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.
Considered in isolation, the D780 is a tremendously well-rounded camera. But that's also true of the D750 and the Z6, which may make it a hard sell for many photographers.
Pentax week continues! In this video, Chris takes us for a ride on the wayback machine to look at the most important Pentax cameras in history.
Canon USA takes down two eBay sellers accused of selling counterfeit batteries using the company's trademarks.
Fotodiox has launched another Canon EF to Fuji GFX lens mount adapter, this one with a built-in neutral density filter and support for automated functions.
The incremental firmware updates address a few minor issues and improve overall stability, but don't add any new or revolutionary features.
It's tempting to scoff at a black-and-white-only digital rangefinder, but there are a few reasons why going without a color filter is more than a gimmick. Here's why we're excited to go shooting with the M10 Monochrom.
Leica has introduced its latest dedicated black and white camera, the M10 Monochrom. Based largely on the M10-P, it features a newly designed 40MP sensor, touchscreen LCD and lower base ISO than previous mono models.
The 85mm F1.8 FE lens is the first in Tokina’s new atx-m mirrorless lens series, which will feature lenses for multiple mounts and sensor formats.
Australian researchers have pioneered the development of a lithium-sulfur battery technology that may revolutionize consumer gadgets, cameras, electric cars and more.
The TZC-01 will work with over 60 EF-mount lenses from Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Zeiss.
A new power adapter from Kessler makes it possible to charge cameras and other gear using ordinary DeWalt power tool batteries.
The team behind the Platypod is back with a new accessory called Platyball, an entirely new type of tripod head with electronic stabilization.
Heathrow Airport, the busiest in the United Kingdom, has installed an anti-drone system that detects and blocks drones entering its airspace.
A recent look into the latest macOS beta release revealed evidence of an upcoming feature called 'Pro Mode' that boosts performance for professionals.
We've just gotten our hands on a full production Nikon D780 – the long-awaited update to the D750, which we'd called one of the most well-rounded cameras we'd tested. Take a deep dive into all that the new model offers right here.
DJI, the world's leading drone manufacturer, posted an article outlining the need for Remote ID. However, the company does not agree with what's proposed in the FAA's NPRM.
Sharp's 8K Video Camera has once again been showcased at CES, this time with more details on what the camera will offer and when it will be available.
Tamron announced that its 20mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 lens for full-frame Sony E-mount bodies will be available on January 30th for $350.
Boasting only 2 propellers, instead of the typical 4 on a consumer-grade drone, Falcon's bi-copter can fly up to 50 minutes – about 20 minutes longer than leading competitors.
Luminar 4.1 brings a number of new tools and features to improve your post-processing workflow.
Acer joined HP and MSI in unveiling new laptops at CES 2020 that are made specifically for photographers and other graphics professionals.
Roger and Aaron are back at it again with a teardown of Nikon's premium 24-70mm F2.8 zoom lens for its Z-series cameras.
Patent documents filed by Xiaomi show a pop-up mechanism with dual front-cameras and a penta-camera setup at the back.
Planned restrictions put in place by Capital Police will ensure no still photos are taken of the transfer of the articles of impeachment and will severely limit the ability of photojournalists and reporters throughout the remainder of the Senate trial.
It's Pentax week on DPReview TV, so Chris and Jordan review the DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ultra-wide zoom for Pentax APS-C cameras. Do they like it? They sure do! Enough to inspire Jordan to sing. And sing some more. Get out your earplugs.
Check out these full resolution images shot with the Pentax DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ultra-wide zoom lens, captured while shooting this week's episode of DPReview TV.
A smaller and lighter version of an existing lens joins the XCD system bringing with it a smaller price and a smaller maximum aperture too.
Paul C. Buff Inc. has finally launched a new product in its flash unit product line with the new 800WS. This portable 800-watt strobe light will be available in Spring 2020.
Manfrotto claims its new cards are waterproof, freeze-proof and crush-proof; and some of the best read/write speeds available for high frame rates and 4K video
The GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip With Wireless Remote Commander works with nine Sony mirrorless cameras and is set to ship in North America this month for $140 ($180 CAD).