I want to make something clear – I’m not a wedding photographer. With that out of the way, let me tell you about my experience using a Leica Q2 at my sister-in-law’s wedding this past weekend. Spoiler alert, I was very impressed with the Q2 for wedding photography (unlike this guy on YouTube).
In a past life, I would’ve lugged a Fujifilm X-Pro2 and an assortment of lenses to a wedding – even if I wasn’t the designated wedding photographer. Trust me, you couldn’t pay me enough money to shoot a wedding. I prefer to be that guy in the background snapping a few photos without an ounce of responsibility or having to worry about data corruption.
So, that’s what I did with my Leica Q2 this past weekend. Japan’s sort of back to normal-ish, which means weddings (with masks) are back in full swing. My sister-in-law already had to reschedule her wedding from earlier this year, so I was glad she was able to have it this time around. The wedding was at a venue in Numazu in Japan’s Shizuoka prefecture. It was about an hour from Tokyo on the Shinkansen, and we stayed at a hotel with a very nice view of Mt. Fuji.
Check out the view below.
Truth be told, I was feeling pretty sick the day before the wedding. I felt exhausted and depressed, and it was very difficult to get out of bed. Pre-COVID, I would’ve brushed it off as over-exhaustion, but nowadays, there’s always the “Do I have COVID?” thought after every harmless cough or sneeze. Thankfully, I woke up feeling fine and refreshed on the day of the wedding. Looking back on it now, it was probably a case of over-exhaustion after all. I’ve been working a lot of hours lately, and all the election nonsense on social media certainly didn’t help.
There are two things about the Leica Q2 that make it an amazing camera for wedding photography – the form factor and the gigantic 47 megapixel sensor. Unless you’re the designated photographer at a wedding, you really don’t want to be walking around with a big DSLR and 24-70mm zoom lens – it just looks silly. Instead, it’s much better to carry a smaller camera around like the Leica Q2 or Fujifilm X100V because you can get great images without looking like a fool.
Over the past few months, I’ve grown more accustomed to the Q2’s 28mm focal length. Previously, I’ve never been a 28mm guy – I prefer 35mm. With that said, the Q2’s 47 megapixel sensor allows for some creative cropping. I know it’s technically “just a digital zoom”, and cropped images still have a 28mm-esque vibe, but I don’t mind it. As long as the photos look good in the end, there’s nothing wrong with digital zoom. Anyone who tells you otherwise should spend more time photographing, and less time debating with strangers on the Internet.
I did a considerable amount of cropping during post-processing. I was seated relatively far away from the bride and groom, so cropping in was a necessity to get the desired composition on some shots. All four images below went through varying degrees of cropping. However, due to the size of the 47 megapixel sensor and resolving power of the Q2’s Leica Summilux lens, the cropped images still came out very clear. I’m not confident that this level of cropping would be possible on other fixed-lens cameras from Fujifilm and Sony.
The Leica Q2 is a very discrete camera. It doesn’t draw attention to itself, and I think that’s partly due to the modern industrial design. During my Fujifilm days, people often came up to me and asked what camera I was using. The same thing happened when I was shooting a Leica M2-R around Tokyo. People love to talk about how discrete Fujifilm cameras are for street photography, but my personal experiences don’t reflect that sentiment.
I think discreteness comes down to context. In 2020, “sleek” and “minimalistic” is the trend in consumer tech. Fujifilm cameras have a distinctly retro vibe that looks out of place in the context of modern industrial design. This isn’t a bad thing. I actually love the look of Fujifilm cameras. I’m just saying that I think the idea that Fujifilm cameras somehow blend in with the environment because they look like retro film cameras makes little sense if you think about it. With that said, I think the Q2 does a better job of being discrete because it actually looks like a modern consumer tech gadget. It’s sleek and black, just like my iPhone.
What I’m getting to is how the Leica Q2 lets me capture an environment without drawing attention to itself. I enjoy taking photos when no one knows a photo is being taken (does that sound creepy?), and I was able to do just that with the Leica Q2. Weddings are filled with fleeting once-in-a-lifetime moments that are well worth capturing. For me, these “in-between” and introspective moments are way more interesting than the “look at the camera and smile” moments, and I’m glad that I was able to capture a few of these with the Q2.
Here are a few more examples of those fleeting moments…
J was very well-behaved at the wedding. He was friendly with everyone, and didn’t make a fuss about anything. He’s not even two years old yet, but I have a feeling that he understood it was an important day. He was okay with not being the center of attention, and I’m happy about that.
After the wedding dinner, there was a beautiful sunset outside. What a wonderful ending to a wonderful day. I wish nothing but the best for the newlyweds.
What I hate the most about consumer tech reviews is the general lack of context and nuance. I understand why it happens (clickbait is a powerful thing), but it’s annoying nonetheless. For example, the title of YouTube video I shared above is Thinking About Buying the LEICA Q2? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t. This title is dumb and misleading because it lacks context and nuance. After watching the video, you realize his opinion is from the perspective of a professional wedding photographer, but the title makes no mention of that.
Anyway, I don’t think the Leica Q2 is good or bad for wedding photography because it all depends on what kind of photographer you are. If you’re a professional wedding photographer, the Q2 is obviously not a great choice for a primary camera – fixed lens, no backup memory card slot, autofocus isn’t great, etc. On the other hand, if you’re a hobbyist photographer who happens to be at a wedding, then the Q2 is a damn good camera.
In summary, the Leica Q2 is an incredible camera for wedding photography for my particular use case. I’m someone who doesn’t want to lug an assortment of bodies and lenses to a wedding. I want a camera with a compact form factor, good low-light performance, fast lens, and incredible image quality. The Leica Q2 checks all of those boxes with flying colors.