Leica unveils new Q platform

Leica has announced its latest camera – the Leica Q typ 116 – which by all accounts is quite an impressive performer. It’s a compact mirrorless camera with a 24MP full frame CMOS sensor and a fixed 28mm lens. It costs £2900.

The body is black, made of magnesium alloy covered in leather and with a thumb rest on the back of the camera. It has an electronic viewfinder with a a resolution of 3.68 MP. It records RAW files in DNG format as well as JPEGs.

The lens is considerably better than that normally found on small compacts and should really set this camera apart. It’s an f/1.7 Leica Summilux ASPH that should be ideal for available light photography. It includes a macro feature and supports both manual and automatic focusing. The lens itself is a 28mm but it can also show framing for the equivalent of 35mm and 50mm lenses, which will be recorded in the JPEG files though the RAW files will still show the full frame.

It includes a newly developed Leica Maestro II image processor that delivers up to ten frames per second at full resolution. It also includes WiFi and can send still and video images to other devices and allow remote control via free app from a smartphone or a tablet PC. The app also allows the setting of parameters like the aperture and shutter speed. It also includes a free copy of Adobe Lightroom.

There’s been some speculation that Leica might offer lens adaptors to give an equivalent focal length to say, 50mm or 85mm. But personally I wouldn’t be surprised to see a version with an interchangeable lens mount appear at some point.

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