40 minutes with an M [240]

Started Mar 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Paul20 Senior Member • Posts: 2,636
40 minutes with an M [240]

Hi all,

On Saturday I spent a short time playing around with an M [240], courtesy of the good people in the Manchester Leica shop. I thought you might be interested to see a few quick and dirty test shots.

People who know me will appreciate that I don't normally do this sort of thing. I have no real interest in ISO comparisons, brick wall shots or dxo's (whatever they are). This is nothing technical just a few photos and some ramblings about this new interesting camera, so please don't take it super seriously.

All shots were taken in compressed dng format and processed using Lightroom 4. I have not adjusted vibrancy or saturation [apart from the b/w of course].

I tried the M10 with 4 lenses- the 25mm ZM, 28mm cron, 35mm cron and 50mm lux. I shot high contrast scenes, tried a few high iso settings, shot indoors in mixed light and outdoors, used it on a small tripod with live view and finally used it, as i would my M9, for a couple of street photos.


ISO 5000 and a little noise reduction in LR

A few magenta casts in this shot, but to be fair it is a theatre with strange lighting. Auto WB

Auto WB

28mm Cron at f2

A few Initial thoughts:

I liked the feel of the camera, It's heavier than the M9 (by about 100g) which is noticeable, but not in a bad way, it felt more steady in the hand, the thumb grip felt right. It's slightly bigger than the M9 but not noticeably. I wonder if the dial to the thumb will accidentally rotate during shooting.....?

Switching the camera on, start up is slow. This is not good.

I didn't like the 'joy pad' much, it looks cheap and feels like an SLR. I couldn't work out what it was for actually. The rectangular menu buttons are less tactile than the M9's.

The menu is longer than the M9's, but i think It would be relatively easy to get to grips with. Pretty much everything you expect to be there is present.

The focus peaking is fun and potentially useful in Live View but with the EVF is not useful in its current form - its simply too slow. There is a delay from pressing the shutter to the camera taking the shot. I lost about 3 shots due to this delay.

The screen looks pretty good, its clear and fast to refresh. You don't get the pixel sharpness view you do with a Canon or any composition aids like grid lines but its good enough. Review allows you to see whether the image is in focus unlike the M9. I did not check, but I believe during LV you can't move the focus point around with the joy pad which makes me ask: what the joy pad is for?

Review of images and Live View drains the battery very quickly. I started with 30% battery and after 40 minutes I had drained it without excessively using live view or reviewing the images. I used LV for 4 shots which took a couple of minutes each.

The shutter sounds lovely, its a little quieter than the M9, not silent but feels more "positive". There are no "discrete" or "soft" shutter options in the menu at this point. I expect firmware will add this.

The camera is slow to start which I think is an issue. I also missed a few shots because the camera did not take the shot when I pressed the shutter!!!!!!!!! I think possibly the problem was that I had accidentally hit the EVF button which has a delay. However, I did notice that there seems to be a relatively slow write time to the SD card. I shot in dng "compressed mode" with a class 6 SD card. So I guess a faster SD card may have helped.

The Dynamic Range looks very good to my eyes. High ISO performance is plenty enough for me. I doubt I would rarely, if ever, use more than ISO 2000 [I bet that statement will sound old fashioned in 1 year's time! ]. The colours seem less punchy than the M9 but more natural and smooth. I still think the magentas are bit lively. I wanted to see if I could make the 28mm cron give me red edges at F2 as it did with the M9, but I could not. This is good news.

A Few Conclusions

During my brief time with the M10, I really enjoyed using the camera. It feels good in the hand and the image quality looks refined, although I have yet to see what it can really do. I can see there is lots of latitude in the dng files. I was particularly impressed with the Dynamic Range which is a big plus for me. I think there is a slight problem with battery life and speed of operation. The EVF is not useful in my opinion and the LV not quite as useful as I had hoped for. Perhaps future firmware updates will sort these niggles out.



 Paul20's gear list:Paul20's gear list
Leica M9 Sony Alpha a7R II Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH
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