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Leica Q (Typ 116) Full Review - Performance

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Leica Q (Typ 116) Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response 0.0secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.1secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.2secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.4secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
9fps (70 shots)
Continuous Shooting - RAW (and JPEG) 9fps (13 shots)

Focus and shutter response are both excellent. Continuous shooting is very quick at 9fps and when shooting JPEG images, we were able to take 70 shots before the camera slowed down. 

Leica Q (Typ 116) Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Image quality is impressive, with extremely detailed and sharp photos. Exposure is good although there is a tendency to under-expose rather than lose highlight detail. Colour rendition is reasonably pleasing, although quite muted in comparison to other cameras, and this can be improved by increasing the saturation setting in camera. 

Leica Q (Typ 116) Lens test images

Lens Performance - Turning the macro dial cleverly changes the focus range displayed on the lens, with the lens able to focus on subjects just 17cm from the camera. The lens is automatically stopped down to f/2.8, and in manual focus, focus peaking makes it easy to focus, with an enlarged view being automatically displayed. Optical image stabilisation is available in both photo and video modes, and is said to give 3-stops of image stabilisation.

Detail was impressive whether shooting with the lens wide open at f/1.7, and the camera automatically corrects for distortion in camera, giving you good looking images with very little purple fringing visible. Images are sharp into the corners and there are low levels of vignetting. The lens is also very resistant to flare whether shooting with or without the lens hood.

On our sample, when the lens was stopped down, it was possible to see dirt and dust on the lens / sensor, which we reported to Leica, who will be repairing when the camera is returned to them, and this should not be present on retail units. 

Leica Q (Typ 116) ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO100 to ISO1600, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations, ISO3200 to ISO6400 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO12500 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO50000 is best avoided as noise is extremely high, and detail is very low.

Noise is quite film-like in appearance, with a grain visible at ISO6400 and above, however without the red, green and blue dots you normally see at high ISO settings. Noise does become quite strong as ISO12500, and we would suggest that the usefulness of these higher ISO settings is likely to depend on what your intended use is - for example, the images should be suitable for sharing on the web. 

Noise does appear higher at ISO6400 compared to the RX1R, although more detail is retained in comparison. The RX1R shows less noise at ISO25600 with a more usable image straight from the camera, however the Q image could be useful is resized or additional noise reduction is applied. There are no noise reduction options in-camera, and to manage noise reduction yourself, we'd recommend shooting raw.

Leica Q (Typ 116) White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs very well under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a warmer result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lights.

Leica Q (Typ 116) Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of scene modes available, including sports, portrait, landscape, candle light, sunset, digi scoping, miniature, panoramic and time-lapse. Panorama mode - The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are good and well stitched together, with a reasonably high-resolution image produced.

Video - The camera records full HD video in MP4 format at 60 or 30fps, and there are a number of video options, including continuous AF, photos during video recording, contrast, saturation, sharpness, microphone gain, wind elimination, and optical video stabilisation. 


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themak 6 1.0k Scotland
10 Jun 2015 2:13PM
This one I like.

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josa 7 25 Czech Republic
13 Jun 2015 7:09PM
I'd love to try it for a week or two...Smile
dannyr 10 46 United Kingdom
25 Sep 2015 9:22AM
This is the Leica camera I have always wanted, apart from the focal length! I love 35mm but dislike 28mm! why did they have to change their minds this time Sad Sad Sad

If they make a 35mm version with that lovely macro mode, my spare internal organs will be out and sold before I can blink!

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