Leica has announced the Q3, the first new Q-series camera in four years. This fixed-lens camera features a similar body and construction to its predecessor, but there have been major updates under the hood.
There is a new hybrid AF system, 8K video recording, and revised EVF and LCD designs.
- 60MP Full-Frame BSI CMOS Sensor
- Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens
- 8K30, 4K60 & 4:2:2 10-Bit, FHD ProRes HQ
- Phase-Detection AF & Optical IS
- Triple Resolution Technology
- 5.76m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
- 3″ 1.84m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- ISO 50-100000, Up to 15-fps Shooting
- SD UHS-II Slot; USB-C and HDMI Ports
- IP52 Weather Sealing
The Q3 utilizes a 60MP Full-Frame BSI CMOS Sensor, taken from the M11. This high-resolution sensor features a back-illuminated (BSI) design that offers improved noise performance and faster readout speeds, which benefits both photo and video applications. The higher resolution suits more detail-oriented applications, like landscape and architectural subjects, and the noise-reduction benefits of the BSI design improves clarity and color accuracy when working in low-light conditions with higher ISOs.
The added resolution of the 60MP sensor also enables unique digital zoom capabilities to simulate working with different focal length lenses: a 1.25x crop simulates a 35mm focal length, a 1.8x crop simulates a 50mm focal length, a 2.7x crop simulates a 75mm focal length, and a 3.2x crop simulates a 90mm focal length.
The Q3 also introduces a new generation of processing with the Maestro IV. This processor, along with 8GB of buffer memory, suits the more multimedia-intended use of the Q3 and enables speedy performance when shooting stills or recording video. The faster processing also benefits using Triple Resolution Technology, helps achieve a wider sensitivity range from ISO 50-100000, allows continuous shooting up to an impressive 15 fps, and facilitates smooth operation when working with the EVF and LCD.
Triple Resolution Technology
Another technology from the M11 now debuting in a Q, this 60MP sensor enables the use of Triple Resolution Technology. This unique pixel binning process allows photographers to select 60MP, 36MP, or 18MP output, with each resolution making use of the full sensor area and providing 14-bit color and a claimed 14-stop dynamic range.
The Q3 is capable of capturing 8K up to 30p, 4K up to 60p, and 4:2:2 10-Bit FHD ProRes HQ.
DCI 8K recording is supported at up to 30p with 4:2:0 10-bit color when recording internally or at 8-bit when recording externally via the micro-HDMI port.
4K recording is also possible, with 4:2:2 10-bit color, at up to 60p with support for recording internally or externally.
When shooting Full HD, the frame rate can be pushed to 120p for slow motion playback and all resolutions also support a true 24p frame rate for cinematic rendering.
ProRes 422 HQ recording can be done internally with a Full HD resolution at frame rates up to 60p.
Micro-HDMI and USB-C ports allow you to use accessories like external recorders, gimbals, power banks, etc.
Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens and Hybrid AF
The Q3 inherits the Summilux 28mm f/1.7 wide-angle prime lens that provides a broad field of view and fast performance to suit working in a variety of environments and lighting conditions. As a lens designed specifically for the Q cameras, the optical design has been refined for high sharpness and low distortion along with a compact, functional profile that’s discreet while providing room to make tactile adjustments to focus, aperture, and to switch to the dedicated macro focusing range for working with subjects as close as 6.7″ away. Additionally, optical image stabilization helps to compensate for the effects of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting.
Hybrid Autofocus and Subject Tracking
One of the key upgrades in the Q3 is the inclusion of a hybrid AF system that utilizes phase-detection focusing along with contrast-detection and depth from defocus (DFD) AF for faster, more accurate focusing when working with moving subjects or in mixed lighting conditions. The addition of phase-detection focusing also enables an intelligent subject recognition system that can detect and track eyes, faces, bodies, and animals in the frame.
Updated EVF and New Tilting LCD
Two of the key physical improvements to the Q3 include an updated electronic viewfinder and a newly designed rear LCD. The 5.76m-dot OLED EVF offers a high-resolution eye-level means for composing and features a 120 fps refresh rate for more realistic motion rendering. This finder has a 0.79x magnification, an adjustable diopter, and an eye sensor for automatic switching between the EVF and LCD.
For the first time in a Q, the Q3 sports a tilting LCD design that can face both upward and downward to suit working from a variety of shooting positions. This 3″ 1.84m-dot LCD is also a touchscreen for more intuitive settings control.
Portable, Weather-Sealed Design
The Q3 features a new higher capacity BP-SCL6 lithium-ion battery is rated to provide 350 shots per charge and uses the same physical design as its predecessor, the BP-SCL4, which can also be used with this camera.
The magnesium alloy body is sealed to protect against dust and moisture (IP52-rated) for use in harsh environmental conditions.
The New USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port can be used for transferring, tethering, power delivery, and in-camera battery charging. The Q3 is also Made for iPhone certified to enable a direct, wired connection to an iPhone.
Expanded Connectivity & Wireless Charging Accessories
Improved wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi 2.4 & 5 GHz and Bluetooth 5.0) and an updated Leica FOTOS app enable wireless transfer speeds up to 10x faster than the previous generation; transfer speeds up to 35MB/s are now possible, enabling moving a full-resolution DNG from the camera to your mobile device in just 2 seconds.
The upgraded Leica FOTOS app enables transferring new Leica Looks to your camera, including Contemporary, Classic, Blue, Selenium, Sepia, and more. The FOTOS app also supports adding GPS information to your files using locational data from your mobile device.
When paired with the optional HG-DC1 Wireless Charging Handgrip, the Q3 supports wireless battery charging via Qi-compatible charging mats, like the Drop XL Wireless Charger.
Price & Availability
The Leica Q3 is available to pre-order for $5,995 USD.