LEICA M10 DIGITAL CAMERA REVIEW
Long awaited updated Leica M rangefinder camera has just been announced！
It will continue in the long line of M-series as Leica M10 digital camera. This long-anticipated rangefinder camera hopes to deliver some improvements from the previous version. We will be looking at each change in this review.
Leica M10 digital camera features 24MP CMOS sensor which the previous generation Leica M camera had, according to specs number of pixels on has remained the same but it is rumored that the new Leica M10 has a redesigned sensor at its core.
The previous version Leica M camera which was called Leica M240 digital camera featured a CMOS sensor that was a replacement for the CCD type sensor in Leica M9 camera. This feature allowed, Leica M240 to feature Live View function and the use of electronic viewfinder.
Size & Weight
The weight of the Leica M10 camera has remained almost unchanged from the previous model, Leica M240 camera despite the absence of some features like video recording, and a smaller battery. According to specs, Leica M10 weighs in at 660 grams with the battery installed, the weight of Leica M240 camera was about 680 grams. The difference is about 20 grams which may not be noticeable even if the two cameras were held in two hands but the slimmer body style of Leica M10 camera.
At first glance, Leica M10 camera does seem to offer some changes that would be a welcome improvement. Shorter battery life may not be one of those changes or improvements. In fact, the new Leica M10 battery is rated at 1100mAh / 8.2Wh while Leica M240 camera had 1800mAh / 13.32Wh capacity battery.
This difference will mean more frequent battery changes and the need to carry spare batteries for replacement. However, the absence of video function on the Leica M10 camera would mean that the video recording will not be draining the battery.
Wi – Fi
The new Leica M10 camera features the ability to log on to LAN networks to be able to transfer images. However, these images will be JPG images and the larger DNG files will be stored in the memory card in the camera.
The new Leica M10 camera now has the same 50,000 ISO count as the Leica SL and Leica Q cameras. This new update will mean that Leica M10 camera can capture images at 8000 to 50,000 range in full increments. However, the digital noise will continue to be an issue with these high numbers.
The new Leica M10 camera will feature a 0.73 viewfinder magnification. This magnification number is almost identical to Leica M-A film camera’s 0.72 magnification. Over the years, Leica camera has offered different magnification ratios on their rangefinder cameras. The new 0.73 magnification will benefit those photographers who use wide angle lenses like Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 lens.
Maestro II Processor
The new Leica M10 digital camera has a Maestro II processor with a 2GB buffer which allows more number of images to be captured in continuous shooting mode. This new updated buffer along with high write speed memory cards enable the camera to capture up to 5 images per second up to estimated 30 frames.
Leica M10 camera offers an updated LCD screen with an improved resolution of 1,036,000 dot pixels. The previous version, Leica M240 digital camera had 920,000 dot pixels. The difference between the new Leica M10 camera‘s LCD and the Leica M240 will be imperceptible to the naked eye. Both LCD screen feature bright, clear view for Live View function and playback.
Leica M10 digital camera features changes on the back of the camera with reduced number of buttons and a redesigned cursor on the right. The previous generation, Leica M240 camera had 6 dedicated buttons for Live View, Play, Menu, ISO, Set while the new Leica M10 camera has only Live View, Play, and Menu.
These changes have resulted in dedicated functions like deleting images to be reassigned into the new Leica M10 camera’s menu.
Dedicated ISO dial
Leica M10 camera features a new dedicated ISO dial which looks like the film rewind knob from Leica M3 and Leica M-A cameras. This new ISO dial know allows the option to select ISO settings from 100 to 6400 ISO.
ISO settings on the new Leica M10 camera can be changed by lifting the ISO knob up and turning the dial to the desired setting and the knob has to be pressed down. However, Leica M10 camera features ISO settings above 6400, and these must be set through navigation menu much like the Leica M240 camera.
The process requires the user to set the ISO dial to M for manual, then press the menu button, then select M-ISO option, from this menu desired ISO can be selected, and the menu has to be exited before photographing. On the previous generation rangefinder camera, Leica M240, dedicated ISO button allowed quick access to the ISO settings.
The new Leica M10 camera has a redesigned On/Off switch which previous had single, continuous, and self-timer option afforded quick setting of these options. The newly designed ON/OFF switch only has ON/OFF function requiring the user to change the shooting options through the menu.
This new improvement results the Leica M10 camera user to have to press the menu button on the back, then scroll through the newly designed menu and select Drive Mode option, then select the desired shooting mode then exiting the menu to take photographs.
- LCD screen on the back has higher resolution (1036 vs. 920)
- The body is thinner by 4mm from Leica M240*
- Leica M10 camera is about 20 grams lighter (660 vs. 680 grams)
- Fewer buttons on the back
- Customizable “Favorites” menu
- Maestro II processor 2GB
- Less Lag time in Live View Shutter
- Zoom focus point can be moved on screen (Live View)
- Dedicated ISO dial
- No video function
- Shorter battery life
Leica M10 camera with many of its improvements makes a return to photography-only type cameras like Leica M9 and Leica M8 cameras which did not afford video capabilities. The new rangefinder camera with its slimmer design and new dedicated ISO dial will draw Leica fans to admire the new Leica M10 camera.
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