Leica Q – Modern and Classic

Test: Leica Q is something as unusual as a compact camera with full frame sensor. Despite its traditional appearance, it has many modern attributes, but how does the Leica to combine their classic heritage with the modern elements?

Leica Q type 116 is a special camera. It is a combination of the Leica classic camera design and modern features-Jaden.A combination that actually works very well. When we tested Leica’s latest new system T, we were a little disappointed on the camera itself even if the build quality was really good. In the modern Q married and the classic in a better way.

The sensor is, as was mentioned in the introductory words, a full-frame sensor with resolution of 24 Megapixels. On the back of the camera sits a three-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1.04 million pixels. Q also has an electronic viewfinder that, when Q was launched, was one of the highest dissolved electronic viewfinders on the market with its 3.86 megapixels.

Affordable lens

If you look at Leica’s lens range in this focal length and with this the brightness so you see that they cost a decent buck. The lens that stays mounted on the Q has a focal length of 28 mm and a maximum aperture of f/1.7. The whole camera costs 39500 kronor, which is a lot of money for a compact camera. But if you look at the cost of other Leica lenses becomes Q a relatively cheap camera. Not cheap from a camera’s perspective, but from a Leicaperspektiv. Here, you also get a lens that has image stabilization, just such a thing. Sony RX1 which is one of, if not the sole, competitor in the same class costs about 10000 dollars less than Leican.

Fastidious design

Leica has a long tradition of making cameras of high kalitet and with a high price tag. But they are made in Germany with German precision. A quick glance at the Q could let a belief that it was made long ago. In any case, if you are not looking so carefully at the back. The design is what might be called timeless. This style works can be seen clearly on the Fujifilm X-series and the Olympus OM-D. The difference is that Leica has been like this since the 1930s. At the top of the camera has a shutter speed wheels with the possibility of A mode. A shutter release surrounded by on/off-knob that is also used to select single image mode or burst mode. There is also a loading wheel and a button with a red little plutten on that we learned to recognize as a movie record button. We turn on the camera and looking at the back, seen here on the one hand, the three-inch screen, but also five small buttons to the left of the screen, these buttons are marked with the Play, Delete, UN, ISO and menu. On the other side the screen sits a four-way button with a round middle button used to select still image or movie mode. Flush mounted higher up on the camera sits a small circular button used to crop the image so that it is equivalent to 35 mm or 50 mm which are the two crop modes you can choose if you think 28 mm is not enough. If you choose any of the origins so pops up a white frame in the viewfinder to see what comes in the picture. The buttons are very discreet but still easy to press as long as there is no need to have gloves on, then they become a bit too flat.

Steady in the hand

To say that Leica Q is firmly in your hand is a bit chipped. It has really nothing really grips and the only thing that helps your hand to hold the camera is a scrape on the back. This is maybe one of the disadvantages of the classic design. The camera is pretty big so it’s no problem to grab it, but a little extra grip on the front had made it much more ergonomic. However, it is surprising how much difference the small thumb grip on the back makes for the feeling. Even if your camera does not have the world’s best grip, it feels quite hefty. The true Leicamanér is the built in metal, magnesium and aluminum to be sure. The body itself is enclosed by some form of patterned rubber/plastic material that provides good adhesion and a comfortable feeling. You go on to the lens, there is no shortage of quality feeling here either. Along out sitting, on classical Leicamanér, an aperture ring. Inside the a focusing ring with a greppklack. Focus ring shifts the scale when you rotate the inner ring on the lens to set about it in macro mode.

Both the focus ring and the aperture ring has an A-location. Differences, however, is that the aperture ring has only one extra slow click mode to keep the ring remains in the A-mode while the focus ring has a highly anonymous lock button on greppklacken. That anonymous that neither I nor my colleagues noticed it first. This lock had been able to make clearer for convenience. Both rings, however, is comfortable turning and the focus ring is nicely damped and the gear ratio makes it easy to set the focus manually. If you do not want to use the auto focus. More on that in the next and subheadings.

Focus-good for everyone

Buy a camera like this, I think that it is either a zealous users of manual focus or not. Of the first group as is mentioned above the focus ring. But Leica have made this with manual focus in modern cameras. When you start fiddling with the focus ring magnifies the image up three or six times and fokuspeaking will help you to recognise when the focus is where it should be. You can even choose the color of fokuspeakingen, red, green, blue or white. If you just want the magnification or fokuspeakingen that’s fine too. If you do not have the means, you can of course also choose if you want it a little more challenging. Action works fine. If you’re going to take out the card. But to expound a bit, you have several options here. For example, you can put the focus point with your finger if you want, either through a special location where you press the point on the screen where you want the focus to be. In the “normal” mode, you can keep your finger on the focus point until it lights up red and then you can drag it across the screen. Focusing is quick, which contributes to the rapid feeling that this kind of camera, it also, scratching away up to 10 frames per second makes it even better. Leica Q has, like many other cameras today, wifi. Unfortunately, it is not completely stable and rather difficult to use. Leica themselves have admitted that they have a problem with the latest upgrade to the Iphone, but we had problems with various Android phones. So if wifi is very important for you, I would perhaps find it difficult at present to recommend a q. Leica works continually to ensure that the software works as intended. The touch screen works also very well. Sure, you might have been able to imagine that you could use it to more. For example, control various quick features on the screen. All these features make the Leica Q feels very modern while maintaining the Leica tradition.

Stake out

However, there are some things we would have liked to have seen been different on Q. For example, it’s a little frustrating that there is only one FN button and you then get to choose if you want to have quick access to exposure compensation, white balance, scene mode, wifi, self-timer and jpg/raw setting. It would have been nice if it was possible to quickly obtain both exposure compensation, white balance settings and wifi and not be forced to choose between them. This will be extra strange in light of the fact that the iso setting, a custom button. When you crop the image, it would have been good if the image had been up to that particular slicer instead of only the top frame. If you look in the viewfinder at the origin equal to 50 mm is the borderline to hard to keep track of what comes into the picture. The viewfinder is also very nice but would have liked to have got to be a little bigger. It had increased at the luxurious feel.

Image quality

The lens in the Q has, as is well known, a fixed focal length of 28 millimetres. But Leica has added the ability to crop the image so that it corresponds to 35 or 50 millimetres. When you get a resolution of 15 and 8 megapixels. Looking at these pictures gets the detail of course somewhat lower, but they are still good quality. In comparison with the “regular” DSLR, in this case a Nikon D750 do Leica Q good at high iso. There is not much difference between the two cameras. However, when it comes to the dynamic range so turns out to be Leican about one step worse. But it might actually be compared to a closer competitor so we also looked at how it stood up against the Sony RX1R. Sony camera turned out to be very similar to the Nikon D750 in terms of image quality. Which in turn meant that it was very similar to the Leica q. another comparison is lenses on Leican respectively, Sonyn here we see no immediate differences. Not any that are crucial for the shoot anyway. They both have undisputedly good picture quality and deliver really good pictures.


It’s hard not to have an opinion about Leica q. Yes, it costs a lot of money to be a compact camera with a fixed focal length. But you get a small image sensor and Leicakvalitet for a pile of money is less than what many other of their products cost. Compare it with, for example, an M9 with a similar lens so it costs much more. Are you and choose between Sony RX1R and a Leica Q has not been an entirely easy choice. It is rather about what you prefer. Sonyns more modern appearance and stuk or Leicans classic design and solid build quality. But there’s no doubt that Lecia Q is a good and nice camera, albeit with a few drawbacks.