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Leica Q3 Comparison Review

The Leica Q3 is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in May 2023 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 60.3 megapixel.

camera

Is the Leica Q3 a good camera? The Q3 has a Camera Elo of 2932. This rating puts the Q3 among the top 10 percent of all prime lens compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the Q3 ranks among the top 30 percent.

Headline Specifications
Leica Q3
Fixed lens compact camera
28mm f/1.7
60.3 MP, Full Frame Sensor
8K/30p Video
ISO 50 - 100 000
Electronic viewfinder (5760k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1840k dots
Tilting touchscreen
15 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed body
350 shots per battery charge
130 x 80 x 93 mm, 743 g

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

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Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Leica Q3 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Leica Q3 vs credit card front
Q3 versus credit card top view
Q3 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Leica Q3 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica Q3 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 743 g 350 Y May 2023 US$ 5 999 amazon.com
2.
 
Hasselblad X1D II 148 mm 97 mm 70 mm 766 g .. Y Jun 2019 US$ 5 749ebay.com
3.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g 500 Y Sep 2012 US$ 6 949ebay.com
4.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g 500 Y Jun 2019 US$ 3 999ebay.com
5.
 
Leica M Typ 262 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g 400 Y Nov 2015 US$ 5 195ebay.com
6.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 US$ 6 599ebay.com
7.
 
Leica M10-P 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 US$ 7 999ebay.com
8.
 
Leica M11 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 640 g 700 Y Jan 2022 US$ 8 999 amazon.com
9.
 
Leica Q2 130 mm 80 mm 92 mm 718 g 370 Y Mar 2019 US$ 4 999 amazon.com
10.
 
Leica SL3 141 mm 108 mm 85 mm 769 g 320 Y Mar 2024 US$ 6 999 amazon.com
11.
 
Zeiss ZX1 142 mm 93 mm 46 mm 800 g 250 n Sep 2018 US$ 5 999ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Leica Q3 was launched in the US market at a price of $5,999. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Check Q3 price at
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Leica Q3 features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Leica Q3 among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Leica Q3 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica Q3 Full Frame 60.3 9528 63288K/30p25.414.7321696
2.
 
Hasselblad X1D II Medium Format 51.3 8272 62001080/25p25.714.5323499
3.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
4.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p25.214.2282194
5.
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none24.813.7247890
6.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
7.
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none25.114.1273993
8.
 
Leica M11 Full Frame 60.3 9528 6328none26.314.83376100
9.
 
Leica Q2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.5249196
10.
 
Leica SL3 Full Frame 60.3 9520 63368K/30p25.414.8329597
11.
 
Zeiss ZX1 Full Frame 37.4 7488 49924K/30p25.214.1275994
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The Q3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the Q3 can use is 8K/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Q3 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 5760k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.79x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica Q3 and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Leica Q35760 n3.0 / 1840 tilting Y 1/2000s 15.0/s n Y
2.
 
Hasselblad X1D II3690 n3.6 / 2360 fixed Y 1/2000s 2.7/s n n
3.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s n n
4.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s n n
5.
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s n n
6.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s n n
7.
 
Leica M10-Poptical n3.0 / 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0/s n n
8.
 
Leica M11optical n3.0 / 2333 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5/s n n
9.
 
Leica Q23680 n3.0 / 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0/s n Y
10.
 
Leica SL35760 Y3.2 / 2333 tilting Y 1/8000s 5.0/s n Y
11.
 
Zeiss ZX16221 n4.3 / 2765 fixed Y 1/1000s 3.0/s n n
Note: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The LCD screen on the Leica Q3 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD can be tilted vertically to facilitate odd-angle shots in landscape orientation. This tilting design is often preferred, for example, by street photographers to a fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment, as it is more unobtrusive during shooting than a screen that flips out to the side.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the Q3

It is worthwhile pointing out that the Q3 has a touchscreen. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, when trying to adjust the focus point.

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Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Leica Q3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica Q3Ystereo / mono--micro3.1Y-Y
2.
 
Hasselblad X1D IIYstereo / monoYY-3.0Y--
3.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereo / mono---2.0---
4.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono / ----2.0---
5.
 
Leica M Typ 262Y- / ----2.0---
6.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
7.
 
Leica M10-PY- / -----Y--
8.
 
Leica M11Y- / ----3.2Y-Y
9.
 
Leica Q2Ystereo / mono----Y-Y
10.
 
Leica SL3Ystereo / monoYYfull3.1Y-Y
11.
 
Zeiss ZX1Ystereo / mono---3.1YYY

It is notable that the Q3 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The Q3 has a prime lens built in (28mm f/1.7). The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic of similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Further information on the features and operation of the Q3 can be found in the free online Leica Q3 Manual or on the Leica support site.

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Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Q3. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica Q35/5..4.5/5....4.5/5 May 2023 US$ 5 999 amazon.com
2.
 
Hasselblad X1D II....4/5..4/54/5 Jun 2019 US$ 5 749ebay.com
3.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5......4/5.. Sep 2012 US$ 6 949ebay.com
4.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240............ Jun 2019 US$ 3 999ebay.com
5.
 
Leica M Typ 262............ Nov 2015 US$ 5 195ebay.com
6.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 US$ 6 599ebay.com
7.
 
Leica M10-P....3/5....4/5 Aug 2018 US$ 7 999ebay.com
8.
 
Leica M114.5/5..4.5/5..4.5/54.5/5 Jan 2022 US$ 8 999 amazon.com
9.
 
Leica Q2....4.5/584/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2019 US$ 4 999 amazon.com
10.
 
Leica SL3....4.5/5....4.5/5 Mar 2024 US$ 6 999 amazon.com
11.
 
Zeiss ZX13/5....83/1004/54/5 Sep 2018 US$ 5 999ebay.com
Note: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Leica Q3 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the Q3.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the Leica Q3?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Leica Q3?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 100000.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Leica Q3?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences with the Leica Q3?

No, the Leica Q3 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Leica Q3?

The Q3 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Leica Q3 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with the Leica Q3 for flash photography?

The Q3's flash sync speed is 1/2000 sec.

Does the Leica Q3 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s).

Which battery does the Leica Q3 use?

The camera gets its power from the Leica BP-SCL6 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Leica Q3
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28mm f/1.7
    Launch Date May 2023
    Launch Price USD 5 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 60.3 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 9 528 x 6 328 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.79 μm
    Pixel Density 6.98 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 8K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 50 - 100 000 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.79x
    Viewfinder Resolution 5760k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1840k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    V-logging Friendliness No front-flip
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 15 shutter flaps/s
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.1
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type Leica BP-SCL6 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 130 x 80 x 93 mm
    (5.1 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 743 g (26.2 oz)

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