Leica Q

      Photo Review 8.8

      In summary

      The Leica Q is a delightful camera to use ““ particularly for street and reportage photography, where its fast autofocusing and instant responsiveness and near silent operation place it in a class of its own.  We shot 430 DNG+JPEG frames during the media day in Melbourne and failed to exhaust the camera’s battery ““ although we filled a 16GB memory card and about half of an additional 8GB card.

      It was difficult not to be impressed with the photographs and video clips we took with the review camera. Subjective assessment showed them to be sharp and detailed with a nice dynamic range and natural-looking colours.

      Imatest confirmed these assessments and showed that the lens exceeded expectations for the sensor’s resolution at all aperture settings between f/1.7 and f/8, inclusive. This was also true for the 35mm and 50mm frame crops reflecting consistently high performance throughout the most frequently-used settings.

      Long exposures taken at night showed little noise right up to ISO 6400.  

      Autofocusing was very fast and accurate, both with normal shooting and when the touch screen was used to set the focus position. No significant slowing was evident in low light levels or while panning.

      The Q is a real photographer’s camera.


      Full review

      The new Leica Q appears to have been developed in response to a perceived demand for a large sensor/fixed lens camera that is small and light enough to be an everyday companion but delivers high levels of image quality and functionality. Featuring a 24-megapixel 36 x 24 mm sensor and integrated Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens, its design has evolved from the Leica M (Typ 240), which was released late in 2012 and which we haven’t reviewed.  


      Angled view of the Leica Q camera. (Source: Leica Camera.)

      Despite its non-interchangeable lens, the Q has introduced many improvements over the M in both technology and functionality. Its nearest competitor is the Sony RX1, which appeared at about the same time as the Leica M but attracted a lot more attention. We reviewed the RX1 in March 2013.

      The RX1 was updated in June 2013 by removing the anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor but other features remain unchanged. The table below compares key features of the Leica Q with the current Sony RX1R.


      Leica Q

      Sony RX1R


      24 x 36mm CMOS   with 26.3 million photosites

      35.8 x 23.8 mm Exmor R  CMOS with 24.7 million photosites

      Effective resolution

      24.2 megapixels

      24.3 megapixels

      A/D   conversion




      Leica Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH.

      Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2

      Optical design

      11 elements in 9 groups, incl. 3 aspherical elements

      8 elements in 7 groups, incl. 3 aspherical elements




      Lens hood



      AF range / Macro limit

      30 cm to infinity / 17 cm

      25 cm to infinity / 20 cm


      3,68MP LCOS display

      None (add-on OVF and EVF available)


      3-inch LCD, 1,040,000 dots, touch-screen controls

      3-inch LCD  1,228,800 dots


      Mechanical – 30 to 1/2000 second; electronic – 1⁄2500 to 1⁄16000 second

      Mechanical – 30 to 1/4000 second

      Max. continuous shooting speed / Buffer capacity

      10 fps for up to 13 DNG+JPEG pairs

      5 fps for up to 14 Large/Fine JPEGs or up to 12 RAF.RAW   files


      External (add-on)

      Built-in pop-up

      Video format

      MP4 with stereo audio

      AVCHD, AVC MPEG-4 with stereo audio

      Movie resolution

      1920 x 1080p at 60 or 30 fps; 1280 x 720p at 30 fps

      1920 x 1080   at 60, 50, 25, 24 fps; 1440 x 1080 at 30, 25 fps; 1280 x 720 at 30 fps; 640 x 480 at 30, 25 fps

      Native ISO   range



      Battery / capacity


       NP-BX1 / approx. 330 shots/charge

      Battery charging

      Separate charger supplied

      Via USB cable and AC adaptor (both supplied)

      Dimensions (wxhxd)

      130 x 80 x 93 mm

      113.3 x 65.4 x 69.6 mm

      Weight without/with battery

      590 grams / 640 grams

      453 grams / 482 grams




      Both cameras have fairly traditional control layouts with an aperture ring on the lens and a hot-shoe on the top panel. But on the Leica Q, a shutter speed dial replaces the mode dial on the RX1R, enabling users to switch between the P, A, S and M shooting modes with the aperture and shutter speed controls.

      Set the shutter speed dial to the A position and adjust the lens aperture to use the A mode. Do the reverse and you’re in the S mode. The P mode is selected when both dials are set to the A position, while Manual exposures can be adjusted with both dials. It’s much simpler than having to select the mode via a mode dial and then adjust the selected function(s) via separate control dials as on the RX1R.

      Who’s it For?
       With its fixed prime lens the Leica Q is essentially a closed system; there’s no option to expand the focal lengths beyond what the camera supports. Consequently, it’s not really suitable for sports and wildlife shooting and the lens isn’t quite long enough for conventional portraiture.

      However, as mentioned above, the Leica Q is close to ideal for street and reportage photography. It would also make a nice camera for shooting landscapes and may find a niche in architectural photography.

      Travellers may find its fixed 28mm lens limiting, although the digital frame selector (see below), which crops the frame to provide the equivalent coverage of 35mm and 50 mm lenses provides some flexibility. And, although not exactly pocketable, the Q is small and light enough to be easily carried when you’re on the go.

      Build and Ergonomics
       Leica’s ‘made in Germany’ build quality is legendary and the Q inherits the established tradition with a body fabricated from magnesium alloy and a top panel machined from solid blocks of aluminium. All the markings on the body and dials are laser-engraved.

      The front panel has a textured leather cladding that is very comfortable to hold. The top and rear panels have a smooth, low-gloss finish that merges almost seamlessly with leather cladding.


      The front panel of the Leica Q. (Source: Leica Camera.)

      The integrated Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens has an optical design that uses 11 elements in nine groups. Three aspherical elements are included and optical image stabilisation is built in. It’s the fastest lens so far on a fixed-lens ‘full frame’ camera and has been designed specifically for the Leica Q.


       Top view of the Leica Q showing the main controls on the lens and camera body.  (Source: Leica Camera.)

      Viewed from the top you can clearly see the position of the aperture ring near the front of the lens. Behind it is the focusing ring, which has a finger lever that lets users switch quickly between auto and manual focusing. To engage manual focusing, you simply hold down the lock/unlock button and turn the ring until the subject is in focus.

      Manual focusing engages focusing aids like magnification   (3x or 6x enlargement of the centre of the frame) and focus peaking (four colour options). Infinity focus occurs slightly before the end of the mechanical range is reached to allow for temperature variations.

      Aft of the focusing ring is a distance scale, which is on a ring that is coupled with the macro switch, a ring close to the camera body. Switching to the macro setting pushes out an inner distance scale that carries distance markings for the close focusing range, which extends from 17 cm to 30 cm. It’s not true macro but focuses close enough to be useful.

      The top panel carries the shutter speed dial plus the shutter release button with surrounding power and drive switch. There’s also a thumb wheel that is used for scrolling through menus, setting EV compensation and bracketing, playback magnification and setting slow shutter speeds. The movie button (with obligatory red dot) sits just in front of the thumb wheel.

      Adjusting exposure is really easy. To use manual exposure mode, you simply turn the aperture and shutter speed dials to the settings you want. For aperture-priority AE, you set the shutter speed dial to the A position and adjust the aperture ring on the lens, while for shutter priority AE, set the aperture ring to A and adjust the shutter speed dial.

      There’s no built-in flash and we never saw the need for one when we were using the camera. For those who require a flash, the top panel steps up sharply left of the shutter speed dial to provide space for a flash hot-shoe and the Q accepts Leica’s SF 26 system flash. Flash units from other manufacturers that satisfy the System 3000 System Camera Adaption (SCA), can be fitted with the SCA-3502-M51 adapter and will support guide number control. Twin microphone grilles are located just in front of the hot-shoe.


       Back view of the  Leica Q.  (Source: Leica Camera.)

      The rear panel is similar to the Leica M and centered on the LCD monitor, which is a 3-inch TFT LCD panel with approx. 1,040,000 pixels. It supports the same range of touch controls as the Leica T (INSERT LINK) and includes touch AF and touch shutter plus the standard tap, swipe, drag, pinch and spread controls as a regular smart-phone.

      Ranged along the left hand side of the screen are buttons for accessing the Play, Delete, Fn, ISO and Menu settings. To the right is an arrow pad with a central Set button but its direction buttons don’t have secondary roles for accessing controls like the flash or white balance.

      The EVF sits just above the monitor and is rather special. The field-sequential LCoS display has a resolution of 3.68 million dots, cycling very rapidly through 1280 x 960 pixels in red, green and blue to provide a  sharp, full-colour image with a fast refresh rate that is usable for both stills and movies.

      Leica claims is has the highest resolution of any EVF to date and its 4:3 aspect ratio provides full coverage of the sensor frame with a bit or space at the top and bottom of the screen for control icons. Switching between LCD and EVF is controlled with an eye-detection sensor that can be adjusted via a setting in the menu that lets you select on or off, or automatic switching.

      A lift-up panel made from hard plastic covers the USB and HDMI ports on the right hand side of the camera body. The battery and SD card slot share a compartment in the base of the camera, accessed via a locking cover; just like most compact digicams. Also in the base plate is a standard metal-lined tripod socket, which is centrally positioned and in line with the optical axis of the lens.

      The camera is supplied with a leather strap that attaches with split rings to the lugs on either side of the body. It’s not adjustable but neck and wrist straps are optionally available.

      To fit the lens hood you must first remove a ‘protective ring’ from the front of the lens and screw the hood into place. Fortunately, it can be left in position as the cup-shaped lens cap fits neatly and securely over it. Hood and cap together add about a centimetre to the length of the lens, which is immaterial in most situations so you might as well leave the hood attached.

       Wi-Fi implementation is similar to other manufacturers’ cameras and, unlike the Leica T, the Q supported both iOS and Android devices from its release. Before you can connect the camera to a smart device you must download the Leica Q app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

      If you have a wireless LAN, you can connect the camera to the smart device via the Client method. If not, the Host method makes the camera generate an access point where the device can register. This method uses a QR code to make the connection followed by an SSID   and password.

      Alternatively, you can connect via NFC if the smart device supports it.   Once the link is established, pictures recorded by the camera will be displayed on the smart device’s screen. Only JPEGs and MP4 movies can be transferred to the smart device.

      Useful Features
       One of the more interesting features of the Leica Q is the digital frame selector, which is accessed by pressing a small button just above the top right hand corner of the monitor screen or via the Digital Zoom setting in the Menu. With the first press of the button, the screen is cropped to cover the equivalent field of view of a 35mm lens. The second press crops to a 50mm equivalent. The corresponding frames are displayed on the monitor and EVF screens so you can see what is going on outside each bright-line frame.

      The table below shows how the frame is cropped at the various image size settings.

      Focal length




      24/15/8 MP

      6000 x 4000 px

      4800 x 3200 px

      3360 x 2240 px

      12/8/4 MP

      4272 x 2848 px

      3424 x 2288 px

      2400 x 1600 px

      6/4/2 MP

      2976 x 1984 px

      2384 x 1592 px

      1680 x 1120 px

      1.7/1.1/0.5 MP

      1600 x 1080 px

      1280 x 856 px

      896 x 600 px

      The actual in-camera cropping only applies to JPEG images; RAW files in DNG format record the entire field captured by the 28 mm lens. When you convert the DNG.RAW files into editable TIFFs using Adobe Camera Raw the frame crop is preserved.

      If you choose to use it, the resulting TIFF files have the same resolution as their equivalent JPEGs. But you can easily over-ride it to improve the shot’s composition; remembering that enlarging the frame will take in more image pixels and increase resolution, while reducing it lowers resolution.


       The illustrations above show the effect of the digital frame selector. From the top: 28mm, 35mm 50mm.

      Interestingly, no interpolation is applied to cropped JPEGs and initially we were quite dismissive of this feature, seeing it as a poor substitute for a digital zoom. However, the more we used it, the more useful it became. We found the 8-megapixel images produced by the 50mm frame setting were almost indistinguishable from the 24-megapixel 28mm frames when printed at A3 size.

      Being able to see what was happening outside the frame crop made us more aware of shot composition. But if we found our original composition was not quite perfect, it was easy to re-adjust the framing to reposition the subject, change the aspect ratio or include more of the scene when editing DNG.RAW files.

      The default setting for the Fn button is to access the Scene presets which include settings for PASM and Auto shooting modes plus sport, portrait,  landscape, night portrait,  snow/beach, candlelight, sunset,  digiscoping, miniature effect,  panorama and time lapse settings. The digiscoping, miniature and panorama modes appear to be JPEG only.

      Many serious photographers will avoid these shooting modes, which is easy. You can re-program the Fn button by holding it down and selecting one of the other options from the drop-down menu: white balance, exposure compensation, flash exposure compensation, photo file format, exposure metering, WLAN or self-timer.

      Only two autofocusing modes are available, AF-S and AF-C but you can choose from six combinations of AF and metering, including one-field metering, which lets you move the frame anywhere on the screen, using either touch or button control. Subject tracking is a variation that lets you set the AF/metering frame on the subject and half-press the shutter button to have the AF system track any movement.

      Touch controls cover both focusing and focus plus exposure. Users can also select face detection, which causes the camera to focus on the closest face.

      Shutter speeds are controlled by a hybrid leaf and electronic shutter, which is mechanical up to 1/2000 second and electronic from 1⁄2500 to 1⁄16000 second. In S mode, you select the mechanical range via the top panel dial and use the thumb wheel to set the higher electronic shutter speeds. The leaf shutter supports flash synch up to 1/500 second.

      You can set the camera to alert you with an acoustic signal when AF is confirmed or when the SD card is full. Two levels ““ high and low ““ are available. The same menu lets you switch the shutter sound and key click on or off.

      As well as the EVF/LCD switch, the Display section of the menu contains LCD brightness adjustments and settings for displaying a level gauge, 3×3 grid, histogram (brightness only) and/or highlight clipping blink indicator on the monitor and EVF screens. The grid, level gauge and clipping indicator aren’t supported in movie mode. The histogram and clipping indicators can also be shown in playback mode.

      White balance adjustments are reasonably comprehensive, although there’s no setting for fluorescent lights. But you do get two custom memory slots and support for Kelvin temperature input. On-screen fine-tuning is not available.

      ISO settings are fairly conventional. with pre-sets that range from 100 to 50000. You can limit the sensitivity range for the Auto mode and also specify the slowest shutter speed to prevent image blurring.

      Contrast, saturation and sharpness can also be adjusted in-camera, with five selectable levels. We found the default medium high setting a bit too high for contrast, although it produced satisfactory results with saturation and sharpness. The saturation setting contains an additional Monochrome position for shooting in black and white. These settings have no effect on DNG.RAW files.

      Three colour space settings are provided in the Colour Management sub-menu: sRGB, Adobe RGB and ECI-RGB. ECI-RGB is recommended by the ECI (European  Colour Initiative) as a working colour space for professional  image editing  and covers virtually all printing processes as well as all common display techniques.  

      Design Flaws
       Some of the design flaws identified in the Leica T  have been rectified in the Leica Q, thanks to the addition of a decent EVF and user-friendly external control buttons which make using the touch controls optional rather than mandatory. But some features of the Q are still reminiscent of a compact digicam. An example is the cancelling self-timer, which is re-set to off after each shot.

      In higher-specified cameras, when the self-timer is selected it remains on until the photographer disengages it. With cheaper digicams, if you want to take a sequence of shots, you’re required to re-set the timer after each shot, which requires an annoying amount of menu diving and toggling and when you select the 10- or 12-second delay can waste a lot of time.

      The dioptre adjustment range of the EVF is limited to +/-3 dpt, which is similar to many digicams and wasn’t enough for our unaided eyes. Fortunately, the design of the eyepiece is glasses-friendly so it’s not as problematic as it might have been.

      Although the AF sensor array is selectable by touch almost anywhere on the screen, in manual focus mode, only the centre of the frame is magnified. If you want to check other areas, you must re-focus on them by half pressing the shutter button when they’re in the centre of the field of view. It’s not a big deal; just mildly inconvenient.

      A grip moulding on the front panel would have made the body slightly more comfortable to hold without affecting the ease with which you can reach the key controls. The thumb rest just above the arrow pad is a bit too shallow to be really comfortable and should have been covered with the same material as used on the front panel. But neither is a serious issue.

      Leica seems to be confused about the best increments for adjusting exposure controls. The shutter speed dial and ISO adjustments are in full stops while aperture and EV compensation are in 1/3 stop increments. It’s not a big deal, but consistency would create a more professional appearance.

      By default, all files are stored in a single folder but you can create new folders by selecting Reset image numbering in the menu. The file numbering system automatically assigns the prefix L and a three-figure number to each folder, followed by a four-figure number to define each image file. Formatting a memory card re-sets the folder number to 100 and the file number to 0001.

      This can be confusing if you have several cards and format each one at the beginning of a shoot. When you come to download them there will be images with the same numbers in each of the folders from each card. We’d like to see some way to rename folders so this doesn’t occur, perhaps by enabling photographers to input text that identifies each shoot.

      Sensor and Image Processing
       The 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor in the Leica Q appears to be an updated version of the chip used in the Leica M but without an anti-aliasing filter. Leica hasn’t revealed the name of the sensor manufacturer so we can’t provide more information on it.

      It is partnered with the latest Maestro II processor chip, which underpins the extended ISO range and the ability to support continuous shooting at up to 10 frames/second. It probably also plays a role in the autofocusing and image stabilisation systems.

      The Q only offers two image quality settings: JPEG and DNG.RAW+JPEG. We’ve outlined the available image sizes at the various frame cropping settings above. Typical file sizes for the highest resolution with each crop are shown in the table below.



      16-bit TIFF   from DNG.RAW










      Leica’s use of the ‘universal’ DNG.RAW format for raw files is to be commended, as is its decision to bundle all cameras with a free download of Adobe Lightroom 6. Both add value to the camera for serious photographers.

       You might see video as something of an afterthought for a camera that has so obviously been designed for still photography. But the Leica Q is surprisingly good for shooting movies ““ and significantly better to use than any DSLR with an optical viewfinder because you can choose between the monitor and EVF for framing shots. Both have high enough resolution, accurate colour and tonal reproduction and fast enough refresh rates to handle the task competently.

      Photographers can choose from Full HD 1080p at 60 or 30 frames/second (fps) and HD 720p at 30 fps. The camera displays the 16:9 frame in the EVF and on the monitor, depending on which you use, with shooting data and status displayed above and below the frame. All three options played nicely on a standard computer screen or HD TV set.

      Video recordings are triggered and stopped by pressing the dedicated movie button. The status lamp blinks and a flashing red dot is displayed on the monitor or EVF screen to show the camera is recording. The remaining recording time is also displayed.

      Aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity settings are controlled automatically but you can select your preferred metering pattern. Contrast, saturation and sharpness can also be set before a recording begins. The menu provides adjustments for microphone sensitivity and a wind noise suppression filter.

      The footage we recorded was generally very smooth and both focusing and exposure re-adjust smoothly when subject distances and/or lighting changes. Manual focus over-ride was straightforward using the focusing ring, which made pulling focus easy. No signs of rolling shutter effects were detected.

      The stabilisation system was generally effective and we were able to record movie clips indoors in relatively low light levels and under mixed lighting with good results. You can capture a still frame while shooting a movie clip but there’s the usual brief gap in the movie while the still picture is recorded.

      Playback and Software
       Pressing the Play button displays the last picture or movie clip taken. The key shooting data   is displayed in the headers and footers, while the frame number is shown in the upper right corner of the screen.

      All the normal playback options are provided, including auto/manual rotate, group display mode for time-lapse and continuous bursts of shots, index view (12 or 30 thumbnails) and protect/delete. One of the nicer features of the camera is the ability to use the thumbwheel for magnification and reduction or images in playback, which is quick and very convenient.

      Slideshow playback is supported and you can select how long each frame is displayed. Most of these functions can be implemented via either touch or button controls.

      As mentioned above, all Leica cameras come with a free download of Adobe Lightroom 6.

       It was difficult not to be impressed with the photographs and video clips we took with the review camera. Subjective assessment showed them to be sharp and detailed with a nice dynamic range and natural-looking colours.

      Imatest confirmed these assessments and showed that the lens exceeded expectations for the sensor’s resolution at all aperture settings between f/1.7 and f/8, inclusive. This was also true for the 35mm and 50mm frame crops reflecting consistently high performance throughout the most frequently-used settings.

      The graph below shows the results of our Imatest measurements for each of the frame crops. Note that resolution is reduced by frame cropping to cover the longer focal length equivalents.


       Resolution remained relatively high throughout most of the review camera’s sensitivity range, as shown in the graph of our test results below.


       Long exposures taken at night showed little noise right up to ISO 6400. Beyond that point, noise was quite noticeable and we wouldn’t recommend using the two highest ISO settings for anything other than small prints.

      The auto white balance setting came surprisingly close to compensating for the warm cast of both incandescent and fluorescent lighting.   There’s no pre-set for fluorescent lighting and the tungsten pre-set over-corrected to add a blue cast. Manual measurement delivered neutral colours under both types of lighting.

      Autofocusing was very fast and accurate, both with normal shooting and when the touch screen was used to set the focus position. No significant slowing was evident in low light levels or while panning.

      We found no evidence of significant rectilinear distortion in either JPEG or DNG.RAW files. No signs of coloured fringing were observed in either file type, suggesting that even if it might be corrected in-camera, very little chromatic aberration was present in the lens.

      Metering was accurate as long as the appropriate pattern was used for the subject. When correctly matched, all three patterns delivered well-balanced highlight and shadow detail, even in quite contrasty situations.

      Backlit subjects were particularly well handled and shadows only blocked up in very contrasty conditions. Even then, detail could be restored without intrusive noise when DNG.RAW files were processed in Adobe software.

      It was difficult to force the lens to flare, even when the camera was pointed towards a bright light source. However, we did find faint flare artefacts in a couple of the backlit shots we took. An example is reproduced below.


      Flare artefact; 50mm focal length crop, ISO 100, 1/100 second at f/7.1.

      Video quality was generally very good, and the AF system, although not as fast as it was for stills, proved able to keep pace with slow and medium-paced movements. Delays of up to a second occurred as the lens refocused when subjects changed their distance from the camera rapidly. Exposures were slightly faster to re-adjust when light levels changed during a recording.

      Soundtracks were generally clear with satisfactory stereo presence, considering the sizes and separations of the tiny in-camera microphones. Thanks to the near-silent operation of the camera, recorded clips showed no apparent interference from focusing and zooming and the wind-reduction filter did a good job of suppressing wind noise.

      Our timing tests were conducted with a 16GB SanDisk Ultra SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 card which claims a transfer speed of 40MB/second. The review camera powered up in approximately half a second.  

      Capture lag was effectively negligible since we were unable to measure any difference between when we simply pressed the shutter button and when shots were pre-focused.   Shot-to-shot times averaged 0.45 seconds. On average, high-resolution JPEGs took approximately 0.1 seconds to process, while RAW+JPEG pairs were processed in 1.7 seconds.

      In the high-speed continuous shooting mode we were able to record at 40 JPEG frames at the maximum resolution in 4.1 seconds before there was a slight slowing of the capture rate. Processing this burst of shots took four seconds.   The medium-speed mode captured 40 JPEG frames in 6.6 seconds without slowing. It appears to have ‘unlimited capacity for JPEGs as processing was completed within half a second of the last frame captured.   The low-speed mode recorded 10 frames in four seconds and, like the medium-speed mode, appeared to process shots on-the-fly.

      With DNG+JPEG files in the high-speed mode, the camera paused after 14 frames, which were captured in 1.3 seconds. Changing to the medium-speed mode, the buffer memory filled after 10 frames, which were recorded in 1.6 seconds. The low speed mode recorded 14 frames in 5.7 seconds. With all three modes, it took roughly 30 seconds to clear the buffer memory.

       The Leica Q is a delightful camera to use ““ particularly for street and reportage photography, where its fast autofocusing and instant responsiveness and near silent operation place it in a class of its own. We shot 430 DNG+JPEG frames during the media day in Melbourne and failed to exhaust the camera’s battery ““ although we filled a 16GB memory card and about half an additional 8GB card.

      Significantly, when we reviewed the shots back at home, there were at least 65 of them which were worth printing. So we printed an A4 book containing most of these shots, something we’ve never even thought of doing with any camera we have reviewed in the past 20 or so years.

      AU$5900 is a lot to pay for a fixed-lens 24-megapixel camera, despite its obvious advantages and the fact that it’s AU$2500 cheaper than the interchangeable-lens Leica M (Typ 240). Add AU$5300 for the Summicron-M 28mm f/2.0 lens for the M and the Q might be seen as a bargain.

      We wouldn’t recommend buying off-shore since the shipping and insurance costs would probably put the cost close to the current prices Australian Leica re-sellers are offering. We found several of them pricing the camera at around $AU5600, indicating deals may be possible.

      Unfortunately, even with a discount, these prices put Leica cameras out of the reach of many serious photographers – and that’s a pity. Unlike the somewhat dinky Leica T  released last year, the Q is a real photographer’s camera that ought to be used and appreciated; not stored on a collector’s shelf.



       Image sensor: 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor with 26.3 million photosites   (24.2 megapixels effective)
       Image processor: Maestro II  
       A/D processing:  14-bit
       Lens: Leica Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH., (11 elements in 9 groups, includes 3 aspherical lenses)
       Digital zoom: Optionally approx. 1.25x (corresponding to 35mm) or approx. 1.8x (corresponding to 50mm)
       Image formats: Stills – JPEG, DNG.RAW+JPEG; Movies – MP4 with AAC stereo audio
       Image Sizes: Stills ““ 24MP (6000 x 4000), 12MP (4272 x 2848), 6MP (2976 x 1984), 1.7MP (1600 x 1080); Movies:   [Full HD] 1920 x 1080p with 60/30 fps; [HD] 1280 x 720 30 fps
       Image Stabilisation: Integrated optical
       Shutter (speed range): Mechanical shutter – 30 to 1⁄2000 seconds; electronic shutter – 1⁄2500 to 1⁄16000 second; flash synch at up to 1⁄500 sec.
       Exposure Compensation: +/- 3EV in 1/3EV steps
       Exposure bracketing: 3 frames in graduations of up to 3 EV in 1⁄3EV increments
       Self-timer: 2 or 12 seconds delay
       Focus system: Contrast-based AF; range 30 cm to infinity; macro setting from 17 cm; 1-field (adjustable), multi-field, face recognition, subject tracking, optional setting/shutter release by touching the monitor; magnification and focus peaking aids for manual focusing
       Focus modes: AF-S, AF-C, AF setting can be saved
       Exposure metering:   Multi-filed, Centre-weighted and Spot metering patterns
       Shooting modes: P, A, S and M
       Scene Modes: Fully automatic, sport, portrait, landscape, night portrait, snow/beach, candlelight, sunset, digiscoping, miniature effect, panorama, time lapse
       Colour space options: sRGB and Adobe RGB,   ECI RGB
       ISO range: Auto,   ISO 100 to ISO 50000
       White balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Halogen lighting, Shadow, Electronic Flash, Manual 1, 2 , Colour temperature setting; Blue/Amber, Magenta/Green bias adjustments
       Flash: External flash only
       Sequence shooting: Max. 10 shots/sec.   (5 fps and 3 fps also available)
       Buffer capacity: Max. 40 Large/Fine JPEGs or 14 RAW+JPEG pairs
       Storage Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC cards (Compatible with UHS-I standard SDHC / SDXC Memory Cards)
       Viewfinder: 3,68MP LCOS display (resolution: 1280 x 960 pixels x 3 colours); 4:3 adjustable +/-3 dioptre adjustment, eye sensor switching
       LCD monitor: 3-inch TFT LCD monitor with approx. 1,040,000 pixels, touch control possible
       Playback functions: Protect/delete, auto/manual rotate, index view (12 or 30 thumbnails), scrolling, group display mode for time-lapse and continuous bursts of shots, slideshow, magnify/reduce, movie playback with volume control and trimming.  
       Interface terminals: Micro USB socket (2.0), HDMI socket
       Wi-Fi function: IEEE 802.11b/g/n, 2412 MHz – 2462 MHz (1-11 ch), Wi-Fi / WPA / WPA2, Infrastructure mode; NFC supported (JIS X 6319-4 standard / 13.56MHz)
       Power supply: Leica BP-DC12 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack ((7.2V D.C. / capacity 1200mAh); PRA tested for more than 600 shots/charge
       Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 130 x 80 x 93 mm
       Weight: Approx. 590 grams (body only); 640 grams with battery



       Based on JPEG files.


       Based on DNG.RAW files converted into 16-bit TIFFs with Adobe Camera Raw.







       Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.  


      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.


      30-second exposure at ISO 100; 35mm crop at f/2.8.  


      8-second exposure at ISO 800; 35mm crop at f/3.5.


      2.5-second exposure at ISO 6400; 35mm crop at f/4.


      2-second exposure at ISO 12500; 35mm crop at f/5.6.


      1.6-second exposure at ISO 50000; 35mm crop at f/7.1.


      Close-up; 28mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/60 second at f/4.


      Portrait;50mm focal length crop, ISO 640, 1/60 second at f/6.3.


      Backlighting; 28mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/100 second at f/5.6.


      Strong Backlighting; 50mm focal length crop, ISO 100, 1/200 second at f/8.


      Panorama mode; 35mm focal length crop, ISO 100, 1/640 second at f/5.


      ISO 12500, 28mm focal length, 1/640 second at f/4.



      ISO 50000, 28mm focal length, 1/2000 second at f/5.6.


      28mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/80 second at f/4.


      28mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/60 second at f/5.6.



      50mm focal length crop, ISO 500, 1/60 second at f/5.6.


      35mm focal length crop, ISO 320, 1/50 second at f/5.


      50mm focal length crop, ISO 200, 1/320 second at f/5.6.


      50mm focal length crop, ISO 100, 1/1000 second at f/7.1.


      28mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/60 second at f/5.6.




      Still frames from MP4 1920 x 1080p video clips recorded at 60 fps.


       Still frames from MP4 1920 x 1080p video clips recorded at 30 fps.


       Still frame from MP4 1280 x 720p video clip recorded at 30 fps.


      RRP: AU$5900; US$4250

      • Build: 9.5
      • Ease of use: 9.0
      • Autofocusing: 9.0
      • Still image quality JPEG: 9.0
      • Still image quality RAW: 9.0
      • Video quality: 8.8