Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica Q-P: First hands on

Leica Q-P: First hands on


The new Leica Q-P is unashamedly a bold exercise in cosmetic prestidigitation. It’s a camera that costs some £500 more than the standard version, offers no technical advances (other than a redesigned on/off switch) but comes in a very attractive new outfit. It’s the Barbie doll of cameras, as is every -P version of the M. As reader Don Morley says, it is another case of Leica and the Emperor’s new clothes.

But what clothes! Last evening I was at Red Dot Cameras in the City of London to join Ivor Cooper in a video walk around of the M10-D. More on that later. The store’s display Q-P had just arrived, so I had to have a quick fondle, more out of duty than out of any great enthusiasm. How wrong could I have been? The Q-P is the best -P upgrade I have seen on any Leica, M or otherwise.

  An new set of clothes for Barbie, but they they transform this camera into an object of pure desire
An new set of clothes for Barbie, but they they transform this camera into an object of pure desire

The new matte-black wear-resistant Swiss lacquer is magnificent, and, alone makes this camera what it is. It is a joy to behold, especially on the back where the screen and buttons shimmer on the lustrous matte finish. Can we describe matte black as lustrous? I think not, but there is just something special about this paint. It’s a matte shimmer.

The detailing, and especially the traditional Leica engraving on the top plate, turns the ordinary Q into an object of even greater desire. One reader, Brian Nichol, is in no doubt, even from just viewing the pictures:

Hi, I am excited about this and have contacted my dealer to get one ordered. It is the sexiest camera I have seen and I do not need to wait for the Q II. I could be dead before then, as I have waited a year for the Q II, not wanting to purchase just before the rumoured update. But the reality is, most cameras in the last few years exceed what we really need for most purposes and I prefer to be creative than be unhappy searching for more that is an elusive dream.

For me, too, it was a case of love at first sight. If I were in the market for a Q, this is the one I would go for, price premium or no. It looks so right and just shouts “buy me”. Of course, there is indeed some method in shelling out a few extra pounds for the new catwalk model. In the future, it will hold its value better on the used market and will always command a premium. It makes sense to buy it, although if I owned a standard Q I don’t think I would rush to upgrade, But if you are new to the Q you would be sensible to go for the Q-P.

I have thought for a long time that the canny buyer would never buy the Q, the M10 or the next M11. Instead, lust would be put on hold until the respective -P versions were announced. How many of us are sensible enough to command such patience? Strangely, though, it is the new M10-D that bucks this trend. It is a new camera but is in effect a -P -D, turned out at birth in a set of Emperor’s clothes and with the advanced stealthy shutter of the M10-P. I can buy it without a single qualm.


  1. Yes, if one can justify the already steep price (relatively) of the Q, then it seems fairly straightforward to spend a little (also relatively) more on this version.

    Personally, even if I had the money available for either (fat chance of that happening!) , I think I’d hold off until I see what the upcoming Zx1 brings to market. Both look very desirable.

  2. I really don’t get the allure of the Leica Q-P.
    Is the same as the standard Leica Q with some minor cosmetic improvement and the same 3 years old sensor but sold at a higher price.
    It seems to me that while the M10-P adds more substantial improvements (touch screen, etc), the Q is just a rehash of the same camera made to milk the cash cow.

    • What you say is entirely correct. The -P models are just that — a marketing ploy which contrive to boost sales mid-term. But that doesn’t stop them being attractive to buyers and eventually to buyers on the used market. It’s all part of the Leica story, one that exists in a parallel universe. Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and buy….

  3. Mike
    Picked mine up whilst I was in Red Dot today. Seemed silly not to, as I’ve sold my M10 and my previous Q. I am aware of the Q2 stuff, but I think the Q-P is lovely.

    I think it’s in the running for the nicest -P derivative so far.

    And the bonus of the extra battery and a years sunbsription to LHSA are nice touches.

    I’ve left the brown leather strap off mine though, and put a Tie Her up wriststrap on it. I’m going to enjoy it, at least until the Q2 arrives…..

  4. I bought the Q-P here on Vancouver Island. I love it, and it has been an excellent companion while travelling locally and abroad. The spot metering is extremely accurate and the colours are beautiful. I know there are haters and they will always hate. But I can say without hesitation after owning Sony, Fujifilm and Nikon in the last 10 years that Leica’s DNG files are second to none.

    • Glad to hear it, Mark. I agree on the Q and, of course, the Q-P is the one to have, especially as a long-term keeper. The Q2 is better on some ways but of course not everyone wants 47MP. The Q and Q-P will be popular for years to come.


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