Leica has just launched a brand new camera line with the Leica Q (Typ 116). It’s a 24-megapixel fixed-lens full-frame compact camera that brings “iconic Leica features” to a new type of body.
The full-frame CMOS sensor at its core has an ISO range of up to 50,000 and — coupled with the shutter system — can do a burst mode of 10 frames per second at a full-resolution of 24MP. The shooting speed is complemented by a speedy autofocus speed as well — Leica says the Q has the fastest AF performance of all full-frame compacts.
Build-wise, the German-made camera has a top plate crafted from a solid piece of aluminum, while the rest of the body is made from magnesium alloy. The design and user interface of the camera reflect’s Leica’s style found in its M series of digital rangefinders.
On the front of the camera is an image stabilized Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens that Leica says is the fastest lens available in this type of camera. By comparison, Sony’s full frame compact, the RX1, features a Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 lens.
The back of the camera has a 3-inch touchscreen and a 3.68-megapixel electronic viewfinder. What sets this viewfinder apart is its ability to display not just the standard 28mm view from the lens, but frame lines for 35mm and 50mm shots as well using the “digital frame selector” feature.
This innovative feature lets photographers compose shots like they would with a rangefinder camera, seeing a 28mm view of scenes while shooting 35mm or 50mm photos. The Q can also save the 35mm or 50mm images as JPEGs while still saving a RAW copy of the entire 28mm shot.
The touchscreen can also be used to manually focus the camera by tapping an area in the frame. Physical manual focusing can be done using the lens focus ring, and a locking function lets photographers switch between AF and MF.
Other features of the Leica Q include full HD video recording, built-in Wi-Fi for sharing/transferring content, a special Leica Q app for remotely controlling camera settings, a 17cm minimum focusing distance and macro mode, live view, and focus peaking.
Here are some sample photographs captured using the camera (you can find a larger set in this Flickr album):
The Leica Q is now available from Leica retailers for $4,250, and comes with a free copy of Adobe Lightroom 6.