Leica Q: New owner finds occasional banding problems

Posted on by Mike Evans

Reader Treve Kneebone has had his new Leica Q for a couple of weeks and, despite being generally happy with the camera, has noticed a banding problem which has been highlighted by a some others, including Ming Thein. I have to say I didn’t notice anything amiss when I reviewed the camera and, in general, I find the image quality of the Q outstanding.

Treve has started a thread on the l-forum in which he gives some examples. Active forum member and experienced Leica user Viramati agrees that there are occasional banding problems, even at low sensitivity, although he feels the issue isn’t consistent in the way it happens. As he says, though, “on the whole the files are so good that it doesn’t particularly worry me as when I do get it it can be sorted out in Dfine 2.” He has added a useful screen shot of his favoured Dfine 2 settings.

Meanwhile, Treve says he is a little underwhelmed by the Q but is reserving his judgment until he has completed the learning curve, something that is eminently sensible. I feel sure he will bond with the camera and no longer feel that he was spoiled by his Fuji X experiences.

Incidentally, on this question of Leica Q versus Fuji, here’s an interesting and comprehensive article by Mathieu on making an “apples and oranges” comparison between the X100T and the Leica Q—both cameras sharing a similar target audience, the fixed-lens street-shooter brigade, but both differing radically, not least in sensor size. 

Price, as always, comes into it although, in the framework of this comparison it isn’t a valid argument to criticise the Q for being “four times as expensive as the Fuji”. Sure, the Q (currently undiscounted because of short supply) is 3.4 times the cost of the discounted X100T in the UK. In reality, though, it has only one direct competitor, the full-frame Sony RX1R which costs around £2,150 but needs a £450 viewfinder to equal the Q’s specification. On this basis, the Q is only £300 more expensive than the Sony and I know which I would sooner have. And I know which will fetch a higher resale price in four or five years' time.