The Leica Q is the best fixed-lens compact camera

[Read the post]

I have a friend that has this camera, it really packs some excellent features.

1 Like

I will never own a Leica. Probably. It’s just too hard for me to lay out that sort of loot for a camera like that. I grew up with SLR’s, and I suspect that has further tainted my world view.
I’ve come to like little rangefinder cameras- I have two sitting on my desk right now, waiting for me to take one out at lunch today for a walk around the city. They’re both analog (a Konica C35 and a Canon Canonet QL17, if you must know), but I’ve been thinking about a digital rangefinder with a fixed lens. There are just so few options.
The Leica is a nice camera. Is it worth the price bump from a Fuji X100t (or, indeed the x70?)? That’s a $3k price bump, btw.
These are my values and opinions, though, and I’d never fault someone for choosing a Q.
But it’s NUTS that a $4200 camera isn’t weather sealed. That, to me, is totally unacceptable.


Only 4 grand? well shit give me one for each day of the week.


A $4200 camera is something I’d consider an investment for another generation to use, a machine that’d last decades. Not something I’d need to cover with a jacket if there’s a mist in the air.


Lucky dog! I’ve been wanting to test this camera out for some photogrammetry purposes.

1 Like

Though the idea of buying a digital camera as a generational investment might be an inherently flawed concept (given the nature of digital anything).

Maybe that’s why Leica continues to make the M cameras?


Please put this on a sky-banner and fly it over all the major camera label HQs.


The likelihood of me owning a Leica-branded camera is slim to none as well, but you can always get one of the “poor man’s Leicas,” aka the Panasonic Lumix series cameras, which feature Leica-designed lenses. Last fall, I picked up a DMC-ZS40 for just a little over $300, and was absolutely floored at how well it could do 30x handheld zoom shots. The image stabilization system is that good.

On the other hand, that superzoom is precisely the opposite of the Q’s fixed lens. Shooting with a fixed lens has its own challenges and opportunities.


Thing rips my Canon 5d to pieces. The weight alone is enough to love it, but once you get to taking images, well it’s a freaking amazing camera. Just wish they would get with the production of it! I want one for myself…

1 Like

I’m nothing like the writer, so I was left thinking I definitely don’t want this camera. His writing is interesting, and there were really lovely photos, some really impressive - lots of beautiful scenes captured well. Part of this is achieved by taking a camera to an exotic locale and finding interesting scenes, which says less about the camera, though the Myanmar Farmer daylight shot was showed off what the camera could do well. It looks like a nice camera for a street photographer with the money.

The author’s amazement at the discovery that cropping could be useful was pretty ridiculous. Dwelling on the font typeface doubly so, esp. when he waxed on about it then casually mentioned he covered it with electrical tape). His eulogizing of the iPhone as a camera shows just how much I am not this guy - I use the phone cam, but the ~30mm focal length can be a pain. You can’t always get closer.

The output at higher ISO looks nice, new sensors really are getting better on this front. Happily, you don’t need a $4200 Leica to enjoy this.

The fixed 28mm prime means I’d never want one (600mm still feels like it’s not long enough sometimes). The author does travel/street photography. Even for travel photography I like being able to swap in a wide-angle sometimes, and I shoot often with a 600mm even when traveling.

And you can’t even load it with a roll of Tri-X?


See, now you’re describing my ideal camera. One that can be an amazing digital camera that I could switch into film mode if I wanted to.

1 Like

Got $10,000+ to spare? If so, Hasselblad has you covered with their V-System digital backs.

(Though something smaller, like the old Contaflex removable film backs, would be better. Even then you still would likely be looking at a huge cost for it, and I can’t really think of a way you could do it without removable backs.)

Is it as large a lens as I’m thinking it must be? And you’re okay traveling with it?

I travel with a 150-600 zoom. It’s around 10" when it’s retracted, which is big but manageable. Camera+lens is around 5 pounds, but I usually only lug the telephoto around when I’m out in the wild. I have a ThinkTank bag that fits the telephoto, camera, a wide-angle, a 18-55, and a 35 prime and is carry-on size. I often travel to places to see the birds/wildlife, so it works for me. YMMV.


Birding–figures. My largest lens is Canon’s 70-200mm workhorse. Cheap (relatively) and light, as it’s not the IS version. I do love to read about cameras/lenses like Leica’s Q, but I have yet to exceed the performance envelope of my old 5D.

EDIT: Nice shots, btw!

1 Like

We’ll see. Nikon reportedly will soon announce a new large sensor compact with three available lens combinations.

Yeah, though even when I’m not shooting birds I really like my 11mm wide-angle. I’m still new to wide-angle, so my shots aren’t so great, but it’s really cool to be able to pull so much in:

Yeah, it’s fun to read about them, and they sound really nice for a limited range of things, but they don’t seem very versatile. The Fuji mirrorless cameras look really nice, but still it’d have to be a second camera and even more stuff to lug around.



Fantastic shots!!

1 Like