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.
|Bowing Ballerina by Kukla|
from Best Photo of the Week...
|Midnight Storks by wam7|
|Ice Pond by wam7|
from moving snow in winter
A new smartphone app removes the need for doctor visits and lab referrals to get your urine tested.
Zeiss has announced the impending release of the 100mm F1.4, the fourth lens in its Otus lineup.
In a series of 16 slightly quirky questions Adobe determines your creative personality.
If the report holds up, no longer will you have to first import photos into the iOS Camera Roll before importing them into apps like Adobe Lightroom CC and Affinity Photo.
ON1 has announced that the next major version of ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5, will be released in mid-May 2019.
Whether you've bought an inexpensive Fujifilm X-A5 with a kit lens, or a higher-end body like the X-T3, at some point you're going to want some new glass. We've picked out the best X-mount lenses for various shooting situations to aid you in your search.
Nikon's latest point-and-shoot might look like a toy, but it's not lacking in features.
Firmware version 1.10 for the GR III is said to improve low-light autofocus performance and adds a new Wi-Fi option for transferring images via Image Sync.
A leaked data sheet has detailed the specifications of a 63MP full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF.
We've been working through our full review of Panasonic's high-megapixel full-frame flagship, the Lumix S1R, and its lower-resolution S1 sibling, and have published our studio scene images from them – including the R's 187MP high-res mode. It's, well, very high-res.
The update adds Wi-Fi SnapBridge connectivity and addresses a number of bugs.
Panasonic's S Pro 70-200mm F4 is one of three lenses to launch with the full-frame S system, covering a popular focal range with a claimed 6 stops of stabilization to boot.
CareerCast has released its 2018 Jobs Rated Report and among the list was ‘photographer.’
A teardown video shows how Huawei has managed an impressive amount of technology including a 5x tele lens into the body of its flagship smartphone.
Cooperative of Photography, more commonly referred to as COOPH, has shared a video on its YouTube channel showing five inexpensive ways to take unique macro photos.
RawTherapee version 5.6 adds a new Pseudo-HiDPI mode, a new 'Unclipped' processing profile, and hundreds of other improvements and bug fixes to speed up editing.
Astronaut Terry Virts may have had the coolest photography job in the world – or outside of it – shooting over 300,000 photos during seven months in space. On this Earth Day, Virts tells us what it's like to be a space photographer.
Frans Lanting has inspired generations of artists and ecologists with his photography and environmental advocacy. To mark Earth Day 2019, we caught up with Frans to speak about his career and his hopes for the future.
The lens features a 1:1 maximum magnification ratio, a minimum focusing distance of 30cm (11.8in) and weighs 570g (1.3lbs).
Seattle-based photographer Neil Buckland has been working with University of Washington scientist Dr. Tony Irving to photograph, in incredible detail, slices of meteorites that have fallen to earth with his Pentax K-1 and a custom-built rig. Get a look into space, and into the past, with some of Buckland's images.
They say that the best camera is the one you you have with you. Senior Editor Barnaby Britton has been taking the Ricoh GR III with him a lot recently.
The Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony a6400 are two of the newest, most exciting mid-range mirrorless cameras on the market. Chris and Jordan break down the differences between these models to see which comes out on top.
Brian Ach shoots everything from rock and roll world tours to automotive ads. What follows is a detailed look at his workflow.
Nikkei Asian Review says the increasing capabilities of smartphones are at least partially to blame for the downturn in sales.
One of the main features that defines Instagram is its like count. Jane Manchun Wong, who is renowned for her reverse engineering skills, recently discovered that the service is considering hiding like counts.
Leica is facing backlash in China following the publication of a video called 'The Hunt' set in 1989 during, among other things, the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.
Back in March 2019, Facebook said only 'tens of thousands of Instagram users' were affected; that number has now ballooned to 'millions of Instagram users,' according to Facebook's latest update.
The Reframe system offers a user-friendly way of displaying your smartphone photos neatly framed on a wall.
We've spent a little more time shooting with Sony's new a6400, and as we work towards the completion of a full review, we've updated our initial gallery of sample images with additional shooting in and around Seattle.
Fujifilm has released a firmware update for its X-T30 midrange mirrorless camera. It tries to address one of the most frustrating things about the camera: how easy it is to accidentally press the Q.Menu button.