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"To be, or not to be, that is the Q" new article at overgaard.dk

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Anyone here who look at the Leica Q as an experienced Fuji (or Olympus or Sony) user of mirrorless cameras?

 

I'm interested to hear the response on that, apart from the obvious price difference. 

 

Thorsten,

 

First off, nice article and I am always amazed with people that are able to speak and write in languages other than their naive one.  Yeah, of course someone could proof it, but is is just the internet, on the other hand a site like yours will live long after you are gone.

 

Anyway, to answer your question.  I have had the Sony RX1 from the beginning and saw the advantages it has.  

 

The short answer to your question is that I would trade my Sony in a heart beat for the Q.

 

Doesn't mean I don't get along fine with the RX1.  In the beginning I felt the RX1 was better than my M + 35 Summilux II.  Over time I changed my mind.  The RX1 suffers from:  Files are nice with great color and skin tones, but 11 bit compressed is just too limiting compared to the Leica 14 bit lossless compressed.  Menus are horrible on the Sony.  Manual focus is not really workable.  Haptics are just too standard digital-camera.  But, the Sony is a great compact FF that I probably will not sell for a long time.

 

I had a chance to handle the Q and it felt just so familiar.  The black-out was not noticeable.  The AF was faster than the Sony and the viewfinder was about the same in fidelity, but I liked that it was built in.  Overall, Leica did a great job making a "Leica" camera.  This is where they need be.  The DNA has to be Leica.  And, I'm encouraged by Leica's ability to make a camera this close to the state of the art.

 

So, as a Sony RX1 protagonist I would like to have the Q.  As an owner of an M and a RX1 I won't buy the Q only because, it makes no monetary  sense, since I own the RX1 already.  And, the Sony is more compact(without the EVF) and in this way is more like a PAS for me when I don't want to carry the M system.  I admit to shooting the Sony RX1 in Auto mode almost exclusively...PAS!

 

The Q is Leica's version of a fixed lens FF camera designed to achieve the highest image quality in a compact format.  I think they succeeded.  Sony did too.  And, if you are more comfortable with current camera designs, with lot's of menus and buttons (some are) then, the Sony is your your choice.  If, you resonate with the Leica gestalt, then the Q is your choice.

 

For me, I am so encouraged by the direction Leica has taken with the Q.  

 

This is Leica.

 

Rick

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Thorsten,

 

I have been using the Fuji XT-1 and the X100S.

I am a longtime user of the M, both film and digital also. It is very difficult for me to part with my M. But my eyesight, unfortunately, says otherwise.

 

As such, I would have gone for the Q..but the 28mm is not my FL. No way. Cropping to 35/50...for me is not on.

50/75, I would have given my cc # immediately.

 

But as others, I am glad Leica has taken the direction it has with the Q.

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Were you on multi-spot focus or single-spot?

I was on single-spot. As commented elsewhere, I have preferred this along with touch and shoot, but will be trying out multi-spot at some point, probably at a neo-nazi demo next weekend.

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An excellent review Thorsten, thank you. I read the review in two sessions but I don't recall any mention of what you thought about the camera's manual focus abilities.

 

With regard to a future 'mini-M', my version of such a camera would not be of Leica CL size but more the size of the current film M. 

 

Mike.

The only thought I had on the manual focus of the Leica Q is that I wouldn't use it. The advantage is the AF. That's all I wrote

 

Then again, I am thinking if I want to work with fast street photography if the AF would actually delay the shot and if MF in those cases would be better. I will see.

 

But so far I would use it AF all the time. 

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Thorsten,

 

I have been using the Fuji XT-1 and the X100S.

I am a longtime user of the M, both film and digital also. It is very difficult for me to part with my M. But my eyesight, unfortunately, says otherwise.

 

As such, I would have gone for the Q..but the 28mm is not my FL. No way. Cropping to 35/50...for me is not on.

50/75, I would have given my cc # immediately.

 

But as others, I am glad Leica has taken the direction it has with the Q.

Yes, that's what I hear quite a bit. People considering changing to the Q due to eye sight and focusing issues. 

 

I am doing a 5-page update on the Leica M article about focusing. Hope that will help some. 

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I was on single-spot. As commented elsewhere, I have preferred this along with touch and shoot, but will be trying out multi-spot at some point, probably at a neo-nazi demo next weekend.

I have been experimenting with the multi area focus (with face detect on) and have found it to be remarkably good most of the time at focussing on the area I wanted. Of course sometimes it get it wrong but compared tot he Sony A7's which have a tendency to focus on the background it works very well. Give it a go

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Great article Thorsten,

Always find your articles are good reading with lots of useful practical information.

Having had my new Q for 4 days it was perfect to see your advise on how to set it up.

Thanks   Ross

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I have been experimenting with the multi area focus (with face detect on) and have found it to be remarkably good most of the time at focussing on the area I wanted. Of course sometimes it get it wrong but compared tot he Sony A7's which have a tendency to focus on the background it works very well. Give it a go

Yes, it is pretty good. I just decided to go back to 1-Point focus after a while as it seemed more predictable. 

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I just updated the Leica Q article with a few new things, including starting to compare the Leica Q 28mm Summilux with the Leica M 240 and the Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

 

http://www.overgaard.dk/Leica-Q-Hemingway-digital-rangefinder-.html

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Guest ralf.

Hello Thorsten, am I wrong or did you use stricty f 1.7 when testing the Q? Why? There ar some pictures which would have tolerated another aperture.

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Yes, that's what I hear quite a bit. People considering changing to the Q due to eye sight and focusing issues. 

 

I am doing a 5-page update on the Leica M article about focusing. Hope that will help some. 

 

Looking forward to read this one. Any ideas when you will be finished with it?

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The only thought I had on the manual focus of the Leica Q is that I wouldn't use it. The advantage is the AF. That's all I wrote

 

Then again, I am thinking if I want to work with fast street photography if the AF would actually delay the shot and if MF in those cases would be better. I will see.

 

But so far I would use it AF all the time. 

First thank you for your Q "primer" as well as the earlier D2 version... I went back to that D2 version many times for info even with the x1 (the concepts and info worked)... Thank you.

 

 

i recall reading somewhere (please correct me if i am incorrect) that HCB toward the end of his life used a minilux  which as i recall was completely AF.  i think Leica has "nailed it" when it comes to AF and my guess (fwiw) is that more M shooters will come over the Q and the Q v2 et al.

Edited by prk60091

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Anyone here who look at the Leica Q as an experienced Fuji (or Olympus or Sony) user of mirrorless cameras?

 

I'm interested to hear the response on that, apart from the obvious price difference. 

 

I have used an X-Pro1 and now a Sony A7m2, both with Leica lenses and native AF lenses. The Sony was purchased after the release of the Loxia MF lenses, which was a little bit unfortunate for Leica, as otherwise I would have purchased an M240. The Leica lenses _might_ be better than the Loxia, however the Loxia transfers metadata to the camera AND allows close focus - and that opens up new creative opportunities. So, I'm really happy about that. The Sony A7 has a good EVF with diopter adjustment, so do the others.

 

Now the Sony, and the Fuji, once setup work more or less the same as any Leica camera. You just take the photos, and changing metering is assigned to a custom button so that its easy change (same for WB and so on). Its really effortless. When I use MF lenses the menu system essentially no longer exists and in the case of the Fuji I went for so long without using the menus that I forgot how they even work. Since _all_ menu systems are rather horrible I consider forgetting how they work a good thing! 

 

Your description of the AF on the Q is no different to the Sony A7, they all use similar Image Processors and thats where the AF logic lives. Eventually you learn how to take advantage of the AF system, it really is important to select the right mode for a situation, and then its a very useful tool. But it takes some effort and discipline to really learn which mode to use when - I actually started using the Sony Scene modes and there the camera does a good selection of the best AF mode to use, so I researched what each Scene uses for AF and started from that point. Otherwise the AF systems are too complex and one tends to just select Center Square AF-S ... just like a Rangefinder.

 

Ahh, rangefinders ... the ability to see outside the frame is still useful, especially when shooting with Film (less wasted shots). So I don't see them going away, however, with the A7 (or the Q) being able to see and focus perfectly is really really wonderful. And no expensive diopter adjustment required.

 

The only real difference I see between the Q and the Sony/Fuji is shooting ergonomics (placement of dials and buttons). The Leica approach to the key controls Aperture/Shutter/AF Select is IMO better than what Sony/Fuji does. But my feeling is that the button layout of Sony, with Custom buttons either side of the Shutter button, and the AF/MF/AE Lock near the thumb ... is actually more useful. The Leica button layout _looks_ better, but in terms of getting things done with a highly automated digital camera, the Sony layout is better.

 

 

None of that compares to the Ricoh GR which offers _comparable_ image quality for a fraction of the price, a fraction of the weight and a fraction of the size. And that camera has a completely different approach to ergonomics and menus that _somehow_ puts all of these other monster cameras to shame. The only downside is that its AF Speed is not always so great.

 

 

My own impression on the Q is that its a nice camera, but somehow Leica does not want to sell them to anyone other that people who already own a Leica. Wether they (Leica) do that on purpose, or for lack of courage, or force of habit ... I don't know. For a camera that focuses on the essential, Leica sure did produce a vast array of accessories ... so I tend to suspect "force of habit". And that is a shame. Part of the problem of a Luxury brand is the perception of Value and Exclusivity. If the exclusivity is not on a buyers "radar" then the value portion of the brand risks collapse, and a silly (and expensive) collection of cases and straps does nothing to calm those anxieties. 

 

 

Yesterday I ordered and new Zeiss Batis 25mm lens for my Sony A7, its one third the price of the Q, and for sure its a better imaging tool. Now, had the Q been better priced I might have spent a little more to get the Q ... as they say, actions speak louder than words - my Sony A7 is no different to me than my Film Rangefinder, aside from the obvious, and I think the Q would also be a perfect camera to use. I can find things to get annoyed by with any of them, you just adapt to that.

 

 

The Leica Q indicates that Leica might do something interesting in the next 12 months ... and then we see if Leica acts with courage or force of habit.

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First thank you for your Q "primer" as well as the earlier D2 version... I went back to that D2 version many times for info even with the x1 (the concepts and info worked)... Thank you.

 

 

i recall reading somewhere (please correct me if i am incorrect) that HCB toward the end of his life used a minilux  which as i recall was completely AF.  i think Leica has "nailed it" when it comes to AF and my guess (fwiw) is that more M shooters will come over the Q and the Q v2 et al.

Yes, he did onward use a Minilux. I don't know if he only used that or what the story is. I know Leica gave him the Leica M6 and other cameras from that period and onward. So likely also the Minilux. 

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Hello Thorsten, am I wrong or did you use stricty f 1.7 when testing the Q? Why? There ar some pictures which would have tolerated another aperture.

Yes, I used only f/1.7 because I feel the f/1.7 is what really makes it stand out together with the full-frame. 

 

A lot of things could be easier with f/4.0 or something, but ... maybe later :-)

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My own impression on the Q is that its a nice camera, but somehow Leica does not want to sell them to anyone other that people who already own a Leica. Wether they (Leica) do that on purpose, or for lack of courage, or force of habit ... I don't know. For a camera that focuses on the essential, Leica sure did produce a vast array of accessories ... so I tend to suspect "force of habit". And that is a shame. Part of the problem of a Luxury brand is the perception of Value and Exclusivity. If the exclusivity is not on a buyers "radar" then the value portion of the brand risks collapse, and a silly (and expensive) collection of cases and straps does nothing to calm those anxieties. 

 

 

Maybe they should have focused more on producing cameras than acessories  

 considering how hard it is to get a Leica Q.

 

It's unusual that Leica make that many accessories and for my part I am not intersted in them. They may be expensive but not very exclusive or luxury. This is a new thing they do and I generally think it is good, but not well done. I wrote them a couple of years ago to invent lens shades, thumbs up and other things "original Leica" things in traditional Leica quality because there would be a market for it. That would be of value, not keyring, mass-produced luxury bags, t-shirts and usb-sticks with Leica logo.

 

I would see it as two separate things, the Leica Q and the accessories. And it is likely two completely different units doing each their thing. 

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Yes, that's what I hear quite a bit. People considering changing to the Q due to eye sight and focusing issues.

 

I am doing a 5-page update on the Leica M article about focusing. Hope that will help some.

Hi Thorsten, I look forward to your write up about M focusing. Had my 50th B-Day just last month and in transition to wearing progression lens for my eye glasses, I found myself slower these days in terms my M9 focusing. So, there is no regret getting the Q as backup or secondary camera with AF capability when needed

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Hi Thorsten, I look forward to your write up about M focusing. Had my 50th B-Day just last month and in transition to wearing progression lens for my eye glasses, I found myself slower these days in terms my M9 focusing. So, there is no regret getting the Q as backup or secondary camera with AF capability when needed

Progression lenses are usually not a problem for focusing unless the long distance view doesn't match when you look through the viewfinder. I think most people get them around 45.

 

Hopefully the article is out soon, I twas been in the works for a long time, and I eventually decided to split it up to get it moving off the line :-)

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