When it comes to Leica cameras, the emphasis is on legacy and tradition, which sometimes result in the removal of some modern comforts. Although there have been no confirmed reports about the Leica Q3, some recent speculation suggests that the next full-frame camera will finally include one extremely useful feature: an adjustable touchscreen.
The rear of a Leica Q-type camera, as shown in the Leica Fotos app, has been sighted by Leica Rumors, although the camera does not appear to be in the same style as either the Q2 or the original Leica Q, as reported by Leica Rumors.
Instead, the unknown camera’s back buttons have been relocated to the right-hand side of the device to make room for what seems to be a tilting touchscreen. With the exception of the Leica V-Lux 5, which is essentially a rebranded Panasonic FZ1000 II, this would be the first time a Leica camera had achieved this feat.
In contrast to the recently released Leica M11, the Leica Q series provides a more contemporary shooting experience, with capabilities such as autofocus and 4K video recording. As a result, if the Leica Q3 is actually on its way, it would be an excellent candidate to gain a tilting touchscreen, which would be beneficial for shooting from unusually high or low angles.
With the Leica Q2 having been introduced in March of this year, a successor is almost likely on the way – and some keen-eyed enthusiasts have noticed that Leica teased the coming of a new model at the announcement of the Leica M11.
There was a roadmap in front of Leica’s Head of Design Marc Shipard, and it had a perplexing blank area in the Leica Q series. It appears that the Leica Q3 will be released this year, as indicated by the vacant area above the 2022 release of the Leica M11. This is excellent news for anyone who can afford to spend roughly $5,000 / £4,250 / AUS$8,500 (the launch price of the Q2) on a fixed-lens camera.
Leica teases a big year for new product launches
In 2021, Leica had a rather quiet year, with the Leitz Phone 1 – a new smartphone based on the Sharp Aquos R6 – being the most prominent announcement. However, these fresh clues at the Leica Q3, together with the roadmap in the Leica M11 video, indicate that the firm plans to release multiple new cameras this year.
A Leica Q3 would be a popular arrival, despite its high price tag, because the series combines the company’s historic rangefinder style with a more practical, modern shooting experience. The inclusion of a tilting touchscreen isn’t quite a game-changer, but it would be a significant step forward for Leica cameras.
Fujifilm had a same dilemma with its X100 series, which kept a fixed screen to maintain its vintage aesthetics — until the Fujifilm X100V, which was released in 2020, finally accepted the convenience of a tilting screen.
While a comparable addition to a Leica Q3 may divide opinion, Leica demonstrated with the Leica M11 that it is willing to accept modern technologies like internal storage and a new battery design in order to push its iconic designs ahead and appeal to a new audience.
With a gap in Leica’s roadmap for a new addition to its SL line of bigger full-frame cameras, we’ll likely see a choice of new alternatives from the German maker this year for well-heeled photographers.