Leica did not disappoint and released another camera that comes with great photo quality, modern capabilities and a good handling and shooting experience. Leica Q is a fixed-lens compact camera with a full-frame and 24-megapixel CMOS image sensor. This camera could be compared with Sony’s RX1, but it is a more updated and newer camera. However, just like other Leica cameras, this one comes with a high price and costs 4,250 dollars.
Leica Q has a much more classic design than ultra-modern looks. Its design has a retro aesthetic look and it’s pretty much what a person would draw on a paper if somebody would asked him to sketch a camera. Compared with the Leica M line, the new Q is built from different pieces of magnesium and aluminum, instead of a single piece of aluminum. Leica Q was designed in-house, but the previous version, Leica T, was designed by Audi. The lens on the new camera could be considered a photographer’s dream. It comes with a 28mm, f/1.7 aperture Summilux with optical image stabilization. All of the lens controls are placed on the lens itself, making it easy to adjust focus, aperture or focusing modes on the fly.
As for photo quality, it is incredible and terrific. Photos display board dynamic range with accurate, but saturated colors. The camera doesn’t perform any noise smoothing in the JPEGs, meaning that the photos look grainy starting at about ISO 6400. The 28mm f1.7 lens deliver incredible bokeh, with round highlights and smooth out-of-focus areas. Across the entire aperture range, it displays incredible sharpness. Even if Leica doesn’t have such big experience with autofocus systems, the new Q acquits itself very well. It looks like this camera powers on, focuses and shoots in under a second. However, it takes 0.2 second to focus and shoot in good light and approximately 0.3 in dim. It’s an incredible performance for this type of camera. It also takes 0.4 second time to shoot two consecutive photos in both JPEG and DNG+JPEG formats.
Probably, the most notable alternative for Leica Q is Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX1R, but it’s two years old now and doesn’t have the feature set as nearly as good as Leica’s.