Leica Q In-depth Review
As we touched on in the body and design page, the main exterior controls are comprised of a physical aperture ring, shutter speed dial and rear control dial. Because of this, the Leica Q handles in a way very similar to the X100T. This is a good thing, and is a very intuitive way of controlling the camera. Slap both dials over to Auto, and you're basically in Program Auto mode. Move any of them to a specific setting, and you'll be in either shutter or aperture priority modes. Set them both to a specific setting and you're in full manual, or if you're in auto ISO, you're in kind of a 'Pentaxian' TAv mode, where you can still have exposure compensation control the bias of the ISO while your shutter speed and aperture are held constant.
Despite this seemingly well-thought out approach, there are a number of handling quirks, all of which stem from a relative lack of customization options on the Q.
Customization? What's that?
By default, that rear control dial adjusts exposure compensation, which is a very sensible function. But if you select a specific shutter speed on the shutter speed dial, the rear dial then switches to controlling the shutter speed in 1/3 stops, robbing you of exposure compensation unless you assign it to the rear Fn button. So if you like to manually adjust your shutter speed while still using exposure compensation, hopefully you didn't like having the Fn button assigned to something else (which is itself a very short list, and annoyingly, includes scene modes but leaves out more vital functions like autofocus). It should go without saying that this wouldn't be a problem if you had any options to customize the function of that rear control dial, but you don't.
Here's a look at the only two buttons you have control over customizing.
|There are some sensible options here, but autofocus settings are a glaring omission.||Also sensible options given the button placement, but more choices would have been nice.|
Continuing on, the rear custom button (Zoom / Lock-Button in Leica menu vernacular) above the screen only offers four options: digital zoom (for 35mm and 50mm crop modes), auto exposure lock, autofocus lock, and autofocus plus auto exposure lock. Not even 'AF-ON' is an option here, which is an essential functionality for many DSLR shooters. And what's more, the 'Movie Record' button cannot be reassigned to anything else at all. Although we'll take a more in-depth look at video later, the Q is set up to be a serious stills shooter, so it would be nice to be able to assign the movie button to something - anything - else. And the same goes for the four-way controller and center button to the right of the Q's display. In single-point AF, these allow for direct control over the placement of your AF point and also what information is being displayed in shooting and playback modes, which is great. But if you're in multi-point autofocus, or another autofocus mode where you don't need to control your autofocus point placement, it'd be nice to reassign the four-way controller to something else.
And we'll get more in-depth on autofocus later, but changing any autofocus settings whatsoever necessitates a dive into the menus. Being able to assign either autofocus area modes or even AF-S / AF-C selection to a custom function button would considerably speed up the camera's operation in complex and varied shooting scenarios (say, I don't know, like shooting a wedding).
Lastly, the Q functions with its aperture blades wide open until you actually take a photograph or start a video. This ensures that the maximum amount of light is always falling on the sensor, which aids autofocus and maintains a bright, clean live view feed, but it means you can't preview depth-of-field until you half-press the shutter button. When you do this, the aperture then stops down to your selection.
For lovers of touchscreens on cameras, the Q's is merely acceptable. In playback mode, tap-to-zoom doesn't really zoom in very far, and there is no menu option to change that. Pinch-to-zoom works, but not as fluidly as you might expect from a modern smart device (to be fair though, most digital cameras lag behind phones and tablets in this respect). In Live View, Touch AF and Touch AF + Release modes do respond to your input rather well, but as you'll see on our AF page, those also come with some compromises.
If you don't like touchscreens, woe is you: although you can safely ignore the touchscreen for most any shooting scenario, you cannot completely deactivate the touch functionality. This might be the first touchscreen camera I've actually wanted to do that on, as I often accidentally swiped in the middle of entering playback mode, landing me on the wrong picture, or on one very unhappy occasion, resulting in a battery-draining lock-up. The buttons are so good on the Q that I often ended up using them instead of the touchscreen anyway.
To be specific, the touchscreen functions that you cannot disable are swipes, taps and pinching to navigate, and zoom during playback. The touchscreen doesn't provide any functionality during shooting unless you are in Touch AF and Touch AF + Release modes.
When using the screen (or EVF for that matter, as they behave identically in this case) for assessing exposure compensation adjustments, note that dialing in intentional overexposure does not brighten the image in dark conditions. Likewise, when operating in full manual mode, the Q's exposure meter will indicate whether or not your image will be over-or-under exposed, but you will bet no actual exposure preview from the display or EVF, and there's no option to engage this in the menus.
Given the underwhelming amount of customization options, it makes sense that the Q's menus are fairly concise, though not without their own issues. Similar options are grouped, but the whole system is essentially one long list. Of course, there are only five pages, but they could be simplified with some tabbed categories. 'Focus,' for example, opens up its own sub-menu. It would have been nice to pull that out as a separate tab on the side, along with tabs for playback and other shooting settings, and so forth, just to make the camera even quicker to operate. At the very least, the Q is very responsive when navigating menu items. Strangely, for a camera with an 'always on' touchscreen, there is no touch functionality enabled for menu navigation.
|A look at the second page of the Leica Q menu.|
And if you've just picked up a Q and are wondering where the volume controls for all the artificial sounds are, they're under 'Acoustic Signal.' That's at least one menu option that could use renaming.
The Leica Q enters playback mode quickly, and the rear control dial defaults to zoom functionality to give you an alternative to the touchscreen. While, in theory, this should make the checking of critical focus fairly straightforward, it only zooms into the center and not your chosen focus point, and there is no one-button 100% view option. The four-way controller center button will zoom out to the default view, but it won't zoom in for you. When you're zoomed in, you can hold down the 'Play' button and use the rear control dial to cycle between images without zooming out, which is a bit of a fiddly solution for that need. For a number of shooters, these will be irksome drawbacks for a generally responsive camera.
It's a subjective and lofty claim, but for those who enjoy manual focus, the Leica Q might just offer the best manual focusing experience of any mirrorless camera. The manual focusing ring itself is chiefly responsible for this.
Unlike many other mirrorless cameras (including others with fixed lenses, like Fujifilm's X100-series), the Leica Q's manual focusing ring feels mechanically coupled with hard stops, and is beautifully damped. With a finger rest that doubles as a locking mechanism, it can be incredibly precise. That locking mechanism in and of itself is an elegant and direct solution to the switch-flip, button-press or menu-dive that usually accompanies the engagement of manual focus. Overall, even for someone who prefers autofocus, I found manual focus on the Q a joy to use.
Helping you out are two methods of confirming focus; magnification and focus peaking. If you're not shooting wide-open, focus peaking works well, but magnification (or combining the two) will get you closer to critical focus.
|Hong Kong Mist by wam7|
from Fixed lens camera's
|Ill do anything for a nut by mountinmad|
from -Animals- (in Full Colours Only)
|Spiral Staircase by sgitlin|
from red challenge
Canon Australia appears to have leaked two upcoming cameras in a pair of promotional videos - an ‘EOS M6 II’ and an ‘EOS 90D.’
The adapter sits inside the camera and compresses the lens image to fit the camera's Super 35mm sensor, and restoring the look of the original focal length of the lens
Sydney-based coder Greig Sheridan and his photographer partner Rocky have introduced Intervalometerator, an open-source intervalometer designed for deploying inexpensive remote time-lapse systems involving Canon DSLRs, Arduino and Raspberry Pi hardware.
The lens, set to ship later this year for a yet-to-be-determined price, is an update to Yongnuo's original 35mm F1.4 lens that adds an ultrasonic motor.
The One Action's ultra-wide camera lets you to record horizontal video while holding the phone vertically.
Prograde says its new program scans for ‘key attributes of your card’s use history to determine how much life is remaining before you reach design limits’ and can ‘clean up the way data is stored to your card to ensure it’s optimized for the highest performance.’
We've been busy shooting around Seattle with Sigma's new 45mm F2.8 full-frame lens and have topped off our initial sample gallery accordingly. Have a look.
We recently reviewed the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 (also known as the G90, G91 and G99) and found it to be a good all-around camera. But is it best for the kind of shooting that you do? Click through to find out if the G95 is right for you.
The Canon RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS is a do-everything lens for the RF system, designed to cover pretty much any situation from sweeping landscapes to capturing distant details. Take a look at how it performs in our sample gallery.
Walmart accidentally offered up bargain-basement rates for DJI drones and other camera gear from a company called Ecom Electronics that retails through its website.
Sony's RX100 VII has landed, but after seven(!) iterations you may be asking, "Is there anything left to add to this camera?" It turns out the answer is a resounding 'yes'. Watch Chris and Jordan's video review to learn what's new and why it matters.
Recently, the FAA granted recreational drone pilots access to LAANC. Now, they want to administer a test and are seeking the public's input.
Arcane Photos is an alternative to Google Photos and other cloud-based options for uploading and storing images that's blockchain-based and decentralized with an emphasis on privacy.
Matt, of the YouTube channel DIY Perks, has shared a video showing how old TVs and monitors can be upcycled into natural-looking light that resembles light coming through a window.
Now that we've completed our full review of Panasonic's high-megapixel full-frame flagship, the S1R, let's take a closer look at what it's like to use for everything from landscapes to sports.
The new Canon RF and Nikon Z mount options add to the Sony E, Fuji X, MFT, Canon EF and Nikon F mount versions currently available.
Z Cam has opened pre-orders for its new, 6K E2-F6 and 8K E2-F8 full-frame cinema cameras, which were first introduced during NAB 2019.
Leica has announced its APO-Summicron-SL 50mm F2 lens, which is designed for the L-mount system. The lens is the smaller, lighter and (slightly) cheaper little brother to the 50mm F1.4 and is now available for $4495.
The battery works with a7 III, a7R III and a9 camera systems and connects with your smartphone or tablet to help you keep tabs on the health of the battery. Oh, and you'll need to update the firmware of your camera battery.
Photo Rumors is reporting that the next-generation GoPro camera will feature a 12MP sensor capable of shooting 4K video at 120 fps and have the option for add-on screen, LED lighting and microphone accessories thanks to redesigned housing.
The Tamron 35-150mm F2.8-4 is being marketed as a dedicated portrait lens, offering focal lengths appropriate for both traditional long lens portraiture as well as wider-angle environmental portraits and lifestyle shots. Take a look at how it performs.
Luminar 4 photo editing software is slated to be released this Fall from Skylum. They recently offered up a more detailed sneak peek at the AI Sky Replacement filter that will be included in the update.
The replica is identical to the lunar version, down to the serial number plates, various labels and more.
Nearly four months after first announcing the CoolPix W150, Nikon has announced the pricing and availability of the camera in the United States.
In this video, award-winning photographer Max Lowe goes to Hawaii to meet adventurer and educator Austin Kino. To capture the experience, we gave Max a Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R, and the entire video was shot with the Lumix DC-S1.
A 23-second video shared online shows off what appears to be the rumored DJI ‘Mavic Mini’ drone previously seen in still images.
The GF 50mm F3.5 is the closest you'll find to a pancake lens for Fujifilm's GFX medium format system. This 40mm equiv. is dust and weather-sealed, lightweight and most importantly, very sharp.
Not all food photography hacks are what they seem. Commercial food photographer Scott Choucino breaks down a number of tips that aren't what viral online videos might've led you to believe.
Adobe's latest update speeds up editing on computers with more powerful GPUs and adds a number of other features to streamline your post-production workflow.
Instagram has banned one of its advertising partners, HYP3R, after it was allegedly caught scraping a huge amount of data on users.