Leica Q2: A Street Photography Review

Leica has unveiled the new Q2, a compact full frame camera that has surpassed the original Q.

Eolo Perfido (www.walkingphotographer.net) presents the new Leica Q2 that he has previewed in Italy today.

“If there is a camera that had changed my way of shooting in the street this is undoubtedly the Leica Q.

I was among the lucky photographers who were able to test the Leica Q2 on the field before it was released on the market.

As I said in 2015 when I first reviewed the Leica Q this is a camera system that was born with two souls.
A modern full frame camera equipped with a 28mm Summilux 1.7 lens, an LCD screen without any lag, high-speed autofocus and an electronic shutter. Add to all this also a discreet EVF for the time and a truly exceptional ergonomics.
But also a camera that has maintained a strong bond with the past. We are talking about a camera with all the information on the lens barrel to shoot in hyperfocal and zonal focus.

The best ice cream in town. Shot at Piazza del Pantheon in Rome. Aperture f11 @ 4000 iso. Ambient light.

To be honest even today, I do not understand how it is possible to design cameras designed for street photography without considering this feature.

The interface and menus follow the same minimal design of the latest Leica Cameras with ergonomics and usability, typically German.

When I had the chance to try out the Q2 for the first time, I immediately asked myself how it was possible to improve something that I felt virtually perfect.

A Street Portrait taken in the district of San Lorenzo in Rome. Aperture f2,0 @ 1600 iso. Ambient light.

To start the camera is tropicalized. Honestly, I have never paid too much attention to my Q during the rain, but being able to shoot in any weather condition without worry is a big deal.

Then we have the new sensor with 47 million pixels. A lot of pixels means not only very detailed images but also have a creative tool at our disposal that can allow us to take photographs far more distant from the subjects, knowing that then it will be possible to make even greater crops.

Another exciting feature is that with that kind of resolution the 35mm and 50mm modes now have much more available resolutions. We are talking about 30 Megapixels at 35mm, 15 Megapixels at 50mm and 6.57 Megapixels at 75mm.

The integrated optic is still the incredible Summilux 28 mm f / 1.7 ASPH. with eleven elements (including three aspherical) divided into nine groups.

If you are into 28mm lenses, this is the best you can get. Period.

A portrait of Enrico at Piazza Navona in Rome. Aperture f2,0 at 200 iso. Ambient light plus a single led light.

Autofocus speed and accuracy are still excellent under almost any lighting conditions, even with low contrast in a scene, while the ISO sensitivity ranges from 50 to 50000 while the shutter speed ranges from 60” to 1/2000 using the mechanical shutter and from 1″ to 1/40000 of a second using the electronic shutter.

Iso performance of the camera is pretty solid, and I was able to shoot portraits in low light with excellent results even at 6400 iso.

The new EVF is beautiful. We still have 3.68 million dots, but now Leica call it organic EVF, and it’s far better and more luminous than the Leica Q original one.

The batteries got an upgrade as well. With the Leica Q when I took pictures all day with the LCD display on, I was forced to have to change the batteries even two or three times per day.

A Street Portrait shot at Piazza Navona in Rome. Aperture f1.7 @ 500 iso. Ambient light

The Q2 uses the same batteries of the Leica SL, the BP-SCL 4, and I was able to take pictures all day with my monitor always on with just one full charged battery.

This means less charging time (…and fewer chargers) and greater flexibility during my shootings.

A Street Portrait taken in the district of San Lorenzo in Rome. Aperture f2,0 @ 100 iso. Ambient light.

The Q2 can still shoot 10 frames per second, but this time we are talking about outstanding 47 megapixels pictures. I tested it, and the camera was able to keep shooting for about 14 frames before the buffer got full.

This means that a fast SD card will be needed to empty it as fast as possible. The camera is SD / SDHC / SDXC card (UHS-II compatible).

The Camera always felt reactive despite the increased resolution meaning that also the Maestro Cpu has been updated with a faster one.

A Environmental Portrait shot in Rome to Al Amin and his family in their fruit shop at Pigneto. Ambient light mixed with 2 led lights. Aperture f5.6 @400 iso

If Q was my favorite camera when it comes to street photography, Q2 did nothing but strengthen my love for this system.

I tried the camera even during some environmental portrait sessions, finding both the 28mm and the 35mm and 50mm modes really useful in many situations.

So now I’m going to take the camera not only in my street photography journeys but also together with my Leica SL during my Editorial and Commercial assignments.

The incredible sharpness of the lens, together with the insane resolution makes of the Q2 one of the most exceptional camera ever produced.”

A Street Portrait taken in the district of San Lorenzo in Rome. Aperture f11,0 @ 1600 iso. Ambient light.
A Street Portrait taken in the district of San Lorenzo in Rome. Aperture f2,0 @ 500 iso. Ambient light.

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