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Leica Q - Observations and Queries

 

I have been thoroughly enjoying using my Q these last 9 days. It is quite a camera, and a worthy companion to the M240 (or is it going to be the other way round?!). The performance of the camera is fantastic. The exposures are far more accurate than the M240 and I must ‘unlearn’ over-compensating in bright, back-lit and dark situations! The AF is astoundingly quick and accurate in bright and averagely lit scenarios, and still pretty good in low light ones. Its size and weight are just about right, a nice balance. Its quiet shutter, fast operation and clean simple lines makes it an ideal discrete street camera.

 

However, I have found a few quirks, which may or may not be due to the way I have set my camera up. I list them here and would appreciate comments and advice/corrections as appropriate.

 

My apologies if they have already been raised previously.

 

1. Is it possible to have true live preview displayed on half press of shutter button so that exposure and aperture set (DOF) can be assessed?

 

Currently in low (or bright) light situations with manually set high shutter speed and small aperture (or slow shutter speed and large aperture) with Auto ISO, preview shows beautifully exposed displays – unless Review is set On, the resulting massively under (or over) exposed file could be missed.

 

Conversely, say in back-lit or dark situations – altering exposure settings or compensation shows the preview changing, brightening up in a back-lit view or darkening in a dark view, but these changes are not reflected in the recorded files.

 

Even with Histogram turned On, this under/over exposure is not easy to spot – in fact, I am sure the histogram just matches the incorrect preview image.

 

There appears to be no way to get a consistent true ‘set’ live view, i.e. related to the shutter speed, aperture and ISO set – or have I missed an option in the menu?  If I have not, this is critical and should be made available immediately.

 

In full Auto mode, the changes made are both shown and recorded, but surely this should operate similarly in BOTH Auto AND Manual modes.

 

2. When reviewing images – it would be nice to be able to scroll images when in zoomed-in mode.

I am not finding the speeding up of scrolling when in zoomed- in review that useful. It invariably flies past the spot I want to check. I would be happy with just the basic scroll speed.

 

It would be useful to be able to zoom directly into the point of focus. I appreciate it may be difficult with face detect or multiple AF point selection options.

 

3. When shooting with the LCD I find it annoying that the bottom info bar stays/comes on when shooting, whereas the top one disappears. The bar strip background is too dark, obstructing the view, causing incorrect composition nearly always. This is NOT an issue when using the EVF, as both top and bottom info bars are OUTSIDE full frame viewing area.

 

It would be nice to have an option where both info bars remain completely OFF when this display setting is chosen, especially on the LCD. At present the bottom bar re-appears on half press of shutter button. Again, NOT an issue in EVF as top and bottom info bars are OUTSIDE full frame viewing area.

 

Discrete viewing settings for EVF and LCD would be useful.

 

4. Manual switching between EVF and LCD should be possible with a customisable button (see below).  As also mentioned by others, when in EVF only mode there should be an option to have the play back review image appear on the LCD.

 

5. When the Level Gauge has been selected, it 'disappears' when the shutter button is half-pressed – why? The Histogram also behaves this way. However the Grid and Clipping stay on. ALL should stay on.

 

6. Like loads before me -DNG only option please!

 

7. Exposure compensation selection option on Fn Button is awkward – this should be available on the Zoom/Lock Button as this is the natural position, next to the thumbwheel. The Fn Button is difficult, almost impossible, to accurately activate with the camera to the eye.

 

8. In fact, the selection of options accessible on the Fn Button should be extended, possibly to almost all Menu operational options. And this same extended list should also be available on the Zoom/Lock Button, and possibly (please!) on the Video Button too. That way we can have 3 Custom Buttons – Yes Please!!!

 

9. It would be nice to be able to rearrange the Menu items to suit individual requirements (Digital Zoom would not be my choice for the No.1 slot), and to be able to save all settings to an SD card for safe keeping and re-setting the camera as and when required.

 

10. I am finding that the Menu does not always return to the last used option (e.g. User Profile) when re-accessed, but have not yet figured how or why it happens.

 

From this long list (and it may still be added to as the Q is used more and further experience is gained ) it may seem that I am dissatisfied with the Q – far from it – I am so enjoying it very much indeed. It is my constant companion, though in reality any new camera will be anyway, and my M240 is tucked safely away at the moment.

 

If Leica can be receptive to its loyal users and address at least some, if not the majority of issues raised so far, in a firmware update, it will escalate the Q to being a totally stellar camera. And then all they have to do is to bring out the Q 21mm f2.8, Q 35mm f2 and Q 50mm f2 versions for an astounding, superfast set of superb compact cameras to take over the world! Will the rumoured new interchangeable mirrorless camera system provide this? Probably not totally – but, only time will tell.

 

I did forward some of these issues to Leica but have not yet heard back so far.

 

In the meantime I shall continue to use and enjoy my fantastic Q.

 

Looking forward to comments and clarifications/advice in overcoming some of the issues listed above.

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If I may add:

11. When a review image is to be displayed, the camera shows a low-resolution preliminary for a second or so, then the proper image.  I found this disconcerting for the grand total of five snaps that I took when I visited a Leica store (an account of the visit is here  ). What do you think? If a delay is necessary with the current state of the electronics in the camera, would you prefer a blank screen, perhaps dark gray, until the proper image is ready?
 

And like the original post, I found the camera to be magnificent.

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Thanks for adding No.11 - yes, the delay in displaying the high resolution review image is annoying, but I do not think having a greyed or blank screen is an option I would choose. I think that would be even more annoying, for at least the low resolution image provides a quick confirmation that the image was captured.

 

The best solution is if Leica are able to tweak the processing function to give us a much more acceptable time, if not immediately, for the high resolution image to be displayed. If this time is much shorter than what it is at present, then perhaps I will be willing to accept a blank screen instead of the initial low resolution image.

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I was quite surprised not to have had any other comments to my posting, but having had a look at other existing topics, I am wondering if I should have posted it into the 'Leica Q Firmware Request' instead.

 

As a new poster I am not sure if I should perhaps transfer (if possible) or re-post my enquiry into that topic now? However, I am sure regular members will already have read it here anyway, in which case I guess there are no different or further separate comments and advice forthcoming here, as it most probably will already have been said in the other topic.

 

However, any experience contrary to mine, advice, etc will still be gratefully appreciated.

 

I just hope that someone at Leica does come by the Forum regularly and pick up all the observations and requests being put out for that highly anticipated first firmware update.

 

Thank you to all who have taken time to read my post, and meanwhile, none of those 'foibles' are going to spoil my continued enjoyment of the Q!

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Some updates :

 

Having now read through the full Leica Q Firmware Request post I have found the solution to item :

 

1. Is it possible to have true live preview displayed on half press of shutter button so that exposure and aperture set (DOF) can be assessed?

 

Yes it can – Thank you viramati (post #98). I decided that I do not require the 35/55mm frame line selection function and had inadvertently set the Zoom/Lock button to AEL!

 

No reason for wildly incorrect exposures now. Unfortunately it is still not possible to view the ‘taking’ histogram as it disappears on the half press of the shutter button required to activate the ‘live’ exposure and DOF preview.

 

Further use has highlighted the apparently inconsistent configuration of the Thumb-wheel functions, as identified by others, but also relates to item :

 

7. Exposure compensation selection option on Fn Button is awkward – this should be available on the Zoom/Lock Button as this is the natural position, next to the Thumb-wheel. The Fn Button is difficult, almost impossible, to accurately activate with the camera to the eye.

 

The reason for asking for this change is because I often shoot with manual aperture and shutter speed but with Auto ISO, like I do with my M240.

 

The problem is that with this setup the Thumb-wheel is automatically configured to set 1/3 shutter speeds. To access Exposure Compensation you must first select this function via the Fn Button before the wheel can be used to set Exposure Compensation. This also applies when Manual Aperture is selected when the wheel provides intermediate 1/3 aperture settings.

 

The Thumb-wheel can always be reverted to its Exposure Compensation adjustment function, but needs to be first swapped over from its aperture or shutter speed intermediate settings functions.  I do know you can also set the compensation using the 4-way Pad, but this is not as easy to do whilst viewing through the EVF.

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