Leica Q Firmware 3.0 Set-up of Auto-ISO in Manual Mode

This is an updated version of the instructions for setting up exposure compensation in manual mode with auto-ISO (something I call “AIMMEC“) on the Leica Q running firmware version 3.0 – for firmware version 2.0 and below see the older post.

1. Set Camera to Manual Mode

  • MENU -> Scene Mode -> PASM

In this mode you can use the shutter dial to select shutter speed but can still set it to “A” for auto, and similarly you can use the aperture dial to select aperture or set i to “A” for auto.

2. Set Auto-ISO

  • ISO button, set to AUTO.
  • [optional] Set maximum exposure time and maximum ISO:
    • MENU -> Auto ISO Settings -> Max. exposure time
    • MENU -> Auto ISO Settings -> Maximum ISO

3. Settings for using Exposure Compensation

Under firmware version 3.0 there are two options for changing exposure compenation: using the thumb wheel and using the FN button. Note that both can be set at the same time. The thumbwheel option is probably more intuitive and quicker.

Using the Thumbwheel

By default the thumbwheel is set to “auto” which seems to change the shutter speed first. By setting it explicitly to exposure compensation you can be sure that exposure compensation will be changed when it is used.

  • MENU -> Customize Control -> Thumbwheel -> Exp.Comp.

Using the FN Button

Under firmware 3.0 up to 10 functions can be assigned to the FN button. If more than one function is applied then the default function after a single press of the FN button is the last function used. To choose another you need to hold down the FN button which will display a menu list of the assigned functions which can be selected with the direction pad.

  • MENU -> Customize Control -> FN button in Live View -> Exp. Comp./Flash Exp. Comp./Exp. Brack. [on]

Note on removing functions assigned to the FN button

To add or remove functions assigned to the FN button, you need to set the value under FN button in Live View to “on” or “off”. However, when removing an item you will see an error if you try to remove a if it was the last one you used. The error message says “active items cannot be deleted”. It seems that after installing firmware version 3.0 the default last used function is set to White Balance, so if you try to remove it you can’t. To overcome this, you need to go into shooting mode and press and hold the FN button and choose a different function to the one you want to delete. Then back in the menu you can set the function to “off”.


  • Choose required shutter and aperture for subject
  • To adjust exposure:
    • If using FN button:
      • Press “FN” once to enter EC mode
      • Move the thumbwheel to adjust EC
    • If using Thumbwheel:
      • Move the thumbwheel to adjust EC

Note 1: EC will adjust ISO.

Note 2: Beyond the minimum ISO (100) and maximum ISO (50,000, or that chosen in Auto-ISO settings), EC will have no effect. In this situation shutter and/or aperture will have to be adjusted.

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