Leica M10 new features: an even better view
The M10's viewfinder is bigger and clearer than the one on the Typ 240.
It's an optical viewfinder, but there’s no mirror inside this camera so you won’t be looking at exactly what will appear in your frame. Instead, you’ll need to rely on guide lines around the viewfinder which demonstrate where the captured area starts and stops.
A plus side of this is that as well as seeing what it’s in the frame, you can also see anything that’s just about to enter it - that makes it particularly handy for street photography as you wait for the definitive moment to happen.
Another new addition for this model is the introduction of Wi-Fi. You can use it to control the camera remotely, or send images over to your smart devices for quick sharing on social media sites, email and the like.
It seems relatively unlikely you’ll use it all that often for the former, since you can’t autofocus, or remotely fine-tune the manual focus lens. Still, if you’re using the camera for street work and documentary, the opportunity to share your work while you’re out is going to appeal to many. The app itself is easy and quick to use, being self-explanatory to set-up and operate.
Leica M10 image quality
Although it can be quite tricky to get the hang of focusing with the M10, when you do pull it off, the resulting photos are wonderfully sharp and detailed. They also have a lovely “filmic” quality to them, which lend certain subjects a beautiful appearance.
Skin tones are rendered beautifully, while out of focus areas in shallow depth of field photos are very attractive. In low light, the camera performs well in terms of keeping noise to a minimum, while still maintaining a good level of detail - of course there’s no comment on the speed of autofocus since it’s not an option.
You may find it tricky to focus in very low light conditions, since you’re relying on a small box in the middle of the viewfinder. Still, depending on how you use it, you could squeeze up to 600 shots out of a single battery - easily enough for a full day behind the lens. Turn on live view and that figure will drop, though, so use it sparingly if you haven't got an extra battery with you.
Leica M10 verdict
This is obviously not a camera for anybody on a budget. As beautifully crafted as the M10 is, you’ll be forking out RM29,150 for its body alone - so that's before you’ve even added any lenses to use it with.
Getting to grips with rangefinder photography also isn’t for everyone - while it has its proponents, anyone who is used to speedy autofocus will probably find it frustrating.
That said, the M10 is a great street photography camera that delivers truly stunning image quality. Thanks to that super high quality construction, it's also a real investment that'll last you for many years to come.
If you don’t quite have the readies to splash out on the M10 right now but are attracted by its retro stylings, have a think about a Fujifilm like the X-Pro 2. You won’t quite have the same prestige hanging around your neck, but you will have some spare cash left over to buy, say, a car.