Thinking of a digital camera with the least number of functions...

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by Ricochetrider, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. AND

    ... my search led me to a Leica Q. But honestly, by the time you get up to spending for it, why the Q over say, any other digital Leica? And can I really justify the cost over any other camera, considering I'm shooting something like 99% film anyway?
    Q vs M?
    Q vs X? (where X represents any other brand)
    Q vs Q2?
    Can I live with that fixed (28mm) lens? I will say I've sort of been looking around at various cameras that are actually similar to the Q in terms of configuration and it's hard to get away from that 28mm focal length. I've never been super enthused about any wide angle lens I've used, however. I think I finally found a Fuji (was it?) with a 35mm fixed lens.

    Reports and reviews I've read on the Q seem to be basically glowing, almost across the board, with only tiny "issues" -like dust, for one.

    Why wouldn't Leica weather seal the Q? Wouldn't that be an almost automatic next-level achievement for what seems to be a pretty bomb proof camera?

    Discuss, please. Q users are you in here?
  2. I really don't understand.
    Any half-way decent digital camera above the P&S level allows you to ignore any functions you don't want to use.

    I have no pony in this race, using my old Leica M2 happily alongside my digital SLRs.
  3. One of the ways Leica cameras typically excel (in my opinion) is that their menu system tends to be easy to understand and not too complex. That is typically true of all of them. On the other hand Sony is pretty much the opposite (gigantic multilayered menus that are a bit hard to follow, though you can do all kinds of things). I guess I'm saying most Leica made cameras would probably qualify (possibly excluding the LX100 derived DLuxes not sure).
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  4. I don't really know the Leica M line, is your M2 digital?

    Sony EVERYTHING seems equally complex, certainly unnecessarily so. Not a fan, at all.
    My OMD EM1 is similar: SO complicated, It's really tough to use manually. Too many levers and dials and buttons and just stuff. It's been good to me, but now that I've learned to shoot my film cameras manually, I'm ready for something digital that has minimalist manual controls. I rarely use the Olympus any more. I just don't get any real joy out of it.

    The Q, near as I can tell, has (like the Hasselblad et al) most of its functions on the lens.
    It almost seems you buy the lens and get a camera too.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  5. It seems the Fuji X1000V is suitable for my needs/wants/desires. I THOUGHT it had a 35mm lens on it but now I see it's got a 23mm. One thing I read RE: the Q was that the focal length resembles that of a phone screen. I guess in a world where every phone is the real competition for (especially smaller, simpler) cameras, it must be expected that this is where things are "at".

    Funny but the few reviews I read on the X100V were saying things like "for those who want Leica ________ without paying for a Leica". Which brings me back to feeling like if everything is compared to X - or trying to achieve what X brings to the table without actually matching X in full... if X represents the benchmark and everything else is a lowly imitation- why not just step up to X
  6. " I THOUGHT it had a 35mm lens on it" The Fuji is a APSC crop sensor camera, so its 23mm lens has the same field of view as a 35mm lens on a FF camera. A good reason many people just don't step up to "X" is that in this case it cost a whole lot more, like about 3x more to go from a lowly Fuji x100v to a new Q2 (less if you can find a good used Q v1).
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  7. Thanks. Since the Q2 is weather sealed I'd just get that version (if any) since the vast bulk of my photography happens outdoors.
  8. Have you tried a manual lens on your Olympus? Either adapted or native m4/3, such as 7artisans?

    I use manual lenses on my Fuji and Panasonic cameras, once you fit a manual lens, many of the camera's functions cease to be of any use, you're limited to aperture priority or full manual, so set the ISO to a fixed value, control the shutter speed via one dial on the camera (or just leave it on auto), focus and aperture on the lens as with any classic camera and forget about all the menus.

    I mostly use my Fuji cameras in manual focus, aperture priority, with shutter speed and ISO on auto, just point, focus and shoot. I maybe go into the menus once a month?

    Only buttons I use are shutter speed dial, focus magnification and the shutter button.

    Its only as complicated as you choose to make it...
  9. SCL


    There's a whole forum devoted to the Q and Q2 here: Leica Q / Leica Q2 . Supposedly with over 37,000 posts on the Q & Q2 alone. You might want to check it out.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  10. The Leica is great, but it sounds like you donโ€™t want to pay that much. The Fuji is also great, and less expensive. Or, since you have some M4/3 gear, look at the Olympus Pen F.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  11. How about a Ricoh GR - by now in its third iteration. 28mm-FX-equivalent focal length; the camera is APS-C. I chose it over the Fuji X100-Series because of the smaller form factor and the wider lens. By comparison, the Q/Q2 is just too big on account of that huge lens in front.

    We'll know fairly soon what the rumored Sony A7c will look like and offer - together with their 28/2 it could make a fairly compact combo similar in size to the Q and half the price (or less). And you can stick another lens on it.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  12. I'm struggling to see Leica's logic in the concept of the Q and Q2.

    Let's take a step back from the drool-worthy styling, eye-watering price tag and little red badge and look at the practicalities.

    A full frame, high pixel count camera fitted with a fixed 28mm lens!??

    A lens that won't allow you to use the selective depth-of-field that, realistically, is the only advantage that a full-frame sensor has over an APS sized one? And with a pixel count that limits its high ISO ability? That just makes no sense whatsoever.

    Had this camera accepted interchangeable lenses, or even been fitted with a fixed portrait-length lens, that would have been understandable. But it's basically a snatch-shot (in good light) one trick pony built solely for being seen with by the world, not for seeing the world through.

    I'm sure all the professional footballers and Hollywood glitterati that buy it will think it worth every penny, at about $100 for every snap of their friends that they get to take with it!
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  13. I'm having a bit of sticker shock. $5000, USD for a fixed lens camera is something I wouldn't be able to justify when for the same 5000 you can get aFuji gfx50R and a lens, or one of the Sony's.
  14. Features: Better to have'm and not need 'em than need'm and not have'm.
    Dieter Schaefer likes this.
  15. I've been having a lot of fun discovering all those previously unused hidden features in some of my cameras over the last few months. My Panasonic GX1 has a completely silent mode I never knew about that fires off at 20fps. There are a few limitations like 4mp, no AF after first photo, no live view, etc. but hardly noticeable on the Internet.
  16. I am waiting for the Q2 Monochrom. Guess Leica had Sony-envy and had to come out with something akin to the RX1-Series.
    Maybe Leica should come out with a series of Q bodies - all with a different lens. Stick the APO 50 on one - that's a $12K camera right there. Interchangeable lenses are so old school - let's move to a whole set of complete camera/lens combos. No more lens changes!
  17. a fixed portrait-length lens, that would have been understandable.

    Why would that be more understandable? Most people do not spend their life taking head shots. I reckon a 35mm or 50mm would be more sensible. Having tried the Leica Q I think it is a great camera particularly now with the built in cropping facility. Such fun to shoot with. However, of course, I imagine many people would much prefer to see an interchangeable lens version, as would I, but of course I could never afford it even if one was available. They won't do it as it will compete with their M series, which is their bread and butter. Still the camera is a beautiful thing.
  18. If you make even the most minimal effort you can easily learn which digicam settings you'll mostly use.

    I use wildly sophisticated (cheap and now orphaned) Samsung NX10 (20mp) and NX5 (30mp), often with 17 or 30mm primes (astoundly fine optics, autofocus)...and I mostly use two (2) settings. When I'm in the mood I use a couple of Pentax manual focus lenses (e.g. 50/1.4,50/2.8 macro, 85/2) with adapters.

    The 50/1.4 is especially sweet for portraits because the APS format is equivalent to 75/1.8 for 35mm and the APS format readily beats most 35mm film for 13x19 inkjet prints. The only film I'd use these days would be Kodachrome, which I scan myself.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  19. I think maybe the first question to ask yourself is 'what focal length do you like to shoot?'

    If the answer is normal or short tele, then avoid anything with a fixed wide angle.

    There is a member of my photo club with a Leica Q (first gen I think). It's a lovely camera, feels very nice indeed, but I have to agree with Rodeo Joe, the fixed 28mm lens is not to my taste at all, I'd rather a fixed 50mm.

    I also seem to recall (I've only played with it a couple of times) that despite the manual shutter and aperture controls, a fair bit of menu digging was required to access other common functions.
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  20. Nope digitals: M8, 9, "M type *triple digit*"s (like "M [240]") & finally M10.
    If installed focal length feels "quite wrong" for you, you most likely won't end being happy. <- Camera independently.
    Choose a lens* and make up your mind from there; at least pick(!) a field of view or let your existing film camera system dictate your steps into digital.

    Waste a thought on the side on what you 'd like to bring home. A smart device or Fuji shooter will quite likely bring "(final) images"; with some Ms you are closer to "digital darkroom work" - IDK how much that matters to you. Shooting color film meant usually putting it into an envelope and getting resultsback. Mixing chemicals and setting up an enlarger for B&W took a bit longer than tweaking a Monchrom's RAW file.
    1. How infinite is the wealth?
    2. What "Leica" might the authors be talking about? <- Big question! "cute quaint retro" is maybe more associated with the Ms & LTM stuff? The Q might want to be a different beast. And comparing ILCs wit fixed lens fujis isn't overly unfair since a lot of folks seem to have a 35mm "welded" onto their go to M
    3. Couldn't that step "up" end in a nasty deep puddle full of work?
    I never owned or borrowed any Fuji X100# but my X-E1 and similar (first generation MILC) convinced me that Fujis deliver great(!) JPEGs. I really came home from vacation and just ditched all my RAWs and did nothing to the files I had. I wouldn't claim my old Leica, Pentaxes, Samsungs, Sony P&Ss or even the current Canon to be on that level. When Leica earned praise for their consumer P&S's image processing performance, in the very late 90s, they were rebadging a Fuji. Important disclaimer: All Fujis mentioned here are (or were) vexing "point & wait" cameras.

    • Less levers buttons & functions doesn't always mean "better".
    I'm one of those elderly digital Ms' owners, occasionally cursing that they left off an option to sync flash with an auxilliary finder mounted or that you have to dive into a menu to take your ISO out of auto. Other cameras can feel closer to always ready, with everything at your fingertips.

    What might digital end being for, in your life? - Sorry, I am only aware that you scooped up almost any known kind of classic film camera by now.
    To me, the digital Ms seem to offer a nice emulation of film camera shooting fun. But that isn't all it takes, to make me happy always and anywhere; i.e. I have DSLRs on the side and plan to get decent mirrorless sooner or later too.
    Come on, read lensrentals' blog upon weather sealing and make up your mind... - Sorry. Is that really the route for you to go, with a $5K purchase? I ride a bike too and recall the feelings of wet gloves boots or getting soaked to my bones pretty well. That is "weather". Sealing makes a bit of effort against it but guarntees nothing. I suppose if my greatest desire was shooting friends jumping through puddles in the pooring rain, I'd go for a 60+x% "inexpensive enough, to not feel like a loss" solution or wait for a digital amphibian camera, like the Nikonos. Covering events I make no difference between the slightly weather sealed Pentaxes or Leica M. I suppose they can stand a few drops but I rather wear them under a rain coat.

    I didn't get overly tempted by the Q yet. 28mm isn't my favorite focal length and I already have the (admittedly no longer "great") Ms that feel portable / "ignorable" enough for me.

    If I was Q2 pondering and not liking 28mm's FOV; I'd think about an M10 with lenses I'd like more.You could reuse whatever you got fot that Bessa for starters and buy something reasonable later. Maybe the 90mm Macro Elmarit, 35mm 'cron and a cheap Zeiss 21/2.8?
    Ricochetrider likes this.

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