Merging two of their most unique series, the Leica Q2 Monochrom is a full-frame compact camera fitted with a 47.3MP monochrome sensor, which is used for the sole purpose of recording vivid and rich black-and-white imagery.
Compared to a standard CMOS sensor, this specialised monochrome sensor omits the colour filter array to enable recording of just luminance values in order to achieve greater visual depth and clarity, along with improved sensitivity to ISO 100,000 and reduced noise levels to suit working in difficult lighting. The sensor's design also sees the omission of an optical low-pass filter, and inclusion of an updated microlens array, which helps to produce sharper, higher resolution imagery.
Beyond its Monochrom distinction, this version of the Q2 follows a familiar path of quick and robust performance and intuitive handling. The sensor pairs with a Maestro II image processor to offer fast shooting operation up to 10 fps, support for both DCI and UHD 4K video recording, and reliable autofocus performance. This camera also features the same beloved Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. wide-angle prime lens, which has been matched to the sensor design for exceptional resolution and clarity.
The Q2 Monochrom also retains the cherished sleek and compact design that makes it ideal for street and travel shooting, and this Monochrom version even sports a more inconspicuous matte black finish without the Leica red dot. Its magnesium alloy body is weather-sealed for working in trying environments and it uses the same battery featured in the flagship SL-series of mirrorless cameras for longer battery life. A high-resolution 3.68MP OLED electronic viewfinder is featured for fluid and clear eye-level monitoring and a rear 3.0" 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD also affords straightforward playback and settings control. Built-in Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi permit wireless sharing and remote camera control from a linked mobile device via the Leica FOTOS app.
Distinguishing itself from the standard Q2, the Q2 Monochrom is the first black-and-white-only model of this compact full-frame camera. Based on the standard edition, this distinct version features the coveted design elements of the Q2 system but adds a 47.3MP monochrome without a color filter array or low-pass filter, in order to record only black-and-white imagery with greater sharpness and detail. Beyond the unique imaging characteristics and image quality, the Q2 Monochrom also features a monochromatic exterior design, with white and gray engravings on the body and a clean top plate appearance.
47.3MP B&W Full-Frame CMOS Sensor and Maestro II Processor
Featuring a truly unique imaging system, the Q2 Monochrom incorporates a high-resolution 47.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor, which pairs with the Maestro II image processor to deliver a wide dynamic range with notable tonal rendering, as well as enhanced sensitivity to suit working in a variety of lighting conditions. The sensor's design features an updated microlens array and omits an optical low-pass filter in order to achieve greater sharpness, resolution, and clarity. Additionally, differentiating itself from typical sensor designs, the Q2 Monochrom sensor omits a colour filter array (CFA), which offers the ability to solely record monochromatic imagery using only luminance values for enhanced clarity, depth, and resolution. By removing the CFA, this camera also achieves a higher sensitivity range of ISO 100-100,000 than the colour-enabled Q2 camera, along with reduced noise to suit working in difficult lighting conditions and a broad 13-stop dynamic range.
The Maestro II's processing capabilities also afford fast shooting performance, up to 10 fps at full-resolution with a mechanical shutter, along with an especially quick autofocus system. Stills can be recorded as 14-bit DNG files and JPEGs. The added resolution also enables unique digital zoom capabilities to simulate working with different focal length lenses: 30MP images can be created using a 35mm field of view, 15MP images with a 50mm field of view, and 7MP with a 75mm field of view.
In addition to stills, and unique among Monochrom cameras, this Q2 supports both DCI 4K24p and UHD 4K30p video recording, along with high-speed Full HD recording at up to 120p.
Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens
Key to the popularity of the Q-series is the incorporation of a fixed Summilux 28mm f/1.7 wide-angle prime lens. Blending Leica's optical know-how with a design perfectly matched to the image sensor, this lens incorporates three aspherical elements to control distortion and spherical aberrations for sharp and accurate rendering. Its fast f/1.7 maximum aperture also excels in low-light conditions and offers improved control over depth of field. Extending its versatility, a dedicated macro focusing position can also be used for working with subjects as close as 6.7" away. Additionally, optical image stabilisation helps to compensate for the effects of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting.
- High-resolution 3.68MP (1280 x 960) OLED electronic viewfinder provides a clear and realistic means for eye-level viewing. Its high refresh rate virtually eliminates lag and an updated eye sensor provides faster automatic switching between the EVF and the rear LCD.
- Rear 3.0" 1.04m-dot LCD features a touchscreen design for intuitive navigation and playback, as well as the ability to touch to focus.
- Lightweight magnesium alloy body is dust and moisture sealed (IP52-rated) for use in harsh environmental conditions.
- BP-SCL4 battery offers approximately 350 shots per charge and the battery's physical design incorporates a rubber gasket to further reinforce the overall weather sealing.
- Enhanced haptics, following suit of the M10 and CL-series cameras, emphasise a simpler interface, including a single-stage On/Off button, a three-button rear control set, a programmable button within the thumb-wheel dial, a push-button diopter adjustment, and a distinctive thumb grip.
- Mechanical shutter affords flash sync speeds up to 1/500 sec.
- Lens features a 49mm filter thread diameter for attaching optional filters.
- Accepts one SD-type memory card and supports the UHS II protocol.
- Built-in Wi-Fi, when used in conjunction with the Leica FOTOS app for iOS and Android, permits sharing imagery directly to a linked mobile device and also enables remote control over the camera and remote shooting via a live view image. Additionally, Bluetooth LE helps to maintain a permanent connection between the mobile device and the camera, enabling remote waking of the camera and automatic connection anytime within range.