My goal was to try the new Leica Q2 for Wedding Photography and judge it for myself.
After a friend had been raving about his new camera for weeks, I decided to rent the Leica Q2 for wedding photography. There are obviously going to be pros and cons to every camera system, lens and accessories. I had read up on Leica cameras and their incredible quality. One of the best videos I had watched was from Taylor Jackson, who does an awesome job of explaining the ups and downs to the camera specifically for wedding shooters. However, I wanted to see for myself and experience the Leica system first hand.
I should add a disclaimer here. There are many more qualified people out there that can attest to the specs and more technical features of this camera. This article is an outline of my personal experience with the camera on a wedding day.
I primarily have been shooting for the past three years with the Canon 5d Mark IV. The canon 5D system has been popular among wedding photographers for a while. I love my 5d, but I recently found myself wanting to see what else is out there and how they fit into a wedding day. I will start with some pros and cons and outline a few shots from Frank and Marissa’s summer backyard wedding in Bellmore, Long Island.
I’ll start with the two biggest positive attributes in my opinion, which are the quality and auto focus. The sensor is 47.3 megapixels. This can be both good and bad. I was amazed at how impressive the images were in some of the portrait and detail shots. However, they will eat up your memory card. I used a 128GB Sandisk card which filled up rather quickly shooting in both RAW and JPG backups. It is important to also have a dual memory card slot for back ups in the event your card crashes during the wedding day, which the Leica Q2 does not offer. In the photo below, I used the built in macro setting (another plus) to get these ring and invitation shots in the backyard.
You can see the quality and beauty the Leica cameras are capable of. I loved having a macro setting right there on the lens to switch to without having to take out another lens just for detail shots.
During a wedding day, things move fast. I want speed in my camera and I don’t want to miss my focus. Normally, I use back button focusing on my Canon camera. With the Leica, one of the most impressive things I noticed was the Autofocus capability. I was able to nail the focus of moving subjects so easily it made me reconsider everything. When I say everything, I mean there is not one image out of about 1,000 that was out of focus. That for me is truly spectacular. The sleek body makes it super easy to move around and get in peoples faces during the cocktail and reception without making them nervous. I love getting fun, candid shots during the party. The little camera body with 28 mm fixed lens made my canon seem bulky and almost annoying as it swung around on my hip.
I feel like the Leica did really well in post with black and white. The files naturally have a lot of contrast. I also noticed in post editing the files were very green, which made it a bit more difficult to match my Canon files. I want the gallery to have a consistent look and feel. One of the drawbacks was extra time spent editing to get the two close.
One of the biggest problems of the camera for wedding photographers is the buffering. You can rifle off about 9-12 images before the shutter stops allowing you to take photos. This is due to the large file size but is a drawback for moments like walking down the aisle and motion shots during portraits.
In addition to everything above, this camera performs INSANE in low light scenarios. Wide open at f/1.7 and ISO as high as 12,500, the noise is not even a factor. See below for some shots during the reception with minimal light.
Lastly, which all reviews of the Leica systems touch on is the price tag. For $5k, is it worth adding the Leica Q2 for wedding photography into your wedding kit? I would say in conclusion, no. With one fixed lens option at 28mm, I would be forced to use this as my wide lens. During a wedding day I normally shoot with a 35mm and switch between my 50mm and 70-200mm. If I need a wider shot, I switch to my 24mm. I loved some of the photos I got, but I can’t seem at this time to add it into my kit because it is out of my budget and I think there are better options. I hope this review helped anyone interested.