Leica Q3 Review: Pricey but Worth It


The EVF is a 5.76M dot OLED screen that’s bright and sharp. I never had any issues with manual focus. Unlike many systems I’ve used that require a button press, just turning the lens zooms in allows for precise focusing.

I was able to shoot with the Q3 for nearly a month, and in that time the only real criticism I could come up with is that I am not a huge fan of the 28-mm lens. That is not precisely fair. I love this lens, I just lack experience composing images at this field of view. I am much more experienced with, and comfortable with, the 35-mm lens found in Fujifilm’s X100V (9/10, WIRED Recommends). That said, the Q3 is so much fun to use that I enjoyed struggling with composition in the wider-than-I’m-used-to frame.

Photograph: Scott Gilbertson

I used to consider fixed focal-length, large-sensor compact cameras to be very niche. There was Ricoh’s GR series, Fujifilm’s X100 series (very much inspired by the early Leica rangefinders), and now the Leica Q series. Then, for reasons that escape me since I don’t use TikTok, everyone decided the Fujifilm X100V was the camera to have. Demand is such that it’s hard to find one new, and the used market is wild. While my cynicism leads me to believe that most of this demand is from people who want to photograph themselves with the camera rather than, you know, going out into the world to use it, the demand is there.

The Leica is clearly the king of that pack. The lens is sharper and better, the sensor larger, and the autofocus better or just as good as on the Fuji. With X100V prices well over the $1,500 selling price, the Leica almost doesn’t seem that expensive anymore—almost. At $6,000, the Q3 is obviously not for everyone. But if you can afford it and are comfortable with the 28-mm focal length, the Q3 is a great camera. You want to bring it with you everywhere, and it produces the kind of images that make you glad you had it on you. That’s about the highest praise you can give any tool.



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