All posts in “Leica”

Watch Now: An Oven for Pizza Idiots, the 2019 BMW X7 & More

In this episode of This Week In Gear: Eric Yang and Will Price test Breville’s countertop pizza oven, Henry Phillips discusses the $5K Leica Q2 and Nick Caruso raves about the all-new BMW X7. Also in this episode, a Bryan Campbell reviews the Honda Talon side-by-side – in 30 seconds – and AJ Powell explains why the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earbuds are the last thing he bought.

This episode of This Week In Gear is presented by Crown & Caliber: the convenient online marketplace for pre-owned luxury watches. Visit to get $175 towards any watch purchase until May 31st.

Featured Products

Breville the Smart Oven® Pizzaiolo

“This thing is fuckin’ awesome at what it does. It works for the pizza idiot to the pizza savant.”


Leica Q2

“All the improvements feel iterative, deliberate and genuinely helpful to the end user. The Q was my general price-no-object recommendation for a great camera for basically everyone. The Q2 takes that place no problem.”


2019 BMW X7

The X7 very well may be everything great about BMW, fully realized.


Honda Talon SxS

“Add an exciting application of DCT technology and it’s fair to say that while the Talon 1000R and 1000X aren’t necessarily game changers, they’ve sure as hell raised the bar.”


Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless Earbuds

“I believe the Momentum earbuds could replace each headphone in my current rotation — including my Bowers & Wilkins P5 on-ear headphones.”


Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Review: The New Leica Q2 is Really The Only Leica You Should Want

Late last night, Leica announced the Q2 ($4,995) to wild American applause and approving German nods. The company’s greatest modern success story finally has a sequel. To tell the truth though, about three weeks earlier in the meeting where Leica gave me a loaner unit, the new camera was sitting on a conference room table for five minutes before I realized that it was, in fact, the Q2. I promise that’s a good thing.

What made the original Q so good was that it wasn’t minimal for minimalism’s sake and it wasn’t as feature-packed as alternatives from Sony or Fujifilm. It was just this goldilocks of a camera that was intuitive enough to make you want to pick up and shoot and produced images that were so good that they made you want to keep going. It justified (or at least made a really good attempt at justifying) a price north of $4,000. Plus, on the other side, it made many of the longtime M rangefinder users that I know think slightly differently about what a Leica has to be in order to satisfy those who talk endlessly about the “Leica look.” Can a “real Leica” have autofocus? An electronic viewfinder? (Gasp) A fixed lens?!

At the core of what made the Q great was not only the fact that it asked these questions that are paradigm shifting for a company that has been famous for making (nearly) the same product for 50 years, it’s that it went a really long way towards answering them.

Does the Q2 ask new ones? Does it re-re-define what a Leica can be? Or does it prove that there’s a reason Leica’s really only famous for the M instead of the million other cameras it’s made? I had a couple of weeks with the camera to find out.

Leica Q2 Review Back

Just about all of the physical changes between Q and the Q2 are visible in this photo. The far-right control dial is borrowed from the CL, the new power switch is borrowed from the M10, the diopter-control has been moved to a less bump-able place, the menu buttons have been simplified and squared-off, and there’s a cute little “2” engraved on the hot shoe now.

The Good: As it turns out, Leica nailed the sophomore album by basically releasing a remastered version of the first. The original Q was great — with some notable faults — and with the Q2 Leica does it’s best to address them.

On the UI/UX side menus and button interfaces are cleared up, gone is the stupid power switch that always sent you into continuous shooting mode, the WiFi connection is infinitely better (largely thanks to Bluetooth LE). The IP52 splash- and dust-sealing is a welcome addition.

Then there’s the actual shooting experience. There’s a massive new 47-megapixel sensor that helps things like the Q’s signature “rangefinder digital crop” feature work much better (and include a 75mm equivalent crop that still leaves you with a 7-megapixel image). The 28mm f/1.7 stabilized lens is as great as it ever was, not stumbling at all when presented with nearly twice the resolution. Rounding out the operation is the new Maestro processor which manages to push those crazy big files around just as fast as before.

Generally, the great part about the Q2 is it doesn’t mess with the special sauce that made the original Q so great. The manual/automatic mix, the EVF, the lens, the size, the speed, the portability — it’s all still there, and it’s fully up to date.

Who It’s For: Honestly, basically everyone who wants a Leica and is thinking logically. Don’t get me wrong, the M10 is an astounding camera and the associated lenses are beautiful, but the list of drawbacks for general everyday shooting feels like it’s getting longer. [Full disclosure: because I refuse to think logically, the day Leica told me a Q2 was coming, I bought a silver M10 and a 35mm Summicron.]

Have kids? Get a Q2.
Like autofocus? Q2.
Lightweight? Q2.
Want wide open shots to actually work? Q2.
Want higher res than any Leica camera currently in existence? Q2.
Want to take travel photography that is mindless and fast enough to not make you “the camera guy?” Q2.

Want a slightly abstruse lesson on the history of photography and to use one of the most iconic and refined pieces of design on earth? Buy the M10.

Leica Q2 Review Macro

The good news? Just about everything that made the Q so charming is retained in the Q2, including the insanely pleasing way that you switch the camera into macro mode by rotating a dial on the lens.

Watch Out For: Oh come on, you knew this was coming. It’s $5,000. You could buy three Fujifilm X100Fs to throw at Youtube commenters who say the Q2 is too expensive and still come out ahead.

Aside from that, there’s not too much off with the Q2. Leica hasn’t fully embraced the idea of Instagram ready photography and in-camera JPEG settings reflect that so you’re going to have to ship that massive DNG file over to your phone and play with it a bit before it really starts to sing.

Did they really need to shoot the moon with a 47-megapixel sensor? Probably not, I think 30 would’ve been just fine but my hunch is that you’ve seen something very similar to that 47 in the new Panasonic S1R and you’re probably gonna see it in the SL2 and M11 whenever those decide to drop. I guess big is the new normal.

The only other notable foibles are that you really have to nail focus for the digital crop to feel like a useful feature and I think that in redesigning the ergonomics slightly, they made the lens a bit uglier and less elegant on the Q2 compared to the original.

Leica Q2 Review Bottom

A couple fun changes on the bottom: the Q2 now uses the same battery (and battery loading system) as the SL and theres a small indicator that the camera is now IP52 splash and dust sealed.

Alternatives: Despite my jokes about X100 throwing, there actually isn’t an apples-to-apples alternative to the Q2 – and I think that’s what makes it so special. Sony does technically still sell the RX1R II but the interface isn’t particularly pleasant to use and it just feels like a souped-up point and shoot. The Fujifilm X100F is a fantastic camera that will get you the most similar shooting experience, but you drop the full-frame sensor and a bunch of resolution (if we’re being kind to the Fuji, it’s also nearly 80-percent cheaper than the Q2). The M10 is a quasi-alternative but see the abbreviated list above for why the comparison doesn’t really hold water. Perhaps the best alternative? The original Q. Because all these updates are more evolution than revolution, the Q still totally holds water — even 5 years later — and hopefully prices fall enough that it can get into the hands of more users.

Verdict: In this case, and in my time using the Q2, no news is good news. I liked the original Q so much that I didn’t really see what Leica was going to improve with the second act. Really though, they listened to critiques from Q users and addressed as many as they could. All the improvements feel iterative, deliberate and genuinely helpful to the end user. The Q was my general price-no-object recommendation for a great camera for basically everyone. The Q2 take that place no problem.

Leica hosted us and provided this product for review.

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A Veteran Photographer on the Intimacy of Portraiture

Born in Southern California and raised from what he calls “humble beginnings,” Tim Davis has built an enviable career as a photographer. First starting out in graphic design, an internship at Patagonia eventually led him to shift his focus behind the lens. Now, 13 years into his tenure as a staff photographer at Patagonia, Davis spends the chunk of his time in the field, shooting gear in action, with refreshing reprieves in the studio and editing deskside.

By nature, most of Davis’ work in the outdoor space has required him to be somewhat removed, an observer documenting as a photojournalist. But in his free time, Davis has been taken by the more intimate nature of portraiture. He’s studied the work of the masters of the craft, recreating classic set-ups and dialing-in studio lighting. His go-to has been the Leica M10, favoring its history, timeless craftsmanship and slender design. Davis took us along on some of his recent portrait shoots, behind the curtain at Patagonia’s creative studios and into his own home workshop to share more about this nuanced form of photography and how he approaches it. Read on for a look into his world.

On becoming a photographer:
“I’ve had an affinity for still photography since I was a kid. My uncle was a special effects photographer in the film days back in the ‘70s-’80s in New York City. I remember being 7- or 8-years-old and visiting his studio, being really impressed. My grandfather also owned a little camera store. My first camera was a little Kodak; I can’t even remember what it was called. It had discs of film and I would blast through them. By the time I was 16 or 17, my mom got me my first SLR, which was a Minolta with three lenses. It wasn’t a quality camera but I thought it was amazing.

Initially, in college, I was a fine art major. But I came from pretty humble beginnings so I had to figure out how to make a little money. I knew I wanted to do something in the arts. But I knew being a fine art major and making fine art was a really sketchy gamble. At first, getting into graphic design was amazing because you start making a little bit of money, but it was too much computer time. When I was at UCSB in the Graphic Design Department, I freelanced at Patagonia doing graphic design. While I was freelancing as a graphic designer, I switched [disciplines] and went to Brooks Institute of Photography back when it was located in Santa Barbara. Photography and filmmaking was a really neat way to see the world and be out and shooting amazing stuff. You do still get some technical stuff. You work really hard and then you get back in the office and have a more civilized environment with a cup of coffee at 8:30 in the morning and you get to process.”

On portraiture:
“The drawback to outdoor photojournalistic photography, at least for me, is that it’s a lonelier experience. You’re not involved, ideally, in the making of a photo. You’re just there to document it. That’s a neat experience, but the advantage to portraiture is that you’re involved in creating the photo. Portraiture is a lot more intimate in that sense. You get to work with the subject. If you look at the Henri Cartier-Bresson approach to it, he looked at the camera as a tool. In a way, it could encumber the process if you let it. It was about you and me and if I did my job right, I really captured the moment. It’s as simple as that.

When you’re taking someone’s portrait, it’s case by case. When working with a professional athlete or model, someone who has been photographed a lot, it’s a really easy process. They do what they do and I do what I do, and hopefully, we make something really great. If you get someone that’s nervous in front of the camera, the direction becomes more nuanced. You want to evoke the right look but you don’t want to make them feel more nervous. It’s a delicate balance. We have a finite limit to how long we can be photographed; I think a human can be photographed for maybe 8 minutes.”

On shooting with the Leica M:
“For photojournalism, it’s really nice to show up with something small and lightweight and unobtrusive. If you show up with a big SLR, and you’re trying to be stealthy, it’s just not going to happen. If you show up with the Leica M with a small 50mm on it, they might not know you’re shooting amazing photos on it. And the beauty of a manual camera like the M is that it makes a different photo.

There is something really special about a camera that’s been relatively unchanged for 100 years. These really teeny beautiful lenses are handmade and these camera bodies still look the same. There’s something tactile. They’re heavy. It’s handmade with brass and glass and someone is making each one.”

Meet the Leica M10

Leica took its expertise from more than 60 years since launching the M Series — 11 making digital M Cameras — to create the Leica M10. It is the slimmest digital M ever made with dimensions as slender as analogue M-Cameras. Combining heritage with technology, the slim and elegant camera uses a specially developed 24 MP, full-frame CMOS sensor and a Maestro II image processor, delivering extended dynamic range as well as ISO values up to 50,000. Learn More

On photographic legends:
“I have a slight obsession with black and white portrait photographers. We don’t use a ton of portraiture here [at Patagonia], even less black and white, so developing those ideas happens outside of work. Researching the old images and techniques of the legends (like Avedon, Newton, Elgort, Demarchelier, Lindberg and so on) is so rewarding: a Bob Marley portrait shot on auto with Kodak film bought at the local drug store; Avedon teasing his subjects or his 8×10 wooden camera with a white seamless taped to a barn; Bresson’s 50mm that he shot his entire career; Nachtwey’s focusing techniques and Tri-X film; Capa and Gerda Taro and love, war and death; Mark Seliger’s brick studio stairwell; Leibovitz and box studios. There is so much to learn: the techniques, the mistakes, the complexities, simple solutions, love of the medium and their subjects, the heartbreak, drugs, death, insecurities or regrets. It’s all so amazing and so human. I’m fascinated with the old legends and their lore.

Everything that’s happening in photography has been done and has maybe been done 100 years ago. It’s at least been done 50 years ago. We’re almost 70 years past when Richard Avedon was at his prime and Irving Penn was at his prime — and the fashion magazines on every shelf today are clearly influenced by these guys. I’m just trying to pay homage to the legends.” — Tim Davis, Senior Photographer, Patagonia