Leica Q2 Monochrom Assessment: Wonderful B&W

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In regards to the Leica Q2 Monochrom

Listed here are the specifications of the digicam we examined:

  • Digital camera kind: Virtual, Level and shoot
  • Lens: Mounted top lens, Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH., 11 parts in 9 teams, 3 aspherical parts
  • Sensor: Complete body CMOS ( sensor, 50.4/47.3 million pixels (overall/efficient)
  • Virtual Zoom: Simulates 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, or 75mm
  • Picture report varieties: DNG/RAW, DNG/RAW and JPEG, JPEG
  • Video codecs: MP4 (Cine 4K- 4096×2160 / 4K(UHD) – 3840×2160 /Complete HD – 1920×1080)
  • Video Solution:: Ok: 30 or 24 fps / Cine4K: 24 fps / Complete HD 24, 30, 60 or 120 fps
  • Dynamic Vary (f-stop): 13 stops
  • ISO vary: 50 minimal, 50000 most
  • Center of attention operating vary: 30 cm to infinity, shut center of attention distance 17cm in macro mode
  • Center of attention settings: Computerized or guide

What We Like

Wonderful black & white

Credit score: Leica

The Leica Q2 Monochrom is, like every digicam, designed to seize moments. It captures them with a full-frame, 47.3MP CMOS sensor, and glued 28mm lens, which means the lens does now not detach from the digicam, because the Q2 Monochrom’s sensor used to be specifically designed by means of Leica with no Colour Filter out Array (CFA). A CFA is liable for filtering the blue, inexperienced, and purple spectrum mild and deciphering it into knowledge, so with out it that implies you’ll simplest take pictures in black and white.

With out a CFA to get in the way in which, not one of the mild that hits the digicam’s sensor is wasted on checking out colour data. Because of this with a push of the digicam’s two-stage shutter button, the moments you need to carry directly to will likely be digitally preserved with startling readability in nuanced, white, grey, and black tones.

For the ones involved in colour pictures with a Leica digicam, the corporate additionally provides a colour model of the Q2 that ships with a CFA baked into its sensor.

Novice and professional pleasant

When the use of this digicam’s automated settings, you’ll must paintings very onerous to take a foul picture (equipped your eye for composition is well-honed). Although it’s now not, virtual equipment, corresponding to an on-screen grid that can assist you colour inside the strains of the Rule of Thirds, and a couple of autofocus modes to make for sharp-looking pictures, regardless of the topic, will lend a hand to make up for it. That stated, the ones used to the magic of computational pictures that their smartphones be offering would possibly turn into flustered by means of the Q2 Monochrom’s guide controls, regardless of their intuitive, ergonomic structure.

However that’s OK: It is a digicam made for passionate shooters, regardless of their ability degree. As your competence and technical wisdom of pictures develop, so will your self assurance in the use of a work of {hardware} like this. It’s a digicam to develop into. It’s a device that you simply’ll feel free to show to, time and time once more, because the years move. That’s one thing price making an investment in.

Supurb fixed-lens

A man in a camouflage jacket sits in his bicycle repair shop, browsing on his smartphone.

Credit score: Reviewed / Séamus Bellamy

The Q2 Monochrom brings the topic of a photograph into sharp center of attention, with all else relegated to a creamy bokeh.

Because of the standard of the Q2 Monochrom’s Summilux lens, all else outdoor of your topic, must you need it to, will fade away right into a scrumptious sea of bokeh that no digicam telephone, and few different cameras, can means. The Lecia’s Q2 lens can shoot anything else from macro photographs of tiny plants to sweeping seaside perspectives—no lens swapping required!

Not like a DSLR or Mirrorless digicam device, the Q2 Monochrom comes supplied with a hard and fast top lens, very similar to what one would possibly see in a compact point-and-shoot digicam, like Sony’s iconic RX100 collection. The digicam’s lens doesn’t permit for any zoom—on the other hand, the Q2’s high-resolution symbol information are filled with sufficient knowledge that you simply’ll have the ability to escape with a large number of symbol cropping to deliver the topics of your photographs “nearer” when the time involves procedure your pictures—and also you’ll wish to procedure your pictures.

The digicam’s pictures are detailed, however they arrive out shopping flat. You’ll wish to spend a while tweaking your JPEG and DNG/RAW information in Adobe Lightroom, Darkish Desk, or any other symbol processing program prior to appearing them off. It’s additionally conceivable to govern the glance of your pictures as you’re taking them, by means of the use of a screw-on yellow, orange, purple, or inexperienced colour lens clear out. Every will trade the depth of the blacks and grey tones on your pictures, making it more straightforward to provide your pictures the glance that you simply’re after.

If capturing the finer issues of small issues excites you, a twist of the Q2 Monochrom’s Macro Environment Ring will will let you do this. Its macro capturing revel in is agreeable sufficient, as you’re nonetheless in a position to deal with the entire keep watch over over the digicam that customers revel in outdoor of Macro pictures with the Q2 Monochrome. When set for Macro pictures, the digicam’s sensor lets in for deliciously detailed closeup pictures with a shallow depth-of-field that’ll make photographers of small issues and high-quality element deeply glad.

Leica’s Q2 Monochrome used to be constructed for everybody—starting photographers and mavens alike.

Push a button at the again of the digicam and the Q2 Monochrom switches over to video mode. Photos can also be grabbed in both 4K/30p, or 1080/120p, for a variety of compatibility, regardless of which software you make a decision to view or edit your content material with. Once video mode is engaged, the digicam takes the wheel, robotically switching into Program Auto mode, which looks after your ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds.

I don’t shoot video ceaselessly, so having the digicam deal with those settings for me whilst I excited by my framing and maintaining the digicam secure used to be a welcome function. The Q2 Monochrom information video in black and white, that may be a draw for some videographers. Alternatively, it’s not at all going to be what the vast majority of individuals are in search of in a video digicam.

Constructed to remaining

At 1.62 kilos and its 5.12 x 3.15 x 3.62 dimensions, it’s a slightly hefty, in comparison to identical cameras. Sony’s Rx1R II, for instance, is a in a similar fashion sized constant lens digicam that weighs in at 1.1 kilos. 0.5 kilos would possibly now not sound like a lot of a distinction in weight. However whilst you believe {that a} digicam is one thing people dangle of their arms, ceaselessly for lengthy sessions of time, that additional part pound is vital.

A lot of the Q2 Monochrom’s heft can also be attributed to its remarkable construct high quality. With its magnesium alloy external and top quality internals, It’s constructed like a tank. Given its value, the considered drop-testing this digicam as a part of my evaluation crammed me with terror. Alternatively, I will be able to say that it’s going to indisputably get up to the informal abuse {that a} photographer would possibly topic it to.

Having stated such a lot about its dimension and weight, I wish to make it transparent that I don’t really feel that the use of the Q2 Monochrom is a burden. All through my temporary time with the digicam, I discovered it relaxed to deal with for lengthy sessions of time. I will be able to additionally say that it carries properly in a 10L digicam bag or small backpack, leaving loads of room within the bag for different sundries.

What We Don’t Like

No ports in a hurricane

A close up of an engraved word on the top of a camera

Credit score: Leica

I used to be overjoyed to search out that this digicam is climate sealed. All through my time with the digicam, it stored me from panicking upon getting stuck in a unexpected downpour. However its water and dirt resistance comes at the price of a number of helpful ports. So, no onboard HDMI connections or USB-C charging, which would possibly disappoint some travel-minded customers.

To switch pictures off of the digicam, you’ll must open its battery/SD port and take away the cardboard to insert it into your laptop or pill’s card reader or flip to Leica’s FOTOS app to wirelessly switch your pictures to a smartphone or pill. Sadly, the use of the app (to be had for iPhones, iPads and, Android Gadgets) proved to be a irritating revel in.

When making an attempt to glue the Q2 to both my smartphone or iPad, I discovered that it failed, ceaselessly. It ceaselessly took a number of makes an attempt for the Q2 Monochrom’s integrated Wi-Fi to hook up with the app, consuming up a number of mins of my day (and treasured digicam battery existence) each and every time that I sought after to make use of it. As soon as hooked up, in the event you favor capturing in DMG/RAW, like I do, moving pictures to the app out of your digicam makes a sloth glance rapid, by means of comparability. I discovered it a lot quicker and way more dependable to take away the SD card from my digicam and insert it into my iPad Professional’s USB C hub to import my photographs immediately into Adobe Lightroom Cell.

Shockingly huge charger

Sadly, you’ll’t price the Q2 Monochrom’s battery whilst it’s nonetheless within the digicam, in order that approach you’ll want to elevate round a separate charger on your digicam bag—and the battery itself is more or less part the dimensions of the digicam, so that you’ll want a large charger, which might take in treasured actual property on your bag.

You’ll want to spend money on a 2nd battery for the digicam and go away the charger at house. Alternatively, Leica equipment are pricey—proudly owning even one or two of them, like a battery or a case, can temporarily force the already excessive value of proudly owning this digicam during the roof.

That stated, there’s additionally the choice to buy this way more moveable charger from Nightcore, which pulls its energy over a USB-A connection. A large number of people appear to love it and, after I purchase my very own Q2 Monochrom, I’ll most likely finally end up buying it myself.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, it’s a black & white photographer’s dream digicam

A photo of a deserted downtown street in McAllen, Texas, taken after dark.

Credit score: Reviewed / Séamus Bellamy

Lowlight pictures enthusiastic about a Q2 Monochrom can also be completely surprising when taken by means of a talented photographer.

For those who enjoyment of black and white pictures, like I do, and hate lugging round further lenses with you, that is the digicam for you. Not anything else available on the market can fit the Q2 Monochrom’s constant lens, monochromatic mastery. That it may well make newbies really feel like competent photographers whilst, on the similar time, offering the intensity of keep watch over and symbol high quality that seasoned shooters call for makes it really feel like a profitable, if pricey, long-term funding.

I think that, with its remarkable construct high quality and full-frame, 47.3MP pictures, and startlingly just right efficiency in low-light capturing scenarios, it’s a digicam {that a} photographer will have the ability to rely on for many years yet to come. Given the extraordinarily excessive value related to proudly owning a Leica digicam, such longevity is each welcomed and, anticipated.

There’s not anything else available on the market lately designed to do what the Leica Q2 Monochrom does, in a identical shape issue or at its value level. Any virtual colour symbol can also be reworked right into a black and white one the use of post-production tool, like Darkish Desk, for instance. However they gained’t have the ability to fit the black and white symbol high quality or low-light efficiency that the Leica Q2 Monichrom is able to, because of the digicam’s loss of a CFA.

If you’ll reside with the dimensions of its integrated battery charger and discover ways to paintings round its loss of a USB-C port and pokey wi-fi switch tool, this can be a digicam that you simply’ll be excited to make use of each time you spot the chance to take a photograph.

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Costs have been correct on the time this text used to be revealed however would possibly trade through the years.

Meet the tester

Séamus Bellamy

Séamus Bellamy

Senior Editor


Séamus Bellamy is Reviewed’s resident professional on travel-related generation.

See all of Séamus Bellamy’s critiques

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