In black and white, the blacks were deep with plenty of clarity and a lovely tonality running from the white to the blacks, though it’s not a black and white mode you can define like you can on other cameras, with no option for colour filtration control, so no extra bright skin tones from a red filter nor can you get heavier contrast from a blue or green filtration.
This is black and white, simple as it is, with no extra control until you bring the image into an imaging processing application.
Adobe’s Lightroom is included with the purchase, handy if you don’t already own a copy of aren’t a Photoshop user, which is supported too, because the RAW format of choice is Adobe’s Digital Negative, otherwise known as DNG.
When you take the black and white RAW into either of these apps, it’ll switch back to colour, but have no fear because you’ll have a black and white JPEG saved alongside it, which is handy too.
Colour is the other great part of this camera, with vibrant colours that feel closer to life and more accurate in white balance recreation than we see from most of the cameras that pass by our way.
This journalist and photographer isn’t much of a colour image person by default, but the Leica Q could change that, with a lovely sense to the images that feels like life has been captured, and won’t require all that much polishing to make it look better out of the camera.
Part of this feeling has to come from the quality of the glass Leica has opted for in the Q, with the 28mm f/1.7 Summilux lens totally matched for the technology inside the camera.
More than that, the lens is razor sharp, with a beautifully pristine ability to capture detail, and an extra macro mode thrown in for good measure.
To get to that mode, you simply twist the lens near the back of the lens (at the camera), and the lens will change, the focusing distance guide moving forward and telling you that yes, you’re in macro mode.
Granted, this isn’t the best macro mode we’ve seen, and we’re not exactly going to trade our dedicated macro lenses on other camera systems for this any time soon, but it’s still very, very nice, and thanks to that low aperture setting of f/1.7, you’ll find you can get some sharp details flanked by significantly blurry macros, almost lending itself to a more romantic way of shooting, as elements of images fade into themselves like they were going through a dream sequence.
Back in the regular lens mode, the camera performs beautifully in most environments, and almost every shot we had out of this camera was a winner to us. Up close, they images are sharp, and very easy on the eyes.
Good luck complaining about lens quality here, because there’s no need to.
You can even take a selfie on this camera, with the 28mm lens wide enough, the automatic aperture and shutter speed good enough, and the sensitivity playful enough to allow you a moment of vanity and capture yourself in either light or day.
Certainly, this is the best selfie camera we’ve ever played with, though if we ever call it that again, you have our permission to yell at us.