The M U want: Leica M10 First Impressions Review and Samples
The Leica M10 is a 24MP, full-frame, manual focus camera with an archaic coupled rangefinder focusing system, a tunnel-type optical viewfinder, no video mode and not even so much as a USB socket. And it's absolutely lovely.
Leica M10: Key Features
- 'Newly developed' 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor
- 1.04 million-dot rear LCD (with Corning Gorilla glass)
- 5 fps max continuous shooting for up to 30 Raw frames
- ISO 100-6400 (extendable to 50,000)
- Center-weighted (RF), spot and 'multi-field' (LV) metering modes
- Revised menu system (including customizable 'favorites' menu)
- Automatic lens corrections with 6-bit coded lenses
- Compatible with 'Visoflex' 2.4m-dot EVF for eye-level live view shooting
- ~210 shot battery life (CIPA)
- Built-in WiFi
Leica is a refreshingly unusual company in the modern camera industry – weird, wonderful, gleefully anachronistic but never, ever, boring. As such, Leica is one of those companies that I've always enjoyed writing about.
In fact, the very first camera that I ever reviewed right at the beginning of my career was a Leica. This was more than ten years ago, around the same time that the M8 was released, but I wasn’t (yet) trusted with such a prestigious product. The camera that I was handed to review was one of those rebadged Panasonics that the German company still officially maintains in its lineup, but doesn’t really talk about anymore. I forget the exact model, but it wasn’t particularly good. I seem to remember high noise levels, lens aberrations and clumsy, detail-destroying noise reduction being the main areas of complaint, all of which were enough to take the (figurative) shine off what was physically a beautiful camera, and all of which I dutifully reported in my review.
While the camera was forgettable, more than a decade on, that review still sticks in my mind. It was shortly after filing my draft that my editor at the time pulled me over, the printout in his hand, to explain that ‘there are certain words we do not use about Leica’. Apparently, 'disappointing' was one of those words, indicated (ironically) with large red rings of ink, wherever I had used it.
My draft was massaged accordingly, and I didn’t review another Leica camera for a long time.
For a great many years, there really was a kind of ‘reality distortion field’ around Leica, and to some extent there still is. With some exceptions (the Q being one of them), the company specializes in high-cost nouveau-classic products with few objective advantages over their competitors. It’s all about the look. It’s all about the feel. It’s all about the magic. It's all about Das Wesentliche1.
When on occasion Leica has tried something genuinely new, like the brushed-aluminum touch-sensitive experiment that was the Leica T2, it typically hasn’t made quite the same impact on the group psychology of photographers and photography writers as its M, R and (more recently) S-series.
I’m not immune to the ‘Leica effect’ myself. I owned and used an M3 for years, and wildly impractical as it was (considering I was attempting to make a career as a 21st Century music photographer3) I’ve always regretted selling it. There’s just something about the M series, some intangible magic when compared to the average mass-produced camera, regardless of whatever new and wonderful technologies they might lack by comparison.
I still maintain that if you can accurately focus on a human subject with a fast Leica prime wide-open, you’ve earned the right to call yourself a photographer. It’s not easy - and that’s the point.
|It's been a long time since I shot live music, too. I didn't expect much when I took the M10 to a rock concert, but apparently my focusing gets better after a couple of beers.
35mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH. F2 (ish), ISO 3200. (Converted from Raw)
For all that, I’ve never really enjoyed the digital M-series models. The M8’s APS-H sensor felt like a compromise, and both that camera and the full-frame M9 always felt a little bloated, their shutters a bit too loud, their images a bit too noisy. Things got better - the Typ 240 and Typ 262 are very good cameras, and the Monochroms are fun - but neither they nor their predecessors ever really truly felt like a continuation of the classic film models. Leica claims that adding a movie mode to the Typ 240 was in response to demand from its customers, but the idea of shooting video on a rangefinder always seemed a bit silly to me.
The M10 can’t shoot video - let’s just get that out of the way. If you really need video in an M-series body, the Typ 240 is still available.
Personally, as you might be able to tell, I like the M10 a lot more than the Typ 240 and 262. There’s no single major change which makes all the difference, but rather a raft of little tweaks which add up to (in my opinion) a more attractive product than the the digital Ms which came before it.
First Look: Leica M10
1. Which roughly translates as 'The pure / the essential / the heart / the bits that really matter'.
2. With original firmware, I should make that clear. It got better.
3. Ask me how that worked out.
|Lost in cyber space by Jill Hancock|
from Your City - Look Down
|Bringing Home the Bacon by Domenick Creaco|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|I Think I Can? I Think I Can? by kjfrigo|
|ON THE TAXIWAY by DIM POL|
from Leaving on a Jet Plane
In an effort to streamline production and minimize confusion, RED has announced that it is simplifying its product lineup to three main cameras. As an added bonus, this change dramatically drops the prices for all three options.
Fujifilm's new X-T100 is an SLR-style mirrorless camera that takes the internals of the X-A5, including phase-detect AF, and adds a fully articulating LCD and high-res OLED viewfinder. The X-T100 is priced at a very reasonable $599/€599 body-only and $699/€699/£619 with a 15-45mm lens.
Panasonic's latest firmware update for its GH5S, GH5 and G9 series of cameras was leaked in Japan earlier today and is now being officially announced a week early. But don't get too excited – you still won't be able to download it until May 30th.
We've been saying for years that the term "lens compression" is misleading, but Lee Morris over at Fstoppers has put together a useful video that explains why this is the case, and demonstrates it with two easy-to-understand examples.
Last week, some 'leaked' photos were published online that purported to show a DJI Phantom 5 drone with interchangeable lens camera and several prime lenses. The rumor was widely reported, but DPReview has learned that those images do not, in fact, show a Phantom 5 at all.
The bezel-free Vivo Apex concept phone with its pop-up camera might be more than a concept. A new teaser video and ad seem to hint at a similar smartphone to be released June 12st.
Skylum has teamed up with its sister company Photolemur to create Skylum AI Lab, where the duo will work on AI-powered image solutions including image segmentation, tagging and upscaling.
Award-winning fashion and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko recently tested out the Godox EC-200 flash extension head. Actually, he tested out four of them, creating a quad-flash ring light alternative that works great for both beauty and close-up work.
According to a recent investor presentation, Sony intends to occupy the top slot in the overall camera market by the end of 2020, beating back Canon and Nikon by boosting its interchangeable lens systems.
HTC brings back the dual-camera on the newly-announced U12+, which features a secondary tele-camera with 2x zoom factor, as well as 4K video recording at 60 frames per second.
Google has finally added the ability to mark your favorite images in Google Photos, so they can be filtered into a dedicated album. The service is also planning to a social network-like "heart" button that lets you like other people's photos.
We've been messing around with Apollo, an iOS app that allows you to add 3D lighting effects to images using depth information, and have to say we're impressed with what it's capable of – but that doesn't mean we don't have a few requests for the next version.
The new lightweight laptop packs a whole lot of photo- and video-editing punch. The laptop can be specced out with a Core i9 processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, NVIDIA graphics with 4GB of GDDR5, and a 4K display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage.
It looks like Canon is getting into sensor sales. The three specialized CMOS sensors the company recently demoed—including a 120MP APS-H model and an ultra-low light sensor—have been listed for sale through a distributor in the US.
Instagram has finally launched a "Mute" button, and is testing an "All Caught Up" feature that will let you know when you've seen all new post from the people you follow from the past 48 hours.
45-year-old photography magazine Shutterbug announced today that it is shutting down its print publication, focusing instead on reaching its readers online as a web-only publication.
Kodak Alaris has launched a new single-use disposable camera in Europe. Called the Kodak Daylight Single Use Camera, this 800 ISO film camera is supposedly ideal for parties, weddings, and similar events.
Computer vision company Lucid and cinema camera maker RED have partnered to create an 8K 3D camera that can capture 4-view (4V) holographic images and video in real-time. The camera is designed to work with RED's upcoming holographic Hydrogen One smartphone.
If Canon and Nikon do get into high-end mirrorless, it's almost certain that they'll do everything they can to maintain compatibility with their existing mounts. But, asks Richard Butler, wouldn't it be more interesting if they built a small, niche system to live alongside their existing DSLRs?
It seems RED's Hydrogen One super-phone will make it into the hands of customers in the near future. The phone is now officially slated for a Verizon and AT&T release in the US sometime this summer.
You know that feeling when you're already all suited up and out on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, and only then do you realize you forgot to put the SD card in your GoPro? No? Us either... but one astronaut on the ISS sure does.
From 2015 to 2017, filmmaker Macgregor and his crew spend many months traveling back and forth on the famed Mauritanian Railway—the so-called 'Backbone of the Sahara—to document the grueling journey endured by merchants who regularly travel atop this train. This beautifully-executed short doc is the result.
You can now insert another user's Instagram post into your own Stories as a customized sticker, the first official "regram" feature we've seen from the Facebook-owned photo sharing app.
Synology has added a new 6-bay NAS to its DiskStation+ series, and it's aimed squarely at photographers and medium sized businesses. The DS1618+ can handle up to six 12TB drives, giving it a max capacity of 72TB, or up to 60TB in RAID 5.
Our original gallery for Tamron's new 70-210mm F4 had portraits, slow-moving wildlife and city scenes, but was sorely missing fast action. We remedied that by photographing some motorcycles flying through the air.
This week on DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan prepare for the summer holiday season by putting several popular waterproof cameras to the test. If you're considering a rugged camera for the beach or pool this summer, or if you just want to see what a Chris and Jordan fishing show might look like, tune in.
Soulumination is a non-profit organization that provides life-affirming legacy photography to families facing serious medical conditions, completely free of charge. This video shares the work they are doing.
Fujifilm EU seems to have accidentally leaked an unreleased camera to the masses. The leaked page details a new "X-T100" camera that will share most of its specs with the X-A5, but includes an EVF, deeper buffer, and 3-way tilting touchscreen.
LA-based director and cinematographer Phil Holland of PHFX recently joined forces with Gotham Film Works to create something out-of-this-world. Using a special aerial camera array, Holland shot a flyover of New York City using not one, not two, but three 8K RED Weapon Monstro VistaVision cameras.
According to an interview with the Google Photos team on XDA, object removal simply had a lower priority in the development queue than other features. It might still show up some day... but maybe not.