The M10 is a successor to 2014’s M-P digital
rangefinder (which stays on the market).
It’s a manual focus camera with a streamlined
feature set that’s short on the bells and whistles
that typically accompany cameras costing half
as much. While it may not have an abundance
of features, it does deliver a few notable firsts
to the M-series line. First (sorry), it’s the fastest
digital rangefinder to date, with a continuous
shooting speed of 5 fps. Second, it’s the thinnest
digital M ever built. Finally, it’s Leica’s first
rangefinder with built-in Wi-Fi.
You can use Wi-Fi to remotely change
exposure settings like shutter speed, remotely
trigger the shutter or wirelessly transfer
images from the M10 to your mobile device.
If you’re the type to throw caution and internal
memory to the wind, the Leica M-app can
transfer DNG files to iOS and Android devices
too—not just low-resolution JPEGs.
While it has the same resolution as
its predecessor, the M10 employs a new
24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that’s
been reengineered to deliver improved
sharpness, wider dynamic range and improved
results when shooting wide open. There’s no
optical low-pass filter on the sensor, either.
The M10 has an ISO range of 100-50,000,
adjustable in 1/3-stop increments. Mechanical
shutter speeds top off at 1/4000 sec. and you
can take long exposures (using the self-timer
function) of up to 125 seconds. Thanks to the
Maestro II image processor and 2GB buffer
memory, the camera can fire off at 5 fps for up
to about 30 images in RAW (DNG) or JPEG.
As noted above, the M10 is the thinnest
digital rangefinder Leica has ever made—
on par with the analogue model of old. But
its tinier dimensions haven’t diminished its
durability. The M10 is weather-sealed and
is an incredibly solid piece of magnesium
alloy. The 3-inch LCD is built from scratch-
resistant Gorilla Glass. If you were in a tight
spot, you could brain someone with the
M10 and probably not damage the camera.
(Note: We didn’t try this.)
In keeping with its minimalist theme,
Leica trimmed the number of menu buttons
on the back of the camera to three. Unlike its
predecessor, the M10 has a dedicated ISO dial
(ISO, aperture and shutter speed can all be set
via manual dials even when the camera is off ).
Unlike the aperture and shutter speed dials,
though, the ISO dial requires a firm nudge
up before it can turn. Leica clearly wanted to
avoid any accidental ISO dial turns with this
design, but in practice it proved cumbersome.
The viewfinder has also been tweaked
from the older M. The M10 offers a 30 percent
larger field of view than its predecessor and
the magnification factor has been bumped to
0.73x. No complaints here. Another nice touch:
the eye relief (the distance of the eye from the
viewfinder eyepiece) has been increased by
50 percent–which those of us saddled with
spectacles definitely appreciate.
One design element of the M that we’re not
a fan of is the bottom of the camera. Rather
than an integrated door for a memory card
and battery, the entire baseplate is removable
gear & techniques PrODuct reVie Ws
tOP right: The Leica M10 is the slimmest digital rangefinder to date, but durable and well-crafted. Le Ft: The M10 offers
a simplified shooting experience, with minimal external controls and a bare-bones feature set. BeLOW: The new 24-
megapixel sensor provides improved dynamic range and sharper images when shooting wide open.
The latest in the Leica M series, DJI’s new foldable
drone, a Venus Optics super wide-angle lens.
BY GREG SCOBLETE
While Leica has a diverse camera lineup that covers everything from a $300 instant film
camera to a five-figure medium-format camera, the beating heart of the Leica brand is
unquestionably its M-series rangefinders. So when a new M comes along, as it has in the
form of the M10, it’s kind of a big deal.