Precision German optics and camera manufacturer Leica recently started shipping the next iteration from its Q-Seires fixed focal length full-frame compact cameras.

The Leica Q3, which is available for pre-order now at a $5,995 suggested retail price from authorized dealers, is positioned as a take-anywhere high-performance camera capable of high-resolution photos and up to 8K videos. It comes equipped with a Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens.

The body is designed for durability with an IP52 certification for protection against dust and moisture.

The Leica Q3 incorporates a new BSI-CMOS sensor that includes Triple-Resolution-Technology. This means the camera offers three resolution settings of 60, 36, or 18 megapixels from the full-size (35mm equivalent) image sensor.

The 60-megapixel setting is optimal for images requiring the finest detail, such as very large prints. The 36 and 18MP settings allow trading off some degree of detail for faster operation, longer continuous shooting and smaller file sizes. It is also said to enable a small boost in dynamic range.

The camera’s processing is powered by the latest Maestro Series processor with L2 Technology. The ISO sensitivity range is ISO 50 to 100,000.

For video, the Leica Q3 will record 8K/30, 4K/60 and 4:2:2 10-Bit, Full HD ProRes HQ resolution with internal support for the HEVC H.265 codec. The Q3 can connect to external devices including gimbals, power banks, and display recorders via its USB-C and HDMI ports. Photographers can even use a USB-C cable to perform tethered shooting.

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The fixed Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens provides a wide and versatile angle of view for a range of shooting situations. The f/1.7 aperture provides for natural low light shooting and smooth bokeh background blur. An integrated macro mode also enables extreme close-up shots from a minimum focusing distance of 17 cm.

Thanks to the 60-megapixel sensor the Q3 introduces allows a digital zoom range (using equivalent image crops) of 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 90mm.

Two new features include: Leica Perspective Control (LPC), which helps to straighten various perspective anomalies and Leica Dynamic Range (LDR), which is useful in creating high dynamic range JPEG images without the need for post-processing.

The Leica Q3’s new hybrid autofocus system newly incorporates phase detection for precise focus and fast object tracking. Additionally, an intelligent subject recognition systems will recognize human bodies, faces, eyes, and animal subjects for optimal tracking.

The camera includes a 3-inch tiltable touchscreen monitor with a simplified button layout, and a new 5.76-megapixel OLED viewfinder for composition.

The Q3 can easily connect via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or special iPhone/iPad cable to a Leica Photo app with faster transfer speed than previous versions. The app will enable using special “Leica looks” for various image styles.

Leica is also providing a number of accessory items for the Q3 including a Leica wireless Charging Pad and optional wireless charging handgrip.

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By Greg Tarr

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