Leica is returning to its roots, and the original M naming scheme, with today’s release of the M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera. Focusing solely on still photography and featuring the best image quality and connectivity ever in a digital M, in what is also now the slimmest digital M body made, the M10 will make a great tool for Leica veterans and newcomers alike. Featuring a newly developed 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor and the Leica Maestro II processor, the M10 makes huge strides in image quality compared to its predecessor, delivers sharp, low-noise images at sensitivities ranging from ISO 100-50000. Furthermore, operation and handling has been refined, notably with the addition of a physical ISO dial, providing direct access to all critical exposure settings.
Of all the changes made to the M10, one of the most significant is the omission of any video recording capabilities. This departure allowed Leica to home in on the core experience for photographers, providing a reliable and classic design that has been upgraded for the modern shooter. Image quality received a huge improvement, as well, with gains in dynamic range, color rendition, and sharpness, thanks to a fast Maestro II processor. But, the heart of the M experience is the optical viewfinder and rangefinder, which has a 30% larger field of view and a higher magnification factor of 0.73x. Even the eye-relief distance has improved by 50%, making the M easier to use, even if you wear glasses.
Intuitive physical controls have been a standard of Leica cameras, and the M10 steps things up for the M series with its ISO dial. When you combine this with the shutter speed dial and the aperture ring present on Leica M lenses, photographers will now be able to change all exposure parameters without even turning the camera on. The rear of the camera has also been simplified to only three buttons, Live View, Playback, and Menu, along with a directional control pad. Another change is to the hot-shoe terminal in the form of integrated contacts to support the 2.4MP Visoflex (Typ 020) EVF. Speed has seen a boost, thanks to the Maestro II processor and a 2GB buffer for continuous shooting at up to 5 fps for bursts up to 40 consecutive frames.
As the state-of-the-art digital M body, the M10 does have a few modern features to assist photographers, including built-in Wi-Fi. This integrated wireless connectivity is a first for an M series camera and permits photographers to quickly send their images to an iOS device via the Leica M-App. Users can even take control of the camera through the app, changing settings and triggering the shutter. Live view has received an upgrade in the form of focus peaking and adjustable/movable magnification. Additionally, a programmable Favorites menu makes it even faster for users to access frequently used settings.
Made in Germany, the Leica M10 is constructed from brass and magnesium alloy, as well as Corning Gorilla Glass on the rear LCD for durability and longevity. Two colors will be available, black chrome or silver chrome, and the camera is weather resistant to ensure flawless operation even in light rain and dust. The M10 also uses a new BP-SCL5 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack and BC-SCL5 Battery Charger for power, and a dedicated Display Protection Foil is available.
Many other new accessories are being produced for the M10, including a II series of Correction Lenses from -3.0 to +3.0 diopter for the redesigned 0.73x viewfinder. Owners of existing correction lenses or the Anglefinder M can pick up a Thread Adapter to use these smaller diameter items on the M10. Also, for users looking to get a better handle on the camera, Leica now offers a dedicated Thumb Support in matching black or silver finishes, as well as a redesigned Hand Grip, also made in black or silver.
This isn’t all—numerous soft goods were produced for those who want the complete experience. A custom-designed Leather Protector will provide added grip while also protecting the camera body, and various Leather Carrying Straps are available to complete the look. A Holster will provide a unique way to carry the camera as it keeps it flat against your body and ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice. Finally, something that may look familiar to experienced Leica shooters is a Leather Pouch, available in short and long versions for different lens sizes, that will surround and protect the camera and attached lens.