A couple months ago, Leica sent me their Leica Q (Typ 116) Titanium Gray to shoot for a few weeks. I was one of the few photographers who were asked by Leica to test the Q before it was announced back on June 10, 2015. At the time, I had tested a few different compact cameras and had absolutely no desire to keep them. The Leica Q was different, if I didn't already have the M240 and a few lenses, I would have no doubt kept the Q. It's the best compact camera I've shot, it still is.
Getting to shoot the Leica Q again only made me realize even more how good it really is, even for a wedding photographer like myself. Here are a couple shots that I took while I had it, but rather than bore you with wedding photos, I have something a little different for you all. My friend Ivo Scholz, a photographer from Switzerland, absolutely loves his Leica Q and uses it for almost all of his personal work. His personal work is stunning, and with the added bonus of breathtaking scenery, I feel that his work does a better job of showing off the capabilities of the Leica Q.
The name Leica, it stands for something they told me. There’s history, I heard it plenty of times. It’s quality and at the same time functional. It’s incomparable due to its design, something I read countless times. It's as if there’s some kind of special aura coming from within the box when getting one of these cameras.
As a guy who has shot with Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, Hasselblad and all the others over the past decade, I developed the ability to quickly adapt to any system. This way, I never had trouble using one of those brands and generating great results. In my current portfolio, I showcase images made with almost all of those camera brands. The interesting this is, you probably won’t find a big difference between the results you see from image to image. And in my opinion, that’s a great thing. It shows how the industry pushed itself to the point where there really not making any bad digital cameras anymore. But, the difference between a good camera you use and a great camera you love, there is a vast difference.
A SINCERE CAMERA
Let's talk about the Leica Q. The Q is one of those sincere cameras you might fall in love for many reasons. At least, I did. When you grab the body for the first time, you quickly realize that it isn't a small camera computer, like a lot of the other mirrorless cameras currently on the market. It really is pure photography. There, I said it. It screams at you to use it for the damn purpose it’s been built, but at the same time whispers in your ear to relax and forget about all the technical noise. Just turn the aperture ring, use the wonderful electronic viewfinder, and press the shutter. Review the shot on that wonderful crisp rear display and swipe with your finger through your photographs using the touch screen. Extremely intuitive and easy. Nothing interrupting the creative process of taking your shot, nor anything to get in your way. Something that is hard to find these days.
You may wonder about the lens. A Leica 28mm Summilux f/1.7 lens, which is permanently mounted on the Leica Q. It is wide, I know. And it takes some time to figure out the best way to use this focal length (if you never really used 28mm or so). For me, coming from the Batis 25mm, which I really like a lot, it was easy to adapt. Playing with the wide angle and the depth of field of the Summilux lens is pure joy. There’s also a lot of arguing about the stabilizer and wether it makes the images less sharp or not. Forget about all that nonsense. It is sharp, I mean really sharp, especially when shot wide open. Some say it's maybe too sharp. Even usable for landscapes at f/1.7! I've never seen this on any other lens I used before.
IT'S WORTH IT
Here it is, the biggest question of them all. Is it worth the price? For all the photographers who simply care about more than just the final image and end result, the Leica Q also offers an experience. For me personally, I wanted more than to simply use my camera like any other tool, I really want to love using it. The Q did that for me. It also made me fall in love with photography all over again.
If you’re one of those photographers, who really do care about the process and the fun instead of just the end result, the Leica Q is definitely something to consider despite the price tag.