Ever so quietly, Leica released the long-awaited Q Model this morning. This camera has been rumored for quite some time. Photography forums have been calling for a Full Frame, Mirrorless Leica for years. In proper Leica fashion, this camera is jam packed with enough tech to keep Leica on par with the rest of the mirrorless community, while adding a built-in lens that may surpass them all.
At the heart of the new Leica Q is a full-frame, 24 megapixel, CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 100-50,000. Yes, 50,000. Leica is already claiming it to be the “fastest autofocus camera in the compact full-frame class”. We’ll have to get our hands on one to see about that. A newly developed Leica Maestro II processor allows a burst rate of ten frames per second (FPS) at full resolution.
This entire camera is Made in Germany and is in no part a collaboration with Panasonic.
An integrated 3.68 megapixel electronic viewfinder displays the core 28mm view, as well as focal lengths of 35mm and 50mm, on demand. The built-in Leica Q touchscreen also allows you to focus via touching the LCD screen on the back (tap to focus). The camera allows two versions of your photographs to be saved. The JPEG images are saved in your selected framing and the RAW images are saved as DNG files in the core 28mm focal length.
They didn’t forget about video either, offering 30 and 60 frames per second rates in full 1080P HD. Files are saved in MP4 format and there is even a video setting to reduce wind noise. Transferring files couldn’t be easier with the new Leica Q App, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You can also remote control various camera settings with the app such as, aperture and shutter speed.
The Summilux f/1.7 28mm lens is what really propels this mirrorless beast above many others. Leica prime lenses are known for being at the top of the pile. This lens/body combo makes the Q perform, look and feel like traditional Leica rangefinder cameras. The lens is comprised of 11 lenses in 9 groups, including 3 aspherical lenses. The range of f/1.7 to f/16 will allow sharp, crisp images with beautiful creamy bokeh.
Looking over the technical data of the Q, it does, on paper, seem to match the Sony RX1 quite a bit. The RX1 was a beast when it came out. Nobody had a FF 24MP pocket monster, or anything close to it at the time. Will Leica’s intelligence and Summilux lens leave the Sony and others behind? Time will tell.
The new Leica Q is available today from select dealers and stores for $4,250. A free copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 is included in your purchase.
More at Leica Camera AG.
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