Sony is a force to be reckoned with. The main difference between the Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV is that one is a fixed full frame 28mm f1.7 compact camera while the other is a full frame interchangeable lens camera. If you are looking for a Leica Q2 alternative, the Sony A7R IV might sound attractive but you don’t want to make the wrong choice. This is why in this article we will highlight what makes each of them great and how to know which one to buy.
Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV: At a glance
The Leica Q2 was launched in March 2019, and Sony A7R IV was introduced in July 2019. Leica Q2 is a fixed lens compact camera while Sony A7R IV is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.
So, Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV: Both cameras have a tough competition against each other as both are full frame and have high resolution. The Leica Q2 has a resolution of 46.7 MP compared to the Sony A7R IV’s resolution of 60.2 MP. In the following we will discuss the similarities and differences between the Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV.
Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV: What are the similarities?
The Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV might not look like each other but both have quite a few points in common. Let’s find them out:
1. Both are Full frame
Both cameras are full frame, meaning the sensor is the same as an old 35mm film. It has a significant impact on image quality. A large sensor allows the photographer a more comprehensive dynamic range and richer color-depth than the small-sized sensor. And for those who like Bokeh, the bigger the sensor, the better the Bokeh. Larger sensors are also better at handling higher ISOs.
2. Both have weather sealing
Both cameras are not afraid of a little water because both are weather sealed. The Leica Q2 is fine out of the box, but for the Sony you will have to think about getting weather sealed lenses too, or else the camera will be fine but not the lens.
3. Both have Integrated viewfinder
Both cameras have high resolution viewfinders built-in. The Q2 is NOT a rangefinder camera but a mirrorless camera, so both have electronic viewfinders.
4. Great video features on both
The Leica Q2 is one of the rare ones that do video, both cameras can record video up to 4K 30 frames per second.
5. Connectivity is great for both Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV
Both cameras have a hot shoe port, internal microphone, internal speaker, WIFI support, and Bluetooth support. These are all pretty much all of you need for basic connectivity and both cameras have their bases covered.
Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV: What are the differences?
The following are some of the significant differences between the Leica Q2 vs A7R IV. Yes they both have large sensors but the differences are quite pronounced. Here they are:
1. Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV: Interchangeable vs fixed
This is probably the most important difference between both cameras. The Q2 is a fixed lens camera while the A7R is an interchangeable lens camera. The strength of a fixed lens is that you do not need to worry about dangling a bunch of lenses wherever you are, but you lose versatility.
However it all depends on what you want to do. The Leica Q2 is perfect for street photography with a fast 28mm f1.7, and is great as a travel camera. But for something that requires telephotos, it falls short.
On the flip side the Q2 offers digital zoom, and it reaches to 75mm and it still looks pretty stunning, but you will have to be content with a 6.6 megapixel file.
However digital zoom is nothing but cropping the image. So the question is, what are you going to use the camera for? If its nothing specific like wildlife, there is very little the Q2 cannot do.
However, on paper the win has to go to the A7R IV wins because of the versatility.
Winner: A7R IV
2. The Viewfinder resolution is different
Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV both have an electronic viewfinder built in, but they differ in resolution. The Sony has a higher resolution of 5760k dots vs the Leica Q2 3680k dots. So the A7R IV wins in the viewfinder area.
The higher the resolution, the better the image you will see in the viewfinder and the closer the final image will be to what you see.
Winner: A7R IV
3. The looks and operation
This is really a personal matter but the Sony is strictly in DLSLR looks and feels territory. To each is own but the Leica Q2’s attractiveness comes from the fact that is looks, shoots and feels like rangefinder camera.
Winner: Tie (Personal preference)
4. Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV: The memory card slot
This is one mostly for those who are professionals or are very serious about their photography. The Sony A7R IV has not one but two memory card slots. This is crucial as if one ever fails (for example while shooting a paid event like a wedding) you will always have a backup of the image. Having just one SD card means that if it fails, you’ve lost all of your images in one fell swoop.
There is automatic backup when you have two SD cards and the images are automatically duplicated.
Winner: A7R IV
5. Sensor sensitivity: One sees well in the dark
Leica Q2 and Sony A7R IV both feature a full-frame sensor but differ in size. The sensor area of Leica Q2 is 2 percent larger than Sony A7R IV. It’s a minimal differenct.
More importantly, the sensitivity range of Leica Q2 is up to ISO 50,000. In contrast, the sensitivity range of the Sony A7R IV is only to ISO32,000. However this sensitivity can be extended all the way to a dizzying ISO102,400.
The A7R IV is known to be REALLY good under low light conditions. But seriously in real life there’s very little reason to go beyond ISO 10,000 unless it’s something specific.
6. Resolution is quite far up for one
When it comes to the Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV’s resolution, the A7 wins hands down with 61 megapixels vs 47.3 megapixels.
So the biggest image goes to the A7.
But in reality, 40 megapixels is more then enough for more people unless they do some enormous prints. The real advantage of the A7 however is in the lenses.
You can get 75mm on the Q2 with digital zoom, but that will crop the image to a 6.6 megapixel image. If you put in a 75mm on the A7, you’ll still get the full 60 megapixels to play around.
Winner: Sony A7R IV
7. One is much better for video
Both cameras are able to record video at 4K up to 30fps. The differences stop there. When it comes to Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV, Sony is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to video and the A7 is a monster. For videophiles there’s formats like AVCHD and XAVCS while the Q2 shoots Mp4s.
There’s also external mic jacks and stabilization on the A7: Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis. The Leica Q2 is seriously out of it’s league but it’s not meant to be a video shooter either. It is primarily a photographer’s camera and unashamed of it.
Winner: Sony A7R IV
8. Connectivity for convenience and pros
The Sony A7R IV has a USB charging port providing you with the convenience of charging during any long journey. It lacks in the Leica Q2. This forces you bring a charger along other than your phone’s.
Like previously stated the Sony A7R IV features dual card slots, this is important as you can always have your images backed up in case one fails. Moreover, For pros, Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV is no contest as the Sony A7R IV also provides additional NFC connectivity, supports external microphones, and has a headphone port, which Leica Q2 doesn’t.
Sony A7R IV also provides professional photographers with a PC sync socket that allows them to control strobe lights with their camera. If you are a professional, and considering the Leica Q2 vs Sony A7R IV, the Sony is probably more suited.
Winner: Sony A7R IV
9. What about the price?
This is a weird one. On paper, the Sony A7R IV is cheaper then the Leica Q2. No one can argue against that. However if you want to shoot Leica cameras, the Leica Q2 is the cheapest one you can get. You can think of it like a Leica M rangefinder with a fixed Summilux 28mm lens attached. If you tallied the money, what you get is a Leica kit worth $15,000 at a fraction of the price.
Moreover the price you pay for the Sony A7R IV is for the body only. If you wanted to get a similar focal length of 28mm, the total price for the A7R IV + 28mm lens would be about 1k cheaper then the Leica Q2.
But like I said, if you really want to shoot Leica cameras, the difference is minimal as this is your ticket into the Leica world for a fraction of an M kit. In any case, the winner is the A7R IV for the affordability. But again, if we are talking about Leicas, the Q2 is one of the most affordable ones.
Winner: Sony A7R IV
10: Design and weight, fight!
Leica Q2 and Sony A7R IV have a huge difference in size and weight, but both have a stylish look depending on your taste. The Leica Q2 is 19 percent larger and 26 percent heavier than the Sony A7R IV. But that’s BODY ONLY. So while the Leica Q2 is technically heavier, it ends up being lighter because once you attach a lens the weight and dimensions change.
Leica Q2: 130mm x 92 mm x 80 mm with a weight of 718g.
Sony A7R IV: 129 mm x 78 mm x 96 mm with a lighter weight of 665g.
Leica will be of interest to you if you are in the less is more category. There’s very little you can’t do with the Q2, even with the fixed lens. If can do some nice Bokeh portraits and also if you do not mind the occasional digital zoom, it can reach up to 75mm with acceptable sharpness and the possibility to print large still.
Conclusion: How to chose between Leica Q2 vs Sony A7 IV
There are three questions to ask yourself in order to determine which camera to get:
- What’s my budget?
- What genre of photography will I do?
- What’s my design preference?
If you don’t have a high budget, the A7R IV is the best choice. If you will do genres that will require telephotos, or videos the A7R IV. But if budget is not an issue and your genres are street photography, travel, landscapes and don’t mind using the digital zoom from time to time, you cannot go wring with the Leica Q2. Because it’s the cheapest way to experience Leica and a very good deal as it’s almost like an M camera with a Summilux attached.