The new Leica Q features a full frame 24 MP CMOS sensor, a 28 mm f/1.7 Sumilux lens, a maximum ISO of 50,000, 1080/60p HD video capture, a 3-inch fixed LCD touch screen, mechanical and electronic shutter, a continuous shooting speed of 10 frames per second, wireless and NFC on board—all of it packed neatly into a magnesium-alloy body.
The Leica Q can be compared to Fuji Film X series cameras, but is in a class of its own. On a specification to specification scale, the only other camera that comes close to what Leica offers is the Sony RX1R. The Leica Q is slightly bigger and heavier than the RX1R, but also offers double the burst rate as well as a much higher ISO range and a wider lens than the Sony.
The magnesium alloy body feels great in one’s hands, especially with its leather-like wrapping that gives it a luxurious feel. Leica has taken a minimalist approach to design, and this is evident in the Q also. The vast majority of controls are located on the top dial while the others are around the lens barrel. The On-Off button is wrapped around the shutter release and also doubles as a drive mode selector. There is also a dedicated movie record button, and another dial lets you adjust the exposure compensation.
Aperture settings are made from the lens, and if you want, you can select ‘A’ on the shutter speed dial on top and ‘A’ on the lens to put the camera into its fully automatic mode. The lens also includes a focus tab that gives you precise control over the manual focus ring. At the back is the electronic viewfinder that has a resolution of 3.68 million pixels and doesn’t make you miss an optical viewfinder—the images are life-like.
The leaf shutter on the Leica Q is as silent as it gets. You can shoot in a meditation room and no one will know when the shutter goes off.
The Camera takes an SD Card and records images in RAW and JPEG formats. The Sumilux lens is fixed to its body and you will not be able to change it, but with a wide 28 mm you can shoot to your heart’s content.