Leica’s new camera is a no-compromise technological wonder.
…you just have to pay $4,250 for the privilege
Leica cameras have often required significant compromises. The flagship M line has a staggeringly high price point and doesn’t have any modern photographic conveniences, like autofocus, autoexposure, or Wi-Fi connectivity. Leica’s other cameras also have high price tags, but are way behind in terms of ergonomics or image quality. Still, Leica devotees are passionate and many wouldn’t use any other camera. (They also tend to be very deep pocketed.)
Now Leica is giving them a camera that doesn’t compromise on either modern capabilities, image quality, or the handling and shooting experience that’s associated with classic Leica cameras. The new Leica Q is a fixed-lens compact camera with a full-frame, 24-megapixel CMOS image sensor.
The lens on the Leica Q is a photographer’s dream. It’s a 28mm, f/1.7 aperture Summilux with optical image stabilization. All of the Leica Q’s lens controls are on the lens itself, much like the M series, making it easy to adjust aperture, focus, or focusing modes on the fly. Leica says that it designed the lens specifically for this camera and it has the exceptional optical quality associated with Leica lenses. That should mean sharper images, less aberration, and better quality out of focus areas (aka bokeh) than competing cameras.
Unlike the M series, the Leica Q has full autofocus and autoexposure, though it’s also capable of being manually controlled if you prefer. In addition to the controls on the lens, it has a shutter speed dial, control dial, four-way controller, ISO button, and two customizable function buttons, making it much easier to handle in manual modes than the T. The Q’s rear LCD is also a touch panel, so it’s possible to control the camera that way, but the physical buttons and dials on the body itself mean you don’t have to use the touchscreen if you don’t want to. That’s a significant difference from the T, which relied almost entirely on the touchscreen and didn’t provide a great shooting experience as a result.
Images captured by the Q are unsurprisingly stunning, with wide dynamic range and sharp details. Leica says the camera is ideal for street, architecture, and landscape photography, which makes sense given its fairly wide lens. I’d prefer a 35mm lens on a camera of this type, but Leica says the 28mm focal length was chosen because it afforded the right combination of lens size and aperture that the company wanted in this product. A digital zoom button turns on 35mm and 50mm bright lines on the LCD display and viewfinder, but all it’s doing is cropping the image after you take it.
…the last image is what the Q would look like, if rumours are true, should the next generation of the camera come with a lens mount to accommodate all M-Series lenses.
Via: The Verge