One could argue the best camera is the one you carry with you, but also the one you want to carry with you at all times. This brings us to size, ease of use, and of course the pure joy and pleasure of using such a camera.
My iPhone 7 with its build in camera, never leaves my side; but Its main purpose is to capture scrapbook ideas, and the odd selfie or group shot when I’m out with friends. I’ve come to realise, the camera is just NOT up for taking high-quality Images that I personally would be happy with; and every time I’ve had the opportunity to take a great shot capturingit with the iPhone, left me rather disappointed, and with a result to be reduced for Instagram or Facebook use only. Having said this, I really like the video capability of the iPhone, and all the apps available to extend one's creativity even more.
It is fascinating how the industry is trying to convince us how smartphones could replace DSLR’s, but I can’t remember ever seeing a professional using an iPhone to shoot a serious campaign, advertising gig, or have I ever seen a smartphone in the hands of a wedding photographer recording that most important day of the newly wed couple. It can, of course, be integrated, but it will never replace the equipment professionals use.
When I recently started looking around for a new camera, I made sure it would fit certain criteria, and It’s no secret that I do appreciate great craftsmanship and design, but I also care for great quality image output. The new camera also needed to be easy to use, small, and have decent video capability for Vlogging and short film/video creation.
The cameras that made it into my final short-list, was The LeicaQ, Sony a6500 and the Panasonic GH5! Nevertheless, what convinced me to go for the LeicaQ, was the large full frame sensor, which produces great high-resolution quality images, with a rich vivid colour pallet and lots of dynamic range. The video mode is actually really good too, and I don’t need to mention the size of the camera, which makes it so easy to carry around unless you rig it like one does when you need a mic and ext. monitor, but that's another story.
If you want to read more about the LeicaQ, there are a number of web reviews giving you a very good idea of the cameras capabilities.
What I’d like to share in this post is my experience with the LeicaQ in video mode, and how it works as a general Vlogging camera.
I am quite aware that more sophisticated cameras are available, providing better video, and a much easier Vlogging experience, but when you’re in love with a camera, who cares, and if you find a way around the obstacles, hurray.
Lets talk about the general set up. A lot of people complained about the auto focus of the Q in video mode. First, the options you see in the picture focusing mode are separate from the video mode . They don’t work together. All the bells and whistles remain only for stills photography! In video mode you have single focus and auto continues focus on video . Personally, I would stick with auto continues focus, but being aware that it can take a while for the camera to log onto the subject. Obviously, the problem you face when doing a selfie or a video Vlogging session, a external monitor would be great help, but unfortunately Leica doesn’t offer and HDMI external monitor output on the Q .
However, it does support a bluetooth connection to your phone, and in combination with the LeicaQ mobile App one can monitor the scene perfectly. I build myselfa little rig to hold the mobile phone and an external Mic. Again, the Q doesn’t have a MIC inout so therefore I’ve chosen a MIC with the ability to record on its internal memory. So as you can see with all the problems and hurdles of the Leica Q its not impossible to use this camera as a Vlogging camera with a more then satisfying result.
The hassle it causes can also give you some satisfaction when you find your way around it. I always had a thing for being different and going the extra way to make something work.
The Video I shot with my LeicaQ at Photo London 2017 was really my first attempt using this camera for videos. I just jumped into the water testing the camera on the day of the event, and yes there were some issues like ( camera shake , slow focusing etc. ), but altogether I very much loved the colours and the simple joy of using the Q.
I will continue using the Q for other vlogging projects and short film visuals.