Leica’s M10 is slimmer and snappier

But no less spendier

26 January 2017
by Stuff Staff

That…looks like a lot of other Leica cameras.

What, did you expect it to change the formula? Leica’s whole raison d’etre is high-end cameras with the beautiful looks of old. Think: chunky edges, leather finishes and metal bodies. And, whether you’ve got the pennies or not, there’s no shying away from those looks.

So, looks old. But what’s new?

It’s the slimmest digital M-series shooter ever. Pairing power with pocketability, the M10 slides in with a body depth of less than 34mm, which puts it in reasonably compact territory – despite packing a full-frame 24MP CMOS sensor. Priced at US$6595, though, it’s also a wee bit dearer than a compact.

Image quality should be good, then?

More than good. The sensor is bespoke to the M10, and it’s penned to produce properly nice photographs – not least thanks to some clever construction, which does away with a low pass filter for sharper shots.

It’s got an ISO range that goes up to 50,000, too, which is arguably more than anyone should ever need. How noisy it’ll be remains to be seen, but it suggests the M10 will be no low-light layabout.

Oh, I was hoping it might give me that fuzzy, grainy film goodness.

Buy a film camera, then. Yes, its M series models are built with an eye on the brand’s heritage but it’s also about sticking some of the best imaging tech inside it. By pairing a Maestro II image processor with a 2GB buffer, for example, the M10 will be as quick as most cameras out there – to the tune of five frames per second at maximum RAW res.

Oh, so it’s quite high-tech then?

Yep. There’s GPS for geo-tagging, and it’ll do Wi-Fi picture transfers to your iPhone – including RAW files – for on-the-fly editing. Do it subtly, though. People won’t be as happy to pose for your pretty camera if they know they’re getting rapidly uplodaded to your ‘People Are Wonky’ blog.

Hmm. Thing is, all those dials and lens controls and whatnot – it’s a bit daunting.

Well, if you’re paying $6595 for the Leica M10, the idea would be to keep it for some time. Like gadgets of yore, there’ll be a learning curve. And although you can change settings on the cursor-controlled 3in LCD, physical controls like the shutter speed and ISO dials can actually be more intuitive. And infinitely more satisfying.

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