Aug 9, 2015
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Leica Q (Typ 116) Unlimited Creativity

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“Combine what is technically possible with what makes sense photographically” – A concept that has been epitomised by Leica since Oskar Barnack laid the foundations for 35 mm photography more than a hundred years ago, with the original Leica. The new “Leica Q“, a camera which continues this groundbreaking Leica tradition with a full-frame sensor and a fixed focal length.

The Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH, provides everything you need to express yourself photographically. Its classic 28mm focal length is perfect for street, architectural and landscape photography. Its lens – the fastest in class, a specially designed 24 MP CMOS full-frame sensor provides detailed images of unsurpassed quality: up to ISO 50,000. Capturing with ultimate sharpness at maximum speed with outstanding autofocus. The new Maestro II series processor works extremely rapidly and allows a serial image speed of up to 10 frames per second at full resolution.

Leica Q (Typ 116), black anodized

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  • 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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Last update on 2017-04-27

Cameras, like the majority of pieces of consumer tech, are usually built on compromise. Every digital camera, from the tiny all-in-one digital camera modules in your smartphone in order to pro-level DSLRs, is built in order to satisfy certain needs at the particular expense more. While not precisely a zero-sum game, building the camera with a pro-grade picture sensor, lens, and physical settings often means building a digital camera that’s big, bulky, and €”quite often ”incredibly expensive.

But just whenever you think you might have an concept of where the barriers are usually, something like the Leica Q comes together and flips that logic upon its head. While it won’t do anything for individuals without the laughable amount of disposable earnings, it’€™s a near-pocketable camera which has a fantastic full-frame image sensor, a lovely 28mm f/1. 7 Summilux zoom lens, and thoroughly modern features such as 10fps burst speed, autofocus, 1080/60p video, and WiFi.

With it’s price, it’€™s not really for everyone, but it’™s the halo product €”something for everyday professional photographers to lust after and additional camera makers to aspire in order to. For Leica, particularly, it’€™s some thing of a milestone, marrying the particular company’€™s storied attention to workmanship and build quality with the particular kind of convenience and fervor that Leica has typically unsuccessful to deliver with its more recent digital cameras.

It’€™s not really the very first of its kind, plus it’s most certainly not perfect, but this distills everything that the Leica and condenses this into an approachable, compact package deal. It may only ever end up being a big fish within an ever-shrinking pond, but really if it doesn’€™t deserve in order to make a splash.

Leica Q (Typ 116)

Leica Q (Typ 116)

Leica Q (Typ 116), black anodized

Design and Lens

Design – Ever walk into an IKEA and find out one of those meticulously tailored, 180 square foot flats, where every inch is paid for for? They’re not impressive due to the fact of the amount of things the designers squeezed in the particular room, I have closets packed complete of more junk, €”but since the areas still feel airy and gentle; there’s still room to extend out.

That’s the feeling We get when I pick upward the Leica Q. Though the particular body isn’t as compact because its spiritual predecessor, the Sony Cyber-shot RX1, it’s still fairly small, looking like a shrunken version of Leica’s flagship M-series cameras. Despite this, the entire body still feels practically barren in comparison to most cameras out there, actually with a 3-inch LCD, a good EVF, a hot shoe, manage dials for aperture/shutter speed/exposure payment, a d-pad, and an AE/AF lock button.

Along the remaining side of the LCD you will€™ also find all the relax of the buttons for being able to access the full menu, ISO acceleration settings, a customizable function switch, and playback. Like Leica’s M-series cameras, the control scheme is made to give you everything you require and nothing you don’t, allowing you worry about the fundamentals: compose, focus, shoot.

It’€™s really worth noting here that, unlike the particular M-series, this camera also combines both autofocus and autoexposure, such as any other point-and-shoot. Though previous Leica-branded point-and-shoots—and last year’s Leica T—offered autofocus, it’s usually arrive at the expense of the particular fine manual control that Leica M owners desire. Not too along with the Leica Q.

Lens – From a design viewpoint, it looks like any additional Leica lens. It’s expertly designed, offering supreme build quality plus attention to detail. They have 3 main control rings, one regarding aperture, one for focus, plus one for focus range, having an adjustable focus scale between the particular focus/focus range dials. Unlike the majority of Leica M lenses, the aperture and focus controls here are usually “by-wire, ” meaning they don’t physically alter aperture or concentrate directly, but send commands in order to the camera. When you switch the aperture ring while the particular camera’s off, nothing happens.

That may really feel like a disappointment, as “€œby-wire”€ is usually a watchword intended for “low quality” lens design €”especially whenever it comes to focus bands. But Leica’s done a just incredible job of designing the focus motor that is therefore precise that the focus band feels as smooth and reactive as any mechanically coupled concentrate ring that we have used. It’s like driving a sports car along with power steering; much more the encounter feel effortless, to the stage you don’€™t even know it’€™s there.

That’€™s essential, because although the Q offers a quick and accurate autofocus (even within dim light), it’€™s designed along with manual focus shooters (such because Leica M owners) in your mind. Triggering autofocus is relatively easy, just keep a button and turn the particular dial all the way in order to one side, €”but it’€™s shuffled away to one side, practically welcoming you to simply do this yourself.


For most Leica M-series cameras, list the features doesn’€™t take most that long; they usually don’€™t have sufficient. For the M-inspired Leica Q, nevertheless , there are lots. In addition to the bodily hardware, €”the 3-inch LCD, the 3m-dot EVF, as well as the 28mm f/1. seven lens using its macro/normal focus variety switch, there a variety of digital features really worth discussing.

The first is certainly the WiFi integration. Like a number of recent Leica cameras, the Q comes packed with WiFi plus NFC. This lets you make use of your smartphone as a remote control viewfinder and control, while furthermore allowing you to shuttle pictures right from the camera in order to your phone and on in order to services like Flickr and Fb.

The Q also arrives replete with a full collection of video controls, allowing you to create adjustments on the fly whilst recording video in 1080p with 24 or 60 frames for each second. It’s not on par with similarly priced video choices, of course, but it’€™s the nice extra. It even offers optical stabilization that’€™s active throughout both stills and video.

My favorite functions, by far, are reserved with regard to shooting stills, though. Manual concentrate, especially, has been given a few nice enhancements in the type of focus peaking and magnifying, putting the razor-sharp EVF in order to good use. The aforementioned concentrate range ring enhances this actually further, allowing you to reduce the minimal focus distance from 0. 3m down to just 0. 17m by rotating the ring. Revolving this ring even causes the particular actual focus scale to change up and down, revealing the particular adjusted distances.

For a lot more fast-moving subjects you can furthermore swap to autofocus. The device is completely contrast-based, so it decreases the bit in low light, yet it’s highly accurate. It’€™s the most important thing that separates the Q through the Sony RX1, which was affected with slow, imprecise autofocus. The particular Q even offers 10fps optimum burst speed, letting you take off a torrent of pictures when necessary.


The Leica Q excelled within nearly every performance test all of us threw at it. The mixture of a tack-sharp 28mm f/1. seven lens, a 24-megapixel full-frame picture sensor, and the Maestro VII processor is a potent 1, shredding through most typical capturing situations with ease.

In our still image tests the particular Leica Q showed expansive powerful range approaching a full 13 stops at the base ISO of 100, €”nearly on par along with the Nikon D810. The pictures offered the type of warm look that will you expect from Leica cup, though it still was able to provide clinical color accuracy in many capturing environments. This is in big part because of the exceptionally accurate white-colored balance system, which nailed the particular color temperature from the scene within all but the warmest tungsten lighting.

The Q impressed us still additional using its 10fps continuos burst rate, even if capturing RAW and JPEG shots together. Capacity wasn’t unlimited, however it was enough to capture brief bursts of action with ease—something helped along by the sharp and accurate autofocus system.

In video the Q didn’t do quite as well because some of the newer digital cameras we’ve tested. it had expected success in our low gentle sensitivity test (able to catch usably bright images with simply 5 lux of light) yet the maximum resolution of 1080p limited peak resolution to correct around 650 line pairs for each picture height, about half as razor-sharp as 4K-capable cameras. The movie looks nice and smooth whenever shooting 1080/60p, though you may achieve a slightly more motion picture look by shooting in 1080/24p if that’s what you’€™re right after.

Add this up and you have the camera that offers image high quality that is the equal associated with many of the best full-frame DSLRs, however in a package that’s still smaller compared to best point-and-shoots. The lack of 4K movie means it isn’t quite because future-proof as other options within this section of the market, but all of us seriously doubt people are purchasing the Leica Q because of its movie chops anyway.

Leica Q (Typ 116), black anodized

  • 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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