Leica Announces M10: Surprise, It’s 2 Cameras!
- Leica “M”
- Street price: $6950 USD
- Manufacturer No.: 10771
- Leica “M-E”
- Street price: $5450 USD
- Manufacturer No.: 10759
COLOGNE — Leica Camera AG announced their latest digital rangefinders the day before Photokina, yesterday: the replacement for the M9 (and presumably the M9-P), simply called the M, and the M-E, a
budget-priced . Suggested prices are $6,950 and $5,450 USD, respectively.
M Camera Features
- Full-frame 24-megapixel CMOS sensor
- Multi-pattern & spot metering
- Larger 3″ LCD with Gorilla Glass screen protector; features up to 10× zoom & 920k-dot resolution
- Live view
- LED frame lines (note the lack of a frame line window)
- Focus peaking, a.k.a. focus confirmation — highlights in-focus areas
- 1080pHD video
- Faster image processing
- Improved battery life
- Dust + moisture seals
- Magnesium construction
- Compatible with current Visoflex EVF for X2 viewfinder
- Compatible with R lenses (with adapter)
- Available multi-function handgrip w/ GPS
- Available microphone (fits accessory port)
- Revised ergonomics & controls, including thumb rest (built into rear control dial)
- Black paint or silver chrome finish
The camera reportedly also features one of the most requested improvements: better high-ISO performance (up to ISO 6400).
The thumb rest is quite small; most users will still covet Tim Isaac’s accessory rests.
The new focusing aids (zoom and focus peaking), are activated by a new button on the camera front.
I haven’t been able to determine the function of the mysterious “M” button on the top plate, to the right of the shutter release. If you know what this does, please leave a comment!
M-E: Entry Level Leica
Apart from the much lower price, the M-E is essentially an M9 available in only 1 color scheme (anthracite grey). It lacks both a USB port and a frame line selector switch.
Worth the Upgrade?
With this dual release, Leica have addressed the most common complaints about the M9, albeit not in the same camera: price, poor high-ISO performance, slow image processing, no weather sealing, and lack of live view. Unknown from the initial reports is the IQ of the preview; until I get my hands on a review model or find the answer from other research, I can’t speak to that.
I had serious reservations about upgrading my camera before the announcement — the likelihood that the update wouldn’t address all my concerns, and that it would come at a higher price than the M9, had me convinced that I wouldn’t consider trading up. Instead, I think I’m going to have to start saving for a new camera.