Leica Q (Typ 116)
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Leica Q (Typ 116): The Question of a Q with a Red Dot

Their first AF enabled complete body compact with an EVF, the Leica Q breaks new floor. And Ok Madhavan Pillai comes away with a heartache.

Leica Q (Typ 116)

Leica Q (Typ 116)

Nobody speaks pink dot like Leica. The traditionalist really feel of the rounded aspects, and the flat best and backside of the Leica Q, (Typ 116) is going the entire as far back as the unique prototypes in 1913 and the primary Leica 1 in 1927. The complete body, fastened lens, AF enabled Typ 116 is a veritable jump of religion for Leica, and the primary of its type. Though its traces borrow closely from the classical M collection, it’s philosophically very other. Conservatives would possibly rue the loss of the optical rangefinder in favour of an EVF, and the fewer weighty hybrid aluminium magnesium (non-brass) structure, however the additions are somewhat state-of-the-art, well-implemented, and perhaps, a signal of issues to come back.

The Q is supplied with a 24.2MP complete body CMOS sensor (with no AA filter out) married to an optically stabilised Leica 28mm f/1.7 Aspherical Summilux lens. While some would debate at the deserves of the extra vintage 35mm over 28mm, I individually somewhat like the speculation of a relatively wider and extra dramatic box of view.

The lens of the Q is marvelous in its design and engineering. For a huge aperture 28mm lens, it’s somewhat small (a filter out diameter of a effectively usual 49mm), and the entrance going through lens part is concave moderately than convex. Theoretically, this permits higher flare regulate. An overly intelligently designed, compact, oblong steel hood that slopes inwards on the outer edges, moderately than outwards, is helping with this as effectively. Manual concentration, a mainstay of the M collection, has now not been left out within the Q. The concentration is mechanical, and way more enjoyably tactile than fly-by-wire. The minimal concentration distance is right down to a very good 0.3m. There’s a macro atmosphere to be had as a transfer close to the lens. It aligns the optics to permit moderately efficient shut focusing between 0.17m to 0.3m.
The Q has a lens-based mechanical leaf shutter that strikes from 30sec thru 1/2000sec (enabling 1/2000sec at f/1.7 is testomony to Leica lens design and engineering, now not replicated by way of maximum different producers), and then an digital shutter kicks in mechanically for speeds as excessive as 1/16,000sec. There isn’t any solution to manually make a choice the digital shutter under 1/2000sec, however this additionally implies that excessive pace flash synchronisation is imaginable in any respect shutterspeeds under this level. The leaf shutter is silent and discrete. In phrases of taking pictures pace, the Q is in a position to ship a very decent 10fps with AF-S, and about 5fps with AF-C, with DNG RAW.

The ISO vary is 100 to 50,000 (within the Q, past 12,800, it’s 25,000 and 50,000). An Auto ISO function allows you to specify the higher prohibit for each ISO and shutterspeed (overridden by way of the shutterspeed dial).

Considering that is Leica’s first severe try at a whole vary of AF controls, the Q does effectively. It delivers a quantity of choices with its 49-point distinction locate gadget, with each unmarried and steady AF, and a selection of AF space modes together with unmarried, multi-point, monitoring, and face detection.

The Leica Q is enabled with WiFi and NFC. It additionally has a devoted app for Android and iOS units with some complete choices. The connection may also be set to both ‘Remote Control’ or ‘Backup.’ Remote taking pictures contains publicity, taking pictures mode, virtual crop, white stability, self timer, concentration mode and space, metering, and bracketing changes. Images and video from the Q’s reminiscence card may also be downloaded and media may also be deleted off the cardboard, or all the content material of card can merely be sponsored up.

Among different options, there’s a helpful panoramic mode and period timer. You can believe my marvel to search out a bunch of scene modes too, buried within the menu (fortunately so). Video isn’t one of the Q’s sturdy fits. It does first rate Full HD at 30 or 60fps, accepts color and guide inputs, however there’s no exterior mic improve. Finally, the Q isn’t weathersealed.

Foreground and background DOF is smooth and soft-edged. With minimal levels of distortion and excellent sharpness, the Summilux 28mm lends itself well to portraiture. Exposure: 1/1000sec at f/1.7 (ISO 400)

Foreground and background DOF is clean and soft-edged. With minimum ranges of distortion and very good sharpness, the Summilux 28mm lends itself effectively to portraiture. Exposure: 1/1000sec at f/1.7 (ISO 400) Photography / Ok Madhavan Pillai

The underlying theory of the Q is to offer photographers with simply the best degree of choices moderately than be offering each imaginable variable to hassle about. I individually discovered this somewhat refreshing. For example, DNG RAW is an open layout and may also be edited in almost about any device. There’s simply 14-bit (who wishes 12-bit anyway). You can make a choice two document layout choices—JPEG, or JPEG and DNG. By default, a serve as button (historically the AE-L button) allows you to briefly toggle between complete body 28mm, or 35mm and 50mm as virtual vegetation. The DNG data all the body, within the match you want to redo the crop. Usually, I don’t use virtual vegetation, however I finished up the use of it greater than a few occasions as it used to be so easy to permit. If you don’t imagine in virtual vegetation, the button may also be reconfigured.

There are no medium/small JPEGs or RAW, or compression choices to deal with. Image parameters are usual (distinction, saturation and sharpness, a separate monochrone mode… however no tone or vary changes), and also you rely at the camera to ship it’s palette. In brief, I didn’t truly pass over the choices overlooked out within the Q, and concept the simpler of it. No fiddling round. Once you configure menu settings, you are going to hardly to find the wish to return in there, with all different essential controls to be had at the camera, designed for fast, intuitive get admission to.

Understated, intuitive, responsive, and quiet... the Leica Q sports impressive street genes. Exposure: 1/2000sec at f/8 (ISO 3200)

Understated, intuitive, responsive, and quiet… the Leica Q sports activities spectacular side road genes.
Exposure: 1/2000sec at f/8 (ISO 3200) Photography / Ok Madhavan Pillai

I spotted a couple of quirks within the moderately simplified menu gadget. For example, beneath each AF-S and AF-C, you’ll be able to permit the similar set of space modes, together with monitoring. On the entire, even if AF-C labored relatively effectively, I most well-liked the use of unmarried level AF-S virtually completely for a upper level of off-center accuracy after I sought after it.

I don’t be mindful a camera (or lens), lately, which I sought after to concentration manually (until I used to be compelled to). In conjunction with the fantastically tactile mechanical rotation, very good EVF, auto magnification (3 or 6x), and non-compulsory concentration peaking (that I most well-liked to go away off in just right mild), and the very good optics of the lens, the Q simply has the most productive guide concentration enjoy amongst any virtual camera to this point. I would have most well-liked the solution to shift magnification from the middle… however, hiya! Let’s stay issues easy. No fumbling round!
I additionally incessantly discovered myself thankfully taking pictures at hyperfocal distances, owing to the very good DOF scale, and the truth that 28mm (greater than a 35mm lens) on a 24MP sensor is solely the easiest mixture to succeed in pixel degree DOF the use of hyperfocal distances at smaller apertures, whilst getting some gorgeous out-of-focus blurs extensive open.

In the most productive cameras, design contributes to dealing with, which, in flip, ends up in efficiency. The Q is exemplary on this.

Despite the understated numbers and no segment locate pixels, the AF is somewhat succesful. In just right mild to twilight, it locks speedily with out searching. I spotted some variance in behaviour with multi-point AF, and face detection isn’t as efficient as different contemporary cameras. Tracking is relatively just right for normal side road images, however falters with very fast-paced topics. But with unmarried level AF, there’s little to flaw. I were given virtually each shot proper. Here’s the base line. Combined with its guide concentration probabilities and function, the Q is not like another compact camera available in the market.
Traditionally, Leica M cameras are supposed to sluggish you down, the place pace then turns into a issue of the use of constraints as a procedure of taking pictures. The Q is the most productive of two worlds. You can decelerate, accelerate by way of proscribing choices, or just let cross and go away issues to the camera. I merely beloved this side of the Q. You can fireplace off a collection of successive unmarried frames, and the Q’s reaction is immediate. Or you need to briefly transfer to steady taking pictures and let off bursts of 10fps (5fps in AF-C), as much as a most of about 12 frames in a single cross. With the buffer complete, it is important to wait about 30 seconds prior to the Q completes writing to the cardboard.

The color palette of the Q is relatively cool. The camera has a tendency to overcorrect hotter tones (particularly sunlit scenes), with no solution to retain heat. Bumping up saturation is helping with JPEGs. Overall, each color and monochrome modes have their very own appeal, but it surely does take some being used to, particularly for those who’re coming from different manufacturers.

Not having an AA filter out implies that issues are moderately sharp by way of default. This is well-managed, with no visual halos or artifacts. Noise efficiency is on top of things, however the sensor lags in the back of its contemporaries from different manufacturers by way of about one prevent, from ISO 3200 onwards. At excessive ISO settings, it’s all the time higher to get exposures proper moderately than recuperate main points in submit procedure, with the Leica Q.

Hyperfocal distances are easily set. Along with the operational breadth of the sensor, the decisive moment gains a lot of meaning. Exposure: 1/250sec at f/11 (ISO 3200)

Hyperfocal distances are simply set. Along with the operational breadth of the sensor, the decisive second beneficial properties a lot of that means.
Exposure: 1/250sec at f/11 (ISO 3200) Photography / Ok Madhavan Pillai

The different phase of the equation is the lens. The Summilux is a cracker! It is in a position to produce tack sharp photographs at f/1.7, on the central 2/3rds of the body, with edges trailing, however with a decent efficiency nevertheless. At this aperture, the out-of-focus blurs are fantastically mushy particularly for a extensive lens, and this mix of very good sharpness and mushy blurs is somewhat sensible. At f/2.8, edges beef up to be constant with the middle. The highest total efficiency, middle to edge, is from f/5.6 to f/8. Stabilisation and common ergonomics is just right sufficient for hand held taking pictures, camera to the attention, at 1/eighth of a 2nd with 4 of 5 frames loose of camera shake. Distortion is just noticeable, and flare, as anticipated, could be very effectively managed.

If you suppose a price ticket of Rs. 3,30,000 for the Leica Q black version, and Rs 3,40,000 for the silver version is eye-wateringly pricey… Well. It is. It lets in me to be sacrilegious sufficient to indicate the Sony A7 III (simply introduced… you could wish to wait a few months to shop for one) with the phenomenal Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2. While the combo isn’t as minimalistic in design and dealing with, you’ll be able to make sure that the A7 III will out-perform the Leica Q on greater than a few fronts. Besides, you must come up with the money for left over for some nifty equipment, a lens, or in all probability a comfort celebration with like-minded pals for now not purchasing the Q. If 25mm turns out a bit too extensive, and if a smaller, complete body, fastened lens tool is extra interesting, you need to imagine the Zeiss 35mm f/2 Sonnar T* supplied Sony RX1R II. Or any high-end choices that may higher fit your palate at an identical or a lot lower cost. In any case, none of those will be the Q.

Some highlight and a lot of shadow detail in this image was retrieved from this backlit portrait... testament to what the sensor can achieve at lower ISO settings. Exposure: 1/500sec at f/11 (ISO Auto, 160)

Some spotlight and a lot of shadow element on this symbol used to be retrieved from this backlit portrait… testomony to what the sensor can succeed in at decrease ISO settings. Exposure: 1/500sec at f/11 (ISO Auto, 160) Photography / Ok Madhavan Pillai

If the Q used to be an interchangeable lens camera, the M would possibly effectively were on its approach out of industry. It could be fascinating to look how Leica takes the Q ahead. As loaded as that remark is also (particularly to conservative M homeowners), Leica is to be lauded for the hassle. It is in all probability Leica’s maximum well-rounded camera (pun supposed), so far as its worth for cash proposition is going, and for sure a very succesful performer certainly, by way of any reckoning. In phrases of dealing with to hurry, focal duration to options, very good optics married to a efficiency orientated sensor, (and let’s now not overlook the dialog beginning large little pink dot issue) there’s not anything else available in the market that straight away competes. Let me put it this manner… I’ve made extra pleasing pictures, with a a lot upper degree of luck with the Q than I’ve had with different cameras within the contemporary previous, even supposing some of the ones had been technologically awesome. There is extra to images than generation. If that is precisely what you want, glance no additional. The worth is as just right because it will get with a Leica. I have already got an pain from a symphony performed on heartstrings and handbag strings.

This article in the beginning seemed within the March 2018 factor of Better Photography.

24MP, 28mm f/1.7, DNG, 10fps, leaf shutter
Optics, pace, competitive WB, very good MF
Build Quality
Magnesium/Aluminium, no weathersealing
Intuitive controls, rangefinderesque,
Warranty & Support
One-year guaranty, extensive provider community
MRP Leica Q Black : Rs. 3,30,000
Leica Q Silver : Rs. 3,40,000
Who must purchase it? Advanced side road photographers and portraitists who need an developed, fast, minimalist complete body camera (carrying the pink dot, of route).
Why? Its autofocus pace is excellent, and it gives taking pictures at
A super lens connected to a succesful sensor, Leica M-type design, and ergonomics come in combination extraordinarily effectively.

Tags: Camera, K Madhavan Pillai, better photography, EVF, the Leica Q, March 2018, The Question of a Q with a Red Dot

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