The annual Camera Magazine Imaging Awards recognise excellence in the design and execution of imaging products. This year there are ten categories and to be eligible, products had to go on sale around Australia from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019. Our fixed lens camera category included everything from superzoom models to ruggedised compacts, but in the end a modern-day classic won the day.
Fixed Lens Camera Winner: Leica Q2
Even without its Leica badge, the original Q was a superb camera, combining style, features and performance in a hugely desirable package. Of course, the classic Leica M styling cues helped with the overall appeal, but underneath the Q was thoroughly modern, offering little luxuries such as autofocusing and, consequently, a lot more useability than even the interchangeable lens RF cameras. True. And especially true, if you generally only used one lens… such as a 28mm which has always been a surprisingly flexible prime focal length (just ask any cinematographer).
The Q2 ups the desirability factor big time. It keeps the same Summilux 28mm f1.7 ASPH fixed wide-angle lens, but behind it is now 50.4 megapixels of resolution which not delivers a massive amount of image quality, but makes the 35mm and 50mm crops a lot more useable… and even allows for a new 75mm-equivalent setting. A full set of Leica f1.7-speed primes in the one camera? Well, not quite, there’s still a lot of flexibility here for a fixed-lens model. The sensor-based shutter enables continuous shooting at 20 fps and a top shutter speed is 1/40,000 second. Even with its FP shutter, the Q2 is capable of 10 fps… and with continuous AF/AE adjustment. If video is your thing, there’s 4K DCI at 24 fps – to match the cinematographic 28mm focal – or 4K UHD at either 24 fps or 25 fps. Full HD footage can be recorded at 24, 25, 50 or 100 fps, this last speed for slow-mo effects.
What else? AF using 225 measuring points (with face-detection and subject tracking), all the works for exposure control, a touchscreen monitor, an OLED-type EVF with a resolution of 3.68 megadots, a weather-sealed magnesium alloy bodyshell and both WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity. This already-tasty recipe is seasoned with a little Leica magic that is the Q2’s styling and handling.
Is this the perfect camera then? Well, if you could only have one, the Leica Q2 would very likely be the one.