I’m a real Leica geek and profound admirer of Leica cameras, but back in 2016 I didn’t get too excited when the Leica Q was announced.
Not that I didn’t appreciate the Q was nicely designed and built to the highest standards.
Nor did I ignore the fact it was probably the first Leica that got everything right and none of the flaws found in previous Leica cameras: no outdated screen (M9), slow autofocus (X1) or fake max aperture lens (X Typ 113) – just to name a few.
The Q was superb camera with excellent image quality from day 1, a fact truly recognised by the international photo geeks community.
Yet I couldn’t care less for a simple reason: it had a 28mm lens – not my cup of tea.
Come the Q2 in 2019
Which is basically the Q with weather sealing, a touch screen and a new 47 MP sensor.
But with the Q2 Leica decided to highlight the in-camera image crop feature that digitally transforms the lens into 35mm and 50mm focals.
While this was already featured in the original Q, the Q2 with its higher megapixel count makes it feel more serious and relevant for optical purists like me. Mind me, it’s still a digital zoom-in crop, but now with 47 MP to play with. Hence I wrote these two articles here and here about the future of system cameras.
To Q, and not to queue
This ended up triggering my interest for the Q2 and accepting its native 28mm focal.
Problem is, just like every luxury brand with highly desirable products, Leica seems to know how to play the supply / demand game to turn things that little more dramatic.
So, as of today, if you want to buy a Q2 you need to put your name on a waiting list and wait ’till God knows when. Not even the official Leica store will tell you when they will get Q2 stock from Wetzlar nor in what quantities they will receive when they eventually do.
Alternative if you can’t wait? Get a Q2 from resellers in the grey market that, obviously, are practicing market inflated prices. Last I heard, street price in Hong Kong is around USD$ 5750. That’s approximately USD$ 750 over, say, B&H’s online price tag for the Q2.
The Q drops
The only positive thing with all this is that both Q and Q-P price dropped in the past few months. Street price in Hong Kong is around USD$ 3250 now – feels like a bargain when compared to Q2’s price.
So… I’m contemplating the prospect of a Q in lieu of a Q2. Perhaps the super sexy silver Q or a Q-P with its matte black finish and classic Leica engraving?
Frankly, I don’t care about the extra features of the Q2 when compared against the Q. I don’t need the extra resolution, the touch screen or the weather sealing.
Objectively, the Q was – and still is – a very solid camera.
Then… Why pay more, wait and queue, when you can just get a Q?