Here, Hungry Eye Magazine introduces Leica’s M10, the slimmest ever digital M delivers enhanced performance, intuitive handling and direct control
Leica Camera has announced the M10: the latest milestone in the Leica M rangefinder portfolio. This iconic camera system has once again set new standards with a perfect balance of long-established tradition and technical innovation, while embodying the true essence of photography like no other camera. Although its features have been adapted to meet the precise needs of contemporary photographers, the essential principles of the renowned M-System have been meticulously retained. Every single component and technical detail is focused uncompromisingly on photography. With its compact dimensions, improved performance and intuitive handling, the Leica M10 has established a new landmark in the ongoing history of the legendary Leica M.
Many photographers working with analogue Leica M cameras have expressed their interest in a digital M with the same ergonomic features and size that fits perfectly in the hands. With the Leica M10, this wish has become a reality, with a top plate depth of just 33.75mm – four millimetres less than its closest relative, the Leica M (Typ 240). The Leica M10 is now the slimmest digital M of all time.
The rangefinder has always played a significant role in the heritage of the Leica M-System. Several key aspects of this legendary focusing technology have been further optimised in the Leica M10. To improve the view of the subject being captured, the field of view has been enlarged by 30 per cent and the magnification factor has been increased to 0.73. For eye-relief, the optimum distance of the eye from the viewfinder eyepiece has also been lengthened considerably. Thanks to a 50 per cent increase in this distance, the viewfinder is much more comfortable to use, particularly for photographers who wear glasses.
The key component of the Leica M10 is the 24 MP, full-frame CMOS sensor developed specifically for this camera, offering significant improvements in all image performance parameters: impressive dynamic range, excellent contrast rendition, exceptional sharpness and fine detail resolution. Its unique pixel and micro-lens architecture enables a particularly large aperture, ensuring rays of light hitting the sensor even from the most oblique angles are precisely captured by its photodiodes – this has been further improved compared to its predecessor. The glass cover plate of the sensor acts as an infrared cut-off filter, therefore avoiding undesirable refraction of incoming light with additional layers of glass. The omission of a low-pass filter also ensures the Leica M10 delivers maximum sharpness, leading to significantly enhanced imaging results, especially in the case of wide-angle and very fast lenses.
Thanks to the new design of the Leica M10 sensor, the ISO sensitivity range has been expanded, allowing exposures at values between ISO 100 and 50,000, with considerably improved noise characteristics at higher ISO settings. The Leica M10 opens up entirely new genres of photography and delivers exceptional imaging performance even in challenging lighting conditions.
The latest-generation Maestro II image processor incorporated in the Leica M10 represents state-of-the-art, advanced processor technology. Combined with the new 24 MP sensor, it ensures that all exposures are captured with exceptionally brilliant image quality. Thanks to its 2GB buffer memory and continuous shooting at up to five frames per second at full resolution, photographers will never again miss the decisive moment. The Leica M10 is the fastest M-Camera ever made.
Furthermore, the processor allows the loupe function to be freely positioned for even better sharpness assessment. This new function can be used both on the camera’s monitor screen, and in conjunction with the Visoflex electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 2.4 MP resolution. The viewfinder features a swivel function, enabling shooting from unusual angles, and an integrated GPS module for the geotagging of image files.
Since the beginning, Leica M-Cameras have always focused on the essentials of photography. This principle has been conscientiously pursued in the Leica M10, setting new standards in intuitive handling and rapid access to the most relevant settings: for example, the controls on the back are limited to a single joystick control and just three buttons for Play, Live View and Menu. Particular settings can be selected according to personal preferences and photographic needs via a freely-configurable Favourites Menu.
One of the most distinctive features of the Leica M10 is the ISO setting dial on the top plate. For the first time in a digital Leica M, all essential shooting parameters such as focusing, aperture, shutter speed and ISO value can be selected manually without using the menu – or even switching on the camera – ensuring even more direct control and greater discretion when shooting.
The Leica M10 is the first M-Camera with integrated WLAN connectivity. This enables the fast, wireless transfer of pictures to Apple mobile devices, where they can be edited, posted and shared on social networks, for example. The Leica M-App also allows the direct transfer of RAW data in DNG format to mobile devices for further processing with suitable apps from iOS Version 10.2. The Leica M10 can also be remotely controlled by WLAN from a smartphone or tablet, making it easy to capture pictures from unusual angles or avoid camera shake when shooting with longer shutter speeds.
Oliver Kaltner, CEO Leica Camera AG, explains, “The Leica M is the heart, the backbone and the soul of Leica Camera. The Leica M10 unites state-of-the-art technology and exceptional optical performance with a conscious focus on the traditional advantages of the unique Leica M rangefinder system. In this, the innovative camera and its concentration on the functions essential to photography set new standards, while its exceptionally lean handling concept takes us a further step towards absolute perfection. Made in Germany and made by Leica – the Leica M10 stands as an outstanding brand statement for the finest arts of engineering, highest quality and craftsmanship.”
Pricing and availability
The Leica M10 is available now at a suggested retail price of £5,600 including VAT.
M is for Milestone: Introducing the Leica M10