When it comes to photography I am addicted to acquiring gear. I think many other photographers can relate to this problem as well. My closet is filled from top to bottom with 35mm, medium format, and large format film cameras in addition to both full frame and medium format digital cameras. As you could imagine, deciding what to pack when traveling across the world can be quite a headache. Nothing is perfect and the pursuit of perfection is endless both when it comes to taking photos and picking the right camera for you.
This brings me to the purpose of this article, how I fell in love with the Leica Q2. I often find myself in situations where people hand me a phone and want their photo taken. When traveling to Japan last month this was an ongoing event with my family. I had brought a Fujifilm GFX100s for my landscape work but when it came to everyday snapshots I would hardly take it out. The sheer weight of medium format gear is absurd when wandering without a particular objective, especially once the bag has 5 lenses in it. In Kyoto I decided to make a change, when exploring a city without a specific goal in mind I would need a lightweight camera that's high resolution, weather sealed, and can be taken anywhere. That's where the Leica Q2 comes in. Take a brand that is known for making the best optics in the world, slap a fixed 28mm Summilux 1.7 with autofocus on it and you have a dream every day camera.
During my time in Japan I visited 7 different cities travelling by train to each. This meant I needed to be able to endure long transfers between locations and still be ready for any passing moment. Once your back feels broken from carrying too much it's tough to find the motivation to get out and shoot.
On the back half of my trip I traveled to Hiroshima during a cold rainy day. The weather wasn't ideal for taking photos and after a long travel day I couldn't manage to haul my gear around anymore. Once I settled down I decided I would go explore the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with the Leica Q2. If I hadn't decided to get this camera the above image would've ended up being taken on my phone, not exactly ideal.
I've always seen Leica as a brand for documenting life and the world around you at a moments notice. One of my favorite features of this tiny beast of a camera is shooting in black and white full time. This paired with their phone app means I can take a monochromatic photo and have it on my phone shortly after ready to share with everyone I know. Don't get me wrong, most digital cameras these days can send photos directly to a phone, but the app Leica has created is seamless and hassle free.
Now don't get me wrong, spending $5,200 on a point and shoot camera isn't everyone's cup of tea. The closest alternative to this nifty camera is the Fujifilm X100V that comes in at $1400 dollars with the caveat being they are almost never in stock. I am a huge fan of both my Fujifilm GFX100s and GF670W medium format film camera, so I imagine the X100V is excellent as well.
One of the coolest features Fujifilm has created is film simulations. This feature allows you to shoot JPEGS that look exactly like old 35mm film. I use this on my GFX100s all the time and absolutely love it. You can go online and even find film recipes people have created to simulate the look of every film type out there. If that's your jam the Fuji if for you hands down.
The one thing that isn't so great on my Fujifilm camera is their app for transferring images on the go. It often disconnects mid transfer or doesn't connect at all which can be frustrating. The resolution also takes a knock at 26 megapixels on an APS-C sensor compared to the Q2's 47.3 megapixels on full frame. Now for most people this won't matter, at the end of the day your just trying to get better shots than your phone which both of these can easily do.
To wrap things up I would say, if you travel a lot and need a camera for life's moments consider a point and shoot such as the Leica Q2 or Fujifilm X100V. These are both ten times better than a phone and will capture images you'll hold onto forever. Thanks for reading, if you would like to purchase any images in this post please reach out.