Leica Q Typ116 Review

Leica Q Type116 Review

Full-frame compact camera Leica Q (Type 116) with 28 mm fixed focal length: Sony’s RX1 gets competition.

With the new fixed focal length full format compact camera Q (type 116), Leica is now competing with Sony, the only manufacturer of a full format compact camera to date, with an in-house development. The Leica Q has an F1.7 28mm lens and is said to be the first in a series. The CMOS sensor resolves 24 megapixels in full format and the Maestro II image processor is to process ten images per second at full resolution. Leica sets new standards with the 3.68 million pixel viewfinder. However, those who previously thought the Sony RX1R to be expensive at 3,099 Euros will be disabused with the Leica Q at 3,990 Euros.

 

The Leica Q (Type 116) with its F1.7 high-intensity 28mm fixed focal length lens is only the beginning of a new compact camera series with full-format sensor. [Photo: Leica]

As with the Sony RX1, the powerful fixed focal length lens stands out clearly from the slim camera body. The Leica Summilux 1:1.7/28 mm ASPH. is fixed and equipped with a mechanical aperture ring (snaps in third steps), a focus ring with distance and depth of field scale and a macro switch (reduces the close-up limit from 30 to 17 centimeters). The 49mm thread allows the connection of optical filters. The housing is held in the Leica-typical design (brick with rounded sides) and made of robust metal (aluminium and a magnesium alloy) with high-quality laser engravings. You could almost think that the lens could be changed – but you won’t find the unlock button for it. The ready-to-operate 13 x 8 x 9.3 centimeter Leica Q weighs 640 grams.

Matching the aperture ring, there is a manual time wheel on the housing which, like the aperture ring, has an automatic position. The quiet mechanical central shutter operates with shutter speeds of up to 1/2,000 seconds, the flash synch speed is 1/500 second. With an electronic shutter, you can even work silently at 1/2,500 to 1/16,000 seconds. But Leica has also thought about motif programs such as sports, portraits or landscapes, as well as face recognition.

The photographer doesn’t have to do without an autofocus, which according to Leica is supposed to be the fastest in its class – but compared to the Sony RX1, which is quite sluggish in autofocus, this isn’t much of a feat either. Of course, manual focusing is also possible. Both focus peaking and a magnifying glass magnifying up to six times are available. Not only the fast lens, but also the 24 megapixel resolution full-frame sensor enable photography even in low light – after all, the CMOS sensor allows a maximum sensitivity of ISO 50,000. The powerful Leica Maestro II image processor has been specially adapted to the Q and processes up to ten serial images per second at full resolution. Smart: If you don’t like the 28 mm fixed focal length, you can “switch” to 35 or 50 mm. The original image section is still stored in the raw data format (DNG), while the JPEG is trimmed to 15.4 and 7.5 megapixels, respectively. In the viewfinder or on the monitor, the Leica Q displays the image section in the form of a luminous frame so that the photographer can still see the image area outside the trim.

Despite the high 24-megapixel resolution, the Leica Q (type 116) takes ten series pictures per second. The adapted image processing processor Maestro II makes it possible. [Photo: Leica]

The Leica Q (Type 116) has a 3″ touch screen and a 3.68 million pixel viewfinder – a new resolution record! [Photo: Leica]

Regarding the viewfinder: This sets new standards with a resolution of 3.68 million pixels. 1.280 x 960 pixels in true colors. Unfortunately, Leica does not display the viewfinder magnification. The 7.5 cm screen is a touch screen with a resolution of around one million pixels. It can be used, for example, to select the focus point with the touch of a finger. Leica has even provided the Q with a video function in Full HD resolution at 30 and 60 frames per second and with stereo sound including wind noise filter and MP4 as memory format. WLAN is also on board. This allows not only wireless transmission of images, but also remote control of the camera with the help of the Q-App. In addition to remote triggering including live image transmission, the aperture and shutter speed settings can also be accessed via the app. Thanks to NFC, the smartphone can also be easily connected to the Q.

The Leica Q is now available from Leica dealers at a price of 3,990 Euro. The scope of delivery includes a lens hood and a full version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for Windows and Mac OS, which can be downloaded from the Leica website after purchase. Leica also offers an extensive range of accessories, from protectors and hand straps to various leather bags. Thanks to the flash shoe, external flash units can also be operated on the Leica Q, but it does not have an integrated flash.

Leica Q (Type 116) also available in titanium as of 2020

As an exception, Leica does not present a special model, but a new series color variant. This concerns the Leica Q full-frame compact camera (type 116), which is equipped with an F1.7 fast 28 mm lens. With the exception of the black leather finish and the black lens, the cover flap, bottom cap and body are titanium-coloured. However, the Feet distance scale and the focal length indication on the lens are kept in a shade of red. However, the titanium version is almost 500 euros more expensive than the black Leica Q at its presentation.

The Leica Q (type 116) titan costs 4,450 Euro instead of 3,990 Euro for the black version. The titanium version, for example, comes with a carrying strap made of climbing rope material. [Photo: Leica]

The Leica Q (type 116) titan is a full-frame compact camera with 24 megapixels resolution. [Photo: Leica]

The Leica Q (Type 116) titan is the only camera so far to offer an extremely high-resolution electronic viewfinder with 3.68 million pixels. [Photo: Leica]

The Leica Q (type 116) titan has a 28 mm fixed focal length with a maximum light intensity of F1.7. [Photo: Leica]

The Leica Q (Type 116) Titan is technically identical to the series version and impresses with its 3.68 million pixel electronic viewfinder, for example. According to Leica, the autofocus is the fastest in its class. You can also switch to macro mode or manual focus. The fast lens allows photography even in low light, the 24 megapixel resolution 35mm sensor contributes its part with a sensitivity of up to ISO 50,000. The Maestro II image processor enables fast data processing of up to ten serial images per second. Video recording is limited to Full HD resolution with either 30 or 60 frames per second. The Leica Q even has WLAN, and the camera can be remotely controlled with the free app. The Leica Q (type 116) titan will be available in the Leica stores at a price of 4,450 euros. By the way, the scope of delivery includes a colour-coordinated carrying strap made of climbing rope material.

Silver Edition of the Leica Q (Type 116)

The Leica Q full-frame compact camera is already available in black and in a special titanium edition, now a silver one has been added. The cover cap and the bottom cover are silver anodized, while the back is painted black. The leather finish of the series model, on the other hand, was retained. The lens engravings in a shade of red provide a colourful accent.

Leica Q. [Photo: Leica]

Leica Q. [Photo: Leica]

Technically, the special edition corresponds to the production model with its 24 megapixel 35mm sensor, the F1.7 28mm lens and the 3.68 million pixel viewfinder. From the end of November 2017, the Leica Q (Type 116) isavailable in the silver version at a price of 4,190 Euro.

Special edition Leica Q “Snow” by Iouri Podladtchikov announced

Leica is always good for exclusive special editions. This time it’s the turn of the full-format compact camera Q (type 116): Iouri Podladtchikov, sportsman, Olympic champion and world champion in snowboarding (halfpipe), was allowed to design the 24 megapixel resolution camera according to his ideas. He opted for the silver version and had it upholstered in genuine white leather, hence the name “Snow”, which the special edition limited to 300 copies bears.

The Leica Q “Snow” by Iouri Podladtchikov is based on the silver production model, but has a white genuine leather cover. For the first time, a silver flash shoe cover made of aluminium is also included in the scope of delivery. [Photo: Leica]

Leica Q “Snow” by Iouri Podladtchikov. [Photo: Leica]

Leica Q “Snow” by Iouri Podladtchikov. [Photo: Leica]

The 4,950 Euro Leica Q “Snow” comes with a white genuine leather bag. In addition, the flash shoe cover is made of silver anodized aluminum for the first time and each Q “Snow” has a special serial number. Technically, the “Snow” corresponds to normal serial production. It features a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor and an F1.7 fast 28mm fixed focal length. The electronic viewfinder has a particularly high resolution of 3.68 million pixels. The Leica Q (Type 116) also offers a Full HD video function, optionally with 30 or 60 frames per second, as well as WLAN for wireless image transmission and remote control via app.

The 4,950 Euro Leica Q “Snow” by Iouri Podladtchikov comes with a matching white genuine leather bag. [Photo: Leica]

Special edition Leica Q “Khaki” announced

Leica is always good for exclusive special editions. This time it’s again the turn of the full-format compact camera Q (type 116): Leica has ordered the silver version of the 24 megapixel resolution camera with khaki-colored genuine leather. Hence the name “Khaki”, which the special edition, limited to 495 copies and based on the safari models of the M cameras, bears.

The silver Leica Q “Khaki” full-frame compact camera covered with khaki-colored genuine leather is built only 495 times. [Photo: Leica]

The 4,780 Euro Leica Q “Khaki” comes with a matching khaki-coloured genuine leather belt. [Photo: Leica]

The 4,780 Euro Leica Q “Khaki” comes with a matching khaki-coloured genuine leather belt. In addition, the Leica ski lift was curved on the deck cap and also laid out in khaki. Technically the “Khaki” corresponds to the normal series version. It features a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor and an F1.7 fast 28mm fixed focal length. The electronic viewfinder has a particularly high resolution of 3.68 million pixels. The Leica Q (Type 116) “Khaki” also offers a Full HD video function, optionally with 30 or 60 frames per second, as well as WLAN for wireless image transmission and remote control via app.

Leica Q (Type 116) Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor 35mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm (crop factor 1.0
)26.3 megapixels (physical), 24.2 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 6,0 µm
Photo resolution
4.272 x 2.848 pixels (3:2)
4.240 x 2.832 pixels (3:2)
2.976 x 1.984 pixels (3:2)
1.600 x 1.080 Pixel (3:2)
Picture formats DNG, JPG
Colour depth 42 bits (14 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif, DCF standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 p
1.440 x 1.080 (4:3) 30 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 30 p
Video format
MPG4

Lens

Focal length 28 mm (35mm equivalent)
Focus range 30 cm to infinity (wide angle)
Macro sector 17-30 cm (wide angle)
Apertures F1.7 to F16 (wide angle)
Autofocus yes
Autofocus mode Contrast autofocus
Autofocus Functions Single autofocus, continuous autofocus, AFL function, focus peaking, focus magnifier
Filter threads 49 mm

Viewfinder and Monitor

Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 1,040,000 pixels, touchscreen, anti-glare
Video viewfinder Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 3,680,000 pixels, diopter compensation (-3.0 to 3.0 dpt)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/16,000 to 60 s (automatic)
Exposure control Fully automatic, Program automatic, Aperture automatic, Time automatic, Manual
Bracketing function Bracket function with maximum 3 shots, step size from 1/3 to 3 EV
Exposure compensation -3.0 to +3.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 100 to ISO 50.000 (manual)
Motives Fireworks, candlelight, landscape, night portrait, portrait, sunset, sports, beach/snow, 1 more motif programs
Picture effects Miniature effect
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Shadow, Flash, Incandescent, Kelvin input, Manual 2 memory locations
Color space Adobe RGB, ECI-RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting 10, 5 or 3 frames per second
Self-timer Self-timer with interval of 2 s, features: or 12 seconds
Timer Timer/Interval Recording
Shooting functions AEL function, AFL function

Flashgun

Flash no built-in flash availableFlash shoe
: Leica (M- and X-series), standard center contact

Equipment

Image stabilizer optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD (SDHC, SDXC)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply no power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Leica BP-DC12 (Lithium ions (Li-Ion))
Playback Functions Playback histogram
Face recognition Face recognition
Picture parameters Sharpness, contrast, color saturation
Special functions Orientation sensor, Live View
Ports Data interfaces: USBUSB type
: USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (type: B, G, N)
NFC: availableAudio output
: noAudio input
: noVideo output
: yes (HDMI output Micro (type D))
Tripod socket 1/4″
Features and Miscellaneous Magnsium Aluminum Enclosure

Size and weight

Weight 640 g (ready for operation)
Dimensions W x H x D 130 x 80 x 93 mm

Other

included accessories Leica BC-DC12 Charger for special rechargeable batteries Leica
BP-DC12 Special rechargeable battery carrying strap
, lens hood, lens cap, accessory shoe cover, power cord. USB cable, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (Download)
optional accessory Leica SF 24D Small additional flash unit Leica SF
58 Slip-on flash with swivel reflector
USB
USB 2.0 High Speed
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Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.