When street photographer Robin Schimko made the leap and purchased a Leica Q in 2015, he was hesitant. The price was steep, and the fixed lens made it a “glorified point-and-shoot.” And yet, it has become his unequivocal favorite. Here are the 5 reasons why.
Interestingly, Schimko doesn’t mention the camera’s diminutive size or portability—a safe “go-to” reason to recommend a fixed lens full-frame camera like this. It turns out he needed no “go-to” reasons, the camera is a high performer all on its own. His five reasons are: Design & Build Quality, Focal Length, AutoFocus Performance, Silent Operation, and Image Quality.
Schimko dives into all five in the short video above, but the one that intrigued me most was #2: Focal Length. Robin credits the Leica Q with getting him out of his street photography shell. The slightly wide 28mm focal length forced him to get closer, to get comfortable wish shooting candid moments of strangers from just a few feet away. That alone made it a good investment in the end.
Having shot with the Leica Q myself, I agree with all of Robin’s points. From the image quality, to the speedy AF, to the build quality, all of these features are immediately obvious when you pick this camera up. But there’s something else too. An X-factor.
Walking around Central Park with the Leica Q made me fall in love with the idea of a fixed-lens full-frame system, and it is still the only camera I’ve ever shot with that helped me forget myself and enjoy street photography—usually a deeply uncomfortable experience for me. Take that (and a big fat grain of salt) for what it’s worth.
Could you get a similar experience for a lot cheaper with a Fuji X100F or a Sony RX1R? Maybe. But in its own class, the Leica Q with its full-frame sensor and razor-sharp 28mm f/1.7 Summilux lens is hard to beat as a street photography camera.
(via ISO 1200)