Cameras


Leica Revamps Rangefinder in New M10, the Slimmest, Fastest Digital Rangefinder Yet

January 18, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

While the rest of us struggle to stay true to our New Year’s resolutions, Leica has managed to slim down its newest digital rangefinder, bringing the new M10 in at 1/8-inch thinner than its predecessor (the M Typ 240). With its newly slimmed form, the M10 is the thinnest digital rangefinder Leica has ever made, on par with the analog model of old.

The M10 boasts a new 24-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter  and uses the Maestro II image processor. According to Leica, while the sensor has the same number of pixels as the prior Typ 240 model, it’s been re-engineered to deliver improved sharpness, dynamic range and improved results when shooting wide open.

The sensor is capable of an ISO range of 100-50,000, adjustable in 1/3 increments. You’ll get 2GB worth of buffer memory to support a continuous shooting mode of 5fps–the fastest of any M-series camera.

It features a 30-percent larger field of view than its predecessor, the M Typ 240. The magnification factor has been bumped to 0.73x and the eye relief (the distance of the eye from the viewfinder eyepiece) has been increased by 50 percent–which those of us saddled with spectacles will appreciate.

The M10 is weather-sealed and features a loupe function in live view to help you confirm focus. The loupe can be freely positioned throughout the frame and there’s focus peaking to further help you dial in focus, since the M10 only offers manual focusing.

Additional features include:

  • Wi-Fi with support for RAW (DNG) transfers to iOS and Android devices using Leica M-App.
  • customizable favorites menu
  • 3-inch Gorilla Glass display
  • 1/4000 sec. max shutter speed

Leica will sell the M10 for $6,595 in a black chrome and a silver chrome finish. An accessory viewfinder, the Leica Visoflex, offers a built-in GPS unit to geo-tag images and will retail for $575.

We had the opportunity to shoot the M10 briefly before its public launch (sample JPEGs are posted in the gallery above).

As you’d expect, it’s a solid, well built block of a camera. As noted above, Leica was able to slim down the body from prior digital models by 1/8th of an inch so that the M10 is actually the same size (roughly) as its analog predecessor.

Leica M10 on the left.

The size reduction did come at the expense of the battery, which is smaller than the prior M and thus offers a lower battery life. Leica tells us you’ll drop from around 1,000 images per charge to around 690 on the M10.

You can adjust focus, aperture, shutter speed and ISO without having to jump into the camera’s menu at all, so while there’s not much by way of external buttons, we didn’t really miss them. We barely jumped into the menu much at all though what menu there is isn’t all that extensive.

We’ll have an in-depth review of the M10 in the April issue of PDN. Until then, here are some other initial impressions:

  • The ISO button can be a bit tricky to work–it needs to be popped up from the camera body to operate and popping it requires a bit of a shove. Plus side: it can’t be accidentally nudged out of place.
  • While the LCD is super-tough, we did wish it articulated.
  • Our initial images showed excellent dynamic range and sharpness.
  • We didn’t push the ISO beyond 5000 in our initial shots but what noise appeared in the DNG files was pretty quickly dispatched in Lightroom without an undue loss of detail.