Edition KLFW Tests The Much Anticipated Leica Q2
The new generation of the compact camera with a fullframe sensor and a fast prime lens
We were invited to the launch of the next-generation model of the Leica Q line of cameras at the Leica Store at Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur. 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.
Mr. Ray Tan of Leica Akademie & Training Manager of Leica Camera Asia Pacific mentioned that, “The Leica Q2 possesses both Masculine and Feminine quality. The toughness of the camera is perfectly balanced with soft ergonomic curves that makes it an equally desirable object for both male and female photographers.”
While weather sealing is one huge leap forward from the previous model, it is what’s inside that comes as a shocker. 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.
Offering different crop modes to simulate various focal lengths is tremendously useful to photographers. The 28 mm is the new 35 mm since almost all of us have an iPhone and the camera lens on the iPhone is a 28 mm. This means that one way or another, we have trained our eyes to ‘see’ the wider angle of the 28 mm as the new normal. While this is the most ideal lens for most common scenarios, the 35 mm is crucial for those times when you need to compose a tighter shot to isolate your subject from distractions. The preference of which focal length or “simulated” crop is a highly personal choice.
We were introduced to two Leica Q2 Ambassadors; AikBeng Chia and Hosanna, two very distinct photographers with their own style of photography. AikBeng Chia is a Singapore photographer. He first started shooting photographs in 2008 and is now a Leica Q2 ambassador. He documents people and moments in local scenes and abroad, and his fleetingly captured photographs simultaneously delivers a raw punch of grittiness. This set of aesthetics has garnered him attention both in Singapore and abroad as his photos have been exhibited and published internationally. As photographic tip goes, AikBeng advices us, “…to go out there and get lost and let the image comes to you.” Hosanna, a participant in the Leica Q ILLUMINATED photo journey of discovery, on the other hand, is a very meticulous photographer as she prefers to scout out places of interests first, visually framing her shots before composing her final photographic works. As we get to know more about both photographers with two very different style of working, one thing is for certain – the Leica Q is a very adaptable machine and the ultimate photographic tool that allows its wielder to produce very different visual narratives.
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 team of Edition KLFW was one of the privileged few to get to test out the Leica Q2 when we were ushered into a Pop-Up studio as part of the product walkthrough. We were given our own memory cards to test out the responsiveness of the camera and to be honest, the autofocusing system is extremely fast and sharp. Having owned the previous version of the Leica Q system, the new Q2 offers a sense of familiarity, faster in every way, combined with the improved OLED viewfinder and the massive full resolution of 47.3 megapixels makes it a joy to use all over again.
Photo Experience Result with Leica Q2 at Launch Event
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.
Inquire about the Leica Q2 at authorized Leica dealers in Malaysia.
YL Camera (M) Sdn. Bhd.
Pg-K3, Ground Floor, Lot 33, Jalan Semangat, Section 13, 46100, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, 46100
Leica Store at Avenue K
G - 19, Ground Floor, Avenue K, 156, Jalan Ampang, Kampung Baru, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur