June 2, 2023


How Art Works

Leica Q3 First Impressions: The Biggest Leica Ever?

9 min read

Because it was leaked years in the past, photographers inside the Leica circle have awaited the Leica Q3. With the Q2 being such successful for the corporate, the Q3 seemingly addressed lots of the photographers’ vexations with earlier variations. Certainly, the Leica Q3 treatments most of these issues. To start with, the autofocus is far snappier and has been learning up on its scene recognition. Simply as notable, there’s a model new tilting LCD display screen. Leica beforehand acknowledged that the LCD display screen would compromise the IP52 sturdiness score of their cameras. Nonetheless, they discovered a solution to do it — and the Leica Q3 retains the stellar sturdiness that saved photojournalist Gabriele Micalizzi’s life in the course of a struggle.

Editor’s Observe: Leica loaned us a pre-production Leica Q3 unit, which we’ve got returned. This weblog publish shouldn’t be our overview however an preliminary impression after three days of utilizing the Leica Q3. Not one of the “opinions” printed to date are with finalized variations of the digital camera. Particularly, the Leica Q3 we examined didn’t have the ultimate firmware. Cosmetically, it’s finalized. And by way of picture high quality, it’s practically finalized. The Phoblographer shouldn’t be a paid influencer, and we imagine in being extremely clear with our viewers. Yow will discover our insurance policies right here.

What’s New within the Leica Q3 for Photographers?

  • 60MP Full body sensor, not completely the identical because the Leica M11
  • New battery that’s the identical dimension because the older one
  • Tiltable 3-inch LCD display screen with contact capabilities
  • Animal detection autofocus
  • With an non-obligatory grip, it may be wirelessly charged
  • Digital body number of as much as 90mm
  • Medium and small DNG RAW choices
  • HDMI and USB-C
  • 5.76MP OLED Viewfinder that may do 120 frames a second


The Leica Q3 is sort of an identical to the unique cameras. In truth, it’s troublesome to inform all of them aside. Essentially the most notable variations are on the highest — and even these are delicate.

The Leica Q3 has a set 28mm f1.7 Summilux APSH lens hooked up. We thought that it wasn’t able to resolving a 60MP sensor’s fullest potential. However to date, it appears to be able to it; however we’ve got to do extra checks. It’s a particular lens, in case you’re not accustomed to it.

A part of what makes the lens so particular is the handbook focusing, autofocusing, and macro capabilities. Thar signifies that there are a bunch of controls across the lens. Zone focusing is elementary sufficient to do, whereas autofocus is completed just by locking the lens to the AF perform. Then you may set it to macro focusing or regular.

The highest additionally has the recent shot, threaded shutter launch, shutter pace dial, and a customized perform button.

The underside of the Leica Q3 has a brand new battery which has a better capability and is the one one that may allow you to shoot at 8k on the highest speeds. If you happen to’re a photographer that doesn’t care about video, there’s no want to fret right here. It’s additionally the identical dimension because the earlier battery.

If you happen to take a look at the again, the digital camera appears to be like similar to the older Leica Q2. There’s the EVF, diopter, customized perform buttons, and varied settings. Most notable, although, is the brand new tilting LCD display screen.

This new display screen can come out, tilt up, and tilt down. It reminds us a number of the older Sony screens.

Right here’s one other view of the brand new display screen on the Leica Q3.

Construct High quality

Properly, I’m elated to say that Leica did what they beforehand acknowledged was inconceivable. Not solely are there uncovered ports on the underside of the Leica Q3, however there’s a tilting LCD display screen. Regardless of all this, they saved the IP52 sturdiness score. Based on the standard, the Leica Q3 has the second-highest sturdiness in opposition to mud and a number of the greatest safety from water falling vertically on high of it. With all this mentioned, the Leica Q3 feels each bit as incredible and romantic because the earlier iteration of the cameras felt. It’s practically inconceivable so that you can decide it up and never prefer it.

Strolling round with the digital camera for some time proves it to be very light-weight and cozy. That is actually a digital camera I wish to carry in all places with me. Personally talking, I’d moderately use a lens filter than the lens hood — which I really feel makes the digital camera look a bit extra obnoxious.

Ease of Use

I want the menu was totally touch-screen succesful. Leica’s menu system will be simply as fast to navigate as Canon’s if this ever got here. Nonetheless, the display screen will be adjusted and set when capturing utilizing the touch-screen interface.

I attempted capturing with the Leica Q3 at tremendous sluggish shutter speeds. Optical picture stabilization isn’t what I’d count on it to be — to be frank, it’s a bit weak. There have been a number of checks I did at night time utilizing ISO 50 and lengthy publicity. After 75 minutes of yoga, my respiratory and coronary heart charges had been fairly regular. However this digital camera made it look like my fingers had been tremendous shaky. That made no sense, as I’m capable of do longer exposures with many different cameras. As some extent of reference, somebody can not be a part of the Phoblographer’s overview crew until they will handhold a digital camera for longer than one second and get a camera-shake-free photograph. With that mentioned, everybody who opinions merchandise is able to doing this.

Once I turned the OIS setting off, it nonetheless wasn’t capable of get a blur-free photograph. That is actually odd because it’s a 28mm lens and ought to be completely certified to do that activity. The Leica M cameras can do that and so can many others. I feel that the OIS must be tweaked accordingly; hopefully it’ll with future firmware updates.

For quite a lot of causes, I want that Leica stuffed this digital camera with an SSD for storage the best way they did with the Leica M cameras. This may make a lot sense as a result of there’s just one card slot.


By far, this Leica Q3 is the quickest autofocusing Leica digital camera I’ve used. Together with this lens, it’s positively game-changing. Why would I want an ILC if I largely use one focal size? It’s true, on my Fujifilm, Leica, Canon, and Sony cameras, I largely use only a few lenses. I see how some may want a digital camera with a zoom lens. Nonetheless, I may think about myself utilizing my Leica SL2s together with the Q3 to do many of the work I want.

Chook detection and mammal detection is in there — and I’m particularly stating this as a result of it’s a brand new characteristic. Leica places all animals in once they point out that it has animal detection autofocus.

There’s nice information together with that! This digital camera nails it on the subject of autofocusing on folks for avenue pictures more often than not. At 28mm, you’ve bought to rise up shut, although. However past that, it’s additionally bought animal detection that works on canines, cats, mammals, and birds — it’s fairly spectacular. There’s additionally the choice to zone focus at will or use macro-focusing capabilities.

When switching the main focus modes, animals/people are collectively on a separate web page by themselves. This hints to me that extra focus modes are coming sooner or later. I imply, why would Leica put one mode on a web page all by itself? That’s bizarre, proper?

In low-light environments, the Leica Q3 doesn’t appear to focus effectively on melanated folks of coloration transferring round in low gentle. I discovered this to be the case in each bars and with the NYC subway. Although that is solely a pre-production unit, I really feel like autofocus is perhaps relegated to much less various components of the world or once I’m simply having enjoyable. If I wish to do severe avenue pictures work, I’d then be higher served utilizing zone focusing. And for the file, just about each digital camera model is terrible at specializing in melanated folks of coloration. Numerous of us assume it’s due to low distinction. However some technical representatives have instructed me that it could possibly be an issue with lens algorithms. Till extra POCs come ahead about this, it won’t ever get fastened.

With that mentioned, I discovered the zone-focusing factors on the space scale to be barely off. My candy spot is focusing round 5 toes away and stopping right down to f4 or f5.6 when utilizing a 28mm lens. However with the Leica 28mm f1.7 hooked up to this digital camera, I want to determine someplace in between the three foot and 6 foot markers. You’d assume that that may be easy, however it didn’t look like that. To be sincere, it felt nearly like my lens and digital camera wanted to be calibrated to 1 one other, and the digital camera may need wanted a CLA.

Sure, this shouldn’t be the case with an autofocusing fixed-lens digital camera. However it’s, for certain.

Picture High quality

In Seize One, the RAW information didn’t carry out in addition to I’d like them to. And I totally blame that on this being a pre-production digital camera mannequin. In Lightroom, they’re a bit higher however solely barely so. Perhaps it will change with a future replace of the applications. Listed below are some picture samples that we’ve shot.

The Leica Q3 can be presupposed to have particular picture kinds known as modern, traditional, and extra. However after we tried them, our digital camera couldn’t render the appears to be like. They’ve but to be delivered, and we’re wanting to see them.

From day one, The Phoblographer has been big on transparency with our viewers. Nothing from this overview is sponsored. Additional, a number of of us will publish opinions and present a number of enhancing within the photographs. The issue then turns into that anybody and everybody can do the identical factor. They’re not exhibiting what the lens can do. So we’ve got a piece in our Further Picture Samples space to point out edited and unedited photographs. From this, you may make a choice for your self.




First Impressions

The brand new Leica Q3 is proving to be on observe to go down as the best Leica digital camera ever. Certain, we’re constructive it received’t have the sturdiness and endurance that lots of the firm’s analog cameras have. However within the fingers of the suitable photographers, this digital camera could possibly be extremely succesful and a wonderful package deal for anybody on the lookout for a compact, fixed-lens digital camera. The market is significantly missing in that division as a result of manufacturers are going after the typical shopper with them. Nonetheless, anybody shopping for a digital camera lately is often reaching for larger fruit. The one different cameras that might presumably maintain a candle to the Leica Q3 are the Fujifilm X100V, Ricoh GR collection, Sony RX1R collection, and the Canon G1x Mk III. Besides, none of them are going to have the ability to compete.

Certain, the Leica Q3 has a excessive price ticket of $5,995. However you’re getting sturdiness holistically all through each the digital camera and the lens. It’s additionally extremely small, succesful, and might change into a digital camera physique you don’t even have to do main edits with.

We’re holding out for our full-production overview unit, so keep tuned.

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