Leica Q vs Sony RX1RM2

Introduction

If you’re looking for a premium quality point and shoot camera, you’ll undoubtedly be considering either the Leica Q or the new Sony RX1rM2. Both cameras are in the same price range and have a full frame sensor. The RX1rII does have the size advantage over the Q, but then again the Leica has a better viewfinder, a touch screen and a faster lens.

Overview and comparison

Body and handling

Screen

Sony has yet to release a full frame camera with a touch screen, stating that the technology just isn’t there yet. Leica did manage to incorporate this into the Q camera thanks to their partnership with Panasonic, who have lots of experience with touch sensitive LCD screens in their micro-four-thirds camera range. There is nothing unprofessional about nailing shots by tapping a screen. The other alternative is focusing/recompose/shoot. That’s the ONLY alternative to most street-type shots. But what about the 50 different focus mode/ focus are options? For instance, Sony can use “flexible spot” to move the focus crosshairs to the point you want them out.  Why should I have to jack around with that and miss the moment? So, just like with did decades ago, we use the focus/recompose/shutter technique. Olympus, Panasonic, and now the Leica Q found a new way with touchscreen and it rocks. I just frame the scene, click where I want to focus, and the camera grabs the shot.

Viewfinder

The Sony RX1RM2 has a pop-up viewfinder, the type you’ll also find in their RX100 series. It’s backup solution more than anything else. Hence a touch screen would have been ideal on this camera. The eyecup they provided is lame that went right back into the box… The Leica Q, on the other hand, has a fantastic permanent viewfinder. The winner is clearly the Q here.

Image Quality

ISO performance

The Sony RMyX1Rii tops the Q in low light performance for sure. The 42MP BSI sensor is the same as the one used in the Sony A7rM2 and is definitely the best Full-Frame sensor currently on the market.  You’ll see much less noise in really low light situations like in clubs/concerts.
there is resolution too, but 24mp is probably enough for me except, and this is key when cropping down. If I’m using the RX1 at 42mp and I want to crop way down on something, I have that luxury. Perhaps a lot less with the Q.

Dynamic range

I’m afraid the RX1 tops the Q here too. When needed, I have gotten in the habit of shooting with my exposure compensation set to -1 or lower, and then to adjust shadows upward in post. Clearly, you can’t do that as dramatically with the Q.

28mm vs 35mm

I thought I would hate the 28. I didn’t. I have never gotten “scenes” before when shooting streets. My 50 and my 85 have reached me “subjects”, but not scenes. Standing in the middle of an inner-city bus stop and shooting away off the screen of the Q has been a rush. Standing at the top of a stairway with the 28, shooting down at some geometric scene has changed the way I see photography. Even 35mm is too wide for shots like that that I captured.

OOC colour rendition

I find myself less likely to jack with the colors from the Leica. Less of a need to bump up saturation or contrast than on my Sony.

While the body of my RX1Rii is authentic Japanese, the glass is as German as it gets. It doesn’t even say “Zeiss” on the front- it says “Carl Zeiss.” But let’s face it, a Sony doesn’t have the pedigree that Leica has.

Conclusion

The 28mm Leica Q doesn’t serve me in my profession. If you choose to purchase the Q and not the RX1, it will be to use the Q for street shooting, and as my “grab and go” camera.
When I ‘m not working, I don’t want to sling my freaking A7Rii + lens over my shoulder. No way. The RX1 and the Q are very light, small, and incognito when out and about. Yes, the Q is larger, but I haven’t felt like it “tips me off” more than the Sony. They are both easy to blend in. I notice a dramatic difference when I am using these cameras compared to my A7Rii- and the A7Rii is tiny compared to the big SLRs of course.

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