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Archive 2016 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions
  
 
Tariq Gibran
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


Spyro P. wrote:
It's funny that a company with little to no tradition in AF all of a sudden churns out a camera with such responsive and reliable AF system... is that Panny's doing?


What's really funny is that Leica invented AF and then sold the technology to Minolta as they thought nobody would be interested in it. The system of AF that Leica invented though was not the AF tech. that ended up in Minolta's camera (based on Honeywell patents that Minolta was later sued over and lost).

It's almost certainly Panasonic's tech in the Q though.

http://www.cultofmac.com/383779/leica-invented-autofocus-then-abandoned-it/

http://www.overgaard.dk/leica_history.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autofocus



Jan 03, 2016 at 03:08 AM
robgo2
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


Thanks for a very thoughtful real world assessment by a user, not a professional tester. It seems that from your point of view, the Q is easier to use and provides a more enjoyable shooting experience. I agree that 24MP is quite adequate, at least for my needs. However, price aside, I would hesitate to choose the Q over the RX1r-II for the following reasons:

1. I'm not sure that 28mm is an ideal focal length for general purpose shooting, particularly spontaneous portraits, which is what I love doing.
2. Sensor noise at ISO 6400 may be more than I want to deal with. I don't care about ISO 12,800 and above, but I require very usable files at 6400.
3. While the Q is not a large camera, neither is it truly compact. In fact one could argue that it makes more sense to get an A7II with the Sony 28/2 lens. That combination would not be much larger, and it would cost about half as much. Sure, the AF may not be quite as fast, and the lens not quite as good, but it will get you about 90% of what you would get from the Q.

I currently own an RX1 and an A7II, and I have been thinking about trading up on the former. No big hurry, just thinking at this point.

Rob



Jan 03, 2016 at 03:58 AM
Zony_user
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


millsart, thanks for the excellent read. I agree with all your points but wanted to add these small details.

1. The Q is much more pleasant to manual focus because of all the points you mentioned, but also because the aperture blades remain wide open until you half-press the shutter button. With the shallow DoF of F1.7, critical focus can be achieved at all apertures. This is a great feature that no other camera offers.

2. The 35/50/70 crop mode of the RX1 can not be selected when shooting RAW. Only in JPEG mode. And you can't choose focus points when in crop mode. I'm not sure if this has changed in the RX2.

I initially thought crop mode of the Q was a gimmicky feature that I'd never use because I could always crop in post. But the frame lines are brilliant and I love the ability to frame in 35mm and 50mm. I'm now using the Q as a MATE. I'd say 60% of my shots are taken in 28mm, 35% in 35mm and 5% in 50mm.



Jan 03, 2016 at 09:53 AM
Zony_user
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


robgo2 wrote:
Thanks for a very thoughtful real world assessment by a user, not a professional tester. It seems that from your point of view, the Q is easier to use and provides a more enjoyable shooting experience. I agree that 24MP is quite adequate, at least for my needs. However, price aside, I would hesitate to choose the Q over the RX1r-II for the following reasons:

1. I'm not sure that 28mm is an ideal focal length for general purpose shooting, particularly spontaneous portraits, which is what I love doing.
2. Sensor noise at ISO 6400 may be more than I want to
...Show more

Some good points there. Please allow me to address your points.

1. If shooting portraits is your thing, you're right; the RX2 may be the better camera for you. However you can still shoot some excellent enviromental portraits with the Q at 28mm and 35mm.

2. Although Sony's seem to have a huge advantage in DR and ISO performance, this only applies at base ISO. In reality, the Q performs better than the original RX1 at ISO 800 and above.

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Leica-Q-sensor-review-Leica-s-best-low-light-camera/Leica-Q-Typ-116-vs-Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX1R-vs-Sony-A7R-II-Strong-performance

(This test was likely performed with firmware v1.0. As millsart mentioned, the v1.1 firmware has addressed all banding issues, and provides better IQ at base ISO.)

3. The A7ii and FE28 combo will not give you the simplicity and haptics/usability (especially MF) of the Q. Those two things along with the blazingly fast AF accounts for 90% of the Q's identity so I'm not sure if you can compare it to a camera that has a very different envelope. I also carry a A7II with a WATE and FE55, and although the images are spectacular, the enjoyment factor is not even 50% imho.



Jan 03, 2016 at 10:18 AM
millsart
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


Rob, if your into portraiture and low light, I'd suggest checking out the A7s with the 55/1.8. Fantastic camera for ultra high ISO shooting, much better AF at low EV levels than the other Sony's, and obviously a fantastic lens. I think it would be better suited to your needs than the RX2 (or the Q) by a good margin.

Regarding the A7II with 28/2, that is a pretty nice bit of kit for the money. I really thought the lens was amazing bang for the buck, which is something we sadly don't see much of these days and I hope Sony rolls out more of. Only real issue I had with the A7II was the AF, which is what made me upgrade to the A7rII. I didn't need the resolution, I wanted the AF improvements, which it certainly did offer, but still was a bit lacking at times. Your not getting double the camera with a Q by paying twice as much.

At the same time, as Zony_user mentioned, your getting some benefits (IMO) as far as usability go which are hard to put a price tag on. Things are a bit easier, on paper anyways, when its just an issue of spending X% more dollars and getting Y% more megapixels etc.

Spending 50% more and getting the same resolution, essentially the same speed of lens/focal length, equivalently nice EVF, really muddles the waters. Your paying a fair bit of money just for the red dot, no doubt about it. But your also paying that premium for things like improved AF (or MF for those who enjoy it).

The same can be said for the RX1 vs RX2 as well. Given the great used prices on the original (I sold my RX1 with grip for $1150 I believe) one can pay 3x as much for an RX2. Certainly isn't 3x the camera as the original is quite good, with the same great lens.

Comes down to the issue of if having an EVF, which can changes the overall shooting experience, enhances the overall enjoyment of the camera three fold for the owner.

How much is faster AF really worth ? I'm sure in frustration as the original RX1 hunts back and forth many owners have cried out they'd pay anything if it could speed up the darn AF right ? lol. In reality though everyone has different price tags they would be willing to spend for it. $200 extra ? I bet there would be lots of takers. $1000 extra ? I bet we'd get lots of people saying for that price they can live with the AF speed just fine.

I for one was willing to pay a big premium to gain fast and accurate AF because not having it actually takes away from my enjoyment of a camera. A $2000 camera that I hate using half the time is a worse purchase than a $4000 camera that I'm thrilled with, in a manner of speaking. But.... maybe a $1000 camera that I hate half the time is an overall better compromise between my budget and enjoyment.

Original RX1 can be frustrating sometimes, but, when used within its limitations, man...it can produce some amazing images and surely makes some people feel they got the deal of a lifetime getting one for around a grand.




Jan 03, 2016 at 04:20 PM
robgo2
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


I'm actually quite happy with the A7II and don't often shoot in extremely low light, so I don't feel a need for the A7S. Also, the lenses that I use 90% of the time are MF (Loxia 35, Loxia 50, Contax 90/2.8,) so AF infrequently comes into play with that camera. My RX1 serves as a minimalist kit for general shooting, including environmental portraiture. I know that this can be done effectively with a 28mm lens, but it is more of a challenge to do it well. However, the AF deficiencies of the RX1 pose a challenge in themselves, and that is one reason why I use the camera less than I otherwise might. (Also, I love the Loxia 35 on the A7II.) How much better is the AF on the RX1r-II?

I also want to mention that I downloaded RAW/DNG files from Dpreview shot at ISO 6400 and 12,500. Noise levels were much less than I feared and were easily handled both by Photo Ninja and ACR. So, as far as I can tell, high ISO noise is a non-issue, although this judgement is based on very limited sampling.

I'm curious as to which camera's IQ you personally favor (Q or RX1r-II)? Steve Huff, the great hyperbolizer, says that the little Sony produces the best IQ of any camera, including the A7R-II. Do you have an opinion on this?

Rob



Jan 03, 2016 at 06:06 PM
millsart
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


I think its honestly a bit difficult to compare IQ across cameras because what does "image quality" really compromise ? Per pixel sharpness ? Noise levels ? Across the frame sharpness ? Overall rendering ? Distortion ? LoCa ?

In some regards, I don't think I've ever seen better IQ than my Sigma DP2m produced. Flawless across the frame sharpness, zero distortion, insane per pixel resolution etc. You could pixel peep the heck out of those files....but...noise levels were very high at anything other than ISO 100, the overall rendering lacked character and could be a bit nervous etc. Great everything in focus landscape camera...maybe not a great available light portrait camera.

So really, I don't know what Huff means when he talks about "IQ", and maybe his idea of what makes up "IQ" is different than mine.

Maybe he's looking only at lines per mm resolution and noise levels ? Maybe he's also taking into account how the lens renders and the overall look of the images ? Who knows... maybe even he doesn't and I'm sure it changes day to day.

All I can say is I found the Rx2 and A7rII to produce very similar looking files, with regards to color, noise levels, and resolution.

35/2.8 FE on the Ar7rII gives a rather different looking image than the 35/2 Sonnar on the RX2, even if the sensor is identical. I like how the Sonnar renders better so I'd say it has better IQ....BUT.... What if we put a good copy of the 35/1.4 on the A7rII ? Then maybe its the A7rII per matter of taste....

To confuse issues further, I like how the 28 Lux on the Q renders more than the 35/2 Sonnar, but obviously the resolution isn't as high, the DR is a stop less, noise can be a stop more etc, so then how do I measure "IQ" ?

A less technically superior sensor with a lens I really like trumps everything else and produces the "best" IQ ? Or does it produce the "best" overall images ?

Are the overall files the same or different than IQ ?

See...difficult to really judge this stuff, and as such, I find it odd when people can make absolute statements about how such and such as the best "IQ".

Long answer short though, all look darn good.



Jan 03, 2016 at 07:09 PM
Zony_user
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


Steve Huff is a weird dude. He says the Leica SL has the best IQ ever yet he ranks the Q (which shares the same sensor) below the A7R2 and RX2. The MAESTRO processing may be tuned a bit differently out of the box but after a few firmware updates the files coming out of the Q and SL will be very similar.


Jan 03, 2016 at 07:12 PM
millsart
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


Zony_user wrote:
Steve Huff is a weird dude. He says the Leica SL has the best IQ ever yet he ranks the Q (which shares the same sensor) below the A7R2 and RX2. The MAESTRO processing may be tuned a bit differently out of the box but after a few firmware updates the files coming out of the Q and SL will be very similar.



Generally speaking whichever camera he most recently reviewed has the "best" IQ ever.......



Jan 03, 2016 at 07:27 PM
millsart
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


For those who wanted a 40-50mm focal length Q....

This is a 1.5x conversion lens, with a huge front element so no loss of light. It nearly covers the entire frame with just a touch of softness and moderate vignetting into the corners.

Where things get interesting is when you pull up the 35mm frame lines, which are basically a 1.25x crop of the sensor. 28mm x1.5 = 42mm, which then with the 1.25x crop takes care of the extreme corners gives a FoV of 52mm.

So essentially we've got a 42mm/f1.7 lens, on a 1.25x APS-H 15meg sensor, and I think I paid $9 for this conversion lens, so not a bad deal!

Also if we go to the 50mm frame lines, which are a 1.8x crop, we get a 8meg 75mm equiv FoV, which again is kind of cool for a $9 conversion lens.

Will I actually use it that much ? Probably not but its a bit interesting and does add some versatility for the cost of lunch.

Might need to see if I can borrow the 1.4x Fuji TCL for the X100 and see how that one works as well, given its just 6oz....







Jan 03, 2016 at 08:42 PM
 

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robgo2
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


millsart wrote:
I think its honestly a bit difficult to compare IQ across cameras because what does "image quality" really compromise ? Per pixel sharpness ? Noise levels ? Across the frame sharpness ? Overall rendering ? Distortion ? LoCa ?

In some regards, I don't think I've ever seen better IQ than my Sigma DP2m produced. Flawless across the frame sharpness, zero distortion, insane per pixel resolution etc. You could pixel peep the heck out of those files....but...noise levels were very high at anything other than ISO 100, the overall rendering lacked character and could be a bit nervous etc. Great
...Show more

I do appreciate the many factors that go into evaluating image quality, but what I really wanted to know is which camera produces the more pleasing images to your eyes, and can you explain why?

Rob



Jan 04, 2016 at 12:22 AM
robgo2
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


millsart wrote:
For those who wanted a 40-50mm focal length Q....

This is a 1.5x conversion lens, with a huge front element so no loss of light. It nearly covers the entire frame with just a touch of softness and moderate vignetting into the corners.

Where things get interesting is when you pull up the 35mm frame lines, which are basically a 1.25x crop of the sensor. 28mm x1.5 = 42mm, which then with the 1.25x crop takes care of the extreme corners gives a FoV of 52mm.

So essentially we've got a 42mm/f1.7 lens, on a 1.25x APS-H 15meg sensor, and I
...Show more

And placing a cheap conversion lens in front of a superb Leica lens on a $4300 camera makes sense to you?

Rob



Jan 04, 2016 at 12:27 AM
rattymouse
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


robgo2 wrote:
And placing a cheap conversion lens in front of a superb Leica lens on a $4300 camera makes sense to you?

Rob


It's worth it for the laughs. Mirrorless 50mm: big, awkward, and dorky looking.




Jan 04, 2016 at 12:36 AM
millsart
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


robgo2 wrote:
And placing a cheap conversion lens in front of a superb Leica lens on a $4300 camera makes sense to you?

Rob



For a bit of fun, sure lol

People wanted a 50mm Q... I delivered one, and it only cost $9 more than the "normal" model. Quite the deal!

Realistically though, while some big old generic conversion lens doesn't make sense, it does show some potential for a conversion lens like the better quality X100 designed ones.

I don't know if a $349 conversion lens makes any more sense on a $1299 X100t as it does on a $4k Q, but if I can borrow one from a buddy I'd certainly give it a try, just for fun if nothing else.



Jan 04, 2016 at 12:51 AM
millsart
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


robgo2 wrote:
I do appreciate the many factors that go into evaluating image quality, but what I really wanted to know is which camera produces the more pleasing images to your eyes, and can you explain why?

Rob


Depends on the image, as sometimes the Sonnar's rendering or focal length is preferable, but overall, I like the Q images the best. Great color, nice subject separation for the focal length, 28 Cron style rendering, and I like the 28mm FoV.



Jan 04, 2016 at 12:54 AM
ryankarr
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


Thank you for taking the time to put this all together. It's nice to read something that comes across completely unbiased in either direction.

I've been debating the same thing and I think this help swayed me to get the Q vs the RX2.



Jan 04, 2016 at 02:46 PM
maxx9photo
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


I'm happy with my Q


Jan 04, 2016 at 02:54 PM
robgo2
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


I appreciate all the thought and effort that has gone into this review. My impression is that the Q wins in terms of usability, but the the RX1r-II is not as bad as some have suggested and is capable of extraordinary image quality. In the end, the determining factor for me will be focal length.

Rob



Jan 04, 2016 at 03:28 PM
Viramati
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


Thanks for this great comparison review. For me the Q is the best digital camera made so far by Leica and just hits so many of the right buttons. All I would like added to it would be a tilting screen and weatherproofing would have been a bonus. I really wish that Sony could implement focus peaking system of the Q as it is so much better and more accurate and I especially appreciate the fact that the peaking colours disappear on a half press of the shutter. IQ out of the Q is astounding and yes the Sony has more pixels but the files I get from my A7rII (same sensor) just don't have the same inherent level of sharpness. and bite. If I could only have one camera and one lens without a doubt it would be the Q


Jan 04, 2016 at 04:13 PM
Jonas B
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Leica Q vs Sony RX1rII - My in depth impressions


Thank you millsart!
Reading your thoughts was a little like having a conversation if read slowly.

There is no way I'll pay that much for a camera. The original RX1... I bought it but that is as high as I will go. The Q, as described by you, reminds me about the first 4/3 camera by Panasonic; the L1 which you handled the same way with Auto marks on the shutter dial and the aperture ring on the Leica branded lens,,,

...something that in turn make me hope, well, maybe not much of a hope, for a Panny Q.

Thanks again.



Jan 04, 2016 at 06:08 PM
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