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Reader Comment: Leica Q2 Monochrom costs about as much as a Fujilm GFX100S, why no Leica M with EVF?

Roy P writes:

The Leica Q2 Monochrom is almost not bad, but for $6K, instead of this camera with a fixed 28/1.7 lens, I’d rather have a Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 50/3.5 lens for about the same price.

For whatever reason, Leica has a mental hang up. They could have an M mount camera just like this, with an EVF, but for some reason, they can’t bring themselves to offering one. Really stupid.

DIGLLOYD: absolutely—a Leica M with no rangefinder and a built in high-res EVF would likely be less expensive and a lot more usable. There is no reason that Leica cannot have both a rangefinder and an EVF version of the M. After all, it’s about the customers, not some idiotic mimicry of 50-year-old technology that keeps older customers (eyesight eg presbyopia) frustrated and out in the cold.

A reader send me some Leica Q2 Monochrom DNG files. I detected no pimples. However, it uses an entirely different sensor from the Leica M10 Monochrom, and the firmware surely varies also. I would need to shoot the Q2M myself to be sure that it is free of the pimples, which are subject matter dependent.

Barring any PDAF banding issues, the Fujifilm GFX100S should easily outperform the Leica monochrome cameras at 40 or 45MP, along with massively greater flexibility and control in making the conversion monochrome.

As for sharpness, the Leica Q2 lens is the same as the Leica Q, and the Leica Q2 lens is incapable of making a sharp image in the outer zones at any aperture, due to its godawful 10% barrel distortion which must be software corrected—the lens won’t even fully illuminate the corners of the sensor—black corners. Unbelievably compromised performance—and it a $6K camera.

Leica Monochrom offerings and suggested lenses

Jim W writes:

Why have two M camera versions, when Leica could have both an electronic rangefinder and an EVF in the same camera? Best of both worlds.

Have the electronic rangefinder work exactly as the mechanical ones did, but use a pair of cellphone cameras to generate the two rangefinder images to offset/overlap in the EVF. This wouldn't get out of alignment, which is a problem with mechanical rangefinders, and the electronic rangefinder images could be enlarged in the EVF to help older photographers (if they prefer rangefinder focusing) but have decreased visual acuity.

DIGLLOYD: it is my understanding that some users insist on a classic optical viewfinder (rangefinder). An electronic rangefinder is no substitute for an optical one, and it requires battery power and lacks the mechanical linkage that those who love focusing errors need.

I have no objection to inlcuding the option of an electronic rangefinder (Fujifilm does so), but I have never found it to be useful. Ditto for the distance scale stuff that Sony offers.

The “pair of cellphone cameras” idea I take to mean two small lenses that are offset to introduce optical parallax for an electronic parallax mechanism, over and above the EVF reading the main sensor. I don't see how this would satisfy the classical user as per above, and it would add significantly to the cost, not making anyone happy IMO. Better to just leave it optical.

But the main thing is, I don’t need a rangefinder of any kind. And I don’t want to pay for it. And I don’t want it junking up the design. Better if those resources are put into better metering, computational photography and getting ride of black-dot pimples. I’d bet that the market of people like me hankering for a 9 megadata EVF with superb optics (like Sony A1) would far exceed that classic optical rangefinder group.

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