Something strange happened to a few of us on staff when the Leica Q was released in 2015: we stopped reaching for smartphones at the first sign of a photogenic moment. The compact Leica Q became our default camera for everything from landscapes and architectural shots to macro details on watches and in cocktails. It enabled better image-capture because it was simply intuitive. It could be trusted in an array of situations and, in turn, it empowered each photographer. Now Leica has returned with an update, the Leica Q2. We spent weeks with the extraordinary device and, in the process, learned that its greatest successes are extensions of the innovations unveiled in its older sibling—and then some.
Perhaps the buzziest update with the Leica Q2 happens to be the new 47.3-megapixel full-frame sensor. (The original Leica Q touted a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor). The attention surrounding this feature is understandable—for both its magnitude in this compact class and the fact that it yields stunning optics. When paired with the Leica Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH lens, the Leica Q2 pulls in 4K UHD, Cine4K video or still imagery of immense proportion. The details it captures—and the data behind those details—allow for tremendous editing capabilities, if one so chooses. Further, it’s still super-quick and (for those who utilize it) the autofocus continues to deliver.
Regarding the touchscreen, Leica has created a newer generation panel. We find, personally, that it guides our experience with autofocus more than the touchscreen had with the Leica Q, especially when shooting in macro. Much has been made of the updated OLED viewfinder, but we rarely use the attribute, for it’s the touchscreen that allows for easy transition from iPhone to the original Leica Q.
As with the Leica Q, the Leica Q2 is produced in Wetzler, Germany—something we continue to note the brand only does for their top-end products. Those smitten with the previous iteration will find much to love here—be that its solid aluminum body to the subtle tweaks regarding button placement. Users won’t find a USB or HDMI port. Images are transferred by the integrated WiFi module, and the camera can connect to the Leica FOTOS app. This generation, however, also features Bluetooth LE—meaning the camera and app can stay connected without interruption by idling or other WiFi networks.
This model also sports weather sealing that protects against dust and water. One can’t submerge the camera, but it will adequately handle rain, sea-spray and more. This should come as a relief to those who shoot outdoors. And it’s quite representative of what Leica was going for: take the Leica Q and expand its capabilities without complicating what drew so many to it.
The Leica Q2 can pre-ordered online now for $4,995. It’s currently available in Leica boutiques globally.