The Leica Q2 is based one the mainline Leica M10, making it a logical Q2 alternative. The main difference between Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R is that one has a fixed lens while the other is a rangefinder. There’s more to it so if you are looking for which one for your next purchase, you will want to read on for all of the similarities and differences between the two cameras. Which one is the best ? Let’s find out below.

Table Of Contents

Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R: At a glance

NameCamera 1Camera 2
Camera nameLeica Q2Leica M10R
Leica q2leica m10r
Sensor sizeFull FrameFull Frame
Lens typeFixedInterchangeable
Lens (35mm equivalent)28mmNA
Focal Length1.7NA
Max ISO50,000 50,000
Memory CardSDXC SlotSDXC Slot
WirelessWifi & BluetoothWifi
Dimensions5.1 x 3.1 x 3.6 inches5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 inches
Weight1.58 lb / 718 g1.45 lb / 660 g
Positives+ Compact
+ Full frame
+ Rangefinder style
+ Fast lens
+ Much cheaper then M10R
+ Interchangeable lens
+ Full frame
+ Minimalist
Negatives– Fixed lens– Needs lenses
– Much higher entry price
– Lower ISO tolerance
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Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R comparison

These are the overall specs of both of the cameras, let’s look at what makes them tick.

Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R: What are the similarities?

If you are looking at either camera, both have some pretty strong similarities, here they are:

1. They are both full frame sensors

This is the main reason behind this Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R comparison: Both cameras are full frame sensors. It is the same size as 35mm film and that means both cameras have top of the line image quality and great for bokeh, even at wider angles. With larger sensors there is generally better ISO sensitivity.

leica q2 sample image 1
Q2 [1]

2. They are similar in philosophy

Both cameras are similar in philosophy. They are both rangefinder cameras and both are made in Germany. They look similar but there are some differences as we will see later. Both handle and feel like Leicas and the shooting experience is similar for both.

3. Both have modern features

While these cameras look classical, they have built-in modern features like Wi fi for linking to the Leica app. Also both include a touchscreen. So they have modern quality of life features built-in. Even if you do not transfer your images you can use the app as a remote release app so you don’t need a cable for long exposures.

leica m10r sample image 1
M10R [2]

4. Same processor

Both Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R cameras have the same Leica Maestro II processor that makes beautiful images and allows for a respectable amount of frames per second or fps.

5. Both are flagships

When it comes to Leicas some cameras go on the wayside like their partnership cameras with Panasonic. But the Q line is a flagship line just like the M line. What does that mean? That there’s a LOT of accessories you can get for the Q. There’s holsters, dedicated bags and more. You won’t be getting a lesser camera, both are fully supported by Leica.

leica m10r sample image 2
M10r [3]

Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R What are the differences?

The following are the main differences based on which we can compare both cameras. 

1. They have different viewfinders 

When it comes to Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R, both cameras have a different approach to viewfinders. The Leica M10R is equipped with a rangefinder where you look at the frame and there is a small rangefinder patch in the center that shows you a split image. Put these two images together by twisting the lens and it will be in focus.

There is a zen like experience with the M10R where there’s only your frame and the minimal information about your exposure displayed at the bottom. The downside of the rangefinders are that you’ll have to focus first and recompose (as the rangefinder patch is in the center) and also there’s a chance that the rangefinder mechanism gets off alignment and your focus will be off.

leica m10r sample image 3
M10R [4]

If that happens you’ll need to get your rangefinder realigned, or use the back screen of the M10R. The viewfinder of the Leica Q2 is an electronic viewfinder, so it’s a small screen. The strengths of that is that what you see is what you get (if something is blocking your image on the M10R, you wouldn’t be able to see until you shot first) and also if you want to do manual focusing, there’s focus peaking right in the viewfinder.

The issue with the Leica M10R’s viewfinder is that it takes a while to get used to if you are not familiar with rangefinder.

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica q2 sample image 2
Q2 [5]

2. One has a better Sensor 

When it comes to the Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R, the Q2 has a 47 megapixel sensor that can go up to ISO 50,000 while the M10R can also go up to ISO 50,000 but the sensor is 40 megapixels. The smallest ISO on the Q2 is 50 while the minimum of the M10R is 100.

WINNER: Leica Q2

3. One is significantly higher frames per second

When it comes to fps and the Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R, one would believe that the higher megapixels would have smaller fps on the Maestro II processor but weirdly enough the Leica Q2 has twice the fps over the Leica M10R.

This means that in the span of one second the Leica Q2 can shoot 10 frames while the M10R is 4.5 shots. Coupled with the Q2’s fast focusing (more on this later) the Leica Q2 is better for fast situations.

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica m10r sample image 4
M10R [6]

4. One has interchangeable lenses

This is the biggest point of difference between the Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R: Yes both are full frame but you have interchangeable lens while the Leica Q2 is a fixed lens camera. 

Is this a good thing? Most likely. Because if you need another focal length you have that option with the Leica M10R, on the flip side, if you like minimalism more lenses are more things to manage. If you are looking for the most versatile option the M10R cannot be beat because if you need a focal legnth, there’s a lens for it.

However if you like your wide angles, or anything close to 50mm, the Q2 has some versatility too. More on this next.

WINNER: Leica M10R

leica q2 sample image 3
Q2 [7]

5. One has digital zoom

This is the strength of the Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R. Normally I am not a fan of digital zoom, where what the camera does is essentially crop the image to make it an effective longer focal length. I am not a fan of this because it’s essentially cropping the image but when you have a humoungous 47 megapixels, you can throw away most of it an have a pretty nice image left.

So, the Leica Q2 has a digital zoom that can take it from 28mm to 35mm, 50mm and even 75mm. The megapixels will go down, here’s a handy chart for explanation:

Focal lengthMegapixelsAperture (Effective)

A quick note that these aperture values are interpolated. So even if you shoot at 75mm f1.7 while it is an f1.7 aperture, when it comes to the Bokeh it will be the rendering of a 75mm f4.6.

While the image at 7 megapixels is pretty small, it is still a large file that is clean and sharp. The Leica M10R has no digital zoom but if you want a focal length, you can get another lens. A different lens will always be better than the digital zoom because of optics.

You can always chose to crop your images on the M10R to make it an effective 75mm but that can only be done after the fact in your post processing.

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica m10r sample image 5
M10R [8]

6. One’s better for focus peaking

Let’s talk about the focus peaking on the Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R. There’s two ways to focus on the Leica M10R :Either trough the viewfinder or with the screen. With the screen you can turn on focus peaking that will highlight where is in focus. Since the Leica M10R is a real rangefinder, you can only focus peak while looking at the screen.

Since the Q2 has an electronic viewfinder however, you can do focus peaking either on the screen or in the viewfinder itself. Manual focus is easy with focus peaking and if you like your viewfinders, you won’t be able to focus peak directly in the viewfinder of the M10R, you will have to use the rangefinder patch.

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica q2 sample image 5
Q2 [9]

7. Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R Low light performance

Leicas are notoriously bad when it comes to high ISO output. The Leica M10R, while claiming improved low light (ISO Output) performance it’s not that great at higher ISOs.

Leica Q2Leica M10R

You can find the chart above here. Both cameras offer pretty clean images at ISO 3200. ISO 6400 is starting to cut a bit close on the M10R but the Leica Q2 is fine an then some.

If you are looking to do night time photography, and considering Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R the Leica Q2 is really more capable at handling the higher ISOs. I’ve seen some pretty nice images at ISO 10,000 coming from the Q2.

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica m10r sample image 6
M10R [10]

8. One has an electronic shutter

When it comes to the shutter between the Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R, the Leica M10R is only equipped with a mechanical shutter while the Q2 has both a mechanical shutter and digital shutter. The mechanical shuter is when there is a physical shutter in front of the sensor that goes up and down so that you take the picture.

The digital shutter just takes the picture with no physical shutter needed. The mechanical shutter of the M10R because there is physics involved can go as fast as 1/4000th of a second. The Q2 can do 1/2000th of a second but with the digital shutter you can do 1/40,000th of a second. 

The digital shutter is completely silent too. Making the Q2 more of a stealthy shooter if you need it to be.

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica q2 sample image 4
Q2 [11]

9. One is much faster then the other

When it comes to speed between the Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R, the Leica Q2 wins. Leica themselves claims it is the fastest in it’s class at 0.15 seconds to focus. The Leica M10R also can’t shoot like the Q2 does. Remember that you actually need to see what you are looking at in order to focus, so stealthy shots that are wide open are practically impossible with the Leica M10R because you can’t see. And if you can’t see, you can’t focus.

WINNER: Leica Q2

10. One can do macro photography

Leica q2 macro photography 4
Q2 [12]

If you like macro and considering between either the Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R, the Leica Q2 has a really stunning macro mode. It allows you to shoot as close as 6.69 inches and the Bokeh is really gorgeous. You’ll need a specific lens for macro with the M10R, like the Macro Elmars. If you are into macro photography, the Leica Q2 is much better right off the bat.

WINNER: Leica Q2

11. One has a lerning curve

If this is your first Leica and thinking between the Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R, you’ll have to know that Leica rangefinders have a learning curve attached to them. There is no such thing with the Leica Q2. Point, shoot. If you are not familiar with the M line, you’ll have to get used to the viewfinder and not seeing what’s going on in the lens (Like a DSLR) and also get good at focusing with the rangefinder patch.

This is not an issue if you are an M veteran, but for newcomers the M10R is a pretty daunting camera, the Q2 is more beginner friendly and can also go manual for a M rangefinder experience.

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica q2 sample image 11
Q2 [13]

12. One is weather sealed

If you are wondering how the Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R fare in nasty weather…The Leica Q2 is weather sealed, the Leica M10R is not. There’s a few things about this. First of all the Q2 isn’t THAT great at weather sealing, it is IP52 rated and that means “Protected against dust in damaging quantities. Protected against dripping water when body is tilted at 15 degrees”. 

So really that 15 degree really makes it resistant at a specific angle. If it rains, don’t twist your camera at 15 degrees so that it resists it. Put it out like you would any camera, it’s not worth the risk. 

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica m10r sample image 7
M10R [14]

13. Video or lack thereof

If you want to shoot video and thinking between the Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R, simply put the Leica M10R doesn’t support video. Like most Leicas this is a photographer’s camera. The Leica Q2 has the same philosophy but it does video. It provides its users with a high-resolution video recording format up to 4K at 30 fps. 

Also the Q2 is optically stabilized, so it has that going for it in terms of video. And that is pretty much it. No HDMI, no mic input, the Q2 is a photographer’s camera that happens to do video and not a video camera. Sony cameras are much more suited for this.

So if you never shoot video on your cameras (I don’t) this is a non issue, but if you do shoot from time to time, the Leica Q2 is the only one that does video.

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica m10r sample image 8
M10R [15]

14. Battery

If you like long strolls for hours, between the Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R, there’s no contest here, the Leica Q2 is much better at holding a charge then the Leica M10R. The Leica uses the SL batteries which can be loaded and uploaded like you would a handgun. No need to open a battery door.

But besides the quick load system that the Leica Q2 has, it’s battery lasts for 350 shots while the Leica M10R is rated to last about 200. That’s a lot of difference. So when it comes to lasting longer, the Q2 wins.

WINNER: Leica Q2

15. One is better for the Leica Fotos app

Between the Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R and communication, the Leica Q2 has low energy bluetooth built-in. That is all. Why is this important? Well only if you like to transfer your photos to your phone or tablet is it something you need to care about. It’s always a hassle to transfer your images to your devices and that comes from turining the wifi on and off.

Wi-fi is a battery drainer for any camera and the Leica M10R already has battery life on the low side. But with the low energy bluetooth that the Leica Q2 has on top of Wi Fi you can have a constant connection with the Leica app.

Low energy bluetooth is used in certain watches like Casio so that it transfers step data to the phone, and their battery life is not rated in terms of days or weeks but in terms of YEARS. So with the low energy bluetooth watches, you have 2 years until you need to change the battery.

This is only to show you how much power the low energy bluetooth actually needs. It has minimal impact on your camera so if you love to transfer to your phone or other device, the Leica Q2 is a much better camera for that purpose.

WINNER: Leica Q2

leica m10r sample image 9
M10R [16]

16. Design and weight 

When it comes to looks and the Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R, The Leica Q2 is pretty simple: It’s a Leica M with a fixed autofocus lens. That is why it is in a similar design. The Leica Q is pretty much the same as the M body without the signature windows on the top right because the Q2 is not a rangefinder camera, although it is a rangefinder style.

The Leica M10R has a dedicated ISO dial making it possible to shoot without ever looking at the screen. The M cameras have a zen-like experience to them and all you would see is very minimal information about your exposure in the viewfinder. You set your aperture on the lens, the shutter speed with the dial and your ISO with the dedicated dial.

leica q2 sample image 18

Moreover there is a minor detail about the M10R that could be a big deal: The Leica Q2 doesn’t have a scew on top of their shutter release. That means if you are looking to add a soft release button, you can’t on the Q2. The soft release improves any camera’s handling and also reduces micro-shake when you press it.

In any case the design is similar enough, but the Q2 has a sleeker look while the M10R has a more utilitarian look. How about the weight of Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R? Here’s the facts:

  • Leica M10R: 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 inches and 1.45 lb / 660 g
  • Leica Q2: 5.1 x 3.1 x 3.6 inches and 1.58 lb / 718 g

There’s a caveat here, the weight of the M10R is the body only. So the Q2 is 718g and the 660 of the M10 will be much heavier with the Summilux 28mm attached. If you attached the Summilux it would weight 660+440=1100 grams. Quite heavy, about twice the weight of the Q2.

WINNER: Leica Q2

17. Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R and the Price

Ah the price. If you are looking at a comprarison between the Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R, you know that Leicas don’t come cheap. But when compared to Leicas themselves, the Leica Q2 is nothing short of a bargain. 

leica q2 sample image 8
Q2 [18]

Assuming you just want to use the Q2 with the Summilux lens, the same kit in the M10R version will run you $15,000 for the body + lens. But if you fully intend to use the Q2 with the digital zoom, then it’s an even better bargain:

  • M10r Body: $8000
  • 28mm Summilux: $7000
  • 35mm Summicron: $3700
  • 50mm Elmarit: $1600

Or right about $20,3000. The actual price of the Leica Q2 is a quarter of that. So when it comes to price ONLY, the Leica Q2 wins hands down. There is no contest. It is the most affordable Leica out there and it is just as good as the M10R with a 28mm.

Sure you will not be able to change lenses but the Digital Zoom is SO good, sometimes it’s hard to even tell which is which. So if you are looking for a Leica and are on a budget, the Leica Q2 is an absolute bargain. So when it comes to budget between the Leica Q2 Vs Leica M10R the Q2 has the upper hand by far.

You get a full frame kit with great lens for less than the price of the M body that you can’t even use unless you get a lens.

WINNER: Leica Q2

Camera 1Camera 2
Leica Q2Leica M10R
Leica q2leica m10r
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Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R: Which one should you get?

So which one is better between Leica Q2 vs Leica M10R? On paper the Leica Q2 wins because it has stronger specs. In practice however it is a matter of preference, the M10R is manual and more suited for people who already use the system or ready to learn. 

But if you want the best image without any learning curve, the Leica Q2 simply took what’s great about the M10 system and attached a fixed Summilux lens to it. Even if you don’t like the 28mm, you can always use the digital zoom and you will get an equivalent of the 35mm f2.

So for most people the Leica Q2 is the way to go. For those who want to use Leica lenses and want to be fully invested in the Leica world, the Leica M10R is the way to go.

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