long article about more than 100 years of history here: http://www.overgaard.dk/leica_history.html

For photography and Leica definitions, see my dictionary: https://www.overgaard.dk/leica_definitions.html

Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. You are always welcome to send an e-mail to Thorsten for questions, suggestions and ideas.

Thorsten Overgaard is an independent writer and photographer who write, teach workshops and publish user reports about the equipment he uses. There is no affiliation with Leica Camera AG or any camera dealers, no free gifts, no sponsorship, no kickback and no paid content. All you see is real and based on the life of an eccentric and hard-working photographer who makes his own money, buys his own equipment and form his own independent opinions – and shares with you. Enjoy the ride.

Comments

Kenneth Rosenstroem says:

Alt for mange reklamer…..

2009Bowiefan says:

Thorsten,
Great work!

Small note: it is pronounced phoTOgrapher, and phoTOgraphy. Action on the second syllable.

Leigh Hibell says:

Did you put it to the test with low light? Night shots?

George Rady says:

I remember my Photograpy Instructor advising me, back in the 90s, “ALWAYS carry a camera with you so you can catch the moment of unexpected shots!” Then we all got phones with the camera built in (in case you left your camera at home)

George Rady says:

Hmmm… another super expensive Mirrorless camera that can take better pictures than an iPhone… if you fiddle around with a lot of controls and options… like another EXPENSIVE Designer watch… that won’t do half of what an iWatch will do.. am I missing something?

Khalifa Al Qubaisi says:

I got an M 10 with 2 lenses the 35m and the 50m both summilux F1.4 can’t be more happier I have a red shutter button and a visioflex EVF that is very handy , I love the manual and the only way to take pictures , once you got how to get pictures , it’s a joy

Khalifa Al Qubaisi says:

Still the M is. King

Alexander Klose says:

Thanks Thorsten for the great review.
Since I´m a filmmaker and DP with passion for photography I love to have a photo camera with me on set. I used to bring my my a7riii with my beloved 24-35mm Sigma Art.
I love the resolution of the Sony sensor and the fact that you can crop in with no issues.

The sony is great and very versatile. I also use it for documentary type video projects on events and conventions and its great for that.

The only thing I don´t like is the fact that is very big and heavy to carry alongside with a bigger film camera.
So I was searching for a camera setup to replace it.

With the Q2 I found it. The only thing I miss would be a mic input for a little better audio quality. But the internal mic is ok for atmo and a bit of statements when shooting video.

First I was not willing to pay that much more for a camera with a fixed lens and no inputs at all. But after I tested it out, shot with it and saw the results I ordered one. due to the smaller size with the lens, the button layout, placing of the viewfinder and that ultra quick shutter mechanism, its a totally different shooting experience.

What I also noticed is that the shutter of the Q2 and I guess also the Q1. It feels so much faster than on everything I shot on before.
I´m not talking about the shutter speed but the time the camera takes to trigger the shutter. With my sony I miss shots regularly because it takes a fragment of a nano second to long to capture the moment. With the leica you just snap and nail it every time.

 I don´t know what else to say, but there is something special that sets these lenses and cameras with that red dot apart from other brands. Altough Leica is expensive its worth it for me, my work and my clients.

Marc P. says:

A perfect camera for a holiday trip. Good presentation!

seventy5iron says:

Saving for the Leica Q2-P starting now !!!

Jim Smith says:

Great review Thorsten having owned the camera since day I'm more than satisfied with the results from this camera. Thank you and keep up the great work.

Viliam Druska says:

Q2 – Missed market opportunity (?)
When Leica Q was introduced it came to me personally as a blessing from “Leica camera heaven”: it was a right ting that came at the right time (kind of a “once in a lifetime event”). I just was trying to shed the 10+ kg weight of Canon equipment I carried around at each trip (i.e. go light) and to fully conquer the temptation to buy additional lenses (i.e. stay light). I was also determined to move to Leica brand for its acclaimed quality. It was a love at first shot with this (Q) tamed beast. A tool that is a breeze to handle and that brings magical pleasure to ones life. I believe Q is responsible for many new converts to Leica brand, for it facilitate easy migration. While I do not have hard data, based on anecdotal evidence (talks to Leica stores staff) I understand this camera has outsold M10 and have been outselling M10 even at the time when M10 was launched (2 years after Q launch). The Leica “spirit” becomes addictive and as you mentioned in one of your videos, once you get to taste Leica via “Q doze” you will crave for more Leica (i.e. M). Q was just perfect along most dimensions. A number of its features can make it even more attractive than M10 to many users (see e.g. https://www.imaging-resource.com/cameras/leica/q/vs/leica/m10/). Lower weight, faster & quieter shutter and no need for extra (600 USD) EVF are big pros’ for me personally. However after while (along with many original Q buyers) I started to crave Leica Q2, which would offer an option to mount the M lenses. Despite my objective to “go and stay light” I found myself drawing the list of my “must have” M lenses shortly. Unfortunately this has not happened. Q2 is not what I (many others) hoped for. I am not a pro photographer in a need of super large photo prints. Q2 vs. Q cost value equation does not work for me, and may not work for many other enthusiasts. Higher costs of processing 47Mbps photos (longer processing time and larger storage capacity) brings very little extra value in terms of the enhanced end user experience given the way pictures I produce with Q are “consumed” by my target audience. 
 
 
Given lack of hard data this conclusion is a bit speculative (and hopes to provoke some reaction). I believe that if Q2 were given an option to mount M lenses, along with even only one 28/1.7 AF lens, it would beat original Q sales and demand for all Leica M lenses would surge so much that their price could go up. I reckon that by depriving the Q2 of ability to mount M lenses Leica missed on great market (and profit growth) potential and left a lot of camera / lens market to its competitors.     
Obviously question remains what would happen to the future of the Leica M camera line-up. Would range finder concept plus other differentiators the next Leica’s M would be endowed with still attract large enough segment of customers? Perhaps Leica answered this question before finalizing specs for Q2.

Haoliang Jiang says:

Selling my Leica Q1. Anyone interested should dm me in YouTube chat.

Zvonimir Tosic says:

A very fine camera. And even better video presentation; first class indeed. Thank you Thorsten.

Andre 1,000 says:

Thorsten, thanks for another excellent review. I'd love to see a video on your top 5 or 10 M lenses. Thanks!

Jonathan William Fay says:

I really don’t know, yes it is nice that it can shoot in 4K, the body looks lovely, but the fixed lens is a deal bearer for me.
The Q was on my not very long list of cameras that would be a good tools for my artistic work, I ended up after a lot of looking buying a used FujiFilm X camera body to try it out.
I’m very happy with this system as it’s very much like a Leica M, but lighter.
If in the future there would be a Q system made with all that I have expected it might get me wanting to buy one, the only two models that I’m really interested in are the M9P or the M10P. There is not any outers moderns in the digital M’s that get me going as much as the Look and Design for these cameras!!!

Jonathan William Fay says:

Sadly it’s still not for me!!!
I love to have the possible to change the lens on my camera body!!!
The Leica Q is very close the the original Leica III/B/F/G film camera body models from the 1930s-1950s.
With the film models there was a possibility of a group of 50mm/75mm/90mm lens that where removable from the camera body.
I still don’t understand why there can’t be made a Leica Q System interchangeably lens mount???
It’s a really put off for a more experienced professional photographer!!!
And why would video be needed on a pro photographers tool???
Leica is not known as a video camera company, but for fabulous photography cameras with designs that are to die fore!!!
This is sadly a case of trying to do like outer companies brands when it’s not needed!!!
If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it!!!

Moment & Motion says:

Hi Thorsten…Your eye-glasses just blew me away, what brand is it?

Simon Ocean says:

You did not mention weather sealing which to me was a big reason to buy the Q2 over a much cheaper used Q: I took it to Death Valley a few weeks ago and had confidence taking it out from the car / camera bag despite all the fine dust flying around in the air. I've not had it in the rain yet, but ditto, it gives you peace of mind to continue with some street photography if you get caught in a light shower.

One thing I would be interested to hear your thoughts on is low light performance with the 47MPs sensor: is the argument about noisy performance valid, or does downscaling 47MPs to 24MPs with noise reduction result in less noisy low light photos than the Q? Thanks Thorsten.

J N says:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the Q2. Also thank you for your free e-booklet. Read it with pleasure in one go. Very recognizable way of shooting. Keep up the nice work. 👍👍👍

Simon Johnson says:

I have an M10 with a 35mm Summicron 1.4 lens. The Q2 looks so good I’m tempted to “downgrade”. There’s no waterproofing and awkward battery change on my M10. The Q2 is also half the price of my M10 setup.

Ek Chuah Studios says:

Hi Thorsten. This is Rick. I attended your three-day workshop in San Francisco in April 2019. I was the one wearing the black leather Harley Davidson hat every day. I shot with a Nikon D810 and a 24-70mm lens. You said 98% of your attendees shoot with Leica and the other 2% soon will. Well, I’m in that 2% as I now own a Leica Q2 and love it. I’ve gone back to San Francisco several times and shot street photography only with the Leica Q2. It’s an amazing camera. I used to shoot with Nikon zoom lenses but now with the Leica Q2 28mm lens I still feel like I have a zoom lens since I can shoot at 28, 35, 50, and 75mm. The images are great even at 75mm. I like the button on the back that makes it fast to zoom in. There are many more great features in the Leica Q2 that you didn’t cover and other people on YouTube don’t cover. You can only discover those by reading almost every page of the user guide. I shot two hours of video with the Leica Q2 with one battery. Like other cameras it will only shoot for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the Q2 gets very hot and will not shoot video again until it cools down, which takes about 15 minutes, then it’s good for another 30 minutes. I enjoyed your workshop very much and you got me excited about shooting street photography with a Leica Q2. Leica Q2 is a must have camera.

Alejandro Sosa says:

I’ve fallen head over heels with that red lens shade/green strap combo.

Richard Nowak says:

could not find the Q2 masterclass on your website just a preorder?

photo Man says:

is it possible to disable long exposure noise reduction on the Q2? I took a 20 second exposure and the noise reduction took another 20 seconds

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