Cameras for cyclists: Leica Q

We at Cycling Plus Malaysia have said it before and we'll say it again. Cyclists are a pretty vain bunch, and take loads of selfies and other photographs of themselves during what they love, be it on the trail or on the road, or just about anywhere else. Why else would they spend thousands of dollars on matching kit, and ensuring their bikes will look good in photographs?

We consider it relatively harmless narcissism. If you've got the means to indulge and you're not hurting anyone doing it, then where's the trouble? But to do this, you have to have the right camera. And for those who are in the habit of going trigger happy (camera-wise that is), it is quite an important choice to be able to capture your favourite moments on two wheels. 

One good camera option for cyclists is obviously a travel camera, i.e. one that has a decent balance between quality of images, is easy to use while on the bike, is fairly compact and is also weather proof. You may or may not have all those features in a single camera, but there are quite a few models in the market that come really, really close. 

Among the many travel cameras that cyclists could opt for is the Leica Q, touted as one of the best in its category. Leica has always been legendary within photography circles, with a strong cult following despite the fact that they come with a fairly hefty price tag.

However, for some people finding "the one" is something they will pay for. And the Leica Q could very well be just that for many cycling photographers. Read on to see what we think of the camera, used recently to photography Raziff Jaafar, more affectionately known today as the man behind Dr Dagoo.

Compact and functional

Nice size that fits in the hand like a glove and is easy to grip, has a little divot in the back for your thumb. It’s also lightweight but nicely balanced.

Intuitive controls

Mirroring the layout of the M model, which are easy to handle. All buttons and thumbwheels have been designed in a logical, practical manner for the user.

Good lens

The Leica Q uses ASPH lens which have a fixed focal length; the 28mm glass has minimal distortion and is astoundingly sharp. It renders images beautifully just like the M lens, and comes with a similar lens hood. There is also an option to switch crop modes from 35mm to 50mm at the tap of a button, while macro mode is also available with a minimum focus distance of 17cm. Autofocus or touch to focus like mobile phones, but manual focus mode is also available with focus peaking. Viewfinder has 3.68MP resolution.

Powerful sensor

The full frame 24MP CMOS sensor is a match made in heaven for the Leica Q lens. It has a fantastic dynamic range, capturing amazing colours and details.

Decent low light performance

Quality is not compromised if you stick to a limit of ISO 6400