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Initial Impressions of Leica Q2

Setting aside the lens hood failure and the inability of some readers to understand humor, I have some comments on the Leica Q2.

Picking up and handling the Q2, I am favorably impressed with the viewfinder and focusing, and I look forward to shooting it. Something about the overall form factor is very nice, the viewfinder, etc. Too bad the EVF (3.68M) is not the very latest high-res EVF as in the Leica SL2 (5.76M), but it’s quite good as it is.

It will be interesting to see how all this balances out in the end. I suspect that most of this will fade away as more than minor nuisances if the shooting experience is good enough, and the image quality rocks.

  • It looks beautiful, and that is always a plus.
  • Unless I’ve missed something, there appears to be no way to focus once, then take more than one image. This is a serious usability flaw for the way I like to work; I often focus once, then take more than one image. I do not want to have to focus again (possibly getting a different focus or missing it entirely). In other words, there is no AF-ON type feature. It is absolutely not a solution to move the lens to MF mode because (a) I want autofocus, and (b) that changes the focus already achieved! Maybe there is a way to do this but I cannot find it.
  • The macro range or (not) implementation is elegant in its design; rotating the ring near the camera body extends or retracts the lens to enter/leave macro mode. Very smooth and fully up to the best design standards.
  • The aperture ring is excellent.
  • Unless I’ve missed it, the EVF lacks any kind of eyeshade, which is a serious problem in bright light (e.g., with the sun at 90° to my head, as it creates a difficult glare situation. See Eyeshade for Sony A7 Series Cameras.
  • Setting aside the problematic lens hood, the lens hood itself is outstanding in minimizing volume while offering quite good shading for the front lens element. On the flip side, it is difficult for use with a polarizer (finger access), even if a thin enough polarizer can be had (most won’t fit with the hood on).
  • The lens hood kept falling off until the gaffer tape was added. I had this problem with the original Leica Q also. It will probably get worse with time as the internal soft surface compresses. Temperature may be a factor also.
  • The AF/MF control release is a little tricky—OK with bare hands but will be tricky with gloves. But AF is so good that I doubt I will care much so long as I can find an AF-ON type feature.
  • I have reservations about the half-press of the shutter; I find it a bit tricky as to the right amount of pressure for a half-press, but maybe that’s just a little usage to get used to it.. It may be a challenge with gloves on though.
  • I have largish hands, and the Q2 offers little in the way of grip. There is almost nothing for the thumb and fingers to grasp, and the proportions cramp my fingers in an unnatural way. Some kind of add-on grip would address this, but I would not dare to shoot the camera without a strap on it and around my neck—I’d almost certainly have it slip out of my hand at some point. The Sony A7R IV has a much better grip.
  • The SD card slot is immediately adjacent to the tripod screw hole. So every time I want to get my shots off the card, I have to pull out an allen wrench, undo the camera plate, then redo all that. Am I the only one who likes to download my images every day, and without using a slow USB connection?
  • The 4-way controller is about half as large as it needs to be. This is a shame, because it will make it difficult to use with gloves on in cold weather.
  • The strap lugs IMO are badly designed because they preclude use of my favorite strap, having tiny holes. Yes, some kind of ring can be inserted through the tiny holes, but I don’t have anything handy and why design things for needing to be fixed? Making this worse, the included leather lens strap cannot be adjusted in length, and it’s quite a bit longer than I prefer and there are a large range of heights, so for some people, this means having to buy a strap and figure out how to attach it.
  • The stuff in black soft cloth bags with black half-knotted string closure (black on black is really hard to see!) was an exercise in frustration in the dim light when I unpacked things, being unable to see how to open the bags. And the fall-apart box remains as annoying as ever—the Q2 deserves better more useful packaging, including perhaps a Sigma style zippered case for transport, which would also be less wasteful packaging.
Leica Q2

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