The Leica Q3 has been announced with a similar (but not identical) 60MP BSI CMOS sensor as the Leica M11 (and Sony A7 IV and V). The new model also features a fold-out LCD which is the first significant departure in design for the Q. The price is £5,300 inc VAT.
The new Leica Q3 features the triple-resolution feature (pixel binning from the native 60MP, giving a choice of 18MP and 36MP options) seen in the Leica M11. Leica says RAW files are around 70 MB depending on the ISO/content, which appears to be lossless compressed RAW (DNG). In any case, there’s no option for uncompressed RAW.
Presumably, it’s the same system as the Leica M11. If so it’s very welcome as the Leica Q2 (and Leica Q2M) offers just lossless uncompressed DNGs and JPEGs of various sizes. RAWs from those models weigh in at around 87-91MB. And files from the SL2 are similar (I’ve heard of photographers switching from that to the SL2s for that reason alone).
Overall, the highly anticipated Leica Q3 appears to be an interesting update. I’m unconvinced of the triple-resolution tech: it’s more flexible to record at full res and downsample in post (which was why I didn’t mention it a great deal in my review of the Leica M11). However, the addition of a fold-out screen and lossless compressed RAW appear to offer significant improvements over the Leica Q2.
For me, the most compelling and outstanding capability of the Leica Q2 is low-light shooting. I can easily handhold it at 1/4 sec and still get perfectly sharp images. With the higher-res sensor and change in ergonomics due to the fold-out screen, it will be interesting to see if that’s still possible with the Leica Q3. I expect it will be and look forward to trying it out.
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NEW: Leica Q3
The next generation compact full-frame camera with new features and a fast Summilux lens.
25th May 2023. Leica Camera introduces the 3rd generation of the successful Leica Q family, the Leica Q3. High-quality craftsmanship, a timeless and sleek design, and simple operation make this family of fixed focal length full-frame cameras stand out. They have been highly regarded worldwide since 2015 by both photographers and creatives, as well as those in front of the camera. The new Leica Q3 camera delivers perfect photo and video results; equipped with one of the fastest lenses on the market with integrated macro mode and a whole package of new features, it represents the next evolutionary step in this unique camera segment.
At the heart of the Leica Q3 is the new BSI-CMOS sensor with Triple-Resolution-Technology. With a resolution of either 60, 36, or 18 MP, raw images can be created using the DNG format or processed JPEG files with a perfect look, straight out of the camera. When shooting with 60 MP even the finest details and structures are captured. Shooting with 36 or 18 MP allows faster camera operation, longer image sequences, and smaller file sizes. The Leica Q3 uses the entire size of the sensor for all resolutions with a sensitivity range of ISO 50 to 100,000 and the latest generation of the Maestro Series processor with L2 Technology ensures excellent operating speeds.
The construction of the fast Leica Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH. is an optical masterpiece. With its integrated macro mode, it allows close-up shots from a minimum focusing distance of 17 cm. In combination with its high resolution, this 3rd generation Q family member also offers an extended digital zoom. This allows the user to zoom to the focal lengths of 28, 35, 50, 75 mm, and now also 90 mm. Two new and practical assistants, Leica Perspective Control (LPC) and Leica Dynamic Range (LDR), also ensure perfect JPEG images without any post-processing.
A significant development has also been made to the autofocus system of the Q3. A new hybrid autofocus system with phase detection ensures extremely fast tracking and accurate focusing of objects. In addition to the high-precision contrast autofocus, the DFD system and phase detection autofocus, combined with intelligent subject recognition, supports the capturing of sharp and brilliant images, all displayed crisply and clearly on the new 5.76 MP OLED viewfinder.
The new tiltable 3-inch high-resolution touchscreen with a high-quality tilting mechanism provides unique viewing angles and creates even more creative opportunities when taking photos and videos. Additionally, even with the movable display, the Leica Q3 still provides protection against dust and spray water thanks to its IP52 certification.
The Leica Q3 continues to impress with its seamless and fast connectivity via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The camera is equipped with advanced Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology, which has increased the transfer speed to the Leica FOTOS app by up to 10 times compared to the previous model, taking mobile creative workflow to the next level. With a stable connection and high data transfer rates to the Leica FOTOS app, videos can now be loaded from the camera to a smartphone, or special ‘Leica Looks’ can be imported onto the camera for beautiful JPEG images. Various connection modes from ‘Eco’ to ‘Performance’ improve the mobile workflow and energy management of the Leica Q3. The Apple certification “Made for iPhone® and iPad®” accessory and the included Leica FOTOS cable, make the Leica Q3 the ideal tool to express the creative vision of users working with it daily.
With the ability to record video at 8k resolution and highly efficient codecs such as H.265 and Apple’s ProRes, the powerful Leica Q3 now meets the needs of all content creators. The connection of external devices such as gimbals, power banks and display recorders is secured directly via USB-C and HDMI. Tethered shooting with Capture One or the Adobe Lightroom plug-in is also supported via the USB-C cable connection and further enriches the fields of application for this compact digital camera.
Entirely wireless charging is also now possible with the new Leica Charging Pad and separate camera handgrip. This stylish charging pad conveniently recharges the new powerful battery BC-SCL6 of the Q3 and many other Qi-compatible devices.
When it comes to image composition, the Leica Q3 offers maximum freedom, but also for an individual style of the camera body, the new accessories offer versatility for a customised look. Leather protectors, lens caps, retro-look lens hoods, thumb rests, soft release buttons and flash shoe covers are also available in three different colours variations.
The Leica Q3 will be available globally at all Leica Stores, the Leica Online Store and authorised dealers. The recommended retail price will be £5,300 including VAT.