Why does a Leica cost as much as a Leica does? It’s a Leica.
But still, you find a disagreement.
Take this writer’s father, for instance, who argues that it is more than likely the photographer handling the Leica Q in this review that is taking the photos to be proud of, not the camera itself, and that he could probably get the same result out of the Nikon he has at home, or even any other camera if need be. He could take an old Mamiya off the shelf at home, load it with film, and get similar results.
That’s part of the toolkit response for photographers: it’s not the camera making the image, but rather the person behind the camera, and explains why the camera does not make the photographer, and why any old Joe can’t just buy an expensive camera and get great shots out of it.
There’s another approach to this, however, and that is a photographer is only as good as the equipment they’re using, because while you can get great images out of any camera if your skill is already up there, you can get even better images out of a camera if the camera and lens quality is even higher.
That’s what the Leica Q does to the photographer’s toolkit, elevating the quality to heights few cameras and lenses can achieve, but it does come at a cost.
Indeed, the $5900 price tag isn’t cheap, and it does make you think twice about if the fixed-lens camera is really worth plonking down close to six grand on a body that could do with better battery life.
But if that’s the one serious complaint we have with the Leica, that’s not much to squabble with, especially since the lens quality is so high, especially if almost every image out of this camera has been one this writer and this photographer has been proud of.
So instead of thinking about the price being so high, we instead have to think about how much a real Leica digital interchangeable rangefinder would be, and then knowing that we couldn’t justify it at all, not until we sell a book or two, and possibly the movie rights.
With such a high cost, we’re probably in the group who would only ever buy one lens, which is exactly what this camera feels like it is being pitched to at a cost lower than that of the body and lens combo, offering a solid piece of glass with a body that it has been matched to perfectly.
And sure, it’s still quite expensive for what’s on offer, and almost three grand more than the Sony equivalent of a similar product. But the Leica Q is something special, and is easy one of the best cameras we’ve ever seen.
Seriously, this writer has found the camera that he’ll use to take photos of his family with. Now he just has to save up for it.