Leica Q3 Review: Our Experience with The New Leica Camera

Leica Q3 review.
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Table of Contents

Choosing the right camera can be an overwhelming task, with a myriad of options available in today’s market. Enter the Leica Q3, praised for its high-end features and superb performance wrapped in classic aesthetics.

This comprehensive review will walk you through all the cutting-edge features of this camera – from its autofocus capabilities to image quality, breaking down everything you need to know before making your investment decision.

Ready to dive into the world of Leica? Let’s get started!

Notable Improvements from the Q2 Model

The Leica Q3 boasts enhanced features and technical advancements over its predecessor, the Q2 model.

A person holding a Leica Q3 camera.

Enhanced features

The Leica Q3 boasts a plethora of enhanced features that cater to the needs of every photography enthusiast. Armed with a powerful 60-megapixel sensor, the camera captures high-resolution images.

Its animal eye AF feature takes precision to another level by focusing on the eyes of subjects for breathtaking wildlife shots. The weather-resistant metal build and IP53 seal make it suitable for use in varied conditions, while its tilting LCD screen and improved resolution viewfinder facilitate effortless framing and previewing.

The classic Leica colors alongside an array of color profiles give JPEG images depth, character, and life-like hues making each shot exceptional. However, continuous autofocus performance maintains a rate of up to 4 fps only but delivers steady results.

Technical advancements

The Leica Q3 has seen several key technical advancements that set it apart from its predecessors. Notably, the camera now boasts a 60-megapixel sensor which boosts image resolution, capturing details down to the eyelash level.

An image of a Leica camera with a lens attached to it.

The Summilux 28mm f1.7 lens is another technological progression that enhances picture quality.

One of the most talked-about features in tech forums is the animal eye AF – made possible by firmware 5.00 upgrades and PDAF+CDAF autofocusing system integration – proving to be a game changer for wildlife photographers and pet lovers alike.

Higher resolution viewfinder comes as an additional bonus, making frame composition more accurate than ever before.

This innovative German camera maker didn’t stop at still images; they made substantial improvements on the Q3’s video capabilities too! The new model supports up to 8k video recording with ProRes format and HDMI output compatibility, opening up wider possibilities for filmmakers.

Further underlining Leica’s commitment to keeping pace with modern demands, users can now share their pictures or charge their device using USB-C ports while SCL-6 batteries ensure longer operating times between charges – a huge leap from previous SCL-4 batteries used in older models.

Design and Ergonomic Analysis

The Leica Q3 has a durable build and ergonomic design that makes it easy to handle and use for extended periods of time.

Build quality

The Leica Q3 boasts a durable metal construction, standing as a testament to the stellar build quality inherent in Leica’s design philosophy. This compact yet robust camera withstands harsh conditions with its IP53-rated weather-sealing, ensuring optimal performance even under challenging outdoor environments.

A Leica Q3 camera sitting on a table next to a plant.

Durability extends to the tilting LCD screen and higher-resolution viewfinder, which allow photographers to work comfortably regardless of lighting or angle constraints. Despite being sturdy and solidly constructed, some users might find the single SD card slot limiting for their extensive shooting needs.

Yet, it’s the solidity and resilience of the Q3 that makes this camera not just visually appealing but also functionally superior – an essential tool for any serious photographer looking for high-quality equipment built to last over time.

Ease of use

Operability has been carefully considered in the design of the Leica Q3. The camera features mirrorless-like ergonomics, making it intuitive and comfortable to handle for both experienced professionals and beginner photographers.

Users will appreciate its compact and durable build, ensuring it’s not only lightweight but also robust. Particularly beneficial is the inclusion of a tilting LCD screen, a higher resolution viewfinder which significantly enhances interaction with captured images, as well as composing shots.

A person is holding a Leica Q3 camera up to a phone.

Notably standing out among practical elements offered by this model is a single SD card slot – an efficient yet straightforward solution for storage needs during prolonged shooting sessions or while on travel assignments.

In-Depth Look at the Features

The Leica Q3 boasts impressive features such as advanced autofocus capabilities, a versatile metering system, and a high-resolution lens that captures stunning images with exceptional sharpness and color rendering.

Autofocus capabilities

The autofocus capabilities of the Leica Q3 are essential for capturing sharp and precise images. With a maximum speed of 4 frames per second (fps), the autofocus is fast enough to keep up with most subjects in street photography, journalism, or lifestyle photography.

However, it’s worth noting that the autofocus may struggle when shooting in backlighting situations. Despite this limitation, the Leica Q3 still delivers impressive focusing accuracy and reliability, ensuring that your subjects are beautifully captured with ease.

In addition to its speed, the Leica Q3 offers various autofocus modes such as eye/face/body detection and spot or field focusing. This versatility gives you greater control over how your camera focuses on different subjects.

Metering system

The Leica Q3 comes equipped with an advanced and precise metering system. This system ensures accurate exposure in various lighting conditions, allowing photographers to capture well-balanced shots effortlessly.

Whether shooting in bright sunlight or low-light environments, the metering system analyzes the scene’s light levels and adjusts the camera’s settings accordingly, resulting in optimal image quality.

With this feature, photographers can focus on their composition and creativity without worrying about overexposed or underexposed images.

Additionally, the Leica Q3 offers different metering modes such as spot metering and evaluative metering, providing users with flexibility to choose the best option for their specific shooting situation.

Image Quality Assessment

The image quality of the Leica Q3 is exceptional, with high ISO performance, versatile RAW files, beautiful bokeh, sharpness down to the finest details, and stunning color rendering.

High ISO image performance

The high ISO image performance of the Leica Q3 is one area where specific information has not been provided. As a result, there are no available data or details on how well the camera performs in low light situations and at higher ISO settings.

This omission makes it difficult to evaluate the camera’s capabilities when it comes to capturing images with minimal noise and preserving image quality in challenging lighting conditions.

However, considering Leica’s reputation for producing cameras with excellent image quality, it is reasonable to expect that the Q3 will deliver solid results even at higher ISO values.

Raw file versatility

The Leica Q3 offers impressive raw file versatility, allowing photographers to have greater control over their post-processing and customization of images. This means that you can preserve more details and dynamic range in your shots, making it easier to adjust exposure, color balance, and other parameters during editing.

A person is holding a Leica Q3 next to a camera.

With the flexibility of shooting in raw format, you can achieve your desired look and style for each photograph, whether you prefer vibrant colors or a more muted tone. This feature makes the Leica Q3 an excellent choice for photographers who want complete creative freedom in producing stunning images.

Additionally, the camera provides a range of color profiles specifically designed by Leica, including their classic colors. These profiles deliver beautiful and accurate rendering of different tones and hues straight out of the camera when shooting in JPEG format.

Bokeh quality

The bokeh quality of the Leica Q3 is exceptional, thanks to its built-in Summilux 28mm f1.7 lens. This lens allows for a shallow depth of field, resulting in beautifully blurred backgrounds that make your subject truly stand out.

With its 60-megapixel sensor and wide aperture, the camera produces stunning images with smooth and creamy bokeh. Whether you’re shooting portraits or capturing everyday moments, the Leica Q3’s bokeh adds a touch of artistic flair to your photos, enhancing their overall aesthetic appeal.


The sharpness of the Leica Q3 is truly impressive. With its 60-megapixel sensor and built-in Summilux 28mm f1.7 lens, this camera captures images with incredible detail. Whether you’re capturing landscapes or portraits, the sharpness of the photos will blow you away.

The combination of a high-resolution sensor and a fast lens ensures that every intricate detail is preserved in your shots, from fine textures to small facial features. The Leica Q3’s sharpness is one of its standout qualities, making it a fantastic choice for photographers who value crisp and detailed images.

Lens character

The lens character of the Leica Q3 is a standout feature that photographers will appreciate. Equipped with a built-in Summilux 28mm f1.7 lens, this camera can create stunning soft blooms of light when directed toward the sun.

However, it’s worth noting that on humid days, the lens can occasionally produce ghosting spots and lens flare. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Leica Q3 offers different color profiles to suit various shooting situations.

From a standard profile to the Leica Classic and high contrast monochrome mode, users have options to achieve their desired look. The reviewer’s personal favorite is the high contrast monochrome mode due to its excellent mix of sharpness and bokeh.

Color rendering

The color rendering of the Leica Q3 is exceptional, thanks to its array of color profiles for JPEG images. Whether you prefer a contemporary, classic, or even sepia look, this camera has got you covered.

The 60-megapixel sensor and f1.7 lens work together to produce beautiful imagery with rich and accurate colors. When it comes to capturing those classic Leica colors that we all love, the Q3 doesn’t disappoint.

With its precise color reproduction, your photos will truly stand out with vibrant hues and lifelike tones. So if you’re looking for a camera that can deliver stunning color rendering straight from the camera, the Leica Q3 is definitely worth considering.

With the Leica Q3’s comprehensive range of color profiles available for JPEG images, capturing scenes with different moods and styles has never been easier. From contemporary looks to timeless black-and-white shots or even vintage sepia tones, this camera offers plenty of options to suit your artistic vision.

Whether you’re shooting landscapes or portraits, the Q3’s 60-megapixel sensor and f1.7 lens ensure that every detail in your subject’s coloring is captured accurately and beautifully.

Leica Q3 Performance Analysis

The Leica Q3 delivers exceptional performance that meets the demands of professional photographers. With its 60-megapixel sensor, this camera captures stunningly detailed images with incredible sharpness and clarity.

The autofocus capabilities are impressive, allowing for quick and accurate subject tracking, especially when it comes to animal eye detection. The metering system is spot-on, ensuring accurate exposures in various lighting conditions.

Additionally, the Leica Q3 offers a range of shooting modes and customizable settings that cater to different shooting styles. Overall, the performance of the Leica Q3 exceeds expectations and makes it a top choice for photographers who value image quality and precision in their work.

Battery Life Evaluation

The battery life of the Leica Q3 is highly impressive. With its efficient power management, it can last for extended shooting sessions without needing frequent recharging. The camera is equipped with a long-lasting rechargeable battery that provides enough juice to capture hundreds of photos and even record videos.

This means you won’t have to worry about running out of power during important moments or when exploring new locations.

Additionally, the Leica Q3 also offers fast charging capabilities, allowing you to quickly replenish the battery when needed. This ensures minimal downtime and maximum shooting time, making it an ideal companion for photographers who are always on the go.

In conclusion, the Leica Q3’s outstanding battery life gives photographers peace of mind knowing that they can rely on their camera throughout their photography journey without constantly worrying about running out of power.

Who Should Consider Buying the Leica Q3?

The Leica Q3 is a compact camera that is ideal for photographers who prioritize image quality and appreciate the convenience of a fixed lens camera. It is specifically designed for street photographyjournalism, and lifestyle genres.

With its 60-megapixel full-frame sensor and bright f1.7 28mm lens, it captures stunning details with lovely background bokeh. The camera also offers a range of color profiles, allowing photographers to achieve their desired look straight from the camera or have flexibility in post-processing with RAW files.

While not recommended for action photography due to its autofocus limitations, the Leica Q3 excels in delivering high-resolution images with classic Leica colors.

Pricing Details

The Leica Q3 comes with a price tag of just under $6k, making it a high-end option for photography enthusiasts. While it may have a steep price, the camera offers stunning image quality and advanced features that justify its cost.

With its compact design and large sensor, the Leica Q3 is well-suited for street photography, journalism, and lifestyle photography. Its durable build ensures longevity, while the Summilux 28mm f1.7 lens captures detail down to the eyelash level.

The Leica Q3’s classic design and lens controls add to its appeal as a premium camera option.

For photographers looking for versatility in their shooting styles, the Leica Q3 offers various color profiles straight from the camera so that you can achieve your desired look without extensive editing.

Additionally, it provides both JPEGs and RAW files for more flexibility in post-processing. The camera’s mirrorless-like ergonomics and macro mode further enhance its usability and adaptability.

In summary, while the Leica Q3 may come with a higher price tag compared to other cameras on the market, its exceptional performance capabilities and unparalleled image quality make it worth considering for serious photographers who are willing to invest in top-of-the-line equipment.

Conclusion: Is the Leica Q3 Worth the Investment?

Is the Leica Q3 worth the investment? With its modern features like animal eye AF and a 60-megapixel sensor, this high-end compact camera delivers detailed images with excellent bokeh.

Although it has some limitations such as a limited continuous autofocus speed and a single SD card slot, the durable build, weather sealing, and variety of color profiles make it an enticing option for photographers in genres like street photography, journalism, and lifestyle.

FAQs: Leica Q3

What makes the Leica Q3 compact camera special?

Leica Q3 stands out for its large sensors, high resolution capabilities, classic camera body by German camera maker Leica, and impressive stabilization systems.

Why is the price of a Leica Q3 higher than most other cameras in its category?

The high price tag of the Leica Q3 could be explained by factors such as IP53 weather-sealing, Bird and animal detection autofocus system, Macro capabilities, 14-Bit imaging and one SD card slot along with great colors and black-and-white profiles output even from JPEGs straight from the camera.

How does the image quality produced by the Leica Q3 compare to other cameras?

With it’s resolution technology, stabilized Summilux lens plus high ISO Images compatibility; Leica Q3 tends to yield extra Image samples that suggest both edited RAW and Unedited images showcase great color vibrancy often surpassing many contemporaries.

Does the build of a Leica Q3 offer any unique features?

Yes! Apart from sporting an iconic design common among all M series models like Maestro IV processor integration or drive mode settings – It also brings additional perks such as OLED EVF for better visibility under varied lighting conditions.

Can I use my old lenses on this new model?

The short answer is no generally because even though their digital crop technology aids in versatile shooting scenarios; it doesn’t replace full frame lenses but offers much more convenience packed into a single device eliminating interchanging need between different lenses whilst maintaining perspective controls adequately!

Are there built-in video recording capabilities within this model?

Absolutely! The recent inclusion of ProRes recording supported by LUT compatibility allows tailored adjustments so your captured moments reflect accurately with a personalized touch using either Contemporary or Classic modes not excluding possibilities through Selenium, Sepia & Blue options when leveraging “Leics Looks” feature.

About The Author

Matteo Martignago

Matteo Martignago

Matteo Martignago is a cinematographer, entrepreneur, and founder of the learning platform ArtisticHive. With over 8 years of experience as a director of photography on independent films, documentaries, and commercials, Matteo brings his creative vision and deep knowledge of camerawork, visual storytelling and lighting to educating aspiring artists.

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