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Leica Q (Typ 116), black anodized

by Leica
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
| 16 answered questions

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  • 24.2 MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor Leica Maestro II Image Processor
  • Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens 3.68 MP LCOS Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3.0" 1,040k-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor Contrast-Detect AF System
  • Full HD 1080p Video at up to 60 fps ISO 50,000 & 10 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Aluminum & Magnesium Alloy Body Design Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
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Technical Details


Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Silver Award
March 2016
The Leica Q is a specialized tool, but one that will nevertheless appeal to a broad range of photographers. In exchange for your forgiveness of some operational foibles, you get an excellent (though not class-leading) 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor, a fast, sharp Summilux lens with gorgeous out-of-focus renderings, and simple-yet-effective controls.

Personal takes

Carey Rose Carey Rose DPReview
The Q, with its overall responsiveness, is a camera that I almost never found myself waiting for. Yes, the 28mm focal length takes some getting used to, but the excellent lens and functional controls allowed me to look past those smaller issues and get on with taking pictures.
Dan Bracaglia Dan Bracaglia DPReview
This is a camera for digital purists, seeking photographic zen. With elegant manual controls, a classic design, and an incredibly sharp 28mm F1.7 lens, the Leica Q provides a shooting experience centered on the act of simply making images, rather than getting caught up in settings.
Barney Britton Barney Britton DPReview
The Q is a refreshing change from other recent non-M series cameras from Leica. It is responsive, with a logical user interface and features like image stabilization add value to the shooting experience. I just wish it had a more modern sensor and the controls were a little more customizable.

Reasons to buy

  • Excellent overall image quality: The Q's pairing of a 24MP CMOS image sensor and fixed 28mm F1.7 lens mean excellent sharpness regardless of your settings. Good high ISO performance ensures sharp photos even as light levels drop, and though JPEG colors are lacking, you can get great color out of the Raw files.
  • Superbly swift autofocus: The Q's contrast-detect autofocus system is uncannily fast and accurate, regardless of light levels.
  • External controls and build quality: The layout of the controls is sensible, and there is an impressive attention to detail on the body design and build.
  • Good battery life: The Q seems to offer better-than-average battery life among other mirrorless cameras.

Things to consider

  • Value for money: The Leica Q represents a more significant investment over a number of potential rivals on the market, though its combination of full-frame sensor and 28mm focal length is currently unmatched.
  • JPEG quality isn't great: Straight out of the camera, JPEG quality is disappointing, in terms of color (in daylight and low light), detail retention and noise reduction.
  • Ergonomics may not be for everyone: The Q's design is solid and nice to look at, but some might find it "slippery" and function button customization is lacking.
  • Dynamic range isn't class-leading: Although sharpness and high ISO performance is impressive, the Q's sensor can't compete on dynamic range with the best of the competition, and 'pushing' its Raw files when post-processing can result in unpleasant "banding" artifacts in shadow regions.
  • 28mm focal length: Frankly, the 28mm focal length may not work for everyone, though the Q does offer 35mm and 50mm equivalent crop modes.
Notable features
28mm F1.7 Summilux lens
28mm F1.7 Summilux lens
The Q's fixed 28mm F1.7 lens is optically stabilized and is very sharp, even wide-open, and employs a leaf shutter for near-silent operation and fast flash sync speeds.
24MP full-frame CMOS sensor
24MP full-frame CMOS sensor
The Q's image sensor cannot match up to the absolute best full-frame offerings from the competition, but it still delivers excellent detail and color throughout its ISO range.
High resolution electronic viewfinder
High resolution electronic viewfinder
Utilizing LCoS technology, the Q's viewfinder delivers an effective resolution of 3.68 million dots, making it the highest-resolution electronic viewfinder currently on the market.
Sensible, simple controls
Sensible, simple controls
The Q's controls are almost all external, and sensibly laid out for excellent responsiveness under a variety of shooting scenarios.
Detailed score
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (RAW)
Image quality (JPEG)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Optics
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
80%
Overall score
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

24.2 MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor Leica Maestro II Image Processor Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens 3.68 MP LCOS Electronic Viewfinder 3.0 1,040k-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor Contrast-Detect AF System


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I want to preface this review by stating that this is a review of the camera and that in no way is this an endorsement for the rip-off pricing being sought by several sellers. Buyer beware that these cameras may not have any warranty other than the seller's warranty and since they cant obtain parts or most likely can't repair this camera that may not be worth much should you have a problem. I have written and posted my review to help those considering purchasing this camera from a legitimate Leica source or prior owner.

My Review of the Leica Q

I have now owned the Leica Q for about three weeks and I have been using it almost daily. In the past, I have owned numerous digital cameras including one DSLR (I also owned several film cameras but they are only tangentially relative to this discussion). Several were very nice cameras but for a variety of reasons I did not keep them. Within the Leica brand I have owned the M8, the X-Vario and the T. None of those met my needs or expectations. In all fairness to the M8, in addition to the numerous known issues discussed on DPR and LUF, I have to add my age related declining vision is just not good enough to rapidly focus a range finder, especially in low light or high contrast situations. This isn’t the camera’s fault but is a fault of the optical range finder design that has plagued many others besides me.

CONCLUSION
This is going to come as a shock to many of you but: I LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! I thought I would get this out first so you can stop reading if you chose.

This is the first digital Leica that has actually met and in some ways exceeded my expectations. First, it is quick, second AF is really-really fast, the fastest I have measured beating out the Olympus EM5-II and several Panasonics.
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I've owned the Q for a couple of weeks now, and with significant usage in that time I can confidently say I am very pleased with the purchase. As is typically the case with Leica, much of the investment is in the lens...Leica produces the finest lenses in the world, period.

The new 28mm Summilux lens this camera uses is in a class by itself. Given it's full-frame sensor and 1.7 aperture wide-open, you can capture an impressively thin DOF for a relatively wide-angle 28mm lens. Out-of-focus bokeh is smooth and pleasing to the eye. At wider apertures the subject can leap out of the creamy background giving the viewer a beautiful 3 dimensional feel.

You can shoot all day at f/1.7 and obtain that "Leica-look" with consistent and predictable micro contrast from corner to edge, and no noticeable chromatic aberration. The look a Leica lens renders is often hard to describe...but it's a know-it-when-you-see-it type of thing. The subtle and well-coordinated color saturation and soft contrast is unique.

The color saturation and contrast in RAW photos is more rich and well distributed than it is in the Sony RX1, at least in my opinion...and the bokeh is more pleasing and softer. I owned a Sony RX1 for a few weeks a while back, but I returned it because I was unimpressed with how the lens and sensor rendered color distribution. Most everything had a subtle desaturated look to it...just sort of bland...it routinely "missed" on the vibrance of a scene. The Q's photographs have none of those unimpressive characteristics.

The electronics in this camera are elegant in their simplicity. The menus are basic and efficient. You won't have trouble navigating through the interface, and you won't get lost fumbling through endless sub-menus.
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The Q is handsome. It’s comfortable to hold all day and demands to be picked up again and again. The classic Leica M series of rangefinder is an obvious antecedent to the Q, and it’s from the M that the Q draws inspiration for its lighter and stealthier profile. The Q’s build quality feels trustworthy, with little shimmy or shake in any of its myriad points of hardware interface. The only rattle is of the optical image stabilizer when the camera’s turned off.

The Q feels like it’s created from delight itself. The camera is minimal, intuitive, and imposes little compromise to deliver great images. Images that stand toe-to-toe with heavier, clunkier, far less mobile, “professional” kits. Those behind this tool deserve recognition. Especially Vincent Laine, the lead designer of the Q. This is apparently the first camera he’s worked on for Leica. If Leica can find and retain talent like Mr. Laine, then they have a fine future, indeed.

On a macro, industry-wide level, Mr. Laine and his team have struck an impressive balance between not over-technosizing the Q and also not leaning too hard on the anachronistic legacy of the M. Next to the Q, Leica’s other offerings now seem a bit lost — For whom is the touchscreen-only T? The waterproof x-u?11 The Q, on the other hand, with its lightning autofocus, gorgeous Summilux lens, and fast electronic brains and viewfinder, all built atop the granite-set soul of an M, feels like the arrival of a Leica — indeed, a refinement on an entire class of full-frame cameras — many of us have been waiting for.

If you’re looking for a stripped-down kit — one body, one lens — that will bring home remarkable pictures every time, then this is it. The Q is an unbeatable companion.
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