So I was pretty busy the past weeks, programming. Which is an activity, that really draws me in and keeps my mind occupied. Can’t let go. Maybe I suffer of OCD here… More about that later.
Today’s piece is about my new camera, a Leica Q, which I acquired when I was in Switzerland in July. I love that camera! It’s a full frame camera, with a fixed 28mm f/1.7 lens. It’s the type of camera that makes you want to go out and take pictures all the time, and carry with you where ever you go. A real photographer’s camera, as you would expect from Leica. Yes, yes, it comes with a corresponding price tag, don’t ask.
There are all the controls you would expect, but not more. When it’s set-up, there’s no need to use the menus anymore. As in the olden days, the aperture is set via a control ring on the lens, the shutter speed with a wheel on the top. The control wheel for your right thumb does exactly what is needed, depending on the camera set-up. The Leica Q is a real joy to use.
The camera’s size and weight is somewhere between a DSLR and a compact camera. So, even though you cannot simply toss it into your bag when you go out and don’t notice, it’s still acceptable to carry along. I would say that size is about as minimal as you can get with a full frame sensor. Love the picture quality.
It’s important for me that I can shoot with the available light, without a flash that is.
I don’t like flashes and their effects on my pictures. Yes, I know, flashes can be set up to produce beautiful lighting – if one uses several of them, arranges them carefully, and triggers them remotely from the camera. First, I am not versed in these techniques and don’t own the required gear, and, second, I like to take pictures of fleeting moments, impressions, perceptions of a reality as I experience it, not arranged ones.
For this, the Leica is perfect. I can shoot up to ISO 6400 without too much noise in the picture, and the camera has optical stabilisation. As an aside, when taking black-and-white pictures, the noise is much less of an issue anyway. In fact, some of it can even add to the character of the photo.
Of course I shoot in RAW format (the Leica uses standard DNG), and it’s amazing how much detail can be pulled out from highlights and shadows when developing the pictures with Lightroom.
The Leica Q has an electronic viewfinder, ie. you can keep the camera close to your face, arms locked to your body, and look through the lens with one eye. No need to keep the camera at arm’s length to look at the screen on the back to take pictures, which helps stabilising the camera, just as you do with a DSLR. That viewfinder, while described as one of the best in any camera on the market right now – if you believe the reviews – has its limits. It’s not an optical viewfinder by any stretch. That is, it can get somewhat overwhelmed by extremely dynamic situations with very bright and very dark spots. But in my experience it’s still good enough to frame the picture, and of course the sensor is able to catch all these details!