5 reasons why I stick with my Leica Q - instead buying the Leica M10

The last few weeks I received more and more requests from you asking " Should I get the new Leica M10 or stick with the Leica Q?". I decided to write a blog post for you, which may help you to decide.

I have a Leica Q since day one. The people who read my blog, know that the Leica Q and I haven't been in love at first sight. But with time and lot of patience, the Leica Q became a unique camera for me with a brilliant image quality.

In the beginning of this year, I had some sensor issues with the Q. Leica Wetzlar was so kind to lend me the brand new M10 with a 35mm Summilux while my Q was being repaired. I was in heaven and enjoyed every second shooting with the M10 - on the same site I started missing the Leica Q. The M10 with the 35mm Summilux is magic and so I started to be caught in a dilemma. Should I sell my Leica Q and get a M10 instead? 

Shots with the Leica M10 and 35mm Summilux

Here are 5 reasons which helped me to make my decision:

#focal length & Image quality
I love to shoot 28 & 35mm. The Leica Q with its fixed 28mm lens gives me both possibilities. I don't mind if the 35mm is in cropped mode. I do shoot mostly architecture, documentary or street photography. For this, the Leica Q is the perfect match. I can get very close to my subjects or use perfectly the wide angle lens. The image quality is superb - and the colour and B&W rendering of the Q is top of the notch! 

The 28mm Summilux fixed lens is the perfect match on the Leica Q. I have shot with many different Leica Summilux lenses on the M Body. But I never have been happier with the result like the one of the Leica Q. I don't know what Leica has done! This lens is magic, fast and sharp! The colour and B&W rendering are so aesthetic and there is no need to do a lot of post-processing.

Of course, a 35mm or 50mm Summilux could give you the same result - but just the lenses cost around 4000€ ...

#silent shutter
There is not much to say about the silent shutter. Compared to the Leica M10 it is so silent, that in nearly any situation you wouldn't be noticed while taking a picture.

#Manual & AF
I am a big fan of shooting with the manual focus on a Rangefinder. I always get really fast and precise results. But shooting all day long with a Rangefinder can make your eyes pretty tired. Then it is helpful to have an autofocus. Shooting with the Leica Q gives you both possibilities. It took me a while to get used to the manual focus of the Q, but with some patience it works really good. Most of the time I use the Zone Focusing, but if I am too lazy, the Q gives me the possibility to switch to the AF mode, which is fast and precise.

Last but not least - the prize! Shooting with a Leica is pure luxury. With a Leica camera, you will not make better pictures like with any other camera from another brand. But if you have the money and want the Leica experience you should first ask yourself what kind of images you want to shoot and do you need to shoot with different focal lengths. 

The new Leica M10 is a brilliant camera, but the body already costs 6.850 €! With one Summilux lens on top, you have to invest around 10.000 €! This is a lot of money! The Leica Q costs already 4.190 € with the 28mm fixed Summilux. 

Shots made with the Leica Q

Final thoughts
After a lot of thinking I decided to stick with my Leica Q. The Q is the more modern camera with an amazing image quality and a fantastic lens. So why should I change my system? The Leica M10 might have one or two stops better ISO, but for me, it is not worth to pay around 6000 € extra. With the Leica Q I am able to get nearly the same results. 

Another important reason for me is, that travelling with a combo of 10.000 € makes me feel very attentive that nobody steals my camera. With the Leica Q, I don't have that feeling. The Leica Q is a light and trusty travel companion. This camera helps you to grow as a photographer. Even after owning the Q around 2 years - I still learn new things about using the camera and I really enjoy this experience.

Finally, I hope that I could give you some aspects to make your decision. Both cameras are amazing and if money doesn't matter, I am sure you will be very happy with both cameras.

If you have further questions, just get in touch with me. I am always happy to help. Best, nicole

Love & Pain - the Leica Q

The last few weeks I got many emails where people asked me what settings I use with my Leica Q. I thought it would be the best to write a blog post to share my settings and how I use the Leica Q.

Honestly shooting with the Leica Q is a bit like love and pain. I usually prefer to work with the rangefinders - with the Leica M I am quick and precise - no lack of time while using the AF of the Q. But I really love the Leica Q files so much, that I am constantly working on improving my workflow with the Q.

So here are a few topics of the questions:

DNG & Jpeg
The Leica Q can shoot DNG & jpegs site by site or just jpeg. The color jpegs of the Q are not as good like the B&W jpegs. Unfortunately it is not possible to shoot just DNG - which I would prefer. Shooting DNG & jpegs site by site eats the memory card and slows down the writing process especially while shooting continuously. What I have done is that I have changed the jpeg resolution to 12/ 8 / 4 M. This gives me bit better writing process. I really hope that Leica is doing a software update to shoot just DNG.

B&W Settings
I like contrasty B&W images. My current settings are:
Contrast: High
Sharpness: Medium High

Rome, 2015

Full auto mode
It is possible to use the Q in full auto mode like a point and shoot camera. The AF is fast - but depending on light situations the AF can search sometimes a bit too long, that situations can pass by.

Full auto mode, ISO 3200, Rome 2015

1Point AF Mode
Like with the Leica M - 90 % of the time I am using Zone Focusing - 1 Point AF Mode. I put the AF square in the center of my screen that I am quick to focus my object and by half press shutter I can recompose my image.

Multi Point AF Mode
I used the Multi Point AF Mode a few times - depending on the subjects the AF didn’t focus that well as I wanted and often my object wasn’t in focus but the surrounding.

Rome, 2015

Tracking Mode
I used this while shooting my dog or kids running around - this mode works pretty good.

Touch AF & Release
This is a very easy to use AF mode. Just press on the screen where you want to set the focus and at the same time the photo will get shot. This focus mode works pretty good and fast. I got brilliant results.

Touch AF & Release Mode

Touch AF & Release Mode

Manual Focus
Since a few weeks I started to work more and more using manual focusing. I found out that there is much better control and precise results whenyou are using the manual focus. In the beginning I used the focus peaking mode - but you got more distracted by the red/green/blue or white peaks, that I now just use the MF Assistant - Auto Magnification. I am still working to get better and faster with MF - but I am pretty optimistic that with a little practice I am getting as fast with the Leica M.

Manual Focusing @ f 1.7 , London 2015

Aperture Mode
80 % of my time I am using the Q in Aperture Mode. I put the time on Auto and depending on light situations I have the ISO !00/200 (sunny weather), 800 (indoor), 3200 (night). Sometimes I am lazy and put the ISO on Auto Mode. The Aperture Mode gives me the freedom just to be focused on the Aperture without thinking about time and ISO.

Fully Manual
More and more I am using the Leica Q fully manual. I think you get pretty good results using f 5,6 with 1/125 and set the AF to 1,5 to 2 meters - The ISO I mostly put on Auto / Max ISO 3200.

The Leica Q is a fantastic camera. It takes a while to get used to it. I still need to learn how the camera reacts in certain situations but I hope I could help you a little bit with the Leica Q settings. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me...