Getting a Grip on the Leica Q: The Match Technical Thumbs Up EP-SQ grip Review
By Ashwin Rao
I recently had a chance to test out a production proof of the Thumbs Up EP-SQ grip for the Leica Q. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Match Technical’ s Thumbs Up grips, they are mountable on a camera’s hot shoe and provide a nice firm rest upon which to rest the thumb. Many people who shoot Leica cameras, which can be slippery in hand at times, prefer to add these grips to the camera. They act similar to how the film-advance levers of days-gone-by work as thumb rests. I can honestly say that this is a great ergonomic addition to the already fantastic Leica Q, adding that little extra bit of purchase that makes Match Technical’s Thumbs Up grips so popular.
One “criticism” of the Leica Q is that the thumb indent, which Leica astutely placed on the camera’s rear, is a bit too far off to the edge of the camera and creates hand fatigue if solely used for gripping. I definitely found this to be an issue and addressed the issue in part by adding Leica’s own baseplate/grip. The EP-SQ design uses the indent as a method for securing the grip in place, while adding a nice rest that places the photographer’s thumb in a more comfortable position for shooting.
One important added benefit of this Thumbs Up is that its design limits inadvertently bumping the Diopter adjustment dial(adjacent to the EVF), which often does go out of whack without protection. The grip effectively limits access to this dial, which is a good thing, as it prevents shirts or other factors to bump the deal and cause your EVF to be thrown out of focus.
Unfortunately, by mounting the Thumbs Up EP-SQ on your Leica Q, lose access to the hotshoe, but with the Q’s ISO capacities, a flash is rarely needed. This, to me, is a small price to play for the ergonomic benefit of having a better grip on the camera.As an owner of the Thumbs Up Grips for the Leica M8, M9, M240, M246, X1, and Fuji XPro-1, I can confidently say that that Thumbs Up EP-SQ does much of the same for the Leica Q as it does for those cameras….it adds a nice secure grip if one feels that they require more than the Leica’s own offerings.
I personally use the Thumbs Up in conjunction with Leica’s baseplate grip, for a really firm grasp and a camera that’s well balanced for me (not front heavy). However, may prefer to use their cameras with just the Thumbs-Up Grip, and I can confirm that using the camera in this manner feels quite secure as well.
Below are a few more pictures of the grip. I have been a fan of the Match Technical’s Thumbs Up designs for nearly a decade, and I suspect that you too will enjoy the experience of using a Thumbs Up on the Leica Q.
You can find pre-order options for the EP-SQ through Match Technical’s own site, or through many of Leica’s own authorized dealers.
Hi Steve! What’s the handgrip you’re using in the photos? Just bought my Q so I’d like to get one of those minimalist straps like yours.
We have them in stock now ready to ship!!
I owned a silver M8 for a few years along with a silver Thumbs Up grip. Made all the difference to me in being able to handle the camera: without it a brick, with it super comfortable. Didn’t need any additional grip(s), just the Thumbs Up. I didn’t have any problems with it catching on things. I haven’t handled the Q so no idea how comfortable the thumb indent is to use, but it looks like design over function.
I have a Leica and the only add on I use is a plastic protector for the screen. I know photographers who swear by the Thumbs up but thought the negative thumb space on the Q would sort this ?It’s cool they have one available for the Q. BTW (the more I see that camera the more I want one ).
So here is a big Thumbs up to anybody who has one ! ENJOY
I try to love my OMD EM-1 but when I see photos of this camera. It makes me want to sell all that I own to afford to buy one. This camera is incredible looking 🙁 – I know it wouldn’t make me a better photographer but still I really want one.
I like your attitude. We buy Leica camera because we like it, we want it…not because we need it nor what it does/how it’s priced as compared to Nikon, Canon, Olympus, or Sony. Leica is Leica.
This camera is really awesome.
A camera that needs add-ons to handle comfortably? Some cameras have that built-in. Makes them look generically ugly of course.
Only 130$! Fantastically cheap! …… Oh wait…
Beautiful! (hmmm, eyes of the beholder). But I too was about to ask if it would poke you in the ribs. Seems so. I’d have to try the built in . . . indentation to see if it works well enough as designed.
Very well designed. Looks like it is a natural part of the camera.
I’d be tempted but for the same price you could get the Leica grip which would surely be enough for most people? I also find the “hook” nature of thumb grips mean they catch on bags, straps and become a bit of a nuisance at times.
Does look lovely on the Q though 🙂
I prefer the Thumbie brand for Leica Ms just because you still have access to the hotshoe. For flash usage but mainly for the ability to add external finders. The latter of course is not needed for a fixed lens camera like the Q.
The Thumbs Up and its ilk really help but are best used with a wrist strap (as you have Ashwin). They can get quite uncomfortable with a neck strap as they tend to poke you in the ribs.
I spent 10 minutes with the Q and couldn’t wait to get rid of it. The obligatory thumb placement is uncomfortable. I’m sure it’s an amazing camera but when I asked the Leica lady why would I want it she said “well you already have an m8 and that means you can hand this camera which is so light ,to people to make a photograph of you. And I thought “that would be a very expensive selfie”
The design allows access to the thumb button without any need for a swinging mechanism. . No essential buttons are obstructed. The digital zoom does get slightly harder to acces with the grip above it, but it’s still readily accessible.
I like the looks of the Thumbs Up thumb grip, but it does not appear that it is hinged so that one can flip it out to allow access to the Q’s “Thumb Button” (which I use to control the digital zoom settings). If that is the case, then an apparently equally priced alternative that I use for my Q is the Sony RX-1 thumb grip (Part TGA-1). That grip is hinged and allows me instant access to the Q’s Thumb Button.
I received my Thumbs Up today (8/10/15) and find it to be a very high quality product, fitting perfectly into the flash hotshoe, the ergonomics are perfect and the color matching finish with the Leica Q body is also perfect. So, re my earlier post above, I am very pleased that this thumb grip is so good, more so than the Sony thumb grip I opined about on 7/20/15. In fact, I think the Thumbs Up model negates the need for the Leica hand grip – at least for my hand. Oh, and the quality of the Leica Q output continues to amaze me! Leica really got the sensor and the algorithm right – my 3,000 plus pics of every imaginable photo scenario bear out my assessment. Finally, a Leica I can afford and enjoy (sez the Olympus 4/3 fan and I remain such).
Well, ugly, ugly and….. ugly:). Besides that, looking at the samples, no need for this thumbs up imho. Right hand side wheel will be difficult to reach…? But some people would like to have them all, nice additional grip, strap, thumbs up, wooden knob to release the shutter etc. Kind of a ‘doggie in the window’ camera, and they all seem to forget to take some pictures with that $$$$ ‘thing’:)……
We all wish you a great day TimK!