While the focus of this Photokina has been clearly centered around Leica's professional products, the entire product range was being shown to show-goers. Product managers for other systems besides the S and SL were also in attendance and holding meetings. I had the opportunity to sit down for a quick interview with Peter Kruschewski, who is the product manager for the Q and compact camera line. There were no new product announcements for the Q and it's clear that no one from Leica is talking about any future cameras, or even future product ideas. I still felt it was worthwhile to try to get an idea as to the current state of the Leica Q and at least ask about what the future holds.
DF: The Leica Q has been wildly popular and been doing extremely well in the market. Would you have predicted this kind of demand?
PK: We are very pleased with how the market has received the camera. It is amazing that we are still experiencing shortages over a year after the launch. It is really unprecedented.
Why do you think the Q has been such an unbelievable success for Leica?
First of all, it is a combination of the imaging performance, the design, and the excellent 28mm lens. Few photographers expected a concept like this: full frame sensor, f/1.7 wide angle lens, high-res built-in EVF, high speed operation, manual controls.
I personally love that the controls are all very M-like and intuitive.
The whole concept wasn’t to get too close to the M, but to incorporate as much of the Leica M DNA and infuse it into the all-in-one camera and lens system of the Q. And this combination is what has been so appealing. It really is a fantastic camera.
I agree. The Q feels like a “real” camera to me.
Yes, and very simple and fun to use.
I also have to say that one of my favorite features is the macro mode. It really adds another dimension to the wide angle lens.
Yes, absolutely! The macro functionality has been very well received. And, the whole thing is just so cool. I really love how we were able to create the mechanical change to the macro mode. It is so unique and one of our favorite little design touches, for sure. We always hear how much the users like this feature as well.
Is it safe to say that given the success of the current Q, that Leica is committed to the Q system for the foreseeable future?
Yes. Without a doubt, the Q has a strong future at Leica. We are fully committed to the system.
What about firmware updates? Leica has been consistent about continually refining the camera with updates. What more can we expect?
Within the life cycle of the Q we will make as many improvements as we can. We listen closely to the market and users to see where we can make meaningful changes. But quite honestly, the Q is already really performing on a very high level.
I have to ask. Is there a new Q in the works?
The Q is now 15 months old, which is actually quite young. In product management, we are naturally thinking already about future concepts and next steps, but it isn't’ time to talk about replacing the Q any time soon. Right now, we are focusing on keeping up with the continued demand for the camera.
Of course, there is a good chance that there will be a successor in the future, which obviously makes sense with any camera, or really any product for that matter.
What are your thoughts on offering other focal lengths for future Q offerings? Some have requested 35 or 50mm lens options.
Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to discuss any possible future models.
Of course, we really love how passionate our users are and take their feedback very seriously. We always like to hear from them and see what we can do to address their needs. Some of these concepts might not make sense for the Q, but others could be quite interesting.
Thanks so much for talking with me today. I look forward to see how the Q develops.
My pleasure. Enjoy the rest of the show.
If you are new the Leica Q, be sure to check out my full review of the camera here: