Leica Intros Q2 + First Impressions

March 7, 2019

By Greg Scoblete

While cramming large sensors into compact cameras isn’t a new trend, Leica is among the few camera manufacturers to stuff a full-frame sensor into a fixed-lens model. The original Leica Q was, according to Leica, one of their top-sellers even several years after its debut. Now the company is out with the sequel, the aptly named Q2.

The Q2’s full-frame sensor has nearly double the resolution of its predecessor at 47-megapixels. Beyond the pixel bump, the camera has a wider ISO range from 50-50,000 and a dynamic range of 13 stops.

Now that the Q2 has more pixels to play with, Leica has added a 75mm digital zoom/crop mode alongside a 35mm and 50mm crop modes. Like the original, the Q2 sports a fixed Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens that stops down to f/16. The lens is optically stabilized during both still and video shooting. It can focus on objects as close as 17cm when in macro mode or 30cm when in normal operation.

Despite the increased resolution, Leica managed to keep the continuous shooting speed the same at 10 fps using a mechanical shutter. Mechanical shutter speeds top off at 1/2000 sec. and there’s an electronic shutter that clocks in at 1/40,000 sec.

The camera can record 4K video in both DCI (4096 x 2160 at 24fps) and UHD (3860 x 2160 at 30fps and 24fps). You can capture full HD video at up to 120 fps.

The Q2 has Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi and works with the newly-released Leica FOTOS app.


The Q2 looks largely similar to the original, but there are a few subtle changes throughout. The back buttons have been reduced from five to three and there’s now a multi-function mode dial atop the camera.

Another significant design change is the addition of weather-sealing. Even with the more weather-proof build, Leica managed to keep the size of the Q2 almost identical to its predecessor. It feels great in the hand and while the lens prevents it from being pocketable, it will make for a great travel camera.

The electronic viewfinder retains the same high 3.68-million dot resolution as the original but uses a new OLED technology. It’s still razor-sharp and responsive. Another nice touch is the new pop-out diopter, which can be depressed nearly flush with the camera body when not in use so you don’t accidentally rotate it when framing your shot.

The 3-inch touch screen supports touch throughout the menu as well as touch focusing and touch shutter release. While the touch functions work well, a few of the swipe-based gestures (such as swipe-right to enter video recording mode) took multiple attempts.

Both the battery bay and SD card slot are at the base of the camera. Leica is a fan of minimalism, but in the Q’s case it comes at the expense of useful ports for anyone interested in doing some video work with the camera. There’s no mic or headphone jack and no HDMI output.

The Q2 is available now for $4,995.

Here are a few sample images ahead of our full review.

There weren’t camera/lens profiles available yet for the Q2’s RAW files when we tested our sample. JPEG images looked excellent and noise seems well-contained through ISO 6400. Shooting in DNG, we noticed some slight barrel distortion and vignetting (often quite strong) that wasn’t evident in JPEG versions of the same image, but it was easily fixed in post.

Facebook Comments