Leica M10 Review

Leica M10 Review

The Leica M10 is a digital full-frame rangefinder camera body with a stunning design and comes equipped with an optical viewfinder in the shape of a tunnel. The camera body, a strap, a battery, and a charger are all included in the package; simplicity is at its finest.

No lens is included in the package; you must buy it separately. Although they are among the most expensive lenses available, Leica lenses have a reputation for having an exceptionally high level of quality.

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Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera (Black)

Last update was on: May 28, 2023 10:53 am
$4,750.00

Certain people aren’t good candidates for the Leica M10. In all other respects, it is a welcome relief, owing to the strength and compact simplicity with which it was designed. Because the camera relies on manual controls for all its functions, using it requires constant concentration and effort.

When other photographers at a press call or PR event notice my Leica M10, they often give a double take, show initial curiosity, or even roll their eyes at coworkers. This continues to be the case even today.

When it’s time for the coffee break, everyone gathers close to look at the photographs. The conversation will now get underway.

“How do the colors seem so beautiful without any color cast?”

“You shoot at f/1.4 when you’re working professionally?” That seems like such a dangerous…

Leica M10 Features

So, what exactly sets this camera apart from others on the market?

In recent years, picture agencies and the picture editors of national newspapers have provided feedback about the images I have submitted. More specifically, the type of camera that I was utilizing. Before my return to Leica in 2015, I had used a variety of cameras, but this had never occurred to me.

So, without further ado, let’s get down to what makes this camera unique.

Leica M10 Mount

Many photographers are looking for a camera that is easy to use, not too bulky, and has robust manual settings.

Because the Leica M mount hasn’t been updated in years, several lenses are available from Leica, Voigtlander, and Zeiss that are outstanding, frequently extremely fast, yet compact, and are priced to accommodate a variety of budgets.

There is also the benefit that a more affordable uncoated lens from the 1960s would work, and this lens will have a trendy vintage appearance.

Although Voigtlander and Zeiss produce excellent lenses—particularly the exceptional Zeiss 35mm f/1.4—compared to Leica’s optics, these lenses tend to be physically more significant and have a distinctively different color profile. Therefore, staying with just one brand is in your best interest if the items are displayed next to one another or are part of a more significant project.

New lens producers, such as 7artisans and TT artisans, are now creating lenses for the Leica M line of cameras. These new lens makers provide a range of options at highly affordable costs.

All lenses compatible with the Leica M10 are physically considerably more compact than their equivalents in autofocus. Despite this, they all have a robust sensation, and the engineering is impeccable; nothing shakes, wobbles, or is fragile.

Leica M10 Image Quality

Compared to the most recent models from Nikon, Fuji, Sony, or Canon, the photographs produced by Leica do not have the best color reproduction or bit depth. Still, they possess a highly appealing 3D feel that is difficult to define.

Because the lens geometry and glass are well suited to the rangefinder body, there is very no flare, chromatic aberration, or smearing of the pictures at the margins of the viewfinder. For example, the Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super Elmar lens is, in my experience, the most excellent wide-angle lens I have ever used.

I have tried mounting Leica lenses on cameras made by other companies using a variety of adaptors, but the mojo isn’t there; the magic only happens when the lens and sensor are positioned in the proper geometric relationship.

A resolution of 5952 x 3968 is included in the Leica M10 camera. With 24 megapixels, you may crop an image to a significant degree without sacrificing image quality. When shooting in RAW, of course, its breadth of 13-stop dynamic range allows for the restoration of cloud detail, and the possibilities of the editing software are virtually endless.

Although the ISO can go as high as 50,000, which is excellent, you shouldn’t anticipate seeing a lot of detail when it’s set to its highest setting. ISO 12,500 is a reasonable level to use daily. Noise becomes discernible at high ISO settings, which I define as anything above 12,500.

The noise from the sensor is visually appealing since it looks very much like film grain. Despite this, I use prime lenses with a fast aperture (ideally more than f/1.4) rather than increasing the ISO while shooting in low light.

The Leica M10 can shoot in both RAW and JPEG formats, but its real quality is shown when the images are not compressed.

On the Leica M10, both focusing and burst to focus are purely manual processes. Therefore, the technique is relatively easy to understand, even when hurried or confused.

There are a few different approaches to a possible shooting. You can shoot in either ‘Live View’ or ‘Continuous Burst.’ In the latter mode, you will be able to utilize the screen that is located on the rear of the camera as a viewfinder. When the lens barrel is rotated, the image will automatically zoom in to show more detail. However, this option uses a lot of juice, so make sure you always have a couple of backups in your pocket, just in case.

A rangefinder’s most distinguishing feature is its ability to focus manually. To get the image in focus, you must line up two tiny image patches in the middle of the viewfinder. If you rotate the focusing barrel on the lens, the patches will shift from left to right as you move it. The image gets sharpened when the patches line up correctly. Even if the light is low or the subject has low contrast, you must align those little focus patches and take the picture.

Leica M10 Specs

Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution5952 x 3992
Other resolutions5952 x 3968 (JPEG, 24MP), 4256 x 2932 (12MP), 2976 x 1984 (6MP)
Image ratio w h3:2
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorMaestro II
ISOAuto, 100-50000
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
Manual focusYes
Lens mountLeica M
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,036,800
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (rangefinder)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.73×
Minimum shutter speed8 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesNo
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
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)
MicrophoneNone
SpeakerNone
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
HDMINo
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Remote controlYes (via cable trigger)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionBP-SCL5 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)210
Weight (inc. batteries)660 g (1.46 lb / 23.28 oz)
Dimensions139 x 39 x 80 mm (5.47 x 1.54 x 3.15″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSOptional
GPS notesvia optional Visoflex EVF

Leica M10 Build Quality

Leicas have maintained the same body form for their rangefinders for many years. The mechanical controls of the Leica M10 are well thought out, uncomplicated, and provide just the right amount of resistance. The food is simple and uncomplicated. There is no “Smile Detection” mode, nor is there a “Landscape” or “Sport” mode. While the camera is to your eye, it is simple to adjust the settings. Everything may be felt quite easily.

The body is protected from the elements to a reasonable degree. So it can get wet without being damaged, which I wouldn’t want to do myself, but it can do so.

Leica M10 Verdict

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Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera (Black)

Last update was on: May 28, 2023 10:53 am
$4,750.00

The Leica M10 is the latest and greatest in a long line of rangefinder cameras, and while using it may take some getting used to, it is worth the effort. The construction of these cameras is comparable to that of a weapon. They provide exquisite lenses in addition to complete manual control.

Because I view it as more than just a tool, I always have this camera on me, which is something I never did with my Canon or Sony cameras in the past. Leica rangefinders, on the other hand, in all their glory as hand-made products, have a soul.

Joseph

Joseph

Joseph is a talented photographer and videographer based in the USA, with a thriving career as a freelance creative. Over the past several years, he has had the privilege of working with renowned brands, capturing captivating images and videos. His portfolio encompasses a diverse range of subjects, specializing in fashion, portrait, and lifestyle content creation. From editorial shoots to engaging social media videos, Joseph's versatile skills ensure exceptional visual storytelling in every project. Beyond his professional endeavors, he nurtures a personal passion for travel and nature photography, channeling his deep appreciation for the environment into a commitment to sustainability and environmental causes.

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