Leica Q

13 April, 2016

Leica’s homerun.  It’s unicorn.


I have had a mixed relationship with Leica and it’s products (let alone it’s service…)

I have documented the downsides to using the M system in Australia as a Professional tool.

My Leica M and Leica M9-P are located here.

I will always have a soft spot for the M9-P.  I still think that body was Leica’s shining glory.

Leica gear therefore has been absent from my bag for a while.  It was replaced with the RX1/R. 

Given that a camera body is only as good as it’s weakest link, although the RX1/R’s image quality was superlative, it’s AF speed and acquisition was dreadful.

False Positives are not what your looking for especially when the images you are taking are what you love most,

My Madison.


Herein lies the dilemma for Photographers around the World, it was most certainly mine.

Quality, Speed, Focus speed and accuracy, Manual Focus implementation, Battery life, Haptics and Usability.

These qualities we search for in the professional game are all much cherished for in our personal camera but it comes at on MAJOR expense.


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Carrying baby bags as well as Madison or pushing her pram… well, Photography is literally the last thing on my mind,

especially if I had to carry around my Nikons and lenses as well.

It just won’t happen.

Enter the Leica Q.  Everything you want, in my favourite focal length nonetheless (I will always have a special spot in my heart for the Nikkor 28mm f1.4 AFD).

The Q is small, not RX1 small, but not DSLR big.  It’s lack of heft is a positive, albeit I would have liked alittle more weight to it.

Catch 22 I guess.

It’s fast.  Something that is NEVER associated with any Leica camera body.  Unexpectedly it has qualities that even outshine the 2 big guns, Canon and Nikon.

This is the camera that I thought one of those 2 would have built and sold by now.  Incredible opportunity once again missed.

The 2 companies right now that are on fire are Leica and Sony.

Innovation waits for no one, but it seems Canon and Nikon have been basking in their user base for too long.


So what is the Q?  Technically a Full Frame Sensor, 24MPs at that, new CMOS sensor, 10 fps, Superb EVF and LCD but the 3 features that was the clincher?

28mm f1.7 Summilux (not sure why they call it a Summilux as it’s not f1.4), it’s Manual Focus implementation and the Shutter sound.

Those 3 things had me at hello.

There are no false positive AF affirmations.  It just hits.  Keeper rates go through the roof.  It just gets it.

Battery life is much better than the Sony RX1/R it’s not even a competition in this regard.

Operationally it is superb and fluent.  In it’s development, Leica nicknamed the Q ‘Hemingway’, an ode to a Story Telling genius.

They knew what they had.  Q’s worldwide were in short supply.

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Colour is more on the M9 side than M240.  More natural.  Bokeh for a fast wide is exceptional.

My reference of tack sharp is my Zeiss Otus and the Q holds up very very well.

Being able to shoot nimbly and quietly is it’s best feature as a Father, I don’t want to disturb Madison from her playtime or sleep.

The Q for me was added primarily for Madison.  At a 28mm length she is still just an arms throw away and as a little toddler, this is very important.

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I feel giddy about gear when I know what I can produce with it and accordingly do so.  It’s never been about Brand loyalty or being fanboys.

Clearly I haven’t been either according to what’s in my bag.

The Q has performance right across the board in all areas you would want from a Camera body.

Is it perfect?  No camera is.  Choose gear for the specific uses you have.

As my ‘Madison’ camera is it perfect?  Absolutely.


My only gripe is this, make mount interchangeable.

But in doing so, Leica would then officially be cannibalizing the sales of the Q, from M owners.  So they won’t do that.

But as of right now, if a fast wide on a small body with a Full Frame is your thing, then the Leica Q is your only game in town.

The biggest endorsement I can give it is that I primarily use it to shoot photos of Madison with it.

There can be no bigger endorsement.


Happy Shooting!

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