I received my Q2 a few months ago, and since I was a heavy user of the first Q, and then the QP, I wanted to share some thoughts and comparisons about the new Q2 and the older models. I’ll try to keep this brief and get down to the essentials.
Probably the main point to talk about is the image quality, as that’s what it’s really all about. Well - I’ll say this bluntly: the images look exactly the same to me. I even took some tests using the QP and Q2, and I just simply don’t see a difference in the final image. I had some concern about the updated Q2 sensor (and a massive sensor at that) - that it might over “digitize” the look and feel of my images - but I can say in confidence that the same feel that I’ve grown to know and love so much in my Q - is there, the look is the same, and the image quality is the same. You see some differences in lower light (minimally in my opinion) and I notice the Q2 tends to choose a higher ISO (I always shoot auto ISO on my Q’s, Leica is great at determining this - Sony, on the other hand…) so I assume the Q2 pushes a higher ISO to manage that massive megapixel sensor. When I feel it’s problematic I’ll just manually set my shutter speed to 1/15th and can always get the shot I want (unless there are fast moving subjects).
Given this massive upgrade in megapixels, I find myself using the built-in crop modes quite a bit now, and I get amazingly detailed and totally usable files even with the 75mm crop. I never used the crop modes on my Q or QP, I just didn’t see the point really, but they make so much more sense to me on the Q2 with this sensor. I’ve even been post processing images and i’ll go to crop a bit and realized that I was using a built in crop mode. Viewing the images in Lightroom CC, I generally can’t even tell that I was using one. To say this sensor has a truly unbelievable amount of resolution is an understatement. At first this sensor and the file sizes it produces were a major concern of mine, but I adjusted to them very quickly. Now I don’t even think about it. It’s just “my” camera again.
The other tweaks and upgrades to the Q2 (after the sensor) aren’t as massive - except one - but I’ll get to that in a bit. The feel of the camera overall is the same. The size of the camera, the controls and the lens are all very familiar when coming from an earlier model. I do enjoy the new bigger battery (a lot) and I absolutely LOVE the redesigned on/off switch. I’d almost go as far as to say the new on/off switch by itself would have almost been worth the upgrade to me. Anyone who owns the original Q will likely agree that the switch was pretty far from perfect. It was too low-profile, and took a deliberate action to get the camera to the single shot mode instead of accidentally bypassing it and going to the continuous shooting mode. I feel that Leica tried to over-compensate for this on the QP. That on/off switch felt way too soft too me, and it turned way too easily. The actual reason that this is such a big deal to me is because I don’t carry my camera around on my neck. I carry my camera in my Filson briefcase that goes with me everywhere. The QP would constantly turn itself on and off in my bag - all the time. It got to the point where I had to keep the battery out of the camera whenever I was transporting it around. This is a less than ideal scenario when you’re trying to grab a shot quickly and move on. In my opinion the switch has finally been completely fixed and perfected on the Q2. It feels more like the M10 switch now, which I NEVER worry about accidentally turning on and off.
I also have to mention that the EVF has been improved. You notice the big improvement right away, but i’m someone who adjusted to that quickly. I don’t notice that it’s any better then Q or QP EVF anymore. But it’s definitely a great EVF, and the first time you look through it you see a massive upgrade there.
All in all the Q2 doesn’t feel like a different camera or a different shooting experience. It’s the same Q that we’ve all grown to know and love, just “tweaked” to get us through the next several years of use. I can say that I’m really happy that I upgraded, and I don’t miss the smaller file sizes of the previous models (I honestly thought i might) - the Q2 now just feels like my everyday camera again and it really feels like the perfect camera for me. It’s hard to say if you should upgrade or not, that depends a lot on what your own needs are. I definitely wanted a better battery (I always carried a spare before, I don’t anymore with the Q2) - I would say this, if it’s about absolutely nothing except the final output image, I would say there’s no need to upgrade. Again, to me and my eye, the images are the same. If you’re like me, someone who enjoys these tweaks like the battery, EVF and better on/off switch, and you aren’t afraid of the file sizes, I’d say grab a Q2 without hesitation. It would never be an upgrade that you’d regret!