Leica has announced the Q2, an update to one of our favorite cameras of the last few years, the Q (or the Typ 116 if you're a Leica aficionado). While this high-end compact may look similar to its predecessor, sweeping changes have been made under the skin.
The most notable change is the new sensor, which is upgraded from 24MP to a staggering 47.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor, with a dynamic range of 13 stops promised. This also sees the ISO range extended: while the upper sensitivity limit remains the same at 50,000, the base ISO has dropped from 100 to 50.
The Leica Q2 uses the same Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens as the Q, but thanks to the increased resolution available on the Q2 there are now three additional digital zoom settings, enabling you to shoot at 35mm at 30MP, 50mm at 14.7MP and 75mm at 6.6MP should you find the fixed wide-angle lens not quite suited to the subject you're shooting. The cropped image is saved as a JEPG file, with an un-cropped image also automatically saved as a DNG file at full resolution.
The Q2 also has some pretty decent video credentials, with the ability to shoot 4K video at 24 and 30fps, as well as the option to shoot DCI 4K. For slow-motion video recording, the Q2 can shoot Full HD footage at both 60 and 120fps, a substantial improvement on the Q's limited Full HD capture at 30fps.
The Leica Q2 features a new 0.5-inch OLED electronic viewfinder with an impressive resolution of 3.68 million dots, while the dioptre compensation setting dial on the back of the camera has been redesigned to prevent inadvertent shifting of the compensation value. The resolution and size of the rear display remain the same as on the Q at 3.0 inches, with a resolution of 1.04 million dots and touchscreen functionality.
Focusing speeds remain the same as the Q's, with the Leica Q2 boasting a focusing speed of 0.15 seconds. With a tweaked Maestro II image processor, the Q2 can shoot at a fast 10fps with a mechanical shutter, which is very impressive considering the resolution; swap to an electronic shutter and the burst shooting speed doubles to 20fps.
While the design appears virtually unchanged, Leica has tweaked the controls on the Q2. As on the M10, the shutter button of the Q2 now controls only the On/Off function, no longer offering the option to swap between single and continuous focusing modes, while the number of buttons on the rear of the camera has also been reduced, from five to three. Unlike the Q, the Leica Q2 is protected from the elements with seals to keep out dust and water spray.
The Leica Q2 is compatible with the new Leica FOTOS app, and thanks to the camera’s integrated Wi-Fi connectivity both JPEG and DNG raw files can be shared easily and edited on the move.
The Leica Q2 is available now, priced at £4,250 in the UK. US and Australian pricing to be confirmed.
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Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.