It was nearly 4 years ago that the Leica Q was announced. A full-frame 24MP compact digital camera with a fixed 28mm f/1.7 lens that cost only $4,250. As with most Leica products, there were two camps of thought: Those who said it was too expensive, and therefore concluded it was not a great camera (but actually secretly wanted one); and those who ignored the price-tag, or could afford one, and thought it was a respectable camera. The Leica Q turned out to be popular camera, based on our own sales (as relatively small as they are). What really impressed above all the obvious headline features (sensor size, megapixel count, maximum aperture) was the very snappy autofocus. A pleasant addition for a camera company with a long history of manual focus lenses.
Fast forward to today, and the Leica Q2 is announced. The Q2 appears to improve on the Q where it really matters: Nearly doubling the pixel count; adding 4K video recording; and a weather-sealed construction. The Q/Q2 is one of the ultimate digital street-photography cameras, so a body that is resistant to moisture and dust is welcomed.
The Q2 is expected to be available this month, and costs $4,995. It can be pre-ordered using the link below. Additional information can be found from the Leica press release, which has been copied for you convenience below.
LEICA Q2: THE NEW GENERATION OF THE COMPACT CAMERA WITH A FULL-FRAME SENSOR AND A FAST PRIME LENS
Leica Camera AG presents the Leica Q2 – the next-generation model of the Leica Q line of cameras. With a newly developed full-frame sensor, a fast Leica Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH. prime lens, fast autofocus and innovative OLED EVF viewfinder technology, the new model carries the performance attributes and timelessly elegant design of its predecessor into the next generation and offers a range of new features and functions. It is the only camera in its class with protective sealing against dust and water spray and is ideally equipped for shooting in all weather conditions.
The Leica Q2 features a 47.3 megapixel full frame sensor that captures both highly-detailed still pictures and 4K video at ISO sensitivities up to 50,000 and, together with its Leica Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens, ensures exceptional imaging performance. The fast initial aperture of f/1.7 guarantees optimum picture quality in even the most difficult lighting situations. This all makes the Leica Q2 the perfect companion for all areas of street, architectural, landscape, and portrait photography. The practical locking element for the choice of manual or automatic focusing and simple switching to macro mode with a close focus distance of 17 cm is located on the lens and highlights the greatest possible creative freedom provided by the camera in all shooting situations.
Thanks to the extension of the integrated digital zoom function up to 75 mm, users now enjoy even more flexibility for composing their pictures. In addition to the uncropped 28 mm focal length of the camera lens, a crop factor can be chosen to simulate exposures made with focal lengths of 35, 50 or 75 millimetres. The selected crop is displayed as a bright-line frame in the viewfinder and on the rear display panel. The cropped image from the framing selected is saved in JPEG format with correspondingly reduced resolutions of 47.3, 30, 14.7, or 6.6 megapixels. The uncropped image is always saved simultaneously as a DNG file with the full resolution of 47.3 megapixels.
The Leica Q2 also features a newly developed, high-resolution OLED viewfinder with a resolution of 3.68 megapixels. The high resolution provides complete control over the subject at all times and also leads to considerably improved image depth and higher contrast. In contrast to LCD technology, in which only whole sectors of the viewing image can be darkened, the brightness of each individual pixel in the viewfinder of the Q2 is adapted. Despite the high resolution, power consumption remains low. The viewfinder is activated as soon as the camera is brought up to the eye and shows the subject reliably and without any perceptible delay at all times.
The autofocus system of the Leica Q2 focuses sharply on the subject in less than 0.15 seconds, and makes it one of the fastest cameras in its class. Ongoing improvements to the processor from the Maestro II family have enabled a higher sequential shooting rate with an impressive 10 frames per second at the full resolution of 47.3 MP that ensures that the truly wonderful moments in life will never be missed. The range of creative options has been further expanded by the new video mode with 4K resolution. Brilliant, true-to-life video recordings can be made with 3840 x 2160 pixels and frame rates of 30 or 24 fps or, alternatively, in the familiar full HD format with 120, 60, 30 or 24 frames per second. In combination with the Leica FOTOS App, the camera’s integrated Wi-Fi module makes it possible to quickly and easily share pictures and video in social media, change numerous camera settings from a smartphone or even or even remotely control the shutter release of the Leica Q2. Thanks to Bluetooth LE (Low Energy), a permanent connection is established between camera and smartphone.
The design of the Leica Q also carries forward the Leica tradition of reduction to the essentials. The ‘Made in Germany’ seal of quality guarantees that only the finest and most resilient materials are employed in its construction. The distinctive thumb rest of the new Leica Q2 and the sophisticated diamond pattern of its leather trim ensure optimum grip and highlight the accomplished symbiosis of form and function. Also new is the camera’s uniquely intuitive handling concept. A highlight of this is the redesigned dioptre compensation setting dial on the back of the camera that prevents inadvertent shifting of the compensation value. In contrast to the Leica Q, the shutter release button of the Q2 now controls only the On/Off function; the second detent for the continuous shooting function has been removed and is now in the camera menu.
A comprehensive range of optional accessories is also available for the Leica Q2. These include, for example, Protectors and carrying straps in premium-quality leather in the colours black and brown, and an opportunity to add a fashionable touch with versions in red and pink. The new and elegant ‘Ettas’ line of soft, coated canvas pouches for various Leica camera models will also be launched on the same date as the Leica Q2. The pouches will initially be available in the colours midnight blue, stone grey and red, and will be followed later by a range of other versions. The range also includes technical equipment for the Leica Q2 such as the Leica SF 40, SF 60 flash units, the SF C1 remote flash control unit, an additional thumb rest and a handgrip. Perfectly matched to the camera, all accessories are functionally designed for easy handling and are manufactured from only the finest materials to ensure reliability and a lifetime of use.
The Leica Q2 is on sale from today at authorised Leica dealers.