LeicaRumors published a report that a new Leica Q3 is on the way. Codenamed Wilson, this information was spotted in the source code of the recently updated Leica FOTOS app as reported by Digicame-Info. The fixed 28mm f1.7 lens Leica Q2 was announced a little over 3 years ago. It’s still one of the best value-for-money Leica cameras, especially when you consider that the Leica 28mm f2.0 Summicron lens alone costs almost as much as the Q2 itself. So what can Leica do to make the Leica Q3 appeal to Leica fans and purists?
Oh Leica, Why Do I Covet You So Much?
Not so long ago, I came across a video by a prominent YouTuber who is quite married to the Canon ecosystem. He described his experience buying the Q2 at a Leica store in Europe. Since I saw that video, I’ve been looking up the Leica Q2 across the internet. It’s still not a camera I can afford, but I think I’ve fallen in love with the 28mm fixed focal length: so much so that I borrowed a 28mm for use with my Nikon Z6II. It’s turned out to be my favorite focal length for candid outdoor photography.
I also realized it’s pretty much the same focal length most smartphones use these days in their primary camera lens. I think I’m going to purchase that lens in the near future because it’s been on my camera more than any other lens in the last four weeks. It’ll dampen my craving for the Q2 for now, but there’s no denying that the Leica will continue calling me.
I’ve always fancied owning a Leica. I keep telling our editor-in-chief, Chris Gampat, that every Leica piece he does for our website slowly tips me over the edge towards getting one. I know they’d burn a crater-sized hole in my wallet, but I can’t deny the attraction its image quality has. There are many ways one could try and recreate that. But getting a crisp look straight-out-of-camera is just a whole different feeling. Is the Leica Q2 the ideal camera to take along everywhere? Is it the best possible, albeit costliest, replacement for your smartphone camera? If it is, then I hope the incoming Leica Q3 results in a price drop for the Q2.
What Does the Report Say?
The LeicaRumors post, for now, only states that the Q3 is definitely on the cards for an upcoming release. It also suggests that Leica’s M11 Monochrom is being worked on. What it doesn’t give away are camera specs: not even a hint at what the resolution might be (although, back in April, they speculated this to be 60 megapixels).
What Would Make the Leica Q3 Irresistible?
Here’s a list of what I want from the Leica Q3:
- The Q2 wasn’t quite as good as its peers when it came to high ISO noise. That is understandable since it’s a high-resolution camera with almost 48 megapixels. In theory, a higher megapixel count could make it worse. But if Leica can keep the high ISO performance in the Leica Q3 on par with the Q2 while still upping the resolution, it could tempt many Q2 owners to upgrade.
- Native high ISO of at least 128,000
- The Leica Q3 needs a much better LCD resolution than the current 1,040,000 dots count of the Q and Q2 models. Mirrorless cameras these days have crossed the four million dots count for rear LCDs.
- It’d be nice to see color options that are always available outside limited edition models. Let’s bring back the silver option the Leica Q had.
- AF speeds, especially for face tracking, need to be considerably improved in the Leica Q3.
- Highlight recovery from raw files wasn’t particularly impressive, as we noted in our Q2 review. Hopefully, the Q3 can sort this out.
- It’d probably be pricier than the Q2, but one can always dream of a price drop.
Will the Leica Q3 Be Slated for a 2023 Release?
In an interview back in May, Leica AG’s Executive Vice President for Technology and Operations confirmed that a Q3 would be released. He stated their Q line would be expanded in the future but didn’t give any specific timeline for this. The LeicaRumors report now shows that Leica’s R&D team is definitely working on this. Could we see the Leica Q3 coming out sometime late next year? In the meantime, while Wilson keeps being perfected, let me keep looking at more Leica Q2 videos.