My thoughts and photos: Leica Q
By Alejandro Ilukewitsch
(If you want to submit a user report, email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea)
I have been shooting extensively for the past days with the Q. I can only say that it is really a great little camera. There are some positive and negative aspects I can highlight. First the bad ones:
· High iso – is not a high iso camera. Actually even the Sony A7ii which was not good, might have been better.
· Banding – if files are pushed, and only a few steps, banding will appear. I read that this was also a problem with the M, that was solved with a firmware update. I hope the same will happen. It is not a big issue if you don´t tend to over-edit your files, but it does happen.
· Auto Exposure Lock – it doesn’t have a well implemented function. If you want to lock exposure you need to leave the button pressed. That means that you cannot use AEL with the Exposure compensation wheel. Ex: Lock exposure, and then use Exposure compensation, since you must leave your finger on the AE button pressed. Horrible design.
· There is no way to disable the back screen and only use it to see settings or playback. You can use auto switch, which leaves the back screen all the time turned on, and turns it off when you put the camera on your eye, or use EVF only, which turns the screen off. But all needs to be done through the EVF. Shame on Leica for this, it seems it was designed by engineers who never shot a camera. Hope is also corrected via firmware.
· The Buffer is limited, but who said this was a machine gun kind of camera:)
· Playback of images is slow. I don´t really chimp, but when is needed there is a slight delay.
It might look like a lot of bad things, but actually the camera is a joy to shoot.
· Auto focus in AFS is incredibly fast, like a dslr, and it is 99% on focus, (better than a dslr).
· The lens is a beauty: sharp, colors – yes it´s software corrected, but who cares.
· The camera is fast, everything works just right, (with the exception of chimping).
· The Sony RX1 v2 might have better image quality, but shooting with the Q is fun. It gives excellent results, and most of the time doesn´t get in your way. It feels like a camera, not a computer, even thou I still prefer an ovf. (Comments based on my experience with the RX1 v1 and A7ii).
Some images from the last week, (all images shot in Bucharest):
My blog, website, and flickr…(thanks for looking)
Just caught up with this and the brilliant photos. Am I right in thinking there is some distortion of the nose in number 6 and even moreso in number 11? That’s my worry about a 28mm focal length, because otherwise the Q sounds like a dream worth saving for!
you can pelt me with mud, but rx100m4 can make photos at least as good as shown here
If you can achieve same results or better with the rx100 congrats!
Photography is also about the shooting experience, and definitely the rx100 will not give you the same experience. Also no way you could achieve same dof at 28mm with the rx100. So I don’t understand what you agree on….
yeas, you are right, Leica Q camera is heads above RX100m4 (i’m talking about 4th generation), and the shooting experience ist different, DOF, of course, but at the end of the day, the picture IQ counts
these of yours above are very good 🙂
Victor the RX100M4 will not make pictures with the same IQ as the Q. I own a Olympus E-P5 which has a four thirds sensor like the RX100M4. My E-P5 will outperform the RX100M4 with the different lenses I have but I won’t even come close to the Q. I love my E-P5 it’s a great camera, the RX100M4 is also a great camera but the Q is a different class.
I tested it at the store, and when I looked at my photos, I noticed a lot of distortion. Faces were deformed if they got close to the edge of the frame. I also notice this a bit on your 8th photograph. And a (close to) 28mm lens should not distort like that, in my opinion. So, as much as I loved how the Q felt in my hands, and how wonderful the viewfinder was, I decided not to buy it, and to wait to see if the next M might be a better choice (I had the M9p and loved it, but I skipped the latest M because I did not like the IQ as much). Was I missing something? Was software correction not on if I opened the photos on iphoto?
Honestly I havent found any distortion issues, even when shooting people on the extreme corners. The picture you mention those have a weird look on the guy on the corner, so i went back to the original file, and that weird distortion is cause by lightroom autoadjust…on the original is non existent.
I also have the Leica 28mm 2.8 elmerit, which is an amazing lens, and even thou i havent done any comparisons, they seem to be quite similar in results.
Hi Lenny et al. The Leica Q does have correction for distortion built-in, as I discussed with a guy in the Leica store, but interestingly (it appears) the correction is actually applied to the DNG file so you won’t ever see it, but it is the kind of distortion that can be easily corrected, using software correction is a design decision to make a more compact lens. Personally I have no problem with this, although I don’t like it if the distortion correction is hidden in this way (more discussion here: http://chromasoft.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/leica-q-typ-116-raw-file-dng-analysis.html).
Incredible shot of the old man with the books, great work. I also very much like the richness in the portrait of the woman a fe photos below. I wonder if I would miss my 21mm and 55mm for different perspectives. Any thought on that?
Check how many Picts you been shooting using the other focal ranges, if they are the vast majority, you will definitely end missing them. I do have an M with many other lenses, and I specially like the 21mm, so getting rid of it will be hard for me. But i dont constantly use them, but when i do i really like the results, so it will be hard for me to keep only the Q.
Great review, I like it.
Did you edit these images?
Hi thanks! Yes they were develop in Lightroom, and then some slight curves adjustments in Photoshop.
Love the pic of the book-man. As Mewanchuk noticed, he does look like Doc Brown…
Beautiful pictures of a beautiful country!
I’ve been there many times, and the people are so friendly!
Steve thanks for publishing my quick review! Your blog has been of great help, specially to those like me who like new equipment, and dont have access to it where they live. It helps us do a more educated decision when buying equipment 🙂
I still cannot figure out how the RX1II excels the Q in image quality
I think they are the same outputs in terms of quality, especially in RAW
Not sure about v2, but i had v1 and the files coming from the sony could handle much better high iso, and been pushed in photoshop. For me thats better image quality 🙂 Colors with the Leica are more to my liking, (but thats just personal taste). So if V1 had these advantages, I can imagine V2 is much better, considering it has the best sensor out there right now.
What I hate about you, Malabito, is that you make any camera look fantastic.
Seriously though…great photographs. (The 7th one reminds me of Doc Brown from “Back to The Future”)
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your nice comments! Yes the 7th is one of my favorites 🙂 It was a lucky catch, he was on the entrance of the metro station, and its cover by a thick plastic glass, i guess that glass kind of gives it that dreamy look as well.
He indeed looks like the Dr. from Back to the Future.
“Hope is […] corrected via firmware.”
I will add this to my daily mantras. Thanks for sharing
The Q brought back the joy of shooting. Seriously fun camera.
superb professional photography. Even more so since the author showed us the technical deficiencies of the camera
Very nice post. I really enjoyed viewing your portraits. Congrats!
I love my Q. Very versatile and amazing results. A fun camera that delivers.