Leica Q vs Leica SL

  • Full frame
  • 24 megapixels
  • Fixed lens
  • 54
    Overall
  • 32
    Imaging
  • 63
    Features
  • 72
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Full frame
  • 24 megapixels
  • Leica T
  • 55
    Overall
  • 30
    Imaging
  • 70
    Features
  • 76
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Leica Q vs Leica SL: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models introduced by the same brand - Leica. Although both products are offered by the same brand, they come from different categories. Thus, Leica, is a camera from Large Sensor Compact category, while SL is a Pro Mirrorless camera. The first common feature of Leica Q and Leica SL that is worth mentioning is sensor. Both cameras feature 24.0 MP CMOS sensors.

Without a doubt, these two categories have a few considerable distinctive features. However, it is worth saying that cameras from Compact category create serious competition to models that fall into MirrorLess category. Such an intense competition between these two categories is explained by the significant advantages of cameras from the first category in terms of size and weight. In addition, thanks to the latest enhancement, this type of cameras come with increased focus speeds. This fact makes our comparison overview even more exciting.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Leica Q and Leica SL.

Leica Q Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 50000
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 10.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 130 x 80 x 93 mm
  • Weight: 640 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Also known as Leica Typ 116

Leica SL Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 50 - 50000
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 11.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 4096 x 2160 (24p), 3840 x 2160 (30p), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 147 x 104 x 39 mm
  • Weight: 847 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Also known as Leica Typ 601

Why is Leica Q a better choice than Leica SL

Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Max Shutter Speed 1/16000 vs 1/8000 Faster shutter speed
Weight 640 g vs 847 g 207 g lighter
Dxo Low Light Iso 2221 vs 1821 Better High ISO performance

What are the key reasons to pick Leica SL over Leica Q

Gps Built-in vs No Has GPS
Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Continuous Shooting 11 fps vs 10 fps 1 fps faster
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Max Video Resolution 4096 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080 Higher Resolution Video
Microphone Port Yes vs No High quality audio recording option
Headphone Port Yes vs No Has headphone port
Dxo Color Depth 25 vs 24.3 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 13.4 vs 12.7 Better dynamic range
Viewfinder Resolution 4,400k dots vs 3,680k dots 16.4% higher resolution
Viewfinder Magnification 0.8 vs No 0.8 better magnification

Key PROs of Leica Q and Leica SL

Touch Screen Yes | Yes Easy control of camera functions
Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Screen Resolution 1,040k dots | 1,040k dots High resolution screen
Viewfinder Electronic | Electronic Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP | 24.0 MP Bigger prints and more details
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Timelapse Recording Yes | Yes Creative shooting
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Continuous Shooting 10.0 fps | 11.0 fps Nice continuous shooting

Key CONs of Leica Q and Leica SL

Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Built-In Flash No | No No built-in flash

Leica Q vs Leica SL: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Leica Q and Leica SL from the front view.

Leica Q
Leica SL
HTML
BB

Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Leica Q
Leica SL
HTML
BB

After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Leica Q is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 207g less than the Leica SL. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Leica Q and Leica SL by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Leica Q and Leica SL any different in terms of sensor type?

In terms of sensor type and resolution, these models are identical. Both Leica Q and Leica SL come equipped with the same CMOS that has a resolution of 24.0 MP. Thus, if you are wondering, which option to choose, this is not a factor you should be looking at.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Leica Q and Leica SL by the size of their sensors.

Leica Q
Leica SL
HTML
BB

Leica Q and Leica SL are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Leica Q and Leica SL Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Leica Q and Leica SL in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Leica Q Leica SL
Portrait Photography
99%
97%
Street Photography
95%
87%
Sports Photography
92%
95%
Daily Photography
70%
69%
Landscape Photography
96%
98%

Leica Q for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/16000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Leica SL for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Leica Q for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Full frame(36 x 24 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (130 x 80 x 93 mm)

Leica SL for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(36 x 24 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (147 x 104 x 39 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Leica Q for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/16000s)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2221)
  • Big size (130 x 80 x 93 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (10.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing

Leica SL for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (11.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1821)

Disadvantages:

  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (49)
  • Small battery life (400 shots)

Leica Q for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (640 g)
  • Big size (130 x 80 x 93 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Leica SL for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (847 g)
  • Big size (147 x 104 x 39 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Leica Q for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.7)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2221)

Disadvantages:

  • No Environmental Sealing

Leica SL for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.4)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (1821)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Comparison of Leica Q vs Leica SL: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Leica Q or Leica SL, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Leica Q and Leica SL here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Leica SL deserves a higher Total Score than the Leica Q. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Leica Q vs Leica SL Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Leica Q Leica SL
General
Brand Leica Leica
Model Q SL
Announced Jun 10, 2015 Oct 21, 2015
Body Type Large sensor compact SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame Full frame
Sensor Dimensions 36 x 24 mm 36 x 24 mm
Sensor Area 864.00 mm2 864.00 mm2
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP 24.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 6000 x 4000
Max Native ISO 50,000 50,000
Max Boosted ISO n/a n/a
Min Native ISO 100 50
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Fixed lens Leica T
Number of Lenses n/a 3
Focal Length Multiplier n/a 1x
Macro Focus Range 17
AutoFocus
AF Touch Yes Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection No No
Number of Focus Points n/a 49
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 1,040k dots 1,040k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen Yes Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 3,680k dots 4,400k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.8
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/16000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 10.0 fps 11.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes No
Built-in Flash No No
Flash Range 0 0
Flash Modes no built-in flash no built-in flash
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing No No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted No No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 85 88
DxO Color Depth 24.3 25.0
DxO Dynamic Range 12.7 13.4
DxO Low Light ISO 2221 1821
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p) 4096 x 2160 (24p), 3840 x 2160 (30p), 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (120p, 60p, 30p, 24p)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 4096 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4 MPEG-4
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 640 g 847 g
Physical Dimensions 130 x 80 x 93 mm 147 x 104 x 39 mm
Battery Life n/a 400 shots
Battery Type n/a Battery Pack
Battery Model BP-DC12 BP-SCL4
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Built-in
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported on slot 1)
Storage Slots 1 2

Most popular cameras

Olympus OM-D E-M10 16.0 MP CMOS
Four Thirds
Pentax K-5 IIs 16.0 MP CMOS
APS-C
Canon EOS 70D 20.0 MP CMOS
APS-C
Nikon 1 V3 18.0 MP CMOS
1"
Pentax K-5 II 16.0 MP CMOS
APS-C