Quiet quality, that would be my short description of the Leica Q, my new travel companion when documenting different ways of living.
When the Leica Q was announced in June, I immediately traded in my Leica M9 for Leica Q. Normally I would have second thoughts on switching to a new camera, considering I was about to leave for a nine days stay in the monastery Gross Sankt Martin in Köln. However, the technical specifications for Leica Q stated that it could be operated manually, it was silent, had a full frame sensor, a fixed 28 mm lens (sensor dust will not be an issue any more), and it even captured colour. It seemed to be a perfect match for my photographic needs and I was willing to take the chance. The technical specifications also described how Leica Q could be operated in automatic modes, and even through an iPhone app, but that was of less interest to me. How wrong I was about that perception.
When I visit monasteries, my aim is to document the daily life of the brothers and sisters through my camera. I respect their silence and try to be unnoticeable and not to disturb their daily life. Leica Q was perfect in such a setting. It did not draw any attention through sound. It is amazingly silent and has the same low-key exterior design that Leica M9 has.
Leica Q even made it possible to capture two additional compositions that I normally would have found difficult with Leica M9. The first challenge was a photo captured with the iPhone app, 15 meters away from the camera. The Leica Q app allowed me to place the camera just in front of the altar while I was out of site, not disturbing the ceremony in the church. The app was simply amazing. It gave me a continuous live view of Leica Q’s field of view, ready to capture the decisive moment with a touch of a finger on the iPhone screen.
The second challenge was photographing four sisters riding on their red bikes along the Rhine River. I was riding on my own bicycle on a parallel track. I had one hand on the steering, one eye looking through the camera, the second eye looking forward on the track, and the right hand controlling the camera that was operating in automatic capturing mode. That was quite a ride!
To me, Leica Q was an excellent upgrade from Leica M9. It is all I need when doing documentary photography.
Nils Thunes hjemmeside: nilsthune.no