This is a part two continuation of this post that I wrote a week after trading much of my Fujifilm equipment in for a Leica Q2 and it serves as confirmation that I made the right choice.
To sum up, I moved to the Q2 because it combined 2x X-Pro2s with the 18mm and 33mm lens into one package. Now my second body is an X-T3 (that I’ve had a while) which I can bolt either the 16-80mm or a 50mm f2 on for slightly longer reach. This feels like a really clean and simple set up that does everything I want.
Here’s a few findings from the first couple of weeks of owning it, for anyone else on the fence. You can read about how blown away with the image quality I was in this post – that doesn’t need to be addressed. It’s just outstanding.
Yes, it definitely goes a bit wayward at times… but I kind of like it. I find I’m using the Vivid profile the most and the only annoyance I’ve seen on the SOOC jpgs is some slightly odd yellowish tint in cyans in the sky. In reality, I’m quite happy with the Auto white balance. I might find it to be more of an issue in weddings and events in the new year, so I’m going to work on using it in tricky conditions to see how much it flops before I use it in anger (where I wouldn’t normally capture RAWs as well). On that note, given that it only has one SD card, and the X-T3 will be the workhorse for weddings and events, I expect I’ll switch to capturing RAW again (on lots of 32gb cards) as a safety net.
The lack of phase detection is noticeable in REALLY low light, but given that it’s spitting 47mp images out, I have been plenty happy with the way it has kept up with two toddlers. Again, this camera is about slowing down (even more than Fuji). It’s not a paparazzi DLSR body of old – that’s just not my style. I did notice it struggle about 45 minutes before sunrise on a really dark subject – the Leica Q2 definitely is not a camera for astrophotography, but we know that anyway.
Yes, it does blow its whites out in the sky, there’s no avoiding that. Luckily, the shadows have bags of detail that can be cleanly pulled back so I suggest exposing for the highlights if you’re shooting handheld. With a tripod on the other hand, the Adobe masking is getting so good that I am happy shooting like I did back in the old days, exposing for the sky and exposing for the foreground then blending them in Photoshop before making finer edits in Lightroom. This obviously comes with its own complications (wind!) but some clever masking has given me some really nice, clean, sharp results.
So, in conclusion, if you’re on the fence about trading kit in for a Q2 and reading this, just do it. It elevates your image making potential to a new height. ON THE OTHER HAND If you’re thinking about buying one outright, and it’s going to be a stretch for you financially then I would say hold fire and reevaluate. The images that I got out of a 16mp X-E2 are still printed all around our house and look great (one is 40” wide).
Will I earn more income from having a Leica Q2, definitely not immediately. Have my clients noticed the difference already, yes. Do they really care (when 80% of those images are used digitally), not really. I’ve made 2-meter banners with images from the X-T3 and they look amazing. It spits out 20” prints natively and, when shot well, can easily be doubled in size for advertising purposes.
What the Leica Q2 has done for me, is made me think seriously about what I’m photographing, and how I’m photographing it. I’m approaching things, knowing that I have no excuses in the equipment anymore, the only thing holding me back, is me. That has stopped me resting on my laurels and made me approach things with more of a fine art eye again, something that I lost over recent years.