Leica’s M-series cameras have been utilized by a number of the most well-known photographers throughout the history of photography. As a result, they have rightfully earned their position in photographic mythology.
The standard M10 that Leica released a year ago was without a doubt the best digital interpretation of the series that we have seen. This is especially true when because it shed some weight in comparison to its digital forebears and was as svelte as its legendary film siblings.
There is little doubt that the M10 has a specialized audience (but one that is quite devoted), and the M10-P is aimed at an even more discriminating audience, aiming to appeal to those who find even the normal M10 to be a touch too “in your face.”
Leica M10-P Features
The M10-P is essentially an updated version of the original M10, from which it takes many of its essential characteristics. This contains the full-frame 24MP sensor that is paired with the Maestro II image processor that Leica manufactures. This combination produces a sensitivity range that extends from ISO 100 to 50,000. Although the camera was not intended for rapid-fire photography, it can have a respectable continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second.
The fact that the sensor does not have a low-pass filter is excellent news for the accurate rendering of minute details. Because the M10-P does not have any form of image stabilization, either in the camera or on Leica M lenses (which, to Leica purists, may seem like an act of sacrilege), you will need to have a firm grasp on your photography style.
Leica would undoubtedly claim that an anti-shake mechanism isn’t necessary for the M10-P because of its tiny size (it has the same proportions as the film version and is just 33.7mm thick), which, when combined with Leica’s very fast prime lenses, makes it impossible to shake the camera.
The M10-P is a rangefinder camera, hence it has an optical viewfinder rather than a traditional viewfinder. Or, to be more specific, a “Messsucher,” which is what Leica refers to as its combination rangefinder/viewfinder; the M in “Messsucher” is what is responsible for giving the M system its name.
Leica M10-P Build Quality
The Leica M10-P utilizes the same body that was reduced in size for the Leica M10, and the quality, as one would anticipate from a premium product, is magnificent. The chassis of the M10-P is made of magnesium, and both the top and bottom plates are machined from solid brass blocks. As a result, there is no question in your mind that the camera will continue to have a unique and luxurious feel in ten or twenty years, even if the technology contained within may not be as cutting edge.
The battery and memory card are placed within the camera’s base; however, to reach this compartment, the entire base plate of the camera needs to be removed, which is a unique design choice (but not if you use a Leica M). To your relief, this is not nearly as difficult as you think; all that is required is a simple rotation of the D-ring.
The M10-P is all about understatement, and as such, the camera does not have a Leica red dot logo on the front of the camera. Instead, the top plate of the camera displays just discrete Leica text. In addition, the top plate of the M10-P comes with a metal cover for the hot shoe that was made to blend in perfectly with the rest of the plate.
The M10-P possesses the same manual rangefinder focusing technique as the M10, in addition to the big viewfinder inherited from the M10. You might be amazed at how fast you get the hang of it, particularly if this is something that you are doing for the first time; if you are new to it, it will take a little practice as you strive to get the two pictures to create one single sharp image in the viewfinder.
Focusing on some scenarios, such as those with very strong light or especially tiny details, might be challenging. However, there is a second method available, which consists of using the live view function on the rear LCD screen in conjunction with the focus peaking feature.
When you begin to turn the focusing ring on the lens, the view becomes enlarged by default. This makes it much simpler to determine whether or not the lens is properly focused on smaller components of the picture. You may even modify the color of the highlight if it clashes with whatever it is that you want to focus on. This works quite well in practice, particularly when the depth of field is very shallow.
Leica M10-P Performance
The redesigned shutter is one of the primary characteristics distinguishing the M10-P from the normal M10 model. It is difficult to argue with Leica’s claim that the M10-P has the quietest shutter release of any M-series camera because the assertion is so certain.
When you press the shutter button, the sound is almost inaudible, making it ideal for photographers in public settings. In light of the preceding, if silence is of the utmost importance, you should purchase a mirrorless camera equipped with a silent electronic shutter.
Before the camera’s burst mode slows down, it can take around 61 JPEGs or 22 consecutive raw and JPEG frames combined while shooting at 5 frames per second. Even if many cheaper cameras readily surpass this, it is probably enough for the sorts of pictures that the ordinary audience will likely wish to shoot.
It is also encouraging to note that the camera continues to function normally even as they are being written to the memory card; however, it cannot access the main menu while this is taking place.
During our evaluation, we were able to put the M10-P and the SUMMARIT-M 50mm f/2.4 lens to good use. Even when utilized with the aperture wide open at f/2.4, the raw files that were acquired with the lens exhibit a great level of information right throughout the frame. Not only is this a very compact and lightweight alternative, but it also displays an amazing degree of detail.
Since of this, natural scenes end up with details that exhibit good definition, and the camera does not need to do any over-sharpening to get this result. This is possible because the optical low-pass filter was not included in the camera.
On the other side, aliasing artifacts can occasionally be seen, however, if you don’t often photograph things like fashion or architecture, you probably won’t see them very frequently.
This lens also creates out-of-focus areas with charming character and pleasantly circular bokeh. The out-of-focus portions slightly form a cat’s eye shape at the frame’s edges.
At the maximum aperture of f/2.4, there is a trace of longitudinal chromatic aberration, which appears as a trace of green fringing at the borders of details. However, this kind of aberration is not at all unusual in wide-aperture prime lenses like the one that this camera has.
Throughout most of the ISO range, noise is kept under very good control. The slightest hint of color noise may be seen in images taken inside with moderate lighting at an ISO setting of 3200. This noise gradually becomes more noticeable when the sensitivity setting is increased. Images shot at the maximum ISO50,000 level are visibly impacted by banding, however the results aren’t as poor as one might anticipate at such settings because the setting is so high.
There are three distinct options available for you to choose from.
Leica M10-P Specs
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||5952 x 3992|
|Other resolutions||5952 x 3968 (JPEG, 24MP), 4256 x 2932 (12MP), 2976 x 1984 (6MP)|
|Image ratio w:h||3:2|
|Effective pixels||24 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)|
|White balance presets||8|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|Lens mount||Leica M|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder type||Optical (rangefinder)|
|Minimum shutter speed||8 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Subject / scene modes||No|
|Continuous drive||5.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 12 secs)|
|Exposure compensation||±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)|
|Remote control||Yes (via cable trigger)|
|Battery description||BP-SCL5 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||210|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||660 g (1.46 lb / 23.28 oz)|
|Dimensions||139 x 39 x 80 mm (5.47 x 1.54 x 3.15″)|
|GPS notes||via optional Visoflex EVF|
Leica M10-P Verdict
The Leica M-series camera is either something that you will completely disregard, pointing out all of the benefits that a DSLR or mirrorless camera offers for half the price (or even a quarter), or it is something that you will hanker after for the rest of your photography career.
If the latter is your situation, then the M10-P is an exciting possibility for you to consider. The M10-P is a version of the M10, and the only significant differences between the two cameras are the quieter shutter on the M10-P and the touchscreen interface and aesthetic changes. However, the price increase over the M10 is very significant. As a result, you will need to choose whether or not you can rationalize the expenditure on such a luxury item.