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Image credit: Leica

Leica's Q-P is a pricey full-frame camera with subtle refinements

It's stealthier and more tactile, but you'll pay a premium for it.
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Leica

Leica is keeping up its habit of releasing subtly refined P variants of its cameras, this time focusing on its full-frame street camera, the Q. The newly unveiled Q-P mostly focuses on stealth, with the signature red Leica dot going away in favor of textured matte black everywhere and a logo engraving on the top. It won't call quite so much attention to itself while you're concentrating on your street photography, in other words. There are some functional changes to the design as well. The shutter and power/drive controls have been redesigned to more closely resemble what you'd get in the M10 or CL, with more reassuring clicks that let you operate more by feel.

It's otherwise the same camera, although that's not entirely a bad thing. That means a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor mated to a 28mm f/1.7 Summilux lens, a 3.7MP digital viewfinder, a 3-inch display, NFC and WiFi. If there's a glaring omission in these familiar specs, it's 4K video -- your luxury camera can't capture more than 1080p footage at 60FPS.

The Q-P's biggest challenge may be its pricing. It's available now for $4,995, or even more than the $4,250 the regular Q commanded when new in 2015. That's a lot to pay for a stealthier, tweaked version of a three-year-old camera with a prime lens, and a lot has changed in the intervening period. You can buy relatively compact medium-format cameras from Fujifilm and Hasselblad that promise more detail and sometimes cost less, while the full-frame field includes higher-resolution competition from the likes of Zeiss. The Q-P is mainly appealing if you're as enamored with Leica's design as you are with its technical abilities.

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