Are you looking for the The best Leica cameras for portraits? No one wants to be stuck with the wrong camera and Leica is not helping with all of their camera lines! It can be confusing to pick the right one, but not anymore. In this article I make a list of the best cameras you can get that are particularly suited for portraits.

What are the best Leica cameras for portraits?

So what are we looking for exactly? Large sensor cameras that help blur the background easily, fast lenses if the camera is a fixed lens (For blurring the background) and also an adequate focal length that helps for flattering images. Here’s the ones that fit the bill, we will get into more details right after this chart of the the best Leica cameras for portraits:

NameSensor SizeLens Info (35mm eq)Get it here:
Leica M10 MonochomFull FrameM Mount Check Price
Leica M10Full FrameM mount Check Price
Leica Q2Full Frame28mm f/1.7 Check Price
Leica SL2Full FrameL Mount Check Price
Leica TL2+18mmAPSC27mm f/2.8 Check Price
Leica D-lux74/3rds24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 Check Price

Now that we’ve seen an overview what makes each camera the The best Leica cameras for portraits? Let’s find put with pros and cons

1. Leica M10 monochrom

The best leica camera for portraits in BW

Leica m10 monochrom
Reasons to buyCons
+ Full frame
+ Amazing Sensor
+ Portable
+ Great dials for control
– Is only Black and White

Ted Grand is quoted as saying “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”

This special camera is just like the Leica M10, our second choice with one glaring difference: Because is lacks a color array It can only shoot in black and white!

While that might seem counter-intuitive, the world’s best portraits have been made in Black and White. You can see the soul of the portraits you shoot with this stunning camera. Take a look:

leica monochrom portrait
A portrait with the M10 Monochrom [+]

What it lacks in color, it makes up in details, just look at the man above and you can see the stunning details in his pores. This being a full frame sensor (where the sensor is just as big as a 35mm camera), when coupled with a Leica portrait lens, you can blue the background easily to make your subject pop, just like below:

leica monochrom portrait 2
With a fast lens, you can great Bokeh portraits [+]

Included is the Maestro II image processor that helps shoot quickly and get every detail that you can from each shot. It also makes the monochrome images almost look film-like. Look below near the man’s ear, you can see some beautiful grain that looks very much like film. If you like black and white portraits then this is one of the best Leica cameras for portraits that you can get.

leica monochrom portrait 3
The Maestro processor makes the most out of the lenses [+]

It has a crystal clear viewfinder which offers 0.73x optical magnification. That makes focusing much easier and it also goes up to ISO 100,000 with an insane amount of noise reduction. That means you can shoot at night, in low light and not have to pull out your flash.

Dedicated dials make the changing of settings easy and make the whole experience as close as shooting film as possible. If you can a camera for portraits, this is it!

2. Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder

The best leica cameras for portraits color or BW

leica m10 camera
Reasons to buyCons
+ Full frame
+ Amazing Sensor
+ Portable
+ Great dials for control
+ Color shots
+ Can also do great BW
– None

If you are not into having a fully black and white camera and need that color, look no further than the original M10 camera. It checks every box for a stunning portrait shooter: Full frame, great controls, great processing. See for yourself:

Leica m10 portrait
The M10 is one of the best Leica cameras for portraits

There is a viewfinder but the integrated screen is so bright it is also great to view your portraits outside in hard to see situations. If you don’t mind adding an extra step to your images, it can also give you stunning monochrome portraits:

Leica m10 portrait 2
Black and white portrait with the Leica M10[+]

The full frame 24 megapixel shooter is perfect for those Bokeh-licious portraits (blurry background) that will make your subjects pop. With the viewfinder that offers magnification, you can see the details so that you can focus correctly and make that portrait with ease.

The shutter is also quiet making this perfect if you want to do candid portraiture or street photography. Just like it’s monochrome brother there is an ISO and shutter speed dial on top and the aperture is changed on the lens, making this camera fully operational without having to look at the screen if you chose to do so.

3. Leica Q2

The whole package with built-in lens

Leica q2
Reasons to buyCons
+ Full frame
+ Amazing Sensor
+ Portable
+ Great dials for control
+ Cheaper than M camera + Lens
– Is fixed lens

The M cameras are the best Leicas have to offer. The problem, they need their own Leica lenses on top of the camera body. What if you could have an M body with a built-in lens? This is exactly what the Q2 is! And it’s perfect for portraits just like you see below:

Leica q2 portrait
Leica Q2 Portrait with Bokeh[+]

Just like the M line, it’s built like a tank and has the same wonderful dials and viewfinder. It even includes the coveted Maestro II Image engine for some sharp and fast images that suck every pixel out of that full-frame sensor and lens.

The lens is a wide angle 28mm, that makes it very popular for street photography and portraits. With the full frame sensor and fast 1.7 lens, you can easily blur the background.

In the image below you can see how colorful portraits can be and also the sharp image quality, just look at how his facial hair pops!

Leica q2 portrait 2
Leica Q2 portrait with closeup

Just like it’s M10 sibling, this is perfectly suited to shoot stunning back and whites. And for reference you can see how close you can get with it, so you can have some trully stunning portraits where only the face is in focus and everything else is blurry:

Leica q2 portrait 3
The Q2 Can make up close and Black and white portrait [+]

This is the only option you have if you want a full frame rangefinder-style Leica. The following ones are more DSLR type and have smaller sensors.

4. Leica SL2

Full Frame DSLR Type mirrorless camera

leica sl2
Reasons to buyCons
+ Full frame
+ Amazing Sensor
+ DSLR Type
+ Quick settings indicator
+ Great dials for control
– Is bulky
– Needs lens

We are now leaving the classical world of Leica rangefinder type digital cameras and now we are strictly in DSLR territory.

Up until now the cameras have been pretty portable but the S2 is in the large DSLR category. It’s particularly suited for portraits because of the full frame sensor and the amount of lenses there are for it.

Leica SL2 portrait
Black and white portrait with the Leica SL2 [+]

It features a much more ergonomic design which is also suitable for travel photography. But for portraits not only the dials provide for some quick settings change, it also provides up to 20fps, allowing you to capture that moment between moments where great images are made.

Since this is an autofocus camera, coupled with the fast operation, you can even shoot hard-to-photograph creatures like below:

Leica SL2 portrait 2
Speed makes it a great wildlife camera too[+]

If you can shoot a fast squirrel with this, imagine someone posing for their portraits. This camera also features wi-fi and can be controlled from your phone. You can also send a quick image to your subject when you are done shooting.

Useful links:

5. Leica TL2 + 18mm

Affordable, Compact, Powerful

leica tl2 18mm
Reasons to buyCons
+ Small
+ Sleek
+ Shares M Tech
+ Autofocus
+ 20 Fps
– Is smaller APSC Sensor

You can consider this the modern version of Leica M cameras. It has a smaller sensor, touchscreen, lacks an (optional) viewfinder but it is a 100% Leica.

It shares the same L mount of the SL2, and it’s perfect for portraits. This kit comes with a pancake lens that fits any small bag. It is a 18mm which gives you about a 28mm focal length just like the Q2. The f2.8 is also capable of blurring the background.

It has the same engine as the more expensive Leicas, and is capable of 20 fps making the perfect portrait hard to miss. This is the best budget option you will get if you want a Leica for portraits, the last option below is only a branded camera. Next up our list of the The best Leica cameras for portraits is a partnership camera.

6. Leica D-lux 7

The best leica cameras for portraits on a budget

leica d lux 7
Reasons to buyCons
+ Portable
+ Amazing focal length and speed
+ Great for video
+ Great dials for control
+ Large sensor
– Flash is external
– Not 100% Leica
– Smaller than ASPC sensor

If you can get over the fact that this camera is Leica’s version of a Panasonic camera (co-developed with them, including the lens) then what you have is one amazing all-in-one camera that is perfect for portraits in more ways than one.

Leica Dlux7 portrait
The D-lux 7 is capable of great portraits [+]

Let’s get one thing out of the way first, the sensor here is about a 4/3 sensor, and it’s smaller than an APSC. This is as small as you can get for portraits and stiff get some blurry backgrounds. It can’t Bokeh (blurring of the background) as well as a larger sensor but it more than makes up for it in other ways.

First is the portability. It is a small and light camera, and once you consider the kind of fast lens there is on there, it becomes pretty impressive! It is a 24-75mm Vario-summilux lens and that too with a speed of f/1.7-2.8.

What this camera has above all of the others is the versatility of the lens, you can go wide angle or telephoto and still have a 2.8 aperture on the telephoto side. This means you can get a creative with your shots and get varied portraits from environmental to close-up.

There’s external dials too and respectable ISOs up to 3200, great for when the light starts dropping. While it doesn’t have as big as a sensor as the other boys, it makes up for it in versatility.

Leica Dlux7 portrait 2
A pastel colors portrait with the D-lux 7 [+]

Unlike the others it also has stunning video capabilities, with 4k, stabilized video. It’s a marvel how such a small camera can have so much crammed into it. While it is a fixed lens mirrorless camera, the way you shoot it can either be with the bight and colorful screen or the built-in viewfinder for a rangefinder style photography experience.


I hope you enjoyed this list of the The best Leica cameras for portraits. Leica has a rich history when it comes to portraiture, you too can tap into it when you get yours. Depending on your budget and needs, you cannot go wrong with the Q2, or go for the M10 if you are dedicated to your craft. If you are on a budget, the D-lux7 is great for everything including portraiture.

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