Fujifilm X100F or Leica Q? Which provides more value?

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Leica’s recently-released Q2 has been making waves. It looks like a pretty nifty full-frame compact camera. But, retailing at over £4,000, is it too expensive? We thought we’d take another look at the original 2015 Leica Q. It’s available used for around half the price of the Q2, so it could be a wise purchase.

Back in the old days of photography, when film technology advanced as quickly as a snail crossing a road, I think Leica camera would have been a good value for those who could afford the upfront cost.

Let me define my terms.

value: a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged

The film Leicas had a cost and quality of experience that was excellent. The buyer could be assured that the camera would last “their” lifetime and with care in maintenance, produce the same quality of result on each snap. A digital Leica, in my opinion, is far removed from the word value. Is the image quality superior to what can be found on similar featured digital fixed lens cameras? At the rate of development of digital technology, whatever image capture experience the digital Leica may offer, the technology itself is quickly (18 months?) surpassed by some newer (and often less expensive) digital camera.

I think someone paying US$4,000 for a camera that will be technologically obsolete within months of purchase is paying for the brand and what they think that brand says about them.

I've read a few articles stating that the Fuji X100 series offer better value. The latest model, the Fujifilm X100F, is US$2700 cheaper than a new Leica Q and almost $2000 more affordable new than a used Leica Q. I rented a Fujifilm X100F for a weekend and fell in love with the camera. Even though I have a Fujifilm X-T2, the experience with the X100F was, please forgive me, "magical". It's among the things I would always carry when leaving the house; wallet, smartphone, sunglasses, X100F.

Here's what Ken Rockwell had to say about what he calls "Leica man":

Don't fret price when discussing photography issues with a Leica man. He doesn't know or care price; the only thing that concerns him is being the best. The Leica man rarely takes his own pictures. He has others to bother with that for him if he is on holiday. If the Leica man requires art, he has it purchased for him. This is why Leica men don't care about a Leica's picture-taking ability, and get so oddly freaked out if you mention cameras that are better for a fraction of the price. "Better for what?" asks the Leica man. Taking pictures? Who uses cameras to take pictures? Rarely the Leica man. You are personally insulting him and his vastly superior taste should you broach this topic.Ken Rockwell

So while I understand that, for some people, the Leica Q is that magical camera, I don’t think the magic is worth that price. Perhaps I’ll have to rent a Leica Q to experience it for myself.

Photo by D A V I D S O N L U N A on Unsplash

Author: Khürt Williams

A human who works in information security and enjoys photography, Formula 1 and craft ale.