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Leica introduces 47 Megapixel Q2 Monochrom for $6000: Digital Photography Review

Published Nov 10, 2020

dpreview staff

Leica has introduced the Q2 Monochrom, a black and white version of the Q2 – a team favorite here at DPReview. It features a designed-for-monochrome full-frame 47MP sensor that Leica claims should capture 2 additional stops of dynamic range over the Bayer version (13EV vs 11EV). The maximum ISO is 100,000, up from 50,000 on the Q2.

The Q2 Monochrom uses the same stabilized 28mm F1.7 ASPH lens as the Q2. It shares the same 3.68MP OLED EVF and touchscreen display, as well. The body is more discreet than the Q2, with a matte black and leatherette finish and no red dot. The magnesium alloy body is built as well as you’d expect from Leica and carries an IP52 rating for weather-proofing.

The camera has one-button cropping to 35, 50 and 75mm, with a drop in resolution with as you go. For those who want the unique look of black and white video, the Q2 Monochrom can capture both DCI and UHD 4K at up to 30p.

The Q2 Monochrom is available now for $5995.

Read our Q2 Monochrom initial review

View our pre-production sample galleryPress release

Leica Q2 Monochrom: A New Level of Dedication to Black & White Photography

Leica Camera continues to demonstrate its commitment to the art of black and white photography with the introduction of the first-ever full frame compact camera with a monochrome sensor

November 10th, 2020 – Leica Camera makes unprecedented strides in its commitment to black and white photography with the launch of the Leica Q2 Monochrom, a new addition to the much beloved Leica Q line and the greater Leica Monochrom family. With a newly developed, full-frame monochrome sensor, a fast Leica Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH. prime lens, quick and precise autofocusing, protective weather sealing and OLED viewfinder technology, the Q2 Monochrom encompasses the outstanding performance and features of its popular Leica Q2 brethren in a model focused solely on the art of black and white photography – delivering unprecedented image quality and creative focus.

Black and white photography is an unrivalled art form. Memorializing more than just the decisive moment – black and white photographs evoke the emotion and the essence of unforgettable and irreplaceable moments. The new Leica Q2 Monochrom is the newest chapter in the Leica Monochrom story, offering photographers the experience of making black and white photographs through the lens of a full-frame, compact camera dedicated to black and white photography in its purest form.

The Leica Q2 Monochrom features a newly developed 47.3 megapixel full frame sensor based on its sibling model, though in line with its Leica Monochrom forebears the sensor has seen the purposeful omission of the color filter array to give it added light gathering potential and increased sharpness in true black and white. With a maximum ISO climbing higher – up to 100,000 – the Q2 Monochrom can see and capture immense detail and tonality in settings that have barely enough light even for the human eye. The end result is a compact camera that while expanding the Monochrom offerings from Leica, and bringing another black and white imaging stalwart to the family, also yields the most accessibility to this acclaimed formula of black and white perfection – for use in any and all situations the user may want to create monochromatic wonder.

The autofocus system locks on in less than 0.15 seconds and makes it one of the fastest cameras in its class. Ongoing improvements to the processor from the Maestro family have enabled an impressive 10 frames per second burst shooting rate at even full resolution that ensures the truly wonderful moments in life will never be missed. The range of creative options has also been expanded by the new video capabilities with 4K resolution. Brilliant, black-and-white video recordings can be made in 3840 x 2160 resolution and frame rates of 30 or 24 fps or, alternatively, in the familiar full-HD 1080p format with 120, 60, 30 or 24 fps – all with manual creative control at the fingertips of the user.

The Leica Q2 Monochrom’s ‘Made in Germany’ seal of quality guarantees that only the finest and most resilient materials are used in its construction. The camera’s classically textured leatherette ensures an optimal interplay of form and functionality – with matte black paint, grey and white engravings, elegant ”MONOCHROM” lettering on the top and the omission of the red Leica logo for unobtrusive shooting. The unique, intuitive operating concept of the Leica Q2 has been maintained, helping newcomers and existing owners alike feel at home right away through its ease-of-use. The menu has been streamlined and adapted even further to the special features of a monochrome camera. All color settings have been omitted and the menu has only been supplemented with settings for toning black-and-white images (blue, sepia, selenium).

A range of premium leather accessories are also available for the Leica Q2 Monochrom, including camera protector cases, carrying straps, bags and wrist straps in a variety of different colors. Additional technical equipment accessories pair perfectly with the new camera such as the Leica SF 40, SF 60 flash units, the SF C1 remote flash control unit, an additional thumb rest and a new handgrip that perfectly matches the body. Three new E49 color filters in yellow, green and orange, for direct contrast control right from the lens of the camera, are available for purchase as well. And when on the go, the Leica FOTOS app keeps the photographer connected to the Q2 Monochrom for mobile sharing and uploading their black and white creations.

The Leica Q2 Monochrom is available for order at Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers for $5,995 starting today.

Leica Q2 Monochrom specifications

MSRP $5995
Body type
Body type Large sensor compact
Body material Magnesium alloy
Max resolution 8368 x 5584
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 47 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 50 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Color filter array None
ISO Auto, 100-100000
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format RAW
File format
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 28 mm
Optical zoom 1×
Maximum aperture F1.7
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (1.2x (35mm equiv), 1.5x (50mm equiv), 2x (75mm))
Manual focus Yes
Normal focus range 30 cm (11.81)
Macro focus range 17 cm (6.69)
Number of focus points 49
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,040,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.76×
Viewfinder resolution 3,686,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic) 1/40000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via hotshoe)
Flash X sync speed 1/500 sec
Continuous drive 20.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 secs)
Metering modes
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Format MPEG-4, H.264
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MP4, H.264, AAC
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II supported)
USB charging No
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth
Remote control Yes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealed Yes (IP52 rated)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description BP-SCL4
Battery Life (CIPA) 350
Weight (inc. batteries) 734 g (1.62 lb / 25.89 oz)
Dimensions 130 x 80 x 92 mm (5.12 x 3.15 x 3.62)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS None

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