Leica Q (Typ 116) Review
July 8, 2015
- + Premium build and construction
- + Superb electronic viewfinder
- + Fast AF especially with touchscreen
- + Excellent black and white mode
- - High price
- - No external microphone socket for video
Everyone is raving about it, but just what makes the Leica Q so good? Richard Sibley puts the premium compact to the test
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The Leica Q uses a 24.2-million-pixel full frame sensor, which is most likely a Sony model. Leica has already stated that it’s not the same sensor as that used in the Leica M (which has a bespoke sensor). As can be seen in the tests here, the Leica Q performs just as you would expect it to. It handles noise well until fairly high sensitivities, and the dynamic range is good, without setting any records. As for the resolution, the camera again performs about on par for a sensor of this specification.
Overall, the Leica Q produces good images throughout ISO 100-6,400, which is the working range most photographers will operate in regularly. However, as discussed elsewhere in this test, while the sensor may be seemingly standard, the Leica Q’s real strength lies in its handling, EVF and autofocus.
The Leica Q resolves around 3,600l/ph at ISO 100 in our resolution tests. This level of detail is about what you would expect from a camera with a 24-million-pixel sensor. As can be seen in the resolution chart swatches above, there is some coloured moiré patterning visible that softens detail, but generally the result is good. As the sensitivity rises, the resolution holds up well, still reaching 3,200l/ph at ISO 3,200. Although noise is visible, even ISO 50,000 reaches a respectable 2,600l/ph.
- Sensor: 24.2-million-pixel, full-frame CMOS sensor
- Output size: 6,000 x 4,000
- Focal length mag: 1x
- Lens mount: n/a
- Shutter speed: 30secs-1/16,000sec
- ISO: 100-50,000
- Exposure modes: PASM + 11 scene modes
- Metering system: Evaluative, centre, spot
- Exposure comp.: ±3EV in 1/3 stops
- Drive mode: Up to 10fps
- Video: Full 1080p at 60 or 30fps
- Viewfinder: 3.68-million-dot EVF
- Display: 3in, 1.04-million-dot touchscreen
- Focusing: Contrast detection
- External mic: No
- Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Power: BP-DC12 Li-ion battery
- Dimensions: 130 x 80 x 93mm
- Weight: 640g (inc batteries)