I got my new Leica Q at the Kyoto Leica store at 11am on Saturday June 20, the first day of availablity in Japan. Here are some shots and thoughts from our first 24 hours together.
Update: Tuesday 6/23 I got 681 dng shots on a 32mb card, one battery just about fully spent.
Please note, just my opinion as a hands on user. Good roundup of web feedback can be found here at LeicaRumors.
First it was a delight to buy the camera in Kyoto. The store is in the historic Gion district and full of beautiful photos shot on Leica cameras. I had mailed Yuko san ahead of time and she let me in as the store opened. She had me seated in a private room with some cold tea and welcomed AC. Very civilized, beats having Amazon dump a box on your porch. She was most helpful in taking me through the camera set up and transaction. Note that Leica appears to have a global price when you factor in current exchange rates. I bought an extra battery and attached the cool leather strap it comes with. I usually go with an Arts & Artisan strap but this leather one is a keeper.
I think this is a game changer for Leica as it is full frame, auto focus and fixed 28mm lens. Made in Germany. Feels light but solid, great display on the back. Macro mode on lens. Digital framing at 28/35/50. Battery cover is a little light weight but functional. Boxed in true Apple design and style.
Then out the door shooting!
Wow. A game changer for me and my street shooting style on two main levels:
1. 28mm says you have to get close, real close. Like 2 feet away from a subject. You are in a conversation with them. No sitting back out of the story, you are right in it. I found this to be extra fun, especially on the street as I like to mix with people. 28m comes with all the issues around distortion around the edges so for portrait shots a vertical or centered shot looks best to me. My first time shooting with a 28mm and I dig it.
This was shot about 2 feet away from them!
This was shot 4 feet away and it feels too far for me.
Shot from across the street in Gion, really just an alley vs street.
The Q also has in camera cropping of 28/35/50. I didn't use this on the first day but this AM I took some images and it actually might be good to use.
Macro mode puts you 4 inches away.
2. Auto focus on a full frame Leica, yippee! This also means I am using the back LCD to frame the shots just like any tourist and it was fun and fast. I think it also goes along with point #1 above as I could stay connected with the subject and not hide behind the viewfinder. Focus seems fast and reliable.
Game changers for my street shooting.
I will keep shooting the medium format in the studio, Nikon set up for location/speed/weather images. But this is my new walk around camera. And the black/white conversions are pretty good.
But a very expensive camera compared to Sony and Fuji. Actually I think you can get the same images with those set ups at a much less price. But this 28M and a body that is very similar to a Leica M240 is not so expensive in the world of Leica. I am all in on the Leica platform with bodies and lens so this Q makes sense to me. I will probably let go of some Nikon stuff that I am not using. The Q is not cheap but for me worth it.
Finally a shot I took with in an hour of getting the camera. If I did not have auto focus I might not have made this happen. I have known my friend for 20+ years and she is very ill. She stopped treatment 6 months ago but you can see she still has that inner twinkle in her eye and heart. I hope to see her again when I return to Kyoto in the fall.
All shots jpegs for now, minimal post. And yes I am still shooting the Leica Monochrom with 35m lens.