Leica, the renowned luxury German camera brand, recently announced the successor of the company's popular Q2, the new Leica Q3.
While the new Leica Q3 sees added benefits of a new 60MP sensor and better ISO performance – heck, it even has wireless charging (which I believe is an industry first) – I still think it isn't a worthy upgrade to the popular and trusted Leica Q2.
Now some of you are going to think I am crazy. The massive Leica nerd who doesn't like a new Leica camera. But in reality, the Q-series just isn't for me. I did really enjoy the Leica Q2 Reporter when I reviewed it, and said if you want a true luxury compact camera that packs a punch, there is no better than the Q-series out there.
I'm an M-system guy at heart, though, but even that isn't why I think the Leica Q3 doesn't hit the mark for the new flagship of the Q lineup.
I think it went more for popular functions, like its tiltable screen, than focusing on what the whole customer base wanted. Which of course was a lot of things, and trying to narrow it down is a hard task, but I'm sure a lot would have sacrificed the 60MP for a 35mm or 50mm lens equivalent, and I'm certain no one wanted 8K video.
It's a Leica, video isn't its brand image, and if you want video and Leica then you most certainly would go for the Leica SL2 rather than the Q-series. And to make matters worse, there is no dedicated microphone port on the Leica Q3 – so all your 8K videos will have a rather tinny sound using the on-board mic.
it is said that there will be a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter for some of the best shotgun microphones in the market – but that just seems like a lazy approach and an ill-thought-out plan.
I love Leica, the branding, the culture behind it, and its photographers, but I genuinely think it missed the mark for the Q2 upgraders.
The New Leica Q3 features a 60MP sensor, as opposed to the 45MP sensor in the Q2, and it also features for the first time on any Leica product a tilting screen – which I might add only flips out to be useful in landscape mode, while not having a 3-axis tilt for shooting low-down for in portrait-orientation. So if you love portrait shots and want to use the screen, you're bang out of luck here.
While wireless technology is certainly an interesting feature to add to a camera, having to pay nearly $500 / £500 for the privilege of an added grip and wireless charging pad seems a bit much even for Leica. It could have just included that in the box, and I am sure everyone would have paid for it.
In my opinion, the Leica Q3 has been stuffed with specs to fill a popular need, and bring them closer in specs and functions to rivals, but while doing that the Q-series is becoming just like other systems.
What makes Leica different to me and other users is that it does things its way, different to the rest of the crowd. And while this new approach might sit well with many, I honestly can't see the Leica Q3 being that big upgrade option that many Leica Q2 owners were expecting.
If you don't own a Q-series camera, then it makes sense to buy the Leica Q3. And maybe that is the target market for this camera for Leica, bringing in new users to the platform. But it doesn't help those that already love the Q-series and already own the Q2.