The Leica Q - Is This Camera Worth the Hype?

If you're looking for a high-end camera that packs a punch in terms of performance and features, the Leica Q is definitely worth your consideration. This camera boasts impressive image quality, intuitive controls, and a sleek design that photographers can't get enough of. But is it worth the investment? In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what the Leica Q brings to the table and whether it's worth the hype.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Leica Q article cover photo

Key Features

Jun 10 2015

Announced

24 megapixels

Resolution

BrandLeica
Sensor TypeFull frame
SensorCMOS
Weight640g
MSRP$4250USD

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Overview of the Q

When it comes to high-end cameras, the Leica brand needs no introduction. Known for its iconic designs and impressive performance, Leica cameras are an investment for those who take their photography seriously. The Leica Q is no exception to this, with its impressive build quality, advanced features, and intuitive controls. But with a price tag that's not for the faint of heart, is the Leica Q really worth the investment? Let's find out.

Leica Q Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Leica Q camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!

Pros

Full Frame Sensor
Fast Autofocus
WiFi Connectivity
Compact Design
Excellent Image Quality
Traditional Manual Controls
Summilux Lens for Great Bokeh
Integrated EVF
Durable Build Quality

Cons

Expensive
No Swivel Screen
Fixed Lens
Limited Zoom Capability
Average Battery Life
No Image Stabilization
Low Light Performance Could Be Better
Limited Video Recording Features
No Weather Sealing

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Leica Q

Weather sealed
Dimensions130 x 80 x 93mm
Weight640g
Thickness93mm
Weight
Min
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Max
Thickness
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Weather Sealing

The Leica Q is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderElectronic
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution1,040k dots
Body typeLarge sensor compact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 1,040k dots. This makes the Leica Q not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. The camera also features a touch screen, which adds to its ease of use.

Viewfinder

Q includes a electronic viewfinder with 3,680k dots of resolution with a coverage of 100% and a magnification of 0.76x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Leica Q has a 24MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 24 pixels. Leica Q has a native ISO range of 100 - 50000 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Jun 10 2015

Announced

100 - 50000

ISO Range

SensorFull frame
Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution6000 x 4000 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores

Overall

85 / 102

Color Depth

24.3 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

12.7 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

2221 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Leica Q camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the Q is above average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor

1x

Full frame equivalent

24mm

This camera: Full frame

24mm

850100150200

Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC/SDXC
Battery Life
Battery ModelBP-DC12
HDMI
USD
Wireless Connectivity

Storage

The Leica Q supports SD/SDHC/SDXC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.

Battery

The Leica Q uses the BP-DC12 model of undefined. This is rated for undefined shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features

Flash

The Leica Q does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.

Shutter

The Leica Q boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.

Autofocus

The Leica Q includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with null number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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FAQ

What is the sensor size of the Leica Q?

The Leica Q features a CMOS sensor

Is the Leica Q weather sealed?

No the Q does not have weather sealing.

When was the Leica Q announced?

The Leica Q was announced on Jun 10 2015

Does the Leica Q have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the Q does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Leica Q?

The Q has a native ISO range of 100-50000, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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