leicam10_top

M10

Now that the Leica M10 is released, I thought to write how I feel about it. I didn’t try the M10 yet. And I know that many Leica fans are exited about it. I was one of those before the release  and after I’ve read many reviews on the net. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the M10 is a very nice camera. I also believe that the M240 is a great camera. and I do believe that the M9 is a very special camera as well. Releasing a slimmer M10 is great, but for me, emphasizing on this is pure marketing. I do have and enjoy both M9 and M240, and yes sometimes I prefer to use the M9 because it’s slimmer than the M240, but most importantly because its 10og lighter, not just 20g as the M10. Of course, I don’t shoot with the M9 only for these reasons. and I don’t want to go into the never ending CCD vs CMOS discussion and debate.

ISOdial.jpg

M10 ISO Dial

I am quite sure that the M10 delivers excellent quality images, so did the M240. the added ISO performance is a very welcome addition to the new M10. But a camera is not only judged by the high ISO performance , or is it ?

As I have said, I didn’t try the M10 yet, and looking forward to lay my hands on it as soon as possible. but there are few things that I wanted to say about the specs and features of the M10 compared to M240. I saw some photos on the net comparing the high ISO between both cams. at 6400, they performance is very similar. the advantage of the M10 is that you can shoot at higher values now like 10,000 or even more without worrying. As far as I see it, both cameras share the same technology, with a more advanced processor on the M10. and Maybe, just maybe, the higher ISO values are due to this processor. I don’t know exactly if the M10 outperforms the M240 in Dynamic Range, and personally I doubt it does. And if it does, I bet it’s marginal.

If I have the chance of testing an M10 soon, I might change my mind. but as of now, I want to go through what I think the M10 should have been.

What I like about the M10 :

  • it’s an M10, not M Typ xxx : Leica got everybody confused with the Typ naming. 240, 262, 246, etc…
  • the ISO dial : a very nice addition, although I would have preferred it wasn’t limited to 6400 !
  • the Simplified Menu: It is nice to simplify things, it is not essential but very welcomed.
  • the higher ISO range (not necessarily better ISO performance)
  • the EVF of the Leica T-TL : now we can use a better EVF with the built in GPS feature. The EVF of the M240 was mediocre … It served the purpose but it was
    very poor.
  • New Maestro II processor, resulting in larger Buffer and higher ISO ranges.
  • the slimmer body: Again this is nice from Leica, the 4mm less depth could be more ergonomic, but I would have wished a lighter body along the same logic. The weight of the M9 is great at 585g.
  • the integrated Wifi: It is also a nice addition, not essential but can be helpful sometimes.

What I don’t like about the M10 :

  • No Hybrid View Finder: I expected Leica to include an advanced Range Finder with an Electronic EVF overlay; few months ago Leica leaked  a patent of an advanced Hybrid Range Finder. Something similar to the Fujifilm XPro series. but in a real RF experience. Somebody will say that an M is not meant to have an EVF and it should only be a Range Finder. Well, Why we have the optional Visoflex on the hot shoe then? Leica didn’t bother to design the M10 in parallel with the Visoflex. When you put the Visoflex on the Hot Shoe, part of the EVF is above the shutter speed dial. So they didn’t even bother to either deign a new EVF that fits ergonomically with the M1o, or design the M10 in a way to accommodate the Visoflex in a better subtle way. Personally I use the EVF on my M240 when I want to use my 18 Super Elmar only. I use my 28 Cron, 35 Lux, 50 Lux, and 90 cron with RF only.

leica-m10-with-evf

  • 1/4000s limitations : for a $6500 camera in 2017, I would have expected Leica to give us 1/8000s with at least 1/16000s electronic shutter. The Q have the electronic shutter option, so Why not have it on the M10?
  • Flash Sync Speed : 1/180s : still not acceptable for a $6500 camera today. Even the 1K M43 cameras today have a better Flash sync speed.
  • the ISO performance : after seeing many head to head images between the M10 and M240, I concluded that they perform similarly at same ISO value. the advantage of the M10 is that you can finally shoot at higher ISO values, which is a good thing , but is not convincing for me to ditch my M240 for another $6500 investment
  • Battery Life: DPreview claims its 210 shots. If this is true, this is a deal breaker for me (and for many others), but I do hope it’s a typo error. Users claim a battery life time of 400-450. which is a step backward compared to the excellent battery life of the M240 (650-700 shots)
  • No more Video: I can understand that many Purist are happy that the M10 doesn’t shoot video. But personally I don’t understand why in 2017 a CMOS camera doesn’t have this option. From a Purist logic, I would have omitted the gimmicky Wifi addition also. I hoped Leica gave us a full HD video at 60fps instead of M240’s 25fps. I am not asking for a 4k video, nor am I asking for a 120fps Slow MO in HD or Full HD … but I believe an improved video features on an M10 would have been great. Leica have the best lenses today, so why can’t we use them for video ?
  • No more Continuous and Self Timer Mode dial on the ON/OFF button. Although the M10 can shoot at 5fps now, you have to go to the ‘simplified’ Menu to choose Continuous Mode.

The M10 is a very nice camera… but I don’t find a reason to upgrade my M240. If you are new to Leica, I would say go for an M10. If you already have the M240, You can skip. I know I will, waiting for a more meaningful upgrade on an M11.

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8 thoughts on “What the Leica M10 should have been

  1. Something I would find helpful is a customisable menu where you can create a list of lenses you own, so you don’t have to scroll through the whole lot each time you want to quickly change a lens. An auto detection that you’re changing a lens could make that menu pop up, if you choose it to do so.

    I normally switch lens detect off on my M240 because of this. I own four lenses, each of which I use regularly when shooting.

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  2. Sorry but I have to comment on this. I shot all day with the M10 today. The wifi is very usefull for tethering and checking focus. Many people prefer a regular ranger finder over the hybrid option. i know many fuji users who will just uses the EVF. Yes it’s a pricey surplus but again it’s agreat evf.

    The M’s Monicker is “das wesentliche” the essence. So I get why they made it simpler. I do agree that it’s just silly they removed video all together.

    The batterylife is not as good as the M240 but shame my M9.

    Flash sync is a non issue. I mean a Canon 6D get’s a 1/200th and my 5D mark IV maxes out on 1/250th thats 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop more.

    But please before you write you don’t like something. use it. Shoot it. The ISO performans is great and there is a big increase on dynamic range too. On top the bigger rangefinder is really nice to work with. There will never be an M-camera that will be a revolution. like porsche with it’s 911’s Leica has the same problem with a vast fanbase that does not like big change on their favourite camera.

    If you want more tech get the SL.

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  3. I own an M10, as well as an M240 and M9. The ISO performance of the M10 is drastically better than the 240. They are nowhere close to each other at 6400. The color science of the M10 is much more consistent, as well.

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  4. Yep, I can agree with most of this although technically the M240 can do High Speed Sync flash right up to 1/4000, but only with the Leica SF58 flash gun, (which is still limiting of course to just one speedlight).

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  5. I simply cannot understand this constant talk of the EVF? We agree that M is a rangefinder, there are plenty of alternatives if you want a camera with EVF, but only one if we want a rangefinder. So it seems to me as you just looking for something to gripe about.

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    • You didn’t get my point. Leica chose to add an EVF to the M240. I was against this . If they insist of doing it let them do it right. Instead of insisting of selling a 500$ EVF, let them implement it as an overlay over their range finder. I don’t know if it’s technically doable though.

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  6. Personally I think there will be a next to m340 maybe. They wanted to divide the market clearly define it. Very clever move if so.

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