.....if you missed part 2, click HERE
Crop mode/digital frame selector
One really cool feature is the ability to select between 28mm, 35mm and 50mm fields of view. Put simply, you're always shooting a full frame 28mm file, but by assigning 'crop mode' to the multifunction button next to the thumb rest, you're able to toggle between 28mm, 35mm and 50mm frames. Once you take the picture, you can also see it as it was cropped. The beauty of this function is that you will always maintain the wider 28mm frame as the original file, but when you view in Lightroom, it is displayed exactly how you shot it.
If you decide you'd like to re-crop or see the original full frame, you click on the crop tool to view it entirely as it was recorded, and then have the ability to crop the frame any way you like. It may sound like a bit of a gimmick at first but I can assure you, it is a very handy option to have, so you never need to feel like you're stuck on 28mm. The option for tighter fields of view is available, but at a cost of resolution. Here are the resolution figures related to each crop mode option.
The Leica Q features an integrated WiFi module along with an NFC (near field communication) module, which enable quick and easy connections to compatible smart devices. To connect to these devices (Apple and Android), you will need to download the Leica Q app. The app will allow camera live view, the ability to control camera settings remotely, ability to trigger the shutter release, start/stop video recording, and view, download and share images directly from the camera.
Unfortunately the app wasn't available until the announcement so I didn't have access to it for testing.
Leica Protector Q, Leather, black 19501
The protector made of fine-quality Italian leather protects the camera in even the most unfavourable conditions without hiding the control elements. The leather is embossed in the same elaborate diamond design as the leather trim of the camera – for a perfectly matching look and provides an extra grip when shooting pictures. The flap with an integrated compartment for an extra SD memory card. A magnetic clasp enables quick access to the SD card and the battery compartment of the camera.
Leica Ever-Ready Case Q, Leather, black 19502
Tailor made for the Leica Q, the ever-ready case in elaborately embossed leather provides ideal all-around protection for the camera. By simply folding down the front flap of the case, the Leica Q is ready to capture the next decisive moment. The front flap has a separate compartment for storing an extra SD memory card. Magnetic clasp enables quick access to the SD card and the battery of the camera.
Leica Holster Q, Leather, black 19503
In the leather holster, the Leica Q is protected – and available in a flash when needed. Thanks to its patented multiangle connector and a rip-resistant adjustable belt, it lays flat against the body – no matter whether wearing a T-shirt or a quilted jacket. The Leica Q can also be used with the holster with a handgrip attached.
Day Bag, Leather, black 19504
The compact day bag is made from black premium calfskin leather. A real must-have for Leica Q. Apart from Leica Q, there are also dedicated compartments for storing
-- a tablet PC (up to 9.7”)
-- a smartphone (up to 5.5"),
-- a wallet, and a SD card.
Leica Handgrip, Leather, black 19505
The handgrip ensures safer and steadier camera handling. The leather covering of the Leica handgrip is elaborately embossed with a high-quality diamond pattern that offers safer and steadier handling of your Leica Q and is particularly useful when shooting one-handed. Handling becomes much easier when the handgrip is used in combination with finger loops. These can be quickly attached to the handgrip and are available in three different sizes: S, M, and L.
Display Protection Foil – Order-No. 19506
The display protection foil is made in Germany and provides effective protection against scratches and dirt that could potentially damage the touch screen. Additionally, the foil significantly reduces glare and allows pictures to be viewed with high contrast and clarity in bright light without any disturbing reflections. The Leica display protection foil set also includes a replacement foil, an optical cleaning cloth, and a screen cleaning pad.
You can probably tell from my words and my pictures that I have good reason to be positive about the Leica Q. For starters, it's design is geared towards those who have been lusting after a cheaper M alternative, or an AF alternative of the M for use with a 28mm or equivalent lens. The decision to forego the ever-popular 35mm focal length for a more exotic 28mm f/1.7 was a bold move by Leica, but one I welcome with open arms, especially into a market already filled with 35mm alternatives. To me, the 28mm focal length has always been special to me as i was an avid Ricoh GR shooter, but also because 28mm is the widest you can go when shooting people, especially when they aren't centre of frame. The distortion from the wide perspective is acceptable at 28mm, and yet the field of view is very dynamic without being extremely wide or too narrow, which is the same reason why people love the iPhone's camera, which is a 28mm equivelent also.
The biggest issue though for many will be justifying the cost of the Leica Q. At around US$5000 or a little less (cheaper than the new Summilux-M 28/1.4 ASPH lens), many will feel the need to compare the Q to the offerings by cheaper competitors. It's certainly not my place to advise on one product over another and I try to be as objective as I possibly can, but instead, let me indulge you a little into another mindset of value proposition. It is my belief that we should always buy what makes us the most happy, of course taking into account what we can actually afford - but when it comes to cameras, there is another consideration that many often overlook, especially when viewing such items as a luxury good - and that's that value of what we make of it, what we choose to believe, and the opportunities we create with our camera.
I've always told my students and friends that a photographer is only as good as the opportunities he/she creates, regardless of the camera. So if you feel tempted to purchase this or any other camera it is up to you to create opportunities where you can make the most of your knowledge, skill set and new investment. If that happens to be with the Leica Q, then justify your purchase by creating great photographic opportunities for yourself. Only then will you be bale to enjoy and appreciate an incredible camera like the Leica Q, the same way I have during my short period of time with it. Sorry to get all philosophical but sometimes we forget what's most important - the picture, and the camera is your vehicle to achieving that next great picture.....so what are you waiting for? Go get it!