BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Electronics

Best Leica camera

Which Leica camera is best?

Photography has grown in leaps and bounds since the first camera’s development around 1839. We have Louis Daguerre to thank for that, as his “View of the Boulevard du Temple” is generally regarded as the earliest photograph containing people.

Thirty years later, Ernst Leitz founded Leica in Germany and set out to become one of the world’s most recognized camera and optical lens companies. Carrying the brand’s iconic design, there are few cameras that can beat the Leica Q2 Digital Camera

What to know before you buy a Leica camera

Interchangeable lenses for better photography

The ability to attach a variety of lenses to a Leica camera body has been a feature since the company’s inception. The lenses are unique in that the light hits the sensors at a different angle than others, giving photos a distinct Leica look. Whether it is for the S-System, the M-System or TL2-System, there will be a lens that is perfect for your needs. Or if you prefer, Leica also makes fixed lens cameras. It is also a great idea to get yourself a good quality camera bag to keep the body and lenses safe.

Leica cameras are more robust than most

Through the decades of experimenting and development, Leica cameras have become known for their robust and durable builds. This is in part due to the solid construction materials used and how the cameras are put together. But the ability to withstand rain and relatively hard knocks also contribute to the price, making them more expensive than regular cameras.

Leica is the only company to make digital rangefinder cameras

Cameras that incorporate a rangefinder in their design tend to have higher image quality. The system works differently from cameras that have a viewfinder, which you would typically utilize for the focus. On a rangefinder camera, two images are superimposed over each other, and you look through the rangefinder to line them up and adjust the focus.

What to look for in a quality Leica camera

The image sensor is extremely important

The image sensor in a camera is at the heart of producing a photo. Its main job is to measure the amount of light that is coming through the lens, which in turn creates the photo. For excellent quality images, a full-frame camera like the Q2 is your best bet, as it has a 47.3-megapixel sensor.

Shutter speed for controlling the exposure

Cameras are excellent at recording exact snippets in time, but the end result will only be as good as your equipment. The shutter speed of a camera determines how long the shutter will remain open to let in light. The faster it opens and closes controls the brightness. Longer exposures are often needed for dimly light subjects or where little natural light is available. Shutter speed should not be confused with aperture, which has to do with how wide the shutter opens. For example, the Leica Q2 has a shutter speed of 60 seconds to 1/2000th of a second. It can go as high as 1/4000th of a second with an electronic shutter.

Old-fashioned design with modern connectivity

Leica cameras might still have fundamentally the same design as the first models, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been upgraded to modern features. Most Leica cameras will have Bluetooth connectivity so that you can remotely control the shutter. The Leica FOTO app also allows you to quickly review images and share them on social media platforms.   

How much you can expect to spend on a Leica camera

The average price of a Leica camera will depend on the model and the capabilities, but in general, Leica cameras are more expensive than most other brands. A top-end Leica model can retail for $4,000-$5,000, while entry-level cameras retail for $1,000-$1,500.

Leica camera FAQ

Can you use any interchangeable lens with a Leica camera?

A. While other companies also make interchangeable lenses, only Leica products will fit and work on their cameras. Although there are some lens adapters available, they aren’t guaranteed to work.

What is the most used Leica camera?

A. Leica produces seven different camera models, but only the M-System has been around since the days of film. The model has been hugely popular throughout the decades, which is why the system is still available today.

What’s the best Leica camera to buy?

Top Leica camera

Leica Q2 Digital Camera

What you need to know: The Q2 has an incredible sensor size, which will ensure that your photos are crisp, clear and packed with detail.

What you’ll love: The Leica C2 has a 47.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and a Maestro II image processor, producing high-quality images up to 4K in resolution. At the back is a 3.6-megapixel viewfinder, and is compatible with the Leica FOTO app.

What you should consider: Even when compared to other cameras in its class, the $5,200 price tag could be too much for most photographers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Leica camera for the money

Leica V-Lux 20 Megapixel Digital Camera

What you need to know: A full-featured digital camera, this model is perfect for amateur photographers wanting to improve their skills.

What you’ll love: With a 20-megapixel sensor and a three-inch LCD screen, the V-Lux is the perfect model for aspiring professionals. It is capable of recording video footage in 4K resolution and has high-speed autofocus.

What you should consider: Some users indicated that images might not be as sharp as you’d expect when using third-party lenses.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Leica D-LUX 7 4K Compact Camera

What you need to know: A great pocket camera that captures crystal clear images with a fixed lens.

What you’ll love: The D-LUX 7 has a 17-megapixel four-thirds sensor, and as the name implies, is capable of capturing footage in 4K resolution. It has a three-inch 1.24 m-dot LCD touchscreen at the back, and the 35mm Vario-Summilux lens has a focal length equivalent to 24-75mm. It also has Bluetooth built-in for wireless connectivity. 

What you should consider: You can’t use interchangeable lenses on this model, as the lens is fixed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: