Leica Q2 is actually a 51.6 MP camera

The Leica Q2 is cropped down to 47.3 MP by default

It is not widely known or reported, but the Leica Q2 has some hidden extra pixels.

The Leica Q2 is advertised and sold as a 47.3 MP camera with a fixed Summilux 28mm f1.7 lens. It is the best camera I have ever used and is an absolute tour-de-force of engineering and design. I love it.

Anyway, this was one of the first pictures I made with it on 4 November 2019 (blog post: https://www.vishvish.com/2019/12/30/foggy-morning/) and this was the exact view in the viewfinder and on the rear screen, and again in the Leica Fotos app and AGAIN in Lightroom CC.

Fast-forward to evaluating Capture One 20 and open this image up:

Figure 1: The original image as seen on the viewfinder opened in Capture One

How lovely. You might see the pixel size on the left: 8368 x 5584.

Then click the crop button:

Figure 2: The image in Crop mode

WAIT WHAT

There’s more image? WTF? Where did that image in the margins come from? Huh?

Move the crop guides out as much as possible:

Figure 3: The image with the crop guides set to maximum

You might be able to see the pixel size now: 9026 x 5720.

That’s 51.62872 megapixels.

The lens coverage at this point is somewhere between 24-26mm, not 28mm.

So what just happened? It appears that the Leica Q2 is using a smaller portion of the lens covering area by default, whether this is because that area has too much distortion, too little resolution, chromatic aberration, or otherwise doesn’t meet Leica’s exacting standards, we don’t know. But it is rare for a company to understate the abilities of its product. There is no material from Leica that states there is more data available or that the lens isn’t rated at 28mm. But the data shows us.

I am very impressed that Leica would go to these lengths for image quality. And I’m delighted that I suddenly have a free upgrade, because I think it’s an upgrade.

Over at Vish HQ we’re speculating on the various reasons for this, from pixel doubling for video, to space needed for stabilization or ratios needed for 4K vs stills. Possibly vignetting from the lens hood. Answers and suggestions very welcome.

I don’t know now if the sensor is actually a full-frame sensor or bigger. I don’t know if the image size equates to full frame or not: time to break out the calculator and figure out the ratios.

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