Review: Leica Q (Typ 116)
4.2Overall Score

Price (RRP): $5900
Manufacturer: Leica

Not all cameras are the same, and Leica’s Q proves it, packing a full-frame 35mm sensor, 28mm f/1.7 fixed lens, and a body that says “camera” more than most others.

Features

A little different from the typical interchangeable lens cameras we see from Leica, the Q — also known as the “Typ 116” — is a self-contained advanced compact camera with a lens built in that is not removable.

Despite that, the lens is packing some pretty high-end glass, with Leica making the Summilux lens into an f/1.7 lens, ranging from that low aperture all the way up to f/16, with macro support thrown in for good measure focusing at a minimum distance of 17cm.

The camera itself is equipped with a 24 megapixel full-frame 35mm sensor, but the camera also includes a digital reframing button which can change the capture frame and crop it to both 35mm and 50mm. This inclusion of three image sizes results in a standard image size of 24 megapixels in 28mm uncropped, 15 megapixels in 35mm cropped, and 8 megapixels in 50mm cropped.

leica-q-review-2015-04

Images are captured in 14-bit, with the capture formats in both JPEG and RAW’s Digital Negative “DNG” format, and movies can be captured, too, either at Full HD 1080p (1920×1080) or HD 720p (1280×720) in the MP4 format.

The sensor in the Leica Q is rated for low-light sensitivity ranging from ISO 100 to 50000, with both automatic white balance and several settings, with several settings also available for saturation and contrast.

Automatic image stabilisation is also included here, turned off by default, with focus handled by a contrast-based autofocus system. Points can be selected if needed, and manual focus controls also exist on the lens with a focus ring.

leica-q-review-2015-07

The camera also features both a viewfinder and rear touch screen, the former of which offers up a 3.6 million pixels display, and the latter with a 3 inch touchscreen display showing 1 million pixels.

Several buttons are included, ranging from play, delete, function, ISO control, and menu, as well as a directional pad, all of these found on the back, while the top controls are for the power switch setting up either single drive or continuous drive mode, and a shutter speed control dial. Aperture controls can be found using the aperture ring, and all of these can be set to auto.

Connections for the Leica Q include microUSB and microHDMI, with images stored to an SD card, with compatibility extended for SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards.

Wireless support is also here, the Leica Q talking to smartphones and tablets over 802.11b/g/n WiFi via an app made for both Google Android and Apple iOS. Near-Field Communication can help with the setup of compatible mobile devices, while QR codes can SSID look-up can be used for devices where NFC cannot be found.

The body of the Leica Q is made from aluminium, as is the lens. A hot-shoe can also be found at the very top of the camera, and there is no built-in flash with this camera.

A battery is included with the Leica Q which is removable and needs to be charged in an external charger.