Leica G: Field Test

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Let me begin this second look at the Leica Q with a list of quibbles:

  • The strap Leica provides with the camera is leather, which is nicely made but too narrow for a camera of this weight and the O-ring attachments are flimsy and frankly cheaply made. If this was my camera I would swap to out for one of the beautifully crafted and yet oh-so-practical Artisan & Artist cloth straps I use on my Olympus mirrorless cameras.
  • The over designed and overly large lens cap is tough to put on and remove. Perhaps it will, as they say on PBS’ Are You Being Served, “ride up with wear.” Or not.
  • The under designed and small lens hood included can only be attached by removing the lens’ “protective ring” much as Olympus does on their Micro Four-thirds lenses. On the Oly this ring easily bayonets off; on the Leica Q mere human fingers are not strong enough. I wanted to try classic filter “wrenches” to remove it but could not find mine. So until Dwayne Johnson comes for a visit, I’m shooting without a lens hood. No flare problems at all.
  • In a “dog ate my homework: scenario, I shot some RAW+JPEG images at a car show and the card reader built into my 5K iMac, and external card readers for  my computers refused to read the card. Yet, I could see the images on the Leica Q. This could be the fault of the 64GB Lexar Professional 600x SD card, so I plan to test it in other cameras and test other cards with the Q. (Update: Bad card) Meanwhile the USB cable Leica provides turned the camera into a card reader and I was able to copy the images to my hard drive.
  • As you can see in the above shot there can bee some distortion at object at the edges when pointing the camera even slightly up or down. And while this can be expected in really wide-angle lenses I wouldn’t call the 28mm Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens “wide angle” by any means.
  • There no Monochrome mode. On a Leica? But there are more White Balance settings than anybody else, including two for white balancing from a grey card.

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That said, shooting the Leica Q is much like shooting my Leica M6 TTL. It’s smooth, functional and easy to shoot. And it has the quietest shutter of any digital camera I’ve used, including the trés quiet Lumix GH4. The autofocus is amazingly fast, fastest of any camera that I’ve ever tested. Traditionalist can focus manually if they want but why? Heck, the lens even has a Macro mode and while 28mm is nobody’s first focal length choice for close-up photography (it focuses as close as 6.69-inches) the results we more than acceptable.

Don’t miss another perspective on the Leica Q at Joe Farace Shoots Cars.

Author: Joe Farace

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