Leica Q (Typ 116) review

Our findings after spending several days using Leica's new 24MP full-frame compact camera

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We chose three rival cameras for the Leica Q to see how it measured up in our lab tests:

Sony RX1R: This is the Leica Q's only direct rival. Like the Q, the Sony has a fixed focal length non-interchangeable lens and a 24-megapixel sensor – though it doesn't have a viewfinder.

Sony A7 II: The A7 II compact system camera also has a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor and we gave it 4.5 stars in our review.

Sony A7R: This is Sony's highest-resolution full-frame compact system camera, with a 36-megapixel sensor, and it's another 4.5 star camera.

We've carried out lab tests on the Leica Q across its full ISO range for resolution, noise (including signal to noise ratio) and dynamic range. We test the JPEGs shot by the camera, but we also check the performance with raw files. Most enthusiasts and pros prefer to shoot raw, and the results can often be quite different.

Leica Q resolution charts

We test camera resolution using an industry-standard ISO test chart that allows precise visual comparisons. This gives us numerical values for resolution in line widths/picture height, and you can see how the Leica compares with its rivals in the charts below.

Leica Q lab tests

JPEG resolution analysis: These resolution values are very impressive. The Q beats its direct competition and is only just behind the Sony A7R, capturing bags of detail.

Leica Q lab tests

Raw (converted to TIFF) resolution analysis: A fantastic set of results – the Q even manages to beat the 36Mp Sony A7R for detail resolution.

Sample resolution charts

This is the chart we use for testing camera resolution. The key area is just to the right of centre, where a series of converging lines indicates the point at which the camera can no longer resolve them individually. We shoot this chart at all of the camera's ISO settings, and here are two samples at ISO 100 and ISO 6400.

Leica Q lab tests

ISO 100: Click here for a full size version.

Leica Q lab tests

ISO 6400: Click here for a full size version