Leica Q In-depth Review
The Leica Q (Typ 116) is a high-end, fixed-lens compact camera with a 24MP full-frame sensor and a 28mm F1.7 Summilux stabilized lens. It represents a new product line for Leica, and was the first full-frame Leica to incorporate an autofocus system.
Leica - one of the most traditional of traditional camera manufacturers - has been pretty innovative in recent years, bringing us the luxuriously black medium-format S-series, the full-frame mirrorless SL, and the innovative, stylish (if not particularly likable) Leica T.
The Q is styled in a similar way to Leica's high-end M-series rangefinders, but with the addition of a high resolution electronic viewfinder and touch-sensitive LCD screen. Unlike the Leica T, where Leica made the touchscreen absolutely central to the handling experience, the Q's touchscreen is essentially optional, and works in concert with several conventional (physical) control points. This combination of classic and modern is central to the Q, which melds manual control with electronic assistance fluidly in its ergonomics.
The Q's full-frame image sensor and fast wide-angle lens are its two most important features. In combination, our tests show that they are capable of extraordinarily sharp images. It also turns out that shooting with the Q is just, well, a lot of fun. A lovely mechanical manual focus ring makes focusing a pleasure, but fast and accurate autofocus is on hand if you'd prefer. Likewise for manual aperture and shutter speed control; both have dedicated dials, but both can also be left on 'A' for auto. Images can be composed on the rear LCD if you like, but a built-in EVF offers a bright and detailed view of the world beyond the lens. While the design of the Q is reminiscent of the Fujifilm X100T, philosophically its closest match is the Sony RX1R II.
Leica Q key features
- 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor
- Fixed 28mm F1.7 ASPH lens with image stabilization
- ISO 100-50000
- 3.68M dot-equivalent LCOS electronic viewfinder
- 3" fixed touchscreen LCD with 1.04 million dots
- 10 fps continuous shooting
- 1080/60p HD video capture
- Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity with dedicated Leica app
- Magnesium-alloy body
- Mechanical (leaf) and electronic shutter
Leica may be known for making cameras that help photographers slow down their process, but the Q also has the ability to help speed things up. It offers 10 fps bursts, even when capturing full resolution DNG images. The camera is 'smart', offering both Wi-Fi and NFC, and has a dedicated app for remote shooting and viewing images. Video is captured at 1080p at either 30 or 60 fps.
If the 28mm lens feels too wide, there is a feature called 'digital frame selector' that drops frame markers in the field of view, equivalent to your choice of 35 or 50mm. Of course you will lose some resolution cropping in. And for street shooters, options like face detect and touch-to-focus/touch-to-shoot (using the LCD) can be very effective, especially when shooting from the hip. Of course you can always pre-focus manually using the focus depth scale, if you prefer.
Compared to Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II
As mentioned above, in terms of specification, the Leica Q's closest competitor is Sony's Cyber-shot RX1R II. On paper, the main differences between the Leica and the Sony involve their sensors and the different lens specifications. You'll find a detailed breakdown of key specifications below.
|Leica Q||Sony RX1R II|
|Sensor||24MP Full Frame CMOS||42MP Full Frame BSI CMOS|
|Lens||28mm F1.7||35mm F2|
|ISO range (expanded)||100-50,000||50-102,400|
|LCD specs||3" touch LCD with 1.04M dots||3" tilting LCD with 1.2M dots|
|Burst||10 fps||5 fps|
|Wi-Fi enabled||Yes, with NFC||Yes, with NFC|
|Weight||640 grams||507 grams|
Pricing and Availability
The Leica Q retails for $4250 and is available now.
Jan 17, 2017
Apr 18, 2016
Dec 14, 2015
Aug 8, 2017
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.