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Leica Q, my first impressions


Martin66
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As a former Fuji X100 and Sony RX1 shooter - and for my profession currently using Canon 5DSR + TS/E lenses - A week ago I bought a Q as a study-shot/carry-around camera. I doubted between the RX1R2 and the Q but a couple of things enticed my to go for the Q.

 

  • Very fast and snappy overall performance. If not it would be a deal-breaker. If I press a button I expect a reaction when I press that button and not 0.5 sec later (if I wanted a reaction 0.5 sec later I would have pressed it 0.5 sec later ).
  • The seamless integration of the mechanical/electronic shutter up to 1/16.000. So no need for ND filter, screw-on (horrible cumbersome) or integrated (less horrible cumbersome).
  • In-body EVF and not a popup ‘afterthought’.
  • Very good lens/sensor quality. That it’s apparently using (a lot of) maestro processing to get the picture right doesn’t really bother me. We live in a digital age, and keeps the package compact and affordable.
  • A fast 28mm lens for a bit more FOV compared with a 35mm.
  • Longer battery life.
  • 24mp, although 42mp gives more cropping possibilities but most of the time 42mp is simply too much and more demanding to get sharp pictures.
  • Sleek and clutter free design.

 

The dynamic range is better on the Sony but it is still not enough to lure me in.

 

Things that bothered me when using the camera for a couple of days are;

  • JPEG or DNG+JPEG are the only recording options. That’s odd and very annoying because LR can’t skip certain filetypes during import. I would love to see the possibility of only DNG. I think the separate JPEG is needed (or at least used) for preview. It shows on the LCD when the JPEG resolution is set to minimal and zooming to the max. Looks horrible low res.
  • Unable to use the LCD for chimping or the menu settings when EVF-only is selected.
  • The programmable FN button misses the one useful function: switching between LCD and EVF, User Profile selection.

 

I would love to see a menu option that drops ALL JPEG related settings from the menu - and while we’re at it: also video related settings (menu hygiene). Then also add a RAW histogram please! How useful is that vs how hard can it be?

 

On the plus-side;

  • The eyelets to attach the camera strap are positioned a little to the frontside of the body. This causes the camera to hang almost perfectly vertical in stead of tilting over in a 45 degree angle (like most cameras). Much more comfortable when hanging over one’s shoulder!
  • Touchscreen to browse photos and AF point selection. Nice!
  • Tripod thread in line with the lens.
  • Dedicated ISO button.
  • Smart macro-setting design.

 

Overall I am very pleased with the camera. It does a very good job in not standing in the way when taking photos. A clean, complete and well thought out package, impeccable engineered.

 

Now the waiting in vain starts for a Leica Q 50mm f/1.7…

Edited by Martin66
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Got mine on Friday after, recently, coming from a Sony A7 background.

 

Agree that the most useful function for the Fn btn would be selecting user profiles (and yes, toggle between EVF and LCD).  Can't think whey Leica would want to let you store all your useful profiles then hide them in the menu system.  Hopefully a firmware update in future.

Apart from that, very much enjoying getting back to simplicity in photography (with high IQ of course).

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I've been shooting with a Q and a little Panny GM5 attached to a Nocticron 42.5/1.2 lately.  I makes it so difficult to go back to cameras that don't have a touch screen to select AF points.  I've owned the Sony Alphas and tried a XT1 lately, paired with Fuji's very nice 56mm f1.2, as I wanted a telephoto 2nd body option to go with the Q.  As good as those other cameras are in many ways, not being able to instantly move the AF point exactly where I wanted it drove me crazy.  With the 56mm in particular, the DoF is very shallow and I would want to position the focus point exactly over my dog's eye.  Trying to do that with a 4 day d-pad just isn't quick or accurate enough.  Using a mouse vs using the arrow buttons on a PC keyboard.... which lets you click a button faster ? 

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Hi,

I agree with most comments, especially the DNG + JPEG issue (not specific to the Q btw)

I developed a script on MAC to segregate DNGs from JPGs when downloading from the camera.

I could share it, if intersting to the group. But it needs to be adapted to each configuration, so preferable that you have some notions of scripting.

Best.

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Just got one this past week after hemming and hawwing for a long time.  Coming from, and still use as my main camera, the M.  Most comfortable always with manual cameras.  However, finding this camera to be quite nice, even for shooting in manual except allowing it to autofocus.  Lightening fast!  Wow!  I do agree with earlier comment, getting to the user profiles should be easier.  For me, likely to rely on that given I like specific settings and switching over to my husband who likes all the auto stuff, and will be mostly his camera I have to admit.

 

Light weight.  No where near as solid feeling as the M, of course.  I also have a T, and it feels more solid than the Q as well.  I actually prefer the T in the hands of the 3.  Also prefer the T user interface.

 

Looking forward to seeing what this camera can do!  However, not sure I will ever be comfortable at 28mm.  For me, give me a 35mm lens.....and even better a 50.  But will make the 28 work.  Since I am likely to use this more as a point and shoot, cropping to 35 and 50 is alright.  But Leica, if you are reading, give me a 50mm Q please.  My wish list. 

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I think the Q is light in weight (thought some forums have users complaining how its such a "heavy" camera compared to other mirrorless options lol) but I don't think its accurate to say its not solid.  At least on mine, I can zero body flex no matter how hard I squeeze it in my hand.  Its light in weight, but the built quality is still very solid.

 

Compare it to a camera like a Fuji X100, which again is light in weight, but also in the built quality. You can get a little flex if you squeeze it, same with the XE series.  Certainly doesn't affect their usability though.

 

To me, the Q is the perfect blend between light weight and rugged, precision build.  I wouldn't want anything heavier hanging around my neck.

 

 

Its much like my carbon fiber racing bicycle which weights only about 17lbs pounds total, yet is as stiff as anything with regards to lack of twisting in the frame no matter how much power I"m putting into the pedals.  I've had steel frame bikes that weight twice as much, but they aren't any stiffer, just heavier.  As such, the carbon frame combines strength with minimal weight, which is pretty ideal in a racing bike.

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...so difficult to go back to cameras that don't have a touch screen to select AF points.  ... tried a XT1 lately, paired with Fuji's very nice 56mm f1.2... With the 56mm in particular, the DoF is very shallow and I would want to position the focus point exactly over my dog's eye.

 

 

The Fuji X-Pro 2 might be a solution. It has a grid of 77 or 273 focus points (per your setting) and a joystick to move among them.

 

When I get an X-Pro 2 and also a dog, I will test whether its Intelligent Face Detection with eye detection mandated works. After all, some people have a face not so different.

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I think the Q is light in weight (thought some forums have users complaining how its such a "heavy" camera compared to other mirrorless options lol) but I don't think its accurate to say its not solid.  At least on mine, I can zero body flex no matter how hard I squeeze it in my hand.  Its light in weight, but the built quality is still very solid.

 

Compare it to a camera like a Fuji X100, which again is light in weight, but also in the built quality. You can get a little flex if you squeeze it, same with the XE series.  Certainly doesn't affect their usability though.

 

To me, the Q is the perfect blend between light weight and rugged, precision build.  I wouldn't want anything heavier hanging around my neck.

 

 

Its much like my carbon fiber racing bicycle which weights only about 17lbs pounds total, yet is as stiff as anything with regards to lack of twisting in the frame no matter how much power I"m putting into the pedals.  I've had steel frame bikes that weight twice as much, but they aren't any stiffer, just heavier.  As such, the carbon frame combines strength with minimal weight, which is pretty ideal in a racing bike.

I didn't say it wasn't solid.  I was comparing the difference to the M and the T, and nothing else.  The Q feels a little plastic in 'comparison'.  It's still a reasonably solid camera but I wouldn't want to test it on a rock lol.  My M would dent at best, and the rock might crack. 

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