Introducing the Leica Q - In-depth Review

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Today Leica Camera has announced the new Leica Q (Type 116) camera! A camera that we first told you about back in March with major details following in May is now a reality. We were given early access to this camera by Leica for full testing and review - read all about it in our Hands-on with the Leica Q (Type 116) report! You can also peruse the Leica Q brochure (PDF) and be sure to check out our Leica Q Flickr group, Facebook page and the world's first dedicated Leica Q forum right here.


  1. Press Release
  2. Product Photos
  3. Specifications
Click images for a larger version!

Press Release

Reimagining the Photographer’s Everyday Camera, Leica Unveils the Leica Q Today, Bringing Iconic Leica Features to an Innovative New Camera Thanks to High Quality Leica Optics and an Exceptional Feature Set, Photographers Can Now Capture Rich Detailed Imagery Anywhere in a Snap

June 10, 2015 – Yet again refining the way the world takes photographs, Leica Camera unveils the Leica Q today, a trailblazing camera design concept that proudly combines all of the high performance qualities of a full frame sensor in a beautifully designed and highly innovative compact – a milestone for the brand and the photography sector. Equipped with the fastest lens in its class and an interface that makes for easy and intuitive handling, the Q is the perfect instrument for instantly capturing the decisive moments of life and turning them into lasting memories. The Q boasts the ability to shoot full HD video, instantly share content socially via built-in WiFi, and features an extremely fast autofocus, putting the Leica Q into a category of its own.

“We’re very proud to offer the world’s first camera that combines the quality and functionality of our iconic M models, along with the convenience and speed of a super high end compact camera,” said German Product Manager, Peter Kruschewski. “The new Leica Q carries the rich traditions of Leica cameras forward with the high quality features you come to expect from Leica, while also keeping the future in mind by integrating social sharing and cutting-edge specifications. It really is a true Leica, while being an industry trailblazer at the same time.”

The Leica Q combines a high sensitivity full frame sensor with a fast aperture lens and optical image stabilization to give photographers near limitless capabilities. Shooting in any lighting situation is never out of the question when using the Q; whether it is a sun-drenched landscape in the high noon of summer or the dark and shadowy nights of an urban metropolis. The versatility of the Q is augmented by the ability to shoot rapid-fire burst shots that can capture any subject, no matter how fast they move, in any light.

In addition, the new “digital frame selector” function displays the focal lengths of 35 and 50mm at the push of a button, to allow photographers to see focal lengths beyond the fixed 28mm lens. As with a rangefinder camera, photographers utilizing this feature can still see what is going on outside the digital viewfinder’s bright-line frame and can react much faster to changes in and around the subject.

The “Made in Germany” seal of quality for the Leica Q also guarantees that only the finest materials are used in its construction. In traditional Leica style, the top plate is crafted from a solid block of aluminium, the body is made of magnesium alloy, and all lettering and markings on its setting dials are laser-engraved. The thumb rest on the back of the Leica Q and the diamond pattern of the camera’s leathering also ensure ideal grip, and clearly illustrate that form and function still go hand-in-hand at Leica.

More details on exciting new features of the new Leica Q:

  • 24-megapixel, full frame, CMOS sensor precisely matched to its lens. The Leica Q delivers richly detailed pictures with almost noise-free, richly detailed pictures at ISO settings up to 50.000.
  • Fastest autofocus in the compact full-frame camera class. Precision focusing in real time.
  • High speed burst shooting. The newly developed processor from the Leica Maestro II series sets an enormous pace in this category with continuous shooting at a rate of ten frames per second at full resolution.
  • Integrated 3.68-megapixel electronic viewfinder. The highest resolution viewfinder of its kind displays both the fixed 28 mm view along with focal lengths of 35 mm and 50 mm on demand.
  • Conveniently placed functions provide instant access to all the essential controls needed when taking a photo. Not only can you control the focus manually, but the Q is also equipped with a touchscreen that can select a focus point with a simple touch of the fingertip.
  • Ability to save two versions of the photograph. The JPEG image files are saved in the selected framing, while the RAW files in DNG format preserve the entire field captured by the 28 mm lens.
  • Video recorded in full HD. Depending on the scene, users can choose between 30 and 60 frames per second for video recording in MP4 format. The video setting also features a wind-noise filter which guarantees crystal-clear sound.
  • A WiFi module for wireless transfer of still pictures and video to other devices. The app also allows you to remotely control settings such as aperture and shutter speed from your smart phone or tablet. The free Leica Q app to access these features is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store for iOS and Android.
  • Free downloadable Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6. This processing software offers a comprehensive range of functions to enhance and edit your Leica Q images.
  • Full range of accessories. Just like the camera, every item in the range of accessories and technical equipment for the Leica Q is functionally designed for easy handling and manufactured from only the finest materials to ensure versatility, reliability, and durability.

The Leica Q, priced at $4,250, is now available at your local Leica Store, Leica Boutique or Leica dealer.

Camera Photos

Leica Q - quarter view, front
Leica Q - quarter view, top
Leica Q - front w/lenshood
Leica Q - front
Leica Q - back
Leica Q - top

Leica Q - left side
Leica Q - right side w/lenshood

Leica Q - production

Leica Q - production

Leica Q - production

Leica Q - production

Leica Q - atmosphere

Leica Q - atmosphere


Here are the full specifications of the Leica Q (Type 116) as provided by Leica:

Camera type Leica Q (Type 116), digital small picture compact camera
Picture format/aspect ratio 24 x 36mm/2:3
Lens Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH, 11 lenses in 9 groups, 3 aspherical lenses
Digital frame selector (digital zoom) Selectable approx. 1.25x (corresponding to 35mm) or approx. 1.8x (corresponding to 50mm)
Image stabilization Optical compensation system for photo and video recordings
Aperture range f/1.7 to f/16 in 1⁄3EV increments
Picture sensor/resolution CMOS sensor, 26.3/24.2 million pixels (total/effective)
Dynamic range 13 aperture stops
Color depth 14 Bit
Photo capture format Selectable: DNG + JPEG, JPEG
DNG/JPEG resolution 24MP (6000x4000px), 12MP (4272x2848px), 6MP (2976x1984px), 1.7MP (1600x1080px)
Video recording format MP4
Video resolution/frame rate Selectable: 1080p with 60fps or 30fps / 720p with 30fps
Sound recording format AAC
Microphone Stereo
Loudspeaker Mono
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC
ISO range Automatic, ISO 100 to ISO 50,000
White balance Automatic, default settings for: daylight, cloudy, halogen lighting, shadow, electronic flash, two manual settings with measuring, manual color temperature setting
Color space Selectable for photos: sRGB, Adobe® RGB, ECI RGB
Focus/saturation/contrast Each selectable in 5 steps, for saturation also in B/W
Focusing working range 30cm to ∞, with macro setting from 17cm
Focus modes Auto focus or manual focus, optional magnification and focus peaking available for manual focus
Auto focus system Contrast-based auto focus system
Auto focus modes Shutter release only after successful focus lock or at any time, AF setting can be saved
Auto focus metering methods 1-field (adjustable), multi-field, face recognition, subject tracking, optional setting/shutter release by touching the monitor
Exposure modes Automatic program, aperture priority, shutter speed priority, and manual
Scene modes Fully automatic, sport, portrait, landscape, night portrait, snow/beach, candlelight, sunset, digiscoping, miniature effect, panorama, time lapse
Exposure metering methods Multi-field, center weighted and spot
Exposure compensation ±3EV in 1⁄3EV increments
Automatic bracketing Three pictures in graduations of up to 3 EV, can be set in 1⁄3EV increments
Shutter type Mechanical and electronic
Shutter speeds 30s to 1⁄2000s with mechanical shutter, 1⁄2500s to 1⁄16000s with electronic shutter, in 1⁄3 increments, flash sync up to 1⁄500s
Continuous shooting Optional 10/5/3 fps (H/M/L)
Self-timer Delay time either 2s or 12s
Viewfinder Electronic LCOS display, 1280x960 RGB (3.68MP), aspect ratio: 4:3, adjustable ±3 diopter, with eye sensor
LCD 3" TFT LCD monitor with approx. 1,040,000 pixels, touch control possible
WLAN (WiFi) Satisfies IEEE 802.11b/g/n standard (standard WLAN protocol), channel 1-11, encryption method: WLAN-compatible WPATM / WPA2TM, access method: infrastructure mode
NFC According to JIS X 6319-4 standard / 13.56MHz
Connections Micro USB socket (2.0), HDMI socket
Power supply Leica BP-DC12, lithium ion battery, rated voltage 7.2V (7.2V D.C.), capacity 1200mAh
Charger Leica BC-DC12, input: 100–240 V AC, 50/60Hz, automatic switching, output: 8.4V DC; 0.65A
Body Leica design of extremely light magnesium and aluminum, carrying strap eyelets, hotshoe
Lens filter thread E49
Tripod thread A 1⁄4 DIN 4503 (1⁄4-20)
Dimensions Approx. 130 x 80 x 93mm (WxHxD)
Weight Approx. 590/640g (without/with battery)
Scope of delivery Camera, carrying strap, lens hood, lens cap, accessory shoe cover, battery (Leica BP-DC12), charger (Leica BC-DC12), power cable (EU, US, local power cable), USB cable
Software Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® (free download after registration), Leica Q App for iOS/Android (remote control and picture transfer via Apple® App Store®/Google® Play Store®)