Leica Q Product Life Cycle

Discussion in 'Leica Q Forum' started by David H Dennis, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. David H Dennis

    David H Dennis Leica Place Rookie

    Jun 7, 2016
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    David H Dennis
    Well ... I love shooting Leica style so much with my X-U that I just feel I have to get the Q.

    I tried it in the Leica Store Miami. It's fantastic. I love how much better the focus magnification and peaking work compared to the X-U.

    However, my brain wonders about a practical matter. I know that Sony revises their RX-series cameras frequently, and so the brand new RX1R II of today becomes the laughably obsolete, nearly worthless camera of tomorrow very fast.

    What is the Q product life cycle likely to be? It's been out about a year, when would we expect to see a Q II? Should I wait for a Q II or will the Q remain where it is for, say, a year or two?

    I would of course hate to spend $4,250 in a week or two and then find that in a few months the Q2 comes out and I am green with envy ... and can't afford to replace it with the new one.

    Thanks for any thoughts!
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    My opinion is it won't matter. For example, in the 'M' series you could definitely have regret. I couldn't get a new M at one time and so bought a M-Monochrom. Nice camera, but too limiting. Now in the other series, here's what I found:

    X1 - great all-around camera, 35 mm view was good, but resolution was meh.
    X Vario - great camera, awesome zoom, f3.5 aperture seriously limiting.
    T - not a good deal for $3600. Images OK, but no 'Leica' experience. Zoom lens too slow.
    Q - awesome camera, but could not quite accomodate the 28 mm view.
    X-U - good all-around camera, similar to X1 but better resolution.

    Conclusion:The X1 definitely bettered by the newer X. X Vario never replaced, but still too slow. The Q should be the leader in its class for quite awhile.
  3. carlb

    carlb Leica Place Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 1, 2013
    Photokina is coming up ... Be watching for availability of Qs, used and pricing. Not many used now, people who have them hang on. That and any watch for any Leica rumors.

    If you like a 28mm FOV, and don't mind a bit of cropping to get 35mm or 50mm, the Q is difficult to beat. A "Q2" could well be a 35mm FOV camera, think X1, X2, etc. So, there's a good chance the new model won't be a direct Q replacement.

    But a new Q model *would* bring the price down and availability up on the present Q. So follow any rumors, and watch what happens at Photokina. You might be able to score a used one in a few months with serious savings. I just described my own Leica gear acquisition path: "buy used."
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    It might be possible to do a native 35 mm 'Q', but something would have to give. I don't think Leica will want to go slower than f1.7, and I don't think they want a larger body, since they already have the 'SL'. So if I were designing the 'Q2' now and they gave me the green light, I'd probably cut a few corners, such as make the lens f2.1, make the lens slightly larger and squeeze the internals a little, make the body a hair deeper, etc. But you look at what Leica did with the X1 to get to the X2 and XE, and compare that to what they did to get from the X1/X2/XE to the X typ 113, I think the former might be doable for the 'Q', but the latter no, because of the 'SL'.
  5. PaulJ

    PaulJ Leica Place Regular

    Hi there.

    Not been around for a while - I've not been shooting very much and, when I have, it's tended to be MF film. However, to the subject:

    I recently attended an exhibition opening at Leica's City store in the Royal Exchange, London. Lara Platman was showing her "Through the Night" series (very good if you get chance to see the prints). Anyway, as the exhibition was in-store, I got to look at several digital models with which I wasn't previously familiar - one was the "Q".

    Although I'm not the world's greatest fan of the 28mm "look", it has its place and the Q appears to be a fabulous camera. I was very impressed. It's not as compact as I'd imagined but is perfectly small enough for a pretty powerful travel and street shooter. What I liked about it was that, if shot in RAW, even using the 35mm and 50mm cropped options, the files are recorded at 28mm, so the photographer can re-compose in post-processing. Low light capability seems very good and this brings me to the question of product life cycle.

    I know it's relevant to some extent but, unless money is no object, if we're dropping £3,300 on a compact camera (or, frankly, any digital camera) we've got to be pretty sure we can live with it for a good few years, or not bother. I can only speak for myself but I wouldn't buy any digital camera on the basis that I know I'll "need" to trade up in 18mths / 2 years. The crux, again for me, is whether the new-improved version will do something that the current one can't (and that I really need it to do). I haven't yet found this to be the case with any camera - although I will admit to trading up Nikon DSLRs after a few years (in the earlier years of DSLRs) to get more pixels and better low light shooting.

    The Q looks like something I could definitely live with, happily, for quite a few years - so long as it stays reliable. Maybe that's because I'm not very demanding but I tend not to get too hung up with product life-cycles. I know the downside is that the camera's financial value drops with every update but I suppose it's a balancing act to know when to jump to the new model. Maybe high-end brands like Leica could consider a deal like you get with some cars - a deposit, monthly payments and a "balloon" payment at the end unless you trade up to the newer model?

    Hopefully, there'll come a point where, as incremental sensor and other technology hits a plateau, life-cycles become more elongated and the constant chase for more / better starts to look more like film cameras.
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    As a former Q owner, I had that concern. The Q looks like a secure niche, since the SL (which is the interchangeable lens version) is much bulkier.
  7. PaulJ

    PaulJ Leica Place Regular

    I had a play with the SL in the shop (and also during the London "walkabout" earlier this year as a couple of the guys had them. Very nice cameras but, as you say, a lot bulkier than most Leicas. IQ was impressive, though.

    Prior to getting my M(240) to provide digital back up to my M7, I used to have a Nikon D800 / F5 combo (with 14-24, 28-70 and 70-200 f2.8 lenses). I'd previously shot air shows. the odd car event and a bit of wildlife when on holiday. However, although I'm capable of carrying these lumps around, I got really bored of doing so and traded the D800 + lenses for the M(240) and some lenses.

    Now, I'm looking at the Q as something that (primarily) my wife could use and, when she isn't, I could have it as my "daily" (I carry a camera with me every day on my commute to London and back). The only thing I'd wish for with the Q (and I'm sure I'm not alone) is a 35mm version as an option to 28mm. 35 + 50/75 or 90 crop options would make it just about perfect, IMO.
  8. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    That's the scenario for me - currently using the X and X-E, both APS-C and 35 mm equivalent view, 16 mp, I get essentially the same resolution and quality as the 35 mm-crop Q. The Q though, may be an essential item for exploring the full-frame world in a small camera, for those shots where 28 mm works well. Get enough of those and it pays for itself. I tried to set my mind every day on 28 mm so's to maximize my take, and the only reason it didn't last is because my main venues are in the city where I live, which works better at 35 mm.
  9. David H Dennis

    David H Dennis Leica Place Rookie

    Jun 7, 2016
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    David H Dennis
    Curiously enough, I've found the 28mm focal length excellent. I have the X-U as well (which I still use for underwater shooting), but decided to get the Q when I realized that I loved the Leica style of shooting but wanted a faster camera. The Q has turned out to be ideal for this purpose.

    If you like to shoot with manual focus - and on the Q, it's really excellent – and you want to simulate a narrower focal length, shoot with the Focus Magnification activated. Then when you focus you are getting a 3x (or 6x) zoomed in view, which will still give you very nice images cropped. The only problem is that once you want to shoot you will find a slight delay as it switches out of magnification mode.

    Main problem is that often you wind up framing for the zoomed in mode, not the actual picture, and get disappointed. However, the upside is that focusing accurately is dead easy and works wonderfully for all but the fastest moving subjects.

    I've also found that if you use focus peaking, you need to change the focus peaking color to one that's not in most of your images. So when I was shooting butterflies in their native plants, I would change the focus peaking color to blue, which was relatively rare in what I was shooting.

    I highly recommend the Q. It's just a blast to shoot.