Jun 102015
 
QREVIEW

QREVIEW

The Leica Q Real World Camera Review

by Steve Huff

When I was told I was being sent the new Leica Q camera for review, weeks before it was to be announced, I was excited. I have heard rumblings and rumors about what this Q could be, and most of it was pretty exciting, and sounded to me like Leica was finally getting it “right”. While I usually do not take stock in Rumor sites (as they have one mission, kill the surprises and to make loads of money) I was hearing some things that I liked about the supposed new “Q”.

It appeared that Leica was finally caving..giving us, the Leica fans, something very close to what we have been asking for all of these years.

I was  critical of the recent Leica Mirrorless concotions..Leica X-Vario and Leica X, and while I adored the original Leica X1, and loved the X2, the Vario and new X lagged behind for me due to many reasons. I did enjoy the T, VERY much, but it too was not what everyone wanted, so it lagged in sales. So if we look at the recent past 2-3 years Leica has had some not so successful cameras, and I feel that is because they were not listening to their base of users.

YOU must click the images below to see them correctly. DO NOT judge them from these resized soft samples. Click ’em to see them larger and better.

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What we asked for and wanted:

A TRUE Mini M. Full Frame. EVF/RF built in. Scaled down from the real M to allow a lower price so more could enjoy the true Leica quality and feel. Simplicity, Beauty and Built by Leica, not Panasonic. 

The First fail for me with the X was no EVF or VF built in. We were forced to buy a $600 external wart of an EVF that killed the looks and usability of the camera. Then there was the sensor size of APS-C. It appeared Leica would never release a smaller true M like camera with a full frame sensor as they would be afraid of hurting their M sales. So they kept releasing APS-C sized cameras, and each one lagged in sales as everyone was crying for full frame, and we were correct to want full frame, as we wanted to shoot our Leica’s but here we are with Sony who released the stunning RX1 and RX1r years ago..without an answer from Leica. To be honest, the RX1 was more leica like than the X Vario and X 113.

One of the main issues with the X Vario and X were the slow and clunky lenses they attached to them (well, the Vario anyway). Clunky, slow in aperture and in AF, these cameras just did not feel “finished”. Sure the lens on the X 113 was and is a Summilux f/1.7 but even so, the fact it was not full frame and had no EVF/VF killed it for me and while IQ was stunning I remember telling myself..“if Leica releases a full frame version of this with a nice fast lens and EVF, look out”!

Enter the new Leica Q

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Well, they have now done just that with the new Leica Q. The Q is a 24 MP full frame camera with a beautiful sensor that can shoot up to ISO 50,000. It has a built in EVF that is quite good and a great LCD on the back. It is not a rangefinder, nor is it an interchangeable lens camera, it has a great fixed lens.  So while it is not the true Mini M we had asked for, it is damn close.

The menus are very M 240 like and very clean and simple. The Lens is a 28 Summilux f/1.7. Not sure why they chose 28mm instead of 35 but I enjoyed having that slight bit of “extra” as I have been getting more and more in to the 28mm focal length. It shoots HD video and man, the color out of this camera is SO SO DELICIOUS. Best color I have seen from any camera since the original X Vario. Always been a fan of the color from the X line, and this Q keeps that color but improves on it slightly.

My 1st look video on the Leica Q. Check it out…

So yes…

I have used and shot with the new Q, and it is beautiful. In fact, for Leica, it changes everything as we now have a full frame M shaped body with fixed lens and EVF all in a pretty polished and finished feeling camera with gorgeous Leica like IQ, pretty fast AF and simple operation. 

YOU must click the images below to see them correctly. DO NOT judge them from these resized soft samples. Click ’em to see them larger and better. 

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While only having this camera for a whopping three days, I managed to take it with me EVERYWHERE I went over those three days as I wanted to get as much use with it as possible so I could write this review after having 72 hours with the Q, and wow, for the 1st time in years I am truly “wowed” by a Leica camera that is not an M version! This is good, for all of us and for Leica. 

This little Q has most things I/WE have been begging Leica to make for the past few years:

1. A full frame sensor and a damn good one. The color, detail and tones this camera can produce is stunning. It has the true Leica look with the full frame sensor and fast glass attached. It renders much like an X or X Vario but with the full frame look and rich files.

2. It has a built in EVF, and it is a good one. FINALLY! No need to add on that huge external ugly $600 EVF.

3. It has a fast 28mm f/1.7 Summilux lens, and it is astounding in quality giving that same Leica X vibe but with a creamier rendering and faster aperture.

4. They kept it shaped and styled like an M. This is good as it keeps with the classic Leica design and feel. 

5. The camera is simplicity  – we have a shutter button, aperture on the lens, a macro feature (on lens), fantastic manual focus or pretty fast and snappy auto focus, and an exposure compensation dial (something the M doesn’t even have) and shutter speed dial. We have a movie button as well, and a great LCD on the back. This camera is beautiful in every way and I so want one. In fact, as soon as I tried it I contacted Ken Hansen ([email protected]) and said “Leica’s next new camera, put me on the list for whatever it is and whenever it comes out”. Seeing that I signed an NDA I could not utter the words “Leica Q”..so I hope he knew what I meant! 

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Here are the official stats, direct from Leica:

• 24-megapixel, full frame, CMOS sensor precisely matched to its lens. The Leica Q delivers richly detailed pictures with almost noise-free, richly detailed pictures at ISO settings up to 50.000.

• Fastest autofocus in the compact full-frame camera class. Precision focusing in real time.

• High speed burst shooting. The newly developed processor from the Leica Maestro II series sets an enormous pace in this category with continuous shooting at a rate of ten frames per second at full resolution.

• Integrated 3.68-megapixel electronic viewfinder. The highest resolution viewfinder of its kind displays both the fixed 28 mm view along with focal lengths of 35 mm and 50 mm on demand.

• Conveniently placed functions provide instant access to all the essential controls needed when taking a photo. Not only can you control the focus manually, but the Q is also equipped with a touchscreen that can select a focus point with a simple touch of the fingertip.

• Ability to save two versions of the photograph. The JPEG image files are saved in the selected framing, while the RAW files in DNG format preserve the entire field captured by the 28 mm lens.

• Video recorded in full HD. Depending on the scene, users can choose between 30 and 60 frames per second for video recording in MP4 format. The video setting also features a wind-noise filter which guarantees crystal-clear sound.

• A WiFi module for wireless transfer of still pictures and video to other devices. The app also allows you to remotely control settings such as aperture and shutter speed from your smart phone or tablet. The free Leica Q app to access these features is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store for iOS and Android.

• Free downloadable Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6. This processing software offers a comprehensive range of functions to enhance and edit your Leica Q images.

• Full range of accessories. Just like the camera, every item in the range of accessories and technical equipment for the Leica Q is functionally designed for easy handling and manufactured from only the finest materials to ensure versatility, reliability, and durability.

The Leica Q, priced at $4,250. 

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This mini review will be full of my thoughts on the camera and light on the comparison tests as I only had it for 3 days, and did not have time to do loads of comparisons. In fact, those three days felt like 6 hours..it went by so fast. When you are doing something you love and adore, time flies.

What I can tell you is that this Leica Q is stunning in almost every way. Every time I snapped a photo with it and saw it on my display at home my jaw would drop at the color and overall character of this lens and sensor combination.

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Shots that I thought were bad, soft or just not good turned out to be fantastic. I experienced no issues with focus, dynamic range, speed, reliability or ANYTHING. I was having a blast shooting this camera as it was such a joy to shoot. In many ways I felt like I was walking around with a true MINI M, but with an EVF and AF and fixed lens. It was a beautiful thing and when a camera is such a joy to shoot, you just want to shoot, shoot and shoot more. This happens with some cameras and not very often. The M gives me that feeling, the Olympus E-M1 does as well. The Sony RX1, which this camera is VERY close to, does as well.

It is silent, stealthy and also has a touch screen LCD if you want to shoot by tapping the screen and pick you focus point. Works very well. Leica has finally caught up. :)

I loved the Sony RX1 and even made it my camera of the year when it was released. It had that special MoJo about it and it delivered amazing rich quality files. How does the Q stand up to the now 3 year old RX1?

Well, it not only stands up to it, it exceeds it in a many ways and says  “I’m the new premo fixed lens full frame mirrorless champ”! That is in NO WAY knocking the Sony, as it is still today a legend, a beauty and a camera capable of amazing things, better than most modern day cameras. It does need an update though with a built in EVF, better battery life, faster AF, etc. Maybe Sony is working on it right as I type these words ;)

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But yes, Leica delivers here and gives us a TRUE German made Leica with TRUE Leica images quality and design. Adding the full frame sensor really changed everything as full frame offers richer color, better dynamic range and in many cases better “everything”. It’s a camera that gave me no quirks, issues or problems during my little 3 days with it. The IQ is very different from the Sony RX1 image quality which I felt was organic, rich, delicate but beautiful and WOW. The Leica Q delivers snappier color, a wider angle lens that is slightly faster, and a crispness that I see in Leica X files but with a full frame character. In other words, the IQ is fantastic.

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Back to the old RX1..yes, I feel the Q beats the Sony RX1 in many ways. Body style, built in EVF instead of external, AF speed is a bit faster with the Q, manual focus the Q wins as it is just as joyful to Manual Focus as use Auto Focus. Manual Focus feels like true manual focus here.

The other areas where the Q wins for me is color performance and “SNAP”! These Leica files just pop with a crispness and bite that give it that “WOW” factor. Exposure is usually dead on or slight overexposed to give it some glow, and the focus locks on quick with 100% accuracy.

YOU MUST click the images here to see them in much better quality. DO not judge the IQ of these files unless you click them 1st!

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Leica seems to have finally created the camera many of us have wanted for so long. Like a true digital Leica CM.  Even in the dark, just shooting by firelight, the new Q had no issues with AF or getting the shot. The camera has an impressive ISO range and while not one of those night time high ISO kings, the Q does a decent job for being a Leica…a brand that seems to lag behind in the high ISO race. Even shooting at ISO 4000 in the dark yielded nice results.

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So finally Leica has created the camera I begged for since the original Leica X1. They have come a long way since that little slow poke of a camera that did so well for them. NOW we have a fully featured, matured and highly capable camera that I can see many enthusiasts wanting as it will be much less expensive than buying a true M 240 or M-P and a lens. Maybe 60% cheaper.

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The camera has no issue with sharpness or detail or color…

More images below that when clicked on will show you the color, detail and pop that the Q puts out.

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ISO Performance

Below are some samples from ISO 1600 to 50,000. When I get the camera for a longer loan (or when I own it) I will do a more comprehensive set of tests and comparisons. But take al look and click the images below to get them to pop up larger.

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My Final word on the Leica Q after my 3 Day Evaluation

The new Q is not cheap. Leica never ever is and while I was hoping for $3500 (I feel that would have been PERFECT and sold a ton of these for Leica), it appears the Q comes in at $4250, about $750 over my “hoped for” price. Yep, $4250. True Leica style ;) I loved my time with the Q. It felt nice (though not nearly as solid as an M), it looked nice and it shot like a dream. Quick (Though not Sony A6000 quick), and a joy to use and shoot. It inspired me, gave me excitement to want to go out and shoot and that is one way I judge a camera. If it makes me WANT to go shoot with it, then it is a winner in all ways to me.

The Leica Q does just that and if you have a spare $4250 and always have wanted a true Leica, the time is now as the Q has landed. You will get “better than M 240” quality with better color, more crispness and more pop. The lens is, after all, designed for  the sensor and camera body. It’s a perfect match. Now to see what Sony comes up with…RX2 on the way? Hmmm.

Keep in mind the original RX1 was $2795 without the EVF which set us back an additional $450. So the Q is priced about $1000.00 over the RX1 and EVF at launch, beats the RX1 in mist ways, and is a true German made Leica. When you look at it like that, the price is fair for being Leica. To those who will moan about the cost, you must not know how Leica operates, it is normal and yes I feel this Q will indeed be the one  that breaks Leica’s slow streak.

At least I hope so, it is a lovely camera worthy of the Leica badge.

For now, I will say the Q is the best mirrorless fixed lens camera made today if IQ, beauty and simplicity are at the top of your list.

The only way this would have been better is if they made it in a body only version for $3500. Then we could have added our M lenses to the Q for more options. Then again, why would Leica kill M sales by releasing a Q version at half price? They wouldn’t , and there ya have it.

Below are pre-order options for the new Leica Q, all from dealers I highly recommend and use myself…

B&H Photo Pre-Order the Q

Ken Hansen – E-mail him [email protected]

PopFlash.com

Leica Store Miami

BEST THING about Pre-Orders? You are not charged until it ships, it is cancelable at any time, and you are 1st to get it ;)

A few more snaps I shot with the Q before I had to send it back…click them for better versions! 

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  292 Responses to “The Leica Q Real World Camera Review by Steve Huff”

  1. Hello all

    I am a new Q owner. I love all aspects of the camera but the associated app is not as good. I am looking for a simpler shutter release solution. Is there anyway I can use an external shutter release cable? I am suspecting it would have to be either wireless (wifi) or USB. Is this even possible?

    • Don’t know of any, but my app works well with my iPhone 6plus and my iPad pro. Sometimes with the iPad it takes a 15 to 30 seconds to connect, verse fairly quick on my iPhone.

      • Thanks Peter.
        I find the app very limited in its use. I wish there was a way to attache some sort of cable release system, either hard wire or via USB .. or even via wlan. *sigh* .. a great camera but with such a shortcoming .. :(

        • I don’t have a Q, but I have found trying to use my camera based wifi in a wifi intensive area is difficult. I use Canon and Fuji and their connectivity is usually rock solid.

  2. Steve Huff,
    I’m a Leica owner for 20+ years and glad to hear that you can tell the difference between Leica and Sony/Oly/etc IQs.I currently own an M240P and will never switch to Sony A7x…Leica is expensive but their IQ is the best.

    • Well, the A7RII slays the M for IQ ;) Well, maybe not “SLAYS” but it is quite a bit better in every way. DR, Detail, Color, Resolution, and most M lenses work wonderful on the camera.

  3. I now own the Leica q as well as the Leica x typ 113. From the specs the q gives me everything I wanted from Leica unfortunately in real use I find color rendition from the x much more pleasing. Skin tones on the q are alway off in jpeg so trying to post a few quick photos online through wifi was easier with the x. Hopefully this is a software update that Leica can do. I also find the Reds and greens to pop more on the x. It is nice having the extra detail of the ff and having a viewfinder but for my use of a carry around street camera the x gives me more ready to use quick jpegs. If I want to spend time in Photoshop I’d more likely pull out my 810 and have larger files to work with(much more details left in shadows). Love everything about the q except it’s jpegs with skin tones, if this is not important to you it’s a great camera. If you have any commenting ability to Leica please ask them to look into skin tones on their ff camera jpegs, thanks.

  4. Hello Steve
    I buy a Leica Q directly from the link H & B nearly 2 months ago ( o8/o9/15) and H&B can’t give me any date.

    You are so close from this great company Leica and maybe you have some information about when the Leica Q will arrive
    Thanks
    Oliver

    • Well, I would have bought from B&H instead of H&B but the Q, for some reason, has been massively delayed and many have gotten angry about it. Typical Leica…stall shipments either to create demand or because of an issue. I am not close with Leica BTW.

  5. Steve, it would be interesting to hear more from you on shooting the 28mm focal length. And may be a full (crazy?) comparison between the GR (II) and the Q ?
    Thanks in advance!

  6. will a panasonic 42.5 nocticron on an oly pen ep5 act as a cheap man’s leica …or perhaps the olympus 12 mm … just curious. how would these combos stack up against the leica Q? can we hope for a crazy comparison? also .. what is a cheaper way to achieve the sony rx1 or a leica Q effect …just for fun steve … :)

  7. Hi where i can buy that camera for 4250 ? seems like you have the price wrong

  8. Recently I have tested over one month with Q. With shooting in raw, the dark side color is more Leica style, but if u shoot pic under sun, some of highlight area in pics are 100% with, can not adjust so much in Lightroom. I had rx1 before, I remember it’s highlight area can be adjusted much better in Lightroom. The quiz is even in many websites says Q has better dynamic range than rx1, I feel rx1 has much better DR especially for white highlights area.

    • The highlights are really blown and can not recover in LR. Especially it does not have HDR setup as RX1. Leica need make firmware to fix it.

  9. You are normally very thorough, but not a word about the optical image stabilization ? – does it work in RAW and JPG.s (it is in the lens, not the camera, and some says it combines jpg ?? – I do not believe this last thing)…and how good does it work ? – comparing Olympus.

    I would love to learn about this.

    THANKS

    • As I said, I had this for 3 days. I normally use a camera for 2-3 weeks before a review, Leica only allowed me to do a quick review, which is why it is not as thorough. This was stated in the review. the IS is in the lens and it is average. Nothing to brag about.

  10. the leica Q seems to have everything i wished for the RX1 – except the price : )

  11. Steve, I am not a pro but based on my observations on the images taken by Leica Q and Sony A7II, it seems like A7II images look better (maybe because of editing??) another question is would you rather have a Leica Q that has a fixed 28mm lens or a Sony A7RII with 2 Zeiss lens of your choice if you are a street photographer? Your advice would be appreciated.

  12. Sheer torture. Went to my local Leica shop to look at the Q, and lo and behold, very discounted T’s.

    https://www.leicastoresf.com/store/used-leica/used-leica-t

    Cause and effect relationship?

    • X and X Vario are being discounted too and many are available used. Great time to buy an X or T series, or a 28mm M lens for that matter.

  13. I’m surprised, given the ability for the leaf shutter to operate at up to 1/2000 (I think), that the flash sync only goes to 1/500. A bit disappointed with that as the ability to kill ambient light with a relatively low power flash is something I do regularly with my now, relatively ancient, Fuji X100. I’d have preferred a 35mm lens (as that’s what I’m used to) but everything else looks great with the Q.

    • Will you change? Leica Q or get the X100T?

      • Actually, I’d love to have a full-frame X100 but, given the shots I tend to take, the original X100 (with firmware updates) is doing me just fine (I’m not sure I see the value in upgrading to the X100T). I rarely print anything (&, if I did, they wouldn’t be larger than 8×10) so, other than depth of field issues, probably slightly better low-light performance, ability to crop and GAS, it probably makes no logical sense to want a full-frame version. As for the Leica, who wouldn’t want one! However, for my purposes, the lack of high-speed leaf shutter sync and a built in ND filter (the Fuji has a 3 stop one), are deal-killers for me – if I actually had to fork out my own money.

        • You have a sound mind. I cannot agree more. Guess I just needed to hear this from someone who has the X100 like me.

          I tested the Q at the shop. I’m really impressed by the build quality. And the pictures I saw on Flickr. Drooling…

          Plus the price became closer to what is affordable. Leica is very apt at the price. Not too expensive but not too cheap either. Well it’s cheaper though.

  14. The Q causes quite a stir.
    After years and years of bodybuilding with the Leica R9 and Pradovit RTM i could use some vitamin Q !

    Will attend my dealer soon.

  15. Eh?

  16. I am Dr. EHIS PhD, here with interest on anyone willing to buy or sell his/her organ (kidney). Please Note: In the internet there are a lot of people with different motives, so please be sincere and truthful because we are not kids, this is about saving lives of others. Lives are at stake. Fraudulent act is not accepted please. Interested persons should email me via [email protected]

    • Wow! Maybe that’s how I could afford a Leica! But then I remembered that they won’t even let me donate blood because I have diabetes and leukemia – organ donations (or presumably sale) are out of the question.

      Sigh.

  17. Definitely a good camera but without ‘body only’ option it’s still a ‘one trick pony’.

  18. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Hi Steve, i got my Q today in norway. Pretty fine, but when the camera is off, then I can hear loose sound from lens group if I move up down it. But it disappeared when it is turned on. But I can also hear some noise from it even ois is off. Is that normal?

    • My review unit did the same.

      • And aperture blades not change the size of opening if adjust the aperture ring, only change the size when shutter button pressed half down. Didn’t as rx1 do.

        • Yes, another thing is it looks that aperture blades will move a bit from one side to another, if I tilt the camera when camera is turned off. The the little opening of f16 move around a bit and not sit in the middle.

    • I doubt this is a fault. The lens is AF so there will be “floating” elements which need some “play” to enable the motors to move them. When power is switched off, the elements are not under any control. This happens with the Canon f1.8/50mm Mk II and the Sigma f2.8/30mm (APS-C) lenses.

      It may be alarming the first time you come across this, but nothing to worry about.

      As for your later query about the aperture blades remaining open despite setting on the lens, I suspect the camera is metering open aperture mode to keep the EVF bright. But I would have thought that there must be a way of live view where you can inspect DoF when stopping down. As I don’t own a Q (would love to) if it can’t operate to give DoF preview then for some users who will use it close up, this could be of concern.

      • Thanks for reply. The issue is:
        1. When switched off, tilt or move camera, will hear some lose sound fron lens. And whole aperture blades circle move a little bit. The aperture closed to the smallest opening at f16 when camera is switched off. So you will see that little opening move from 2 mm to any direction if camera moves.

        2. When camera is switched on, all those issues is gone. Opening of the aperture will stand solid at middle of the lens.

        • Mine does the same thing. Brought it into the Leica Store NYC today. Their demo does same. I think Terry B is correct: floating element. I thought something to do with the OIS (I am not a camera engineer) possibly, but all works fine when the camera is on…images are fine.

          One more quirk for those who shoot Auto ISO. The “minimum shutter speed” is NOT the speed at which the Auto ISO kicks in and bumps up the speed like in Nikon and other cameras. It is only a setting to limit shutter speed to “avoid camera shake” according to Leica.

          • Yes, I tested another demo in photo store yesterday, did same move aperture circle. I tested some shots t hese days, at 1.7 will made even more pretty blurr than rx1

  19. Bought my Q last week….love it so far. Steve, if you have any “pull” with Leica, please let them know that a few firmware enhancements will make this camera perform even better:

    – Please add tabs to the menu. Scrolling through 4 screens to turn the OIS on/off is inefficient
    – Add more functions to the Fn menu/button for quick access
    – Let us customize the other buttons like the movie button on top, and the AE/AF/Frame Line button on the back
    – Please let us shoot only DNG’s if we want….without the JPEG’s. Files are large enough already.

    …and if possible, don’t wait as long as it took for the M240 firmware enhancements to be released.

    Thanks, Steve.

  20. Looks a great camera, thing i like too do is put a roll of film in a camera, then go out and shoot, i really enjoy looking at great photographic images, it’s what photography is about too me, sure seems via this thread more people are really interested in the tool and not the result that it brings.

  21. Is the sensor in the Q the same as the 240? So a QM could be possible with the sensor from the 246? Does that seem as attractive to those who could afford it as it does to me?

  22. Another super review – Thank you Mr Huff. This is obviously a great camera albeit an expensive purchase for the Leica crowd. I would like a Leica but am happy with my RX1. I would however defy anybody to tell the difference between an 18″ x 12 ” or a tad larger print taken by either camera. All equipment these days whether 4/3 , APS-C or F/F offer the type of quality that can easily produce a magazine double spread for even the most stringent and exacting editor – Such is the power of sensor / lens combination of modern day equipment – In fact some of the National Geographic photographers produced art of the highest quality using 35mm film – Now, they were fabulous journalists. Kind regards , Adam.

    • IQ is much different than the RX1 – huge difference in sharpness, pop, color, contrast, etc. Has a 100% different look, more of a slide film look vs the Sony’s more muted print film look – all personal pref as not are stunning. The Leica will perform faster today than the RX1 in all areas though.

  23. Hi Steve did you find a way to mute the beeping focus sound?

  24. Hey Steve. Great review. There’s one thing still unclear to me. Can you tell me if the “electronic zoom” to 35mm and 50mm is simply a crop, or do the increased focal lengths also increase the compression of subject to background as you would expect to see in an optical zoom?

  25. There is another way to understand the Leica Q. If you always shoot in 35mm mode or 50mm mode, and you always shoot RAW, then you always have extra space for re-composing if your initial composition was slightly off. So, that 28mm FOV isn’t to use, it’s a safety net.

    You do lose pixels, obviously. Shooting at 35mm would give you approximately 16Mpx. Shooting at 50mm would give you about 10Mpx.

  26. Leica cameras bodies, mechanics and lenses are made in Portugal. Then they are sento to Germany where they add the electronics from Japan, the red dot logo and “Made in Germany”.
    Listen to what the guy says in the first minute of the video here:
    https://vimeo.com/6551861

  27. Is there any reason to use…or avoid using a uv/ir filter with the Q?

  28. I’m pretty new to Leica and I know it says the Q isn’t weather or water resistant. Not that I would empty a bottle over it, but how much do you reckon this camera can withstand before one needs to start genuinely worrying?

  29. The maximum shutter speed of the Q with the central shutter is 1/2000 sec, which is also the maximum shutter speed I would ever need for anything, except for current digital sensors not offering low enough ISO to handle daylight with a bright prime wide open at this speed.

    As with any other central shutter, you can have flash sync at that speed, too. I would be curious if the camera is actually like the X100 – the X100 offers 1/2000 sec wide open, but offers faster shutter speeds (up to 1/4000 sec) if you close the aperture, still with full flash sync. It should be noted that flash sync speeds above 1/500 sec will lead to problems with many flash systems, since they arent designed for such speeds and might be too slow to handle them, thus one has to work with cords that dont have any builtin delays.

    The electronic shutter provides up to 1/16000 sec, but you cant use flash with that. Thats because while every single pixel is reset and read in 1/16000 sec, the sensor as a whole is read from top to bottom in some time like 1/10 sec (lowest possible estimate for the Q specifically, since the Q supports 10fps and has thus to be able to read the whole sensor in at least 0.1 sec).

  30. Nearly all of your sample shots have either human or animal subjects in them. As someone who shoots mainly nature and landscape, and someone who wishes to push and challenge themselves [not to mention someone who has been looking at second hand Leicas for a few months], am I mad to think that this may be the camera for me? Very excited about this new release ….

  31. I was very interested in the Q until I saw the IQ comparisons between it and the RX1R on Reidreviews (a paid subscription site – I subscribed just to read his comparisons to the RX1R). I have the RX1R and was tempted to “upgrade” to the Q, but then saw how much better the RX1R performs along the edges than the Q (at least among his samples). For my style of shooting that’s important (I often shoot static subjects and want everything in focus to the edges).

    The center performance of the Q was a bit better but not dramatically so. I then went out and shot some more with my RX1R and looked at the files and was amazed all over again by how good this little camera is (my other camera now is the A7R – soon to be A7RII). For those on the fence between the Q and RX1R I recommend checking out that review as well as Steve’s. The Q of course does have faster AF, viewfinder, etc and that may be very important to some to make the Q the better choice, but for me I can “make do” with the RX1R and no longer have any temptation to sell my RX1R and get the Q (plus I slightly prefer the 35mm FOV, which is again a personal preference). The Q is still a beautiful camera and I would like to try it someday.

  32. Gorgeous. Why Leica is 2 years late to release this is beyond me. If they would have. Maybe this time around they could have released a ICL version with 35 cron, 50 lux, 90 cron … they would have owned the market space below the M (A7(r)II + zeiss as main competition). Instead they threw a lot of money at putting out X’s and T’s that just doesn’t make a lot of sense given competition (gorgeous nevertheless ofc). This is definitely heading in the right direction. Pls give us a ICL version, inc. silver body :-)

  33. I’m in Vancouver, BC & I just got mine from Camtec Photo in Montreal. So far, I think this thing in amazing! Great feel, easy to use, awesome design. Yes, I’ll have credit card payments for awhile…..

  34. How do you compare leica M9 + noctilux 50mm f0.95 with leica Q? Since I think CCD outputs better leica color but the price of M9 + noctilux are also much higher than Q..

    Also if you weigh up between Q and canon 5d3 / nikon n810, considering factors like price and convenience, what suggestions do you have?

    • TOTALLY different cameras and lenses so not worthy of comparison. One is a fixed lens wide angle solution, a wide angle 28mm. One is a system camera with a 50mm 0.95 lens, which will give you a TOTALLY different way of shooting from focal length to DOF to weight, size, etc. Answer is BOTH.

    • Thanks! Now I’m hesitating between nikon d750(with 35mm) and leica Q. I love leica’s color but nikon combiantion is also attractive. Does Q perform well in the aspect of leica’s color? And do you have some suggestions between these two?

      • Btw how about xt100t compared to Q? I just found that I like the color from x100t much more than that from d750!

  35. Seems like a camera I’d like to have.
    Now I’ll wait for Fuji to make it and I’ll buy it.

  36. Hi Steve!

    I don’t know if Leica is aware of this but in french “Leica Q” is pronounced/sounds like “Les cocus” which translates to “cuckolds”, maybe a bad naming?

    The camera seems to give excellent image, but the look of the camera is too mainstream for my taste (not technical enough) but that’s my taste.

    Thanks for the review!

    • Noiret, nice one.

      Then there was also the Mazda MR2 (“Emmerdeur” if you are not French and want to look it up, although some offerings are less vulgar than others) but the best has surely to be the Mitsubishi Pajero. You will have to look up this Spanish word and have a laugh when you do. For reasons that will become obvious Mitsubishi used another word for vehicles sold in Spain.

      Used in colloquial English in the UK, sometimes when entering a friend’s house, if they don’t meet you at the door, we might use a word that sounds like “koo-ee” and, roughly, means “I’m here” or “are you there?” or we use it to attract the attention of someone we know but who, perhaps, hasn’t spotted us, from across the street, say. Unfortunately, and not doubt Noiret you have already spotted this, the word sounds exactly the same as the French word “couilles”.

  37. Steve,

    2 questions:

    1. Does this Leica have a super-silent mode? I love that feature on the Sony RX1. And it would be very difficult to move to something that did NOT have this feature for the kind of photos I like to do.
    2. Does the Leica have significantly faster focus in low light relative to the Sony RX1? My own real disappointment with RX1 is that it seems to really search in low light. I mainly mean night shots outdoors. If Leica was noticeably better then I might have to rethink things.

    Gotta say I love my RX1, but I am intrigued because of your Leica review. Thanks.

    • Both of these questions were answered in the review and video review. :) It’s only mode is silent mode just as with the previous X cameras. It is faster than the RX1 – 100% much faster.

      • Steve: My apologies. I read this a day or two ago and was going by memory. Apparently my memory isn’t so hot! :) But if I remember correctly in the video I head lots of “beeps” when it locked focus. So if the Leica is only “silent mode” why was I hearing those little beeps in the video? (Sorry if this is a stupid question.)

        I know you said the focus was fast, but it’s great to hear about it’s focus relative to the RX1 being so much faster. Fantastic.

        The next time I’ll be able to use a camera like this is in January: so I can afford to wait and see if an RX2 (or similar) comes out. But this Leica seems like a perfect gem. I do love the 35 mm of the RX1, but I’m sure I could adapt to 28 mm.

        Thanks for your quick responses.

  38. Looks like a winner to me.
    A go with you everywhere camera i think I’m going to have to have one.
    Thanks for the great article again Steve.

  39. Closer in dimension to the old film Leica M’s. Wonderful.
    Digital Leica M’s got so bloated and overgrown just like digital SLR’s did.

    This is a return to the spirit of the M design in so very many good ways.

    I want one.

    • I think it is a clear deviation from the spirit of M design. M line remains M as Leica introduces the Summilux-M 28mm at the same time. The Q approach is new; no RF, AF and “software correction” in lieu of more expensive optical corrections and precision, and hence Q is Q.

  40. Now this is more like it. Bring Leica into the 21st century with leading-edge technology that helps to justify the higher price. Design is also much more in keeping with Leica than that atrocious Type-T, which has been a (predictable) sales flop.

    Gotta give it to Wetzlar on this one: it looks like an excellent effort and a great camera. It hits all the right notes and any niggles are largely insignificant.

    More like this please, Leitz. :)

  41. Picked up my Q today here in Germany at the local Leica dealer of my
    hometown. It’s my first Leica ever. Big bunch of money that really hurts
    but this camera is simply awesome!

    • Exactly what I did yesterday in Hamburg, my very first Leica and I am sure I will still enjoy this amazing camera when the pain about paying the price is gone. btw I think they saw a lot of first time customers in the store yesterday, when they sold all their new Q´s on the first day…

    • awesome.

  42. Well now I’m really confused!!

    I have an M9-P (with sensor issues) which I am thinking of replacing with a 240. This thought has mainly come about because of the CCD sensor issue, i.e replacing a corroded one with another that “could” also corrode. Or replace the camera altogether with a 240….only for the new sensor (not for the video aspect at all).

    I had an idea of getting the Monochrom (Mk1) to go with the M9, that decision was dropped….. again because of the CCD sensor issue.

    So my mind was almost made up to get the 240..then Leica launched the 246!. Ok I thought, go for both like I was thinking of doing with the M9. Mind finally made up.

    Yesterday the Q was announced….not really something I was really interested in,…. until I read Steve’s review and saw the examples he took…..it seems really close / as good as the M9. Not sure about a fixed lens though.

    What has really thrown a spanner (wrench) in the works is not only the quality that the Q produces but it was Steve agreeing that the Q’s sensor makes the 246 CMOS look “1st generation” this goes for the 240 too I suspect.

    Can we then expect Leica to use the Q sensor in the next M’s?

    How much more can Leica improve the IQ of their camera’s?….I think already with the 240 (and now 246) we have reached medium format territory….A3 is as large as I plan to go. So do we need to wait for a next series of improved cameras?

    If I were Herr Kaufman at Leica I’d be wondering what Leica will be producing in 10 years time….again surely IQ image cannot be improved upon that much. After all I have already read mutterings that the Leica images from the 246 are almost too sharp.

    Now I really don’t know what to do…..I think I am in the same camp as the poster “Wing”, the M system camera’s are special.

    Thanks Steve for the great website…..you have helped me spend lots (from the M8 onwards!) I’m sure my wife would love to have a word with you too!!!!

  43. I can still see the trace of smaller sensor, but the color is impressive indeed.

  44. I’ve come down with a bad case of GAS.

  45. Does anyone know if the menu system offers the option of shooting in B&w mode with different colour filters like yellow or red the same as Fuji systems and many others now do? Nothing in the documentation shows a b&w option for the settings?

  46. As an owner of the Ricoh GR. Who before owning that camera had not used the 28mm much actually find it very useful now especially close up for tight shots. I would love a full frame version.

    This ‘Q’ has got me thinking/dreaming of a 50mm Summilux version with a Monochrome sensor. I would sell most of my gear/wife to have a 50 mono version.

  47. I am an amateur, I currently have a Sony A3000, because my A6000 with lenses was stolen. I have been looking at Leica, but I just can’t justify spending so much. Olympus, Sony, and Fuji are putting out the best bang for the buck… But Leica is beginning to bring to the table what I would justify spending so much.

    My problem with Leica Q is… If they are going to have a fixed prime lens, I feel 35mm focal length is more useable. Next, I don’t crop photos. So, I wish they would have made the lens like the Tri-Elmar, maybe with 20-35-50mm focal lengths. Remember, I’m a newbie, this is what makes sense to me! I completely understand why they haven’t made it an interchangeable lens camera, the M sales would fall!

  48. My original Leica M2 made photography really enjoyable for me… I still have it and it is still a smooth, easy-working camera and is a joy to work with. Leica lost its MOJO when they made the decision to make cheap ‘almost’ Leicas in the form of Minolta/Leica CL and R-Flexes….The Cheap versions were NOT Leicas and did not have the fit and feel of a finely made camera…. The M8 and M9 did not bring back the feel and pride of ownership which I feel with the M2… They were clunky and not really back to the Leica finesse…I got rid of them rather quickly. I think the Monochrome and new Monochrome are giant steps back to Leica pride…. It sounds like the Q is on the same track and the images seem to confirm the thought.

    Thanks for an insightful review.

    • I can’t say for the CL series, but the R cameras were certainly not cheap. If memory serves, the original Leicaflex was more expensive upon its release than the M3 was at the same time. Contrary to what you say, the original and subsequent SL and SL2 were finely crafted instruments. They all weighed a ton and upon their release they were already well behind what was coming out of Japan. This was the problem.

      But pitch an early R against a Nikon F for build quality, and I can say who wins. I still have my original, SL2 and R7 and once owned a Nikon F, so I am able to compare. Also, it is not generally known, unless you’ve owned one, but shutter speeds can be infinitely set between speed settings if one wanted. You certainly can on the SL2 but I need to get my original Leicaflex out of mothballs to see it this was able to, too. Funnily enough, Leica went back to a fully manual camera with the R6.2 because from professional circles there was a demand for it. So much for automation. And the Reflex lenses were top notch, too.

  49. Thanks for the review! Interesting camera.

    I still have the feeling this is a disguised Panasonic camera (which would be good news, then Panasonic is planning to follow Sony into mirrorless full frame).

    It would have been nice to have some comparison shots with the A7 and “cheap” 28/2 lens. To be honest I preferred your shots from your Sony 28/2 review to the ones from this Leica.

    • The only TP info that Leica has given out so far, is that the sensor is not made by CMOSIS or Sony. So thinking caps on, guys, which TP sensor manufacturer could it be?

    • This is what gets my attention. A Lumix full-frame mirrorless camera will cause my wallet to burst open and spew cash in Panasonic’s direction.

      • I understand your sentiments, and someone other than Sony may yet surprise us, but the problem here, IMO, would be the lack of lenses. Panasonic and Olympus both make superb lenses, but for their m4/3rds cameras only, so they would need a completely new lens lineup. (Remember when just about everybody was having a go at Sony when they launched, about the lack of lenses?) However, they would no doubt do what Sony has done with its A7 range, they could use their m/43 lenses in crop mode.

        What is for sure is I simply can’t imagine that the other manufacturers will be leaving this field entirely to Sony. So, possibly interesting times ahead, perhaps?

  50. Looks like a nice step up for Leica but definately not going to spend the money on this I’ll stick my RX1,A7,A7S for full frame needs for a very long time.

  51. I shoot with the M for 95% of my projects, and 28mm is the focal-length deficiency I need to fill soon; pondering the Q to fill that deficiency. IF I stay native to Leica optics, especially a fast lens, the price doesn’t look bad. If I move to Zeiss lenses (of which I have 2 already), the Q looks pricey. Thanks Steve, for a great review!

  52. I’m enjoying my Leica X typ 113 immensely … Leica is doing the business well with these fixed lens cameras. The X is my grab it and go camera now, a great complement to the M-P.

    The Q looks fantastic and I’d nip one up in a second if it had a 50mm lens—for me, I like to use the OVF and LCD with wide lenses like this, where the EVF becomes more valuable to me is when the focal length becomes longer. Also, I have no need to “upgrade” the X … and 28mm isn’t much different to my shooting. So, Leica, the Q50 next please?

    Must be careful what I wish for… :-)

  53. Hi Steve
    I am going to be one of the “No” people on the Q. I picked up the Q and played with it. I think your wish for price is where it should have been. Leica got greedy.

    In Australia, The Q retails for A$5,900 which is the the equivalent of US$4250. The RX1 in Australia is still A$2900 which is closer to US$2K. Bluntly, the US buyer is being overcharged for the RX 1. Right now (forget what was its launch price) the Q is double the pice and some over the RX1 in Australia.

    Leaving that out of the equation, looking at the Q on it’s merits, like all Leicas I applaud the viewfinder and the lens. Nevertheless, there is no quality feel to the camera itself. It’s build quality is no better than the X2. Also, is its image quality really better than the Sony A7 (in all its incarnations)? We now have the A7RII with twice the Q’s resolution at two thirds the price with interchangeable lenses.

    Yes it may be the camera you asked for but Leica delivered it 3 years too late and charged you one third more over what it should be.

    I recall reading an article on Steve Jobs when Apple think about a new product. They often have 10 ideas that are OK but they narrow it down to 3 products that they can make a great product out of. Leica have some great products. I would include the M, the Monochrom and the S as great revolutionary outstanding products. The rest are good but, not great and not great enough to command the price they are asking for. To me the Q’s image quality is not exceptional. I would rate it better than Nikon’s Coolpix A which costs a tenth of the Q but not 10 times better. Not even twice as good. Then again it’s not about image quality, it’s more about how the camera makes you feel when you are using it.

    There is no revolution here. If the Q took M mount lenses and sold for US $3.5K, then I would notice. If it was a full frame version of the Leica IIIg I would scream “Ausgezeichnet” (“Excellent” in English). Call me harsh but this one is a OK but not great. The test will be 12 months from now when someone goes to sell one of these second hand.
    Thanks again for a fantastic website.

  54. First time I’ve heard myself think ‘Hey that Leica looks good value’. Well done Leica.

    I still don’t have $4K spare, but the deam is just that bit closer.

  55. This camera is realy so nice. Well priced, and the functions are so well thought out.. I realy admire this camera. True Manual Focus experience, macro function and a very good autofocus plus a Leica style a (modern) Leica feeling! Can´t imagine what else I would like… Unfortunately, 28mm is not focal length of choice. I useually photograph with eather 35 or 50mm… If this camera would come with a 35mm lens, I would realy love to order it… and its a Leica!! Iam Aware of the croppig capability, but I dont realy believe in it. Tho I don´t have experience in cropping Pictures of 28mm into 35 or 50mm, I do not believe that it would be the same in Terms of DOF etc etc.

    Nevertheless, I got nice offer for a mint 10month old Leica 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE for 2900€ which I accepted and that I will use on my A7s. Beatifully this lens will keep stable in price and I will be able to sell it with no loss of Investment one day. I read one or two times already that Leica says that the Q is the start of a new Family, or series. Therefor I will sit back and see whether we will be suprised with an 35mm anytime soon. But if it would be like that, I belivbe Leica should tell us. Noone wants to spend 4k € to find out 4 month later that your more favourable focal lentgh will be offered soon.

    • Sascha, your observations about DoF are correct. The Q has a lens of 28mm true focal length and so DoF will always be that of a 28mm lens, irrespective of the crop used.

      This is readily observable if you have two cameras side by side, the Q set to its 50mm crop and the other with a 50mm lens. The FoV should be virtually the same. With the same aperture and focus settings the two images would seem to be the same but you know already that the 50mm optic will exhibit less DoF than a 28mm so, other things being equal, no matter how one uses the Q the DoF will always be that set by lens.

  56. Leica have massively upped their game and have just redefined how they imagine the future of their flagship M camera series. Sony’s A7 series has put a dent into the recent success of Leica and it must be a thorn in Wetzlar’s flesh. Now, Integrating all these technologies in an all-in-one package means we are going to see no less with the successor of the M240 (Less wouldn’t make any sense in a camera that will cost more).

    Can’t wait to put my M lenses on “The re-imagined M”!

  57. Thank you, Steve. Great review, as usual. It’s not a camera for everyone, but nobody can say that it has nothing to offer. It has a LOT to offer those who want that focal length.

    The MF-AF switch is probably the best thing I’ve seen in an AF camera. I mean, no other camera or lens that I know of does this so elegantly. I had a Tokina zoom with a clutch but it was nowhere near as elegant as this.

    Imagine the Q as a system: and every lens has that type of MF-AF switch. I am sure that you have already told Leica to make this a system.

    You wrote:

    “The only way this would have been better is if they made it in a body only version for $3500. Then we could have added our M lenses to the Q for more options. Then again, why would Leica kill M sales by releasing a Q version at half price? They wouldn’t , and there ya have it.”

    No, I think you’re wrong. Steve Jobs made the point very well: cannibalize yourself, otherwise somebody else is going to. I think the Q and M systems can live happily side by side. The M bodies should have CCD sensors and the Q bodies can have CMOS sensors. I think that will work perfectly.

    I think the ISO sweet spot for aesthetic effect is 12,500. It looks like old-school slide film, something like Ektachrome 400, with its fine, sharp grain. Beautiful. I’d shoot at this ISO just for this look. To hell with post-processing – the camera does it better!

  58. Steve can you clarify about the optional digital crop modes

    So if you select 35mm or 50mm does the evf show the full 35mm frame or does it render the same 28mm image with overlaid 35 or 50mm frame lines the same way the M cameras do?

    Also do you know what megapixel size each “digital focal length” results in?

    And finally is there any way of working out the relating aperture value that say the 35mm crop would provide if you shot it at f1.7?

    Thanks in advance

    Rob

    • No I believe it shows the crop image but to be honest, I tried it once and do not remember 100%. People are getting their Q’s already so this info should be out soon.

      • The EVF shows the 28mm range and you see frame lines for 35 or 50, I`ve been told you even can change the colors of the frame lines but I did not check that now…

    • As we are addressing exposure only, the intensity of the photons falling over the whole of the sensor is uniform, so the crop does not affect exposure and you shoot at f1.7 as normal. However, the full sensor receives, in total, more light over its area so dynamic range should be better in FF mode than in the crop modes.

      • I need to add that when the crop is employed, whilst the lens apertures behave as normal, you may get a different exposure indicated. This will naturally occur if you shoot from the same distance, as the “crop” view of the subject is effectively a slight telephoto view, and may not give off the same average luminosity level. Clearly if the crop image is darker or lighter than the average of the whole, then the evaluative reading will be different. It will be up to you to decide which you prefer.

        However, if you move away from your subject to effect a similar framing FOV, then the evaluative metering should give a similar reading to when you used the FF.

  59. Hi Steve

    how do you like the macro mode? what’s the minimum focus distance?

  60. I have been shooting with the Sony RX1 for a few years now, and love the camera! It does have a few serious flaws though, way more serious then not having a build in EVF and an articulating LCD. For me both the AF and the manual focus are the main problem with the RX1. The AF is simply to slow to shoot anything that moves, even at slow pace. This leave me with shooting manual only, but the focus by wire combined with a not to trustworthy focus peaking leave a lot to wish for. It seems to me that Leica have found the perfect solution to this problem with the Leica Q, having a seemingly very good AF for a full frame mirrorless, and more importantly a focus distance scale that allows for zone focusing!

    I have been waiting for a RX1m2 to fix some of the RX1 problems, but it seems like Leica beat Sony at their own game with the Leica Q!

  61. why 28mm?? ask 100 people -90 want 35mm!
    Leica too afraid of RX!

    • “why 28mm?? ask 100 people -90 want 35mm!”

      Perhaps because for a great many people, the 28mm compares favorably to what they are used to seeing on their cellphones?

      I suspect that there is a a very real market for folks whose main photography experience *ever* is cellphone cameras with wider than 35mm equivalent angle of view and 16:9 form factors.

      Anything longer than 28mm on 3:2 is going to look uncomfortably “zoomed in” or “cropped” to them. The 28mm will look familiar and “natural” and the 35mm and 50mm options will look “fun.”

      At least some of these folks can afford to “step up” to much better quality than their
      cellphones, but aren’t attracted by the honking-big DSLRs (or nearly-as-big mirrorless FF) that are widely perceived as the one true path to quality photography.

      The Leica Q has the chops and the logo to provide a good entry level “real camera,” with both quality and logo bragging rights, for anyone who can afford it, and I would be surprised if anything longer than 28mm would be as marketable to this segment.

      • I think you are right about the cell phone user market segment. I never thought of it this way. Actually, I fell in love with the 28MM FF focal length back when the only guy using mobile communication was Dick Tracy talking to Sam Ketchum on his wrist radio. Times have changed!! I think this Q will be a HUGE seller for Leica!

  62. I trust Steve’s review that this Q has very good IQ but at $4250, near five thousand dollars, I will just keep using my RX1 and not look back.

  63. Camera looks to be in an excellent…after reading your review, other than personally handling it myself, my question is about the battery life. The Sony seems to be hard on its battery, how is the Leica Q? I almost convinced to buy this new Leica Q instead of a 28/2 Summicron for my M…almost the same money for a faster lens and a backup camera on long trips.

    Thanks for your report.

  64. Hi Steve,
    This is really an awesome camera. Too bad it came out when I just bit the bullet & got an M. Damn you Leica!!! I’m really tempted to get this as may all-around unit because it fits my style well. But on occasions where I take portraits, this falls short. However, I noticed that the minimum focusing distance is far nearer than the standard M lens. Is it possible to take decent portraits (head & shoulder) by moving closer to the subject?

  65. I was hoping… but 28mm- I find 35mm too wide to use as as a “normal” lens. No…Leica did not get it right- at least not for me.

  66. For me, I don’t like the comparison to the Sony RX1. A better question is ‘Q’ or “A7rII” – yes they are two different systems, but for me the comparison is bang for the buck. At $4250 the Q is about the same as the A7r2 + $1k lens.

    I will have to see a bunch more of the photos, but I do like the Lecia look in photos.

  67. The Leica 28/cron is $3700 alone. Yet this is a lens that is made for this camera and at 1.7, that’s plenty fast. I think this would be a perfect travel camera and complement to the MM.

  68. Lovely review. Would have liked a photo of the size comparison to the M.

    And sadly Josh at LeicaMiami charged my card for the full amount on my preorder today.

  69. Yes! If it can to bulb exposures of minutes rather than seconds, then it really will have just made my perfect camera!

  70. Finally! Leica with an EVF. Thank you. I may have found a new backup to my Monochrom.

  71. Steve can you set this Monochrome only. I like tonal rendering from what i see here for monochrome work?

  72. Did you find the 1/2000 max mechanical speed being an annoyance or is it easy to switch over to the electronic shutter speeds?

  73. Another great review, Steve!

    The images I’ve seen so far taken with this little camera has been very impressive… and I don’t think I’ve been impressed by a fixed focal length camera in a long time since the X100T.

    Wanted a companion secondary camera to my E-M1.

    I’ve always wanted to go back to Fuji (use to own the original X100 but sold it) and the X100T was something I had considered adding to my bag to get nice wide to standard focal length, but after renting it, it didn’t seem to completely live up to my hopes and dreams and decided to not get it. The electronic range finder option was a great idea, however, having tried it, it did not live up to expectations.. although it allowed for manual optical focusing (& more confident AF confirmation), it was a bit far in the corner.. not too bad, but it’s really small.. magnified view and focus peaking is still hard to see in that little overlay and you’re best to benefit from it in the best lighting.. once it’s dark or even dim conditions, it’s near useless.. and the EVF in general is one of noisiest in low light.. though, perhaps the best refresh-wise in optimal lighting conditions, however.. anyways, thought with the addition of the tele and wide converters to get 28mm and 50mm out of the X100T would have been nice, also in 1 (+ a few accessories) package.. again, performance and IQ didn’t astound me like the E-M1 still does.

    Sorry, to go off on the X100T a bit, but in relationship to a compact quality camera that can cover 28-50mm (in 35mm equiv.), this new Leica Q sure seems to hit the sweet spot… but, the entry price still hurts a bit.. more on that..

    I was a little put off by the 28mm focal length, but it has crop modes for 35 and 50… I wish it wasn’t cropped at 35 and 50, but still, on a 24mp FF sensor, I believe it will still be pretty darn good, better than an APC-C or smaller sensor could do in both detail, bokeh and cropped factored aperture value.

    Won’t have to fuss with swapping around teleconverters, either (and resetting the appropriate lens correction in camera after the change).

    I like the high ISO performance I’m seeing making it even better for low light.

    Does it have an electronic shutter? I see some people mentioning that.. would be great if it did for full silent operation.. one of the things I really enjoy in my e-m5 mk2. but not a deal breaker if it doesn’t provided it as silent mechanically as you seem to be indicating.

    I didn’t think I’d gravitate toward the Q as much I have now.. and I’m sure I will be even more after looking over the dozens of other reviews and information that has surfaced today on this new Leica camera.

    Going back to the cost for this thing.. admittedly it is a bit higher than I had hoped.. was hoping for $3-3.5k at most.. but, not surprising.. hey, it’s a true Leica, what are you going to do?..

    This got me thinking about me wanting to get a M-P 240.

    I was saving for an M-P 240, and I know it’s more than double the Q to get a M body plus 1 Leica lens, but it’s not even the same camera.. different feel and use wise.. IQ.. hmm… that’s just it.. it should be just as good, if not better as you say.. perfectly matched high quality lens to sensor. Ideally if money were less of an issue, I’d get both.. but, say I get both, if I were to go off of IQ alone, would I really need both? Either be happy with a 28-50ish range or allow for the possibility of wider and longer with an M body… at a much higher investment.. but then again, if you got good glass, they’ll hold their value better than any camera body and can be adapted to nearly any mirrorless system.. which is all I ever use these days and imagine in the foreseeable future as well… so wouldn’t the investment in an M body or more importantly the Leica glass you can get and use on an M body be a higher, but more long lasting investment?

    Hard call… I’m leaning towards an M rangefinder still with lens(es), even though it costs a lot more. I’d love to still get this Q as a 2ndary camera just for those moments where I didn’t want to lug my more expensive M and lens combo and keep it as small and light as possible.. plus, AF seems like a great luxury to have for those moments you simply don’t have the time to dial in all the settings to get the best shot with an M.. and you could confidently hand it to someone inexperienced to help take photos as well… more casual and less technically inclined experience.

    The Q is a damn nice little camera.. 4x more than most other cameras which could probably do just as good, or close enough for most people, but it’s seems strangely worth it in a number of ways for a Leica.

    Damn, may have to end up with both some day, huh?

  74. Nice. But for around 1/7th of its price, Ricoh grII will soon be released. Sure it has not Leica’s Q IQ (not Pentax Q), but you can carry the GR inside your pocket (and is much lighter). It will be my option.

  75. Woah ! A real fullframe Leica that verges on affordable !? I’d always thought an M-E was the best i could ever hope for, and even then I’d still need a lens. I think theyll sell stacks of these. And Gr and Coolpix A users can show how versatile the 28mm fov can be.

  76. Did you try the cropped sensor (35 and 50) to see what the IQ was?

  77. I love your comments about the previous Leica add-on EVF: “We were forced to buy a $600 external wart of an EVF…” Leica has warts after all. Keep up the expressive writing! ulfie

  78. Great Review!! How fast is the AF compared to some of the faster focusing mirrorless cameras ?

    • I demo it in the video but its quick. Not an issue but its not for continuous action shots of course, it’s still a Leica :) But AF is the best of any Leica to date.

  79. Hi Steve, thanks for the mini-review! Could you briefly discuss the close-focus performance? It looks like you said it doesn’t shoot at 1.7 at minimum distance? If so, what does it get bumped up to? And, what’s the minimum focus distance? Thanks!!

  80. I really like my RX1 but after holding this new gem in my hands this evening at the local Leica Store, I am afraid there is no way not to buy the Q. The few things I don`t like or miss with the RX1 are nearly perfect at the Leica Q; manual (yes real manual focus at its best) and AutoFocus are great and the macro feature with the second focus scale is an amazing gimmick. BTW I don´t mind to step down to 2,8 when taking subjects about 6cm away from the front lens, although I prefer to decide myself instead of being overruled by the camera electronics. The integrated EVF feels so much better than the accessory one for the sony and on top you get a touch screen and can use NFC for remote control. Sure, the Q is expensive but the sony RX1, with lens hood and EVF, was about 3.700,-€ so it is “just” 300,-€ more for a much better build camera that will hold its value better than most of the other brands. Hope to get mine tomorrow, the Leica Store already had a long list of orders and a limited bunch of cameras on the way to fulfill these orders.

  81. Thanks for your insight on the camera Steve. Like J Griffith, I too was having a great day until I read your review. Visiting your site daily for the last few years has convinced/inspired me to want to shoot rangefinders and to buy my first (used) Leica M8/M8.2; I’ve even set up meetings to see some this weekend from sellers off Craigslist in my city. I currently own and love a Fuji X100, but wanted to truly experience using/owning a Leica rangefinder camera. But along with a used Zeiss lens to begin my journey with rangefinder-style shooting, the total bill could come to $3500-4000CAD, making the Q looks like the smarter choice. It even comes with a warranty compared to the M8!

    I first wasn’t too thrilled with the 28mm perspective as I prefer 35mm. But when I realized that this would afford you the ability to see beyond the 35mm and 50mm framelines, like a true rangefinder, I thought it was brilliant! Leica was able to provide shooters with a modern take on rangefinder-style shooting, just like Fuji, with a simple solution. Well done!

    Question for you Steve: how bad is the EVF black-out when shooting? Having no black-out and the ability to know that I’ve caught the decisive moment (and to continue tracking the subject afterwards) is definitely another thing I love about rangefinder shooting. Does the EVF black-out disrupt the shooting experience (and one’s “flow”) or is it really a non-issue?

    Thanks Steve!

  82. Is it not available for order yet? No website seems to have it up yet. Any word, Steve? Thanks!

  83. This time no silly and misleading “mini-M” teaser that at the end of the day just creates scorn and derision after the actual product is revealed.

    Some consider 28mm as the perfect focal length for street, but you have to get close to people. Leica M style. Some would have preferred a fixed 35mm or 50mm lens. And perhaps these would have been smaller than 28mm. Of course many are daydreaming about a Leica Q with M mount, but would the sensor be ok for the shorter focal length? After all, the nerds and tinkerers go for Sony E mount. The rich do not really want to carry a bagful of lenses.

  84. I really hope this lights a fire under Sony to put out a curved sensor FF RX2. It would be able to one-up the Q on size with a smaller/simpler lens.

    • Actually, Sony will light a fire under all others when their curved sensor technology becomes established in the photographic world!! It is the way of the future.

  85. Hi Steve and thanks for the review, looks like a great camera and a more affordable entry to owning a Leica for those of us looking to make the leap. That said, like several folks have already commented, the 28mm lens seems an odd choice.

    I did read on one of the rumor sites that the Q would have a 50mm mode, is this the ‘on demand’ EVF display of 35mm and 50mm you mention in the article? If so does this mean you are just getting a crop corresponding to 35mm or 50mm field of view and did you get a chance to try these? Do you lose much in terms of resolution?

    Thanks
    Imanol

  86. Steve,

    I’m assuming that you can shoot this lens wide open at close focus without Leica automatically increasing the aperture like they did on the latest X camera. Is this correct?

  87. Slightly different take on the lens debate…

    I’d rather see a 40mm Summicron… like the Leica CL. It would have a smaller lens at the “perfect” normal FL. And Summicron = sharp!

    Oh, well… I think I’d much prefer to continue dreaming of owning a Leica than actually owning one.

    • I agree. A 40mm Summicron, like the Leica CL, would have been the perfect compromise focal length for a fixed-lens camera; and with its f/2.0 maximum aperture, it would have been a lot more compact, which is another advantage.

  88. This raises the bar for the next M.

    It makes the CMOSIS sensor on the M246 look “very first-generation”. Leica should have adopted this sensor for the new Monochrome.

  89. Looks like a wonderful camera. Definitely would have gotten it except for the one thing that for me personally is a deal breaker…no articulated LCD screen. I know that sounds petty but since I already have an RX1r I’ll stick with it for now. The 2 things that annoy me the most about the RX1r are the lack of integrated EVF and non-articulating LCD. Leica got it right with the EVF but for the life of me I don’t understand the lack of a tiltable LCD. Hopefully Sony will get it right on both counts with the rumored RX2.

    Thanks for the mini-review, Steve. All the best to you and yours…

  90. Awesome development! Love the form factor, with integrated evf.

    I hope this really lights a fire under Sony. They are fully capable of matching this in an RX-1 II, with better focusing and built-in evf, for 3/4 of the $$.

    I just hope Sony keeps the RX-1 lens as it is; it’s pheNOMenal. Looking at the parallel post by Chad Wadsworth, I think I prefer the rendering of the Sony fixed lens – to my eyes, its bokeh “out-Luxes” the Leica by about 25% cream. ;^)

  91. For the first time, Leica has made a camera that I would consider buying. They are definitely going in the right direction with this beautiful camera. Is this a first step to an interchangeable lens, non rangefinder camera? I think they would do very well in that market, seeing what they have done with the Q. I am sure they are scared of hurting the M line though.
    All that being said, I will not buy one, because I can’t justify buying it as a second camera. It is too big, and too expensive for a fixed lens body. Now if it were 25% cheaper, or had more megapixels, I might be tempted.

    • Why do you need more mega pixels?

      • If you’re using it in one of the crop modes, more Mpx would be handy. Not a huge deal-breaker though. IMHO you would ignore this camera if you didn’t want to use the 28mm focal length most of the time.

  92. Hi Steve, I am hearing various things about image stabilization. Anything about this?

    • Well, if it is the same as the IS in the X Vario and X, it’s nothing to rave about. I should know more any moment now on this.

      • Steve, there is an optical IS build in. Great!

        28mm wide angle is easy to master in short time. Landscape and cities, rooms etc. right from the start and portraits, well in contrary to a rangefinder’s glass window you can hit the sweet spot when playing with the right distance. The Ms show only an emotionless view with cramped frame lines in the viewfinder. The learning curve is much steeper compare to Q or other cams as DSLRs or EVFs in terms of proper framing the subject.
        When hickups are missing the Q is a sweat beast or “Texas Ricoh”…….. ;-)

  93. As I read the review, my breathing become labored and my heart rate increased… I was mentally figuring out what I could sell to purchase this beauty. BUT – the 28mm FOV is a deal-breaker. It’s just too wide for an all-around camera. Even if you “crop” to 35 or 50mm, you can’t remove the obvious wide-angle distortion, especially in portraits. I have an RX1R, and would keep that until my last days IF it had a built-in EVF (fingers crossed for an RX2 with EVF!).

    That said, if the Q sported a 35mm/2 (or, even better, a 50/2), I would have pre-ordered already, then taken the next two weeks to figure out how to pay for it! Ha ha!

    • You wrote, “Even if you “crop” to 35 or 50mm, you can’t remove the obvious wide-angle distortion, especially in portraits.”. That simply isn’t true. If you pretended this camera had a 35mm lens and used it exactly as if you were shooting with a 35, and then cropped to 35mm in post, the image would look exactly the same as if the camera did have a 35mm lens. The only difference is that your image would have fewer pixels than if the image had been shot by a true 35mm camera/lens. The wide angle distortion you are referring to only occurs if you shoot closer to the subject with the 28mm lens than you would have shot with the 35mm lens.

      • The distortion from a wide lens that will still be there after cropping. Look at the Mini shot in Steve’s review. If you cropped in to an effective 50mm FOV, it would still be distorted.

        • You are right, if the shooting distance to the subject remains the same. If one shoots from 3ft with the camera at full 28mm FOV, any distortions in the lens will be the same if shot from the same distance but the sensor crop mode is used. However, when selecting, say, the 50mm frame, then for the same FOV the shooting distance will be greater, closer to 5ft, and thus any distortions are likely to go unnoticed, or at the most will match a normal 50mm lens shot from the same distance.

        • This is kind of like the issue with smaller sensors, aperture, DOF and focal length: occasionally confusing, but once you sort it out, it’s simple in the end. Anyway, Terry explained it correctly.

          Focal length is not relevant, it’s the distance to the subject that causes perspective distortion. So, using the same principle, telephoto lenses do not cause perspective compression: it’s the distance to the subject that matters.

    • I’m not sure that any unusual perspective distortion would be present. I mean, a 28mm lens on an APS-C sensor would not produce any more distortion than a 42mm lens would on an M9.

  94. Beautiful camera, I wish it was a 35mm instead… hopefully by the end of the year will be able to find samples in the 3500dlls range, like the X which 6 months later it is very easy to find one in $1600 US new instead of the 2200 retail tag.

  95. Interesting…priced roughly the same as the 28mm Summicron-M (at least once the 12% rebate expires) and about $1,700 less than the new 28mm Summilux-M… This camera seems like a great option for someone looking to shoot that focal length, with the only drawback versus the M lenses being that you can’t interchange the lens with an M240 or MM, for example… But to get the EVF and high ISO capability (by the way, that image at ISO 3200 is amazing) – along with a sensor and lens that seem perfectly matched – puts this as a very viable option for the 28mm focal length… I was in the market for a 28mm M lens but am probably leaning towards the Q now… Thanks for the excellent review and video, Steve…

  96. Talk about about steeling Leica’s Q thunder; Sony A7R Mark II just announced!!!

    • Well, 100% different camera – If Sony would have announced the RX2, that would have stole the thunder. But the A7sII is much different than the Leica Q, I should know, just shot with the A7RII ;) It’s incredible though – the best of the S, II and R, all in one with some crazy good improvements and features. THIS will be the camera to beat in 2015 (Sony A7RII)

  97. Juicilicious! And for once, the UK pricing is good at £2,900, taking advantage of the current exchange rate with the Euro, and Leica throws in a fast lens as well!

    In 1996 I purchased the Ricoh GR1 precisely because it was kitted out with a 28mm lens, and a good one at that. It was my go anywhere camera, for the lazy hazy days of summer.

    Steve, whilst reading down your comments always in the front of my mind was why only a fixed lens, as I thought it would have been relatively easy to fit a manual M mount, especially as the Q has a very high res EVF. Then you said it, it’s IQ is better than the M240 and it would clearly have hit sales of the M digital bodies. And about this you’d be absolutely right, and I’d have bought one in an instant. One can’t have everything in life.

  98. This is the camera that will come soon as an interchangeable lens version with M-mount. Bet on that?

    • I dont think so. The M series will be the only one in full frame. Also in the future. But they might bring over some of the new technology over to the next M. From these samples alone i would like to agree with Steve, that the sensor in this camera is better than what you find in the latest M. So yes, maybe you will find lots of this new Q in the next Leica release but they will still call it “M” ;)

    • The M-mount Q is IMPOSSIBLE: remember it has an in-lens leaf shutter! S no M lenses on this nice camera….. ever.

      Leica won’t be interrested in cannibalizing their M sales!

  99. So for $150 more in the UK i can have an A7ii with IS, with the 35F14Z FE 35 MM F1.4 ZA and SEL55F18Z. They both fit in my Ryker and are comfortable out all day. I am a huge Leica fan but cannot see the benefit of the Q.

  100. Need it, thanks a lot Steve! ;)

  101. Surely Leica has to be thinking that if the Q goes over well, they’ll need to look into doing an interchangeable-lens camera with a similar technology platform…?

    After all, the Q’s feature set plays well to both branches of Leica’s traditional clientele: the celebrities, hedge-funders and Middle Eastern potentates will enjoy a camera that’s “M-looking” but easier to use, while hardcore documentarians will benefit from image stabilization and an EVF, both of which are helpful in low-light shooting. But many in both of those groups would like the option of something other than a 28.

    • While I’m sure there are many well heeled Leica clients I always thought it was a misnomer that Leica is for only rich people. In not rich in any shape or form but I have a decent Leica collection that I built over the years by waiting for cameras to hit the resale market a finding deals on EBay. I found a mint T for $1000 and a mint 75 1.8 Voigtlander for $400 in last month alone. I’m just a big supporter of Leica and think it’s a democratic brand that allows all types partake. Whether you save up and to get a beat up M2 and an old Summarit or have the money to buy this Q without a second thought, there’s something for everyone.

    • JL

      I really do not think Leica will try to make a fourth interchangeable lens mount if the Q is successful. The Q is about reducing some of the manufacturing complexity Leica has to deal with. An interchangeable lens mount adds quite a bit of complexity and precision to the manufacturing process. Not to mention making the strength and size requirements of the body and lenses bigger.

      If the Leica Q sells well, they will do a camera with a different focal length. It is a simpler solution.

  102. The shutter dial shows 1/2000 max but specs say 1/6000…is that while using electronic shutter? Will it shoot only jpegs if using electronic shutter?

  103. It isn’t 35 because that would compete with the rx1 and their own 35 summicron and summilux. They should have made it a 40mm and about 3k$ imo

    • DonSantos – That doesn’t make any sense….the 28mm focal length also competes with their newly announced 28mm Summilux (this Q is $1500 cheaper and comes with a camera attached), and why would they care if they are competing against the RX1…this apprears to be a better camera.

      So…I disagree with both sides of your argument:)

    • Pretty much everyone has a 35mm so 28mm and that too at 1.7 is a masterstroke. RX1 does not have a built in EVF and is f2 so it beats the RX1 and of course the IQ is just brilliant looking at these images

  104. Hello Steve. Would you let go your A7II for this one?

    • Noooo as the A7II is my general all around use tool. I can slap a 16mm on it, a Leica M lens on it, a telephoto on it, and right now I am testing the 851.2 Speedmaster. Love my Zeiss Loxia lenses as well. So no, totally different cameras.

      • I am tempted to buy this Q but somehow i just felt that L’s camera tech will never be up to mark like the Sony! My 2 cents! Really looking forward for your hands on A7rii review soon. Sold off my A7ii and ready to buy this WOW factor! Hopefully my Leica M lenses will find a new home in A7Rii unlike the previous predecessor. Cheers

    • A7II will become the best buy of FF mirorless camera. Sony charges it the same price as A7 when it announced. If you don’t mind the lacking of IBIS and plastic body, you can find an A7 under $900 brand new.

    • BTW, Leica Q did Sony A7RII a big favor. Sony announced it’s new cameras right after Leica Q announcement. The price for A7RII’s is 40% higher than A7R. With all the new features, the higher price still reachable to most of anthusiasts.

      • And you get 11bit color with the A7rII, and 14bit color with the Q
        And you get an EVF with just 2,3 MP, vs 3.6 in the Leica Q
        and still now lossless RAW with Sony …

  105. Steve: who’s making the Q sensor?

  106. Great review video Steve, especially since you had no documentation. Shows how simple the camera is to use.

    I think this model is a big clue as to the new features the next M will have. 50k ISO, maybe body stabilization and a built-in OVF/EVF.

    As I prefer the 35mm FOV for the majority of my shooting I would seriously consider this camera as a replacement for my M-E. However, I can’t wait to see if these modern improvements show up in the next M!

  107. After all the brouhaha, I feel my Olympus EM-1 can do everything just as well, takes interchangeable lenses and is roughly the same size ( no, I never make prints over 16 x 20 inches ). And, for 1/3 the price! Sort of like a Ferrari 458 against a Corvette ZR-1 or whatever the designation.

  108. Would be perfect for street shooting !

  109. Looks great! If only it had a tilt-able LCD…gotten addicted to shooting that way with my NEX 7. Perhaps I could adapt for this.

  110. Steve:

    I was having a good day until I read the Leica Q review. FF & 28mm, my favorite walk around focal length, (from the old Olympus M1 days, long gone but not forgotten).

    Fixed lense thereby ending gear acquisition syndrome. For me that’s a must!

    Fantastic image quality, and finally an EVF.. LOVE IT!

    I have been saving (my Green Stamps, geezer that I am). for a Fuji X100t, and having a masters degree in vacillation, this Q is review is very upsetting. My plans were fixed until this morning.

    I may take my meager Fuji funds to the craps tables at the Wynn in July, and see if I can’t parlay them into a Q purchase quickly. Since I intend to celebrate a 40 year anniversary with my present wife in August, I managed to negotiate this arrangement well in advance of the Vegas trip.

    I am a believer in Leica gear, owning a Leitz Pradovit 35mm projector made by Singer Mfg.who also made the Kodak Carosel projector. Glass lenses in the Leitz, plastic lenses in the Kodak, unbelievable difference in side by side tests. Almost like a test of different films.

    This Q costs 3 times more than I wanted to spend, but it’s on my bucket list, and before I kick it, I will have one.

    The information you provide is NOT free!

    But I will continue to read it daily.

    Thanks for providing a site that is a great diversion in these times of stress (congnitive loading ).

    Over and out.

    J. G.

    • @24mp 28mm is not an issue, the only thing is that DOF wont be as good as one with 35 or 50, butttt IQ is nonetheless perfect. so buy the Q, crop in if you have to, IMO a non-interchangeable lens camera needs a 28, sometimes you will find yourself in a tight spot and you wont have the room for 35 or a 50.

  111. How would you rate the Q against the Fuji X100t?

    • Q slays it in every single way from body style, build, IQ, color, etc. NO contest.

      • I’m sure you’re right but does the lens have a leaf shutter? I find that such a bonus on my, now ancient but much loved, Fuji X100 because the ability to kill the ambient with a cheap external flash & portable softbox is something I really enjoy in full-body portrait work. The 28mm is also a bit wide for general purpose, IMO.

        • It does have a leaf shutter

        • I love my X100S too! But I just tried out a Q a couple days ago… First, it does have a leaf shutter and high sync speed. That’s the big advantage of a fixed lens and I like it. No built-in ND like the X100, but still very usable for daytime flash. It’s also nearly silent.

          But one big difference I really liked about the Q is the manual focussing. It’s Wayyyyyy better – Instead of the tiny little ring on the Fuji, there’s a full focus ring with the little, what’s it called on a Leica? Knob, I guess. So I can use my left fingertip and manually focus *fast.* Also, the aperture ring is much easier to access.

          Granted, the lens sticks out much farther from the Q body than the Fuji so there’s more room for focus and aperture rings, but I do like the manual handling much better. I would actually use manual focussing a lot on the Q. I only use it on my Fuji when I really have to.

          It’s not focus by wire, it’s true geared focus like a real lens. You move the ring to the same spot and it’s at the same focus distance every time. Move it to infinity and give it a push, and it clicks into autofocus mode.

          Depth of field lines, a focus scale that changes when you switch to macro… it’s a super nice-handling camera. I don’t know if I’ll let my X100S go, but I’m definitely getting a Q. Oh, and the autofocus is faster than my Fuji’s too, astoundingly enough – not something Leica is known for :-) but they nailed it. It’s fast.

  112. the way steve trying to avoid a clear statement about the evf tells a lot.

    • No idea what you mean here…

      • don´t get me wrong, there´re a lot of features to discuss on the Q, lens, sensor, ergonomics, af and so on. but what really matters is the quality of the evf because it can be the bottleneck of a great camera system. to my eyes you keep your statement suspiciously short about it.

  113. I am thrilled. Image Quality seems to be as good as it gets and i like modern features like wifi, tap focus, ect. While you have not posted a macro shot (or did i miss it ?) i guess that also adds to the versatility of the camera. 24mp gives you enough room for cropping if needed and for me 28mm is the best focal lens they could have gone for. I travelled a lot and visited lots of cities and 35mm often times was just not wide enough. I think this should be the perfect one camera one lens travel companion.

  114. I feel GAS hitting me again… I have the RX1 and would love to see those two compared (IQ). Does the Q beat the M 240 on pure IQ?

  115. Seems like an excellent camera. Like the all the features including 28mm choice. Can always crop to 35 or 50 with that much resolution. Any impression on potential battery life?

    • My big question on the Leica Q was the battery life. Unanswered until I found out for myself by buying one. I really like this camera EXCEPT the battery life has proved to be a little bit low. Using the live-view screen on the back of the body, auto review and image stabilizer features, I get about 250-300 images…

  116. Nice review, Steve. I do wonder who develop their 24 megapixel sensor? Wa it by any chance Sony? And if so, is it the same that comes in the a7m2…

  117. It may be early to say this, but it seems to me that the Q suffers from the same skin colour rendering problem as the M. Is it the same sensor? I understand it may be improbable that Leica returns to a ccd sensor, but then, isn’t it possible to get better skin tones with their cmos sensor?

  118. Hey Steve, I wonder why they chose a 28mm lens?

    I always thought 28mm to be a very pure focal length. Most times, the resulting shot is either very good or very bad.

    I was always told that you can’t hide away from poor framing of a 28mm lens, and if it’s a great shot, then you know you’ve ‘earnt it’.

    Looks like a stunningly capable camera, however, I don’t think the 35 and 50mm frame lines are necessary. Why would you want to conciously crop?

  119. I think the big factor for a lot of folks will be that a RX1, while maybe under spec’d to some degree, can be bought used for around $1300 these days, and for that price it is one heck of a camera. Buying new ? That is tougher as $2800 is a lot closer to $4250, but then again, how many people bought the RX1 at new prices ? I had one and ended up selling it. Wasn’t worth nearly $3k to me, but then when I came across one for $1400 a while back, had to snatch it up again.

    Fixed lens premium FF “compacts” are pretty darn cool, but also a bit limited. I don’t think I could live with one as my only camera. As such, I only like to sink so much money into them, and $1400 was a bit more justifiable than over $4k.

    I’d likely end up selling the Q sooner or later just because I’d see it sitting on the shelf and think “I’ve got too much money sunk into this for the use it has”. I think we’ve all been there with various cameras or lenses.

    Obviously some folks will buy it as money isn’t an object, more power to them. I think there are a lot of enthusiast like myself though who really like the concept, but maybe have trouble with the price of entry.

    • I agree 100%. I bought my RX1 a year ago in mint condition for $1800(that was with some extra misc accessories). I’m sure the Q has it advantages but I haven’t seen any output from the camera that has been better than the RX1 so I’ll gladly put up with the quirks of the RX1 for under $2,000.

  120. Looks great, and could actually join an M Monochrom to form a very complete system. Impressed.

  121. Hello Steve, I know you said in the video you didn’t get any documentation with the Q but do know what the max flash sync speed happens to be?

  122. Looks great,pity by the time I convert the $4200 USD to Australian dollars the price is $5200.
    Oh well I`ll have to wait to buy my first Leica when I win lotto,or sell a kidney.

    • I have 5 chances in the Texas Lotto tonight as a matter of fact….only way I will ever be able to afford this as I need both my kidneys….

    • Australian retail price seems to be $5900, and street price likely to be $5700. I had guessed about $6000 so I’m only mildly aghast. I’ll wait until the dust settles and hopefully there will be better deals around Christmas.

  123. Leaf shutter?

  124. Finally, now we are cooking with fire. One camera, One lens. Everything else is up to the photographer. Count me in.

  125. I need this camera right now.

  126. Nice camera! If it had a monochrom sensor like the 246, it would be a perfect companion to my M. But at this point, I don’t need two Leica color cameras. Maybe (and hopefully) there will be a Q monochrom next year :)

    • I was wondering if there was on camera option to shoot in monochrome or is that something that Leica doesn’t do? Sorry for the noob question, as I don’t own a Leica.

  127. same focal length as a ricoh gr ;)

    around 2 years ago i paid well over $3000 for what i believed at the time was the one camera that would serve all of my photographic needs. however, i soon developed a love/hate relationship with my rx1, and sold it 6 months later. for me the two major drawbacks were the poor af performance and lack of viewfinder. if it had been one or the other i would have kept it, but i stoically refused to pay $500 for that damn ugly external evf, despite the stunning output.

    i used the sale to fund another lens for my m3 :) and for the past 18 months, have been shooting exclusively film, with my m3 and also my favourite, a hasselblad 500cm. i loved how i began to focus more on composition and framing…more than trying to snap snap snap everything which was happening around me. it forced me to become a lot more observant of my environment.

    but over time i began to miss the convenience of a digital camera, so recently decided to sell my m3. i could never part with my 500cm and those stunning 6×6 negatives, and i had no desire to buy leica rangefinder, so my lenses went as well.

    an iphone is a great camera, but i needed to fill that gap between my iphone and hasselblad.

    so i have been researching and testing cameras for the past few months. this camera seems great. fixed focal length (which i love), full frame, evf and (hopefully) excellent build quality. i would be one who would seriously consider it, having had the rx1, for family snaps and use on vacation. i would, however, have preferred 35mm. but i think focal length is less a factor (for me) than the ergonomics of a camera. with a small amount of perseverance, you can shoot any focal length and produce great photos. what i’m now looking forward to is bringing this process of slowing down and waiting for the critical shots, rather than trying to ‘force’ the shot. i hope this camera is one that’s suited to this style of shooting.

    there may be many who will be critical of this style of camera, but the truth is there will also always be a market for this type of camera. i for one relish the chance to shoot with any fixed focal length fast full frame camera.

    • What’s wrong with a used M9? Keep your lenses, less money, available everywhere and well built. I never trust being the first to buy new technology. I would also check for banding issues and gradations from light to dark. High ISO, I appreciate. I bet most of us don’t need/require a new camera for work, anywhere. It’s not for me.

      • The M9 is great if you do not mind an awful LCD, a RF that drifts every 9-12 months and needs adjustment, horrible ISO performance (stay at 640 or under) and a sensor that is having major issues as time goes on. Id never ever spend $3-$4k on a used M9, ever. BAD investment as when something goes wrong, and it will, you will be spending a lot to get it repaired. The Q beats the M9 in IQ, color, etc. In all ways besides build and having an RF.

        • I’m with Steve on this one. I never had RF issues, prefer the results that I got from the M9/M-E over my M240, preferred the lighter body but hated that it was on sensor #3 with no fix apart from replacing it with the same defective sensor.
          Leica claimed/claims they are working on a real fix for the CCD issue but I don’t believe it (which is why I moved to the M240) as it has been a long time now wit h no news on that front. Even though they have known about the issue for several years now.
          This new Q looks like a great option.

  128. What are your thoughts on the optical image stabilization? How quiet is the shutter? I see there is an electronic shutter as well so that should be completey silent.

  129. I have the feeling you already know more about those June/July Sony products….wishful thinking? This is by far the best digital product I have seen from Leica. And in Europe it seems the price is just right, 3500-4000€, if you consider the RX1 is still 3000€ new. Looking forward to read your full review on this one. Best wishes.

  130. I wonder if Leica is going to build on this model and release a Q with interchangeable

  131. This could be my second digital Leica after the Digilux2. 28mm wide lens is smart because this cam might be a killer for city travel etc where 50mm might be too long. The famous jap. cams like Ricoh GR (analog) and the GR(Ds) plus the Nikon A have 28mm as well and the target group will honour it. With 35 or 50mm so often the wall behind you is too narrow to jump back for better framing…. ;-)

    • Agree, love my Coolpix A with 28mm equivalent lens. Of course they are APS-C, but $425 instead of $4250!

  132. Cons: 28mm, fixed lens only, priced $1500 too high, why do i need to shoot 10 fps with a 28mm lens, no 4K video.

    Sign me up for the m-mount interchangeable lens version, body only for $3K.

    • Not sure why fixed lens is a con, if this is fixed lens camera? They don’t have lenses for this camera first of all, if you need more and better lenses you can always buy M. This is just addition to line, not the replacement of M. If you make interchangeable lenses with m mount, it will be just cheaper M camera, do they need that? Video on Leicas should be banned, I don’t understand this at all. I agree regarding 28mm and price.

    • The 28mm lens can be surprisingly versatile, and for those who shoot with a Ricoh GR, it might be all they need. The 24mp sensor allows quite decent 35mm and 50mm crops, too.

      As for why a person would want 10fps with a 28mm lens: I’ve stood beside the road at marathons and taken some great action photos using the Panasonic LX7 (24mm lens) and its 11fps burst mode. With a runner cruising past, a fast burst rate can be very helpful in capturing a good stride position. That’s just one place 10fps can be useful with a wide angle lens.

      Kids blowing out candles or jumping on a trampoline, low angle close ups of parkour practitioners in action, any street scene involving movement. Fast burst mode isn’t just for tele shooting.

  133. Beautiful shots, in three days you had a lot of keepers !
    For me, it’s sadly too expensive, and the 28mm is simply a no go, even if the camera was much cheaper. Anyway, thanks for the review !

  134. This would be a terrific vacation camera! I don’t suppose it’s weathersealed? Or wifi?

  135. only only only if… if this is a 35mm /cry

    • i think the same … or why not with M lenses :-)
      but still … i need all strength not to call my dealer and say – send one over NOW

    • You can consider it as a 35mm lens camera with a virtual rangefinder 35mm frame line, so you can see what is out of your frame, same as the real rangefinder!

  136. Really a very beautiful camera with an outstanding Performance. I hope that the Q will become a big success for Leica.

    • Outstanding performance? This Leica lens has over TEN percent distortion. You read that right, TEN percent! The output simply MUST be digitally corrected in software to produce a useable image. This is done BEFORE the raw file is generated so you are not getting a real RAW file.

      Looks like Leica’s B team designed this lens.

      Sony’s RX1 has under 1% distortion. Carl Zeiss all the way.

      • The RX1 has MUCH more than 1% distortion. Turn off the in camera correction and look at the file..not sure where you get the 1%, that may be corrected but uncorrected it is actually pretty severe. BUT at the end of the day all that matters is the final output, and the Q, and RX1 are pretty much best you can get in 35mm.

        • Steve,

          looking at the correction parameters in my RAW converter, I find correction parameters consistend with less than one 1% distortion in uncorrected RAWs…

  137. I guess manual focus is by wire? OT. Why, o why lens is not 50mm… When will they understand… :)

    • The camera has virtual “frame lines” for 35 and 50 in jpeg mode. It also has the resolution to sustain the cropping of the full resolution file favorably, by either jpeg framing or manual cropping of rhe raw file. That said, I am content to stick with my Sony a6000 and adapted Leica lenses, esp. when considering the Q’s price tag.

      • i believe what people are referring to when they ask for higher focal length is the DOF, 50/1.7 is going to produce better DOF than 28/1.7.

        • I am very curious as to whether the 50 mm equivalent cropping will produce a shallower DOF.

        • Juraj

          Your intent as a photographer will determine what “better” DOF means. As a landscape photographer deeper, or more, DOF is better. Particularly when using a wide lens, even at f1.7. On the other hand as a portrait, wedding, or street photographer the reduced DOF of a longer focal length may be desirable. Unless that is you are shooting landscapes with the 50mm, then you want all the DOF you can get.

      • That makes sense. If you want to shoot with the 50mm FOV on the Q, you’re going to end up with an image of <12Mpx. Now, that's fine. But you want to use every one of those 24Mpx that you're paying for. :-)

        • Karim, same sentiment here. It would be an odd choice to buy the Q and mainly use it in its crop mode. Also, it would be a bad choice for those who aren’t well versed in shooting wider than a FoV than even 35mm.

          At 28mm focal length the Q is bordering on being a speciality lens. A lot of photographers view wide angle lenses for their one characteristic of squeezing in more of the scene. This is fine in itself, but for me shooting with wide angle lenses (I tend to “see” shots in w/a rather than tele) is the greater degree of perspective control I can employ. It is more often this physical contrast I look for between near and far, or even between very near, and not so near, if you get my drift, than simply seeing how much of the scene I can cram in.

          • Aren’t smartphone photographers likely to be the majority of photographers today? I believe most of them are shooting at around 28mm equivalent. 35mm and 50mm would seem like telephoto.

          • You may well be right, but I wonder just how many actually know this and unlike photographers who exploit the focal length just use their smartphone and are none the wiser? I suppose I could find out what the lens is on my smartphone but it didn’t figure in my purchase.

    • Aivaras

      Leica understands quite well. Historically fixed lens cameras using short normal lenses (i.e. 28mm and 35mm) have been the most popular. Since these focal lengths are very versatile for most photo situations when you can only have one camera. Even for interchangeable lens cameras these focal lengths are the most popular short normals. Ask enough photographers their choice, particularly Leica users, and you will get pretty close to a 50/50 split. This has been true long enough, that some companies would make fixed lens cameras with both focal lengths.

      The king of king this was Fuji. Which made medium format (6×7 & 6×9) fixed lens film cameras with 28, 35, and 50 mm equivalent fields of view. These were commonly refers to as “Texas Leicas”.

      Finally, I am using the term short normal instead of wide angle for 28 & 35 mm leneses, since for many lens manufacturers these lenses use the same basic optical design/configuration as their 50mm lens. The switch to a true wide angle design/configuration can happen at 28mm or 24mm depending on the manufacturer.

      Hopefully this camera and any new Sony counterpart will prove popular enough, that they will add more focal length choices. Personally, I would welcome 21mm or 50/70mm. I might even consider switching from my M9 if I could get a nice 2-3 focal length combination; provided they used the same battery and charger. Say 28/70 and I would be happy as this would fit 90% of my needs. I might even save money compared upgrading to the M240 and getting the EVF.

      • Right there with you PaulB,
        I am invested in the Micro4/3 system with both Olympus and Pana bodies. I am excited to get the Q as a low light tool, that doesn’t make my Micro4/3 kit irrelevant. But I could see a scenario where I’d happily carry two Leica Qs at different focal lengths and leave my Olympus at home. The cost of the Q is the same as the 28mm summilux for the M, at this pricing Leica is selling the attached body for free.

    • Agreed Aivaras-
      Hopefully we see a Q with a 50/1.4 or 1.7. Even a 40mm(ala Leica CM) would be much more exciting.

      28mm does nothing for me.

  138. How is weight and size, compared to the RX1? Is it easy to use with the LCD instead of the EVF?

    • On par weight wise. It’s pretty light, like an X 113. Not heavy like an M. I prefer a EVF over LCD but the LCD was great. No issues.

      • Nice! Thanks for the answers.

        • Fact is: Q 640 gram, RX1 480 gram. The Q 24mm is 24mm taller and 15mm thicker as well. So quite a bit bulkier. Granted, the RX1 data is sans EVF. And by the way, the X113 weights about the same as the RX1, i.e. significantly less than the Q. A M9 with 28mm Elmarit mounted weights only about 100 gram more than the Q.

  139. I like the looks of it. Very sharp images. However, I’ll keep my Fuji X100S and spend $4200 on a European vacation.

    • It seems that you do not mind the all around cropped characteristics of the photographic contraption you have chosen. Just to name a few short falls as cropped sensor, DOF, aperture, image size practically every aspect, you even discount the name. So you have made a wise choice definetely Leica is not for you.

      • I’m amazed the Leica contraption has such a small sensor. I’ll keep my medium format, thank you.

        • lol. Amateur snobbishness is always bemusing. Newsflash: it’s not the camera that makes the picture. If you can’t make a compelling image with the X100T, you’re not going to make one with the Leica Q (or any other camera for that matter).

          • Somewhat true, but having a good camera capable of amazing images does indeed make it easier. For example, if a world renowned photographer shot an iPhone and then something that we consider an exceptional camera with high IQ, the one with high IQ would be a more pleasant shot and more people would recognize that. Sure, we make the photo but the camera is the tool that gets us here, and if it’s not very good, the photos will not be as well.

          • Well sure, this full frame Leica is technically capable of producing noticeably better image quality than an Olympus OM-D E-M1, too. Yet you’ve had plenty of satisfaction — as have myself and many others (including MAGNUM pros) — making great images with the OM.

            A technically magnificent shot of complete crap is still complete crap. Hell, sometimes folks take a beautiful full frame image and do all sorts of post work on it to desaturate it, age it, add “grain”, etc. Just did that myself for a WWII MOW to make the “perfect” image look like a W. Eugene Smith photojournalistic shot.

            A more accurate statement would be to say that in certain shooting envelopes a camera like the Q is going to help you get a potentially elusive shot. That I would agree with.

            But “better” is highly subjective, particularly in the era of digital.

          • Very well said Robert.

          • Touché, Mr. Falconer!

          • It depends…

            It does NOT make it easier, if the high costs prevent you from doing the travels that the camera is aimed to document. But then you can make super sharp, eye-popping photographs of your backyard. ;)

          • Well it seems that you have not notice that Black is not White while both are colors and they are not grey either. You seem somewhat confused with equipment choices the give technical capabilities to create a desirable image.

            Camera equipment is your choice and is fair not to confuse the issues and have a clear separation of concerns.

      • Comments like yours make me laugh at their idiocy. At least Matt uses his real name. I’m sure you couldn’t get the most out of a Holga, yet you criticize this man’s choice to go on vacation with a fine camera. Sure I have a Leica and I have other cameras too. True be told, I prefer many of them over my Leica. Please use your hot air to add to the conversation instead of saying nothing at all.

        • He discusses shortfalls of one format vs another, yet you launch into a personal attack against him. Makes one wonder where you got that high horse you rode in on.

          • No high horse. The comment was condescending. I use m4/3, full frame, medium format , and 4×5. I use micro 4/3 a lot and don’t find the format’s limitations too limiting. Is it as good as full frame? No it isn’t but it’s a lot closer than the full frame or no frame fan boys will lead everyone to believe. The output of any quality camera released in the past 3-5 yrs would have been amazing 10yrs ago. Use what you got and want what you want, its all good.

          • Continuing to call people names does not help drive your point home. All of my cameras are FF because the cameras that I happen to like and need for work happen to be FF, otherwise I like APSC, M43, and cameras like the RX100 with even smaller sensors. Regardless, whenever anyone says anything about Leica, you always have people who go out of their way either aggressively or passive aggressively to comment on the price. I don’t think there is anything wrong with responding to that broken record with, “Leica is not for you”, or telling people that if they have to fixate on the price, then they can’t afford it anyway.

            Yeah, Leica is expensive for a lot of people. We get it.

      • Is it possible to enjoy or use Leica and NOT be a complete prick about other brands/cameras/people? Seems hard for some. Leica’s are just cameras like any other camera. They are merely a box that allows light to hit a roll of film/sensor. Can Leica people PLEASE get off their high horse already? (I own an ’03 Leica MP and ’64 Leica M2.)

        • Is it possible to own and use another camera and not be a jerk about Leicas?

        • I’ve noticed that, on the whole, the Leica users are the ones who are not on some kind of high horse. It’s users of other brands who have the motto, “It doesn’t matter what camera you use, as long as it’s not a Leica.”

          The Fuji sensor is amazing and gives very clean files, even at 1:1.

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