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Leica Q is a Full-Frame Compact with a Fixed 28mm f/1.7 Lens

By Anthony Thurston on June 10th 2015

We had been hearing the rumors and was pretty sure it was coming, and today, Leica made it official, announcing their new ‘Q’. The new Leica Q is a full frame compact camera with a fixed 28mm F/1.7 lens.


The full-frame sensor on the new Leica ‘Q’ is based around a 24MP CMOS sensor with an ISO range of up to 50,000. The ‘Q’ is also capable of up to 10 frames per second burst rate, quite impressive for a camera of this type. To go along with that fast FPS, Leica claims that the ‘Q” has the fastest AF among full frame compact cameras, and we believe it, considering the only other full frame compacts are Sony’s RX1 series.

As you would expect from Leica, the body features a stunning build quality, highlighted by an all aluminum top plate and magnesium alloy body. Leica also one-upped Sony’s RX1 series by affixing a 28mm F/1.7 lens, making this both wider and faster than the Sony camera.

The new Leica Q also features full HD video recording and WiFi connectivity for easy sharing right from the camera. Rounding out the notable features is a special mode on the EVF that allows users to frame and compose their shots like they would in a traditional rangefinder, with 35mm and 50mm crop lines.

Overall, it looks like a hell of a camera, and the price – $4,200 – is actually not bad considering this is a Leica. You are paying less for this camera than you would for that 28mm F/1.7 lens on its own in the Leica M system, so if you look at it in that regard, this is a killer deal.


Our own Jay Cassario actually had the chance to play with this camera over the last week, and he has some initial thoughts, along with image samples, over on his personal website here. Jay says, “I admit I was hesitant on how much I would like a compact camera, this one stands out and might be the first to end up staying in my bag. While the price is steep for some, I know the quality and craftsmanship that goes into all of the Leica gear I use and shoot with on a daily basis. While some will disagree, it’s worth every penny.”

His full review will be here on SLR Lounge soon, so keep an eye out for it.

The Leica Q will be available at retailers worldwide right away. You can order one from B&H as soon as they update their site from this link.

So what are your thoughts on the Leica Q? How do you think it stacks up to the RX1 from Sony? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Tim Buerck

    If they would have priced this closer to $3k, I would jump on it. Go Leica!

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  2. Thomas Horton

    I am starting to get the feeling that I am not in Leica’s target demographic. LoL

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    • Ralph Hightower

      I was never in Leica’s demographics. Sure, I think it would be fun to play with a rangefinder, but I’d buy a used Canon rangefinder from the 1950’s.

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  3. Paul Empson

    rather have a Sony RX100..

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  4. robert s

    for that money

    -D750 killer performance. high iso, speed and low light AF performance, excellent auto WB and colors
    -sigma art 24mm 1.4
    -nikon 50 1.8G
    -nikon 85 1.8G
    -a few yongnuo 560III flashes some 603II slaves
    -60×90 brolly softboxes at $35 each
    -light stands

    there now thats a setup I can do a lot with for the same money.

    at least leica were smart to put an lcd screen on this one, unlike the M Edition 60 camera. wow, what were they thinking. maybe they were trying one up hasselblad with the lunar

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    • Aidan Morgan

      That’s true, but for those who want (and can afford) the Q, it’s completely irrelevant. You might as well tell a Leica shooter that they could buy 200,000 pieces of Hubba-Bubba for the same money. Think of all the chewing satisfaction you’ll get for $4,000.

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    • robert s

      youre very limited with what you can do with the leica Q. thats the issue.

      one 28mm lens. very limiting to what you can shoot with that.

      people shoot with a smartphone all the time, but your creativity can only go so far. angles, perspectives, compression. aesthetics. very limiting with the Q

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    • Aidan Morgan

      You’re quite right that the Leica Q is limited in certain ways. I’d say that its limits are part of the point. There’s more versatile gear out there for less money, as your list showed (and quite handily, too – most of us would sooner get a D750 than a massively expensive camera with one focal length). But I think my point stands alongside yours. The people who shoot with the Q will be happy to work within its limits. They don’t want versatility; they want a machine that does certain tasks extremely well. It’s obviously not the right thing for you, but other shooters will have different needs that can be met by this camera.

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    • robert s

      ~~The people who shoot with the Q will be happy to work within its limits. They don’t want versatility; they want a machine that does certain tasks extremely well. ~~

      dont agree about the extremely well bit but I understand your point. most people have more money then talent. people are more about the gear than photographing.

      I prefer different tools to get different images. one FL can only do so much. and shooting people is what the most shoot. 28mm is not for shooting people. not even groups of people. people at the end look heavier than they are. even at weddings, I never shoot at 28mm.

      thank god they added an lcd screen for $4200. very generous of them

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  5. Aidan Morgan

    My brain keeps on saying “Hey, that’s a good price for a Leica!” and then I spend time reviewing my savings. Stupid brain.

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  6. Peter Nord

    I can’t think of a nicer touch than to leave a few of these in a basket for guests to take ashore during a cruise of the Greek isles.

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  7. Dragoș Ardeleanu

    more than $4000 and you can’t even switch the lens … that is indeed a killer deal.

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    • J. Cassario

      I would normally agree with this, but when you spend that much on a body, and the lenses for that system cost just as much, I feel like Leica did an awesome thing by making this combo with a sensor that is better than any other body they have out. I am a Leica shooter but rarely ever change lenses. At their price point not many photographers own a whole slew of Leica lenses.

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    • Dragoș Ardeleanu

      I am not a Leica user (although I normally like what I hear and see about Leica)
      I do own a DSLR and I do need to change lenses. It would have been way more expensive to buy 3 cameras with fixed lenses than one body and 3 lenses.

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  8. Paul Empson

    hmmm killer deal.. ;-)

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