The Leica M10-D Review. Less is more…Again.

The Leica M10-D Review. NO LCD! Less is more…Again. 

By Steve Huff

Order the M10-D from Ken Hansen ([email protected]) or PopFlash.com  or B&H PHOTO

Back in August of 2016 I reviewed the Leica MD (Typ 262), the first digital rangefinder camera ever made without a rear LCD screen. It took those who owned one and shot with it way “back to the basics” and gave the experience of an analog Leica M6 or M7. Almost. At least the digital equivalent and as close as you could get to that experience, which if I can say, is MUCH different from just shooting a digital camera like a Sony A7III. I owned that M-D for a while, thanks to Ken Hansen. 

Ken is a Leica dealer and long time site sponsor here who helped me get this site off the ground 11 years ago! Great guy and Leica dealer. (Thank you Ken)

A video look at the M10-D, watch it below!

Before I get started with my thoughts on this new Leica,  the M10-D, I was just re-reading an old lens review. I found a quote I made back then that sums up what I think about this concept of the M-D. In the review for the unique Leica 28 Summaron lens, I used the M-D and had this to say about the experience:

“Many think it is insane to buy or use a camera without any way to check your shots, but I have found it liberating and even many months after my review I still use this M, and I love it. In fact, I have not bonded with an M so tightly, ever. Not the M9, not the M 240. Somehow, when I take this camera out I truly feel as if I am shooting with my old M7 from back in the day. Lift up, look through the eyepiece/RF, focus, and shoot. No muss, no fuss. It only shoots RAW, so each shot has to be processed but I enjoy this process, much like I used to love developing my film in my Laundry room.”

CLICK IMAGES FOR LARGER AND MUCH NICER VERSIONS! All images here shot with the Voigtlander 50 f/1.2 on the new M10-D

Shooting film is where I started with Leica. The M6 and M7 were with me all the time many years ago. Those two cameras, and a Leica 50 Summicron were all I needed to create memories, or even work on projects like THIS ONE that were near and dear to my heart. When the M8, then M9 came out I switched and went all in with digital M cameras. I even took the M9 on tour and shot it professionally with confidence and as horrible as that camera was in low light it never stopped me from getting remarkable results. As photographers, we tend to get to know the gear we love the most, and always find ways to make it work for what we need.  The M9 and a Noctilux delivered night after night for me and even landed me an album cover. This was actually a goal I had since I was 16 and I envisioned it for years. Finally back in 2011, Leica helped me accomplish it by allowing me to own a camera that ignited the passion within me. To see a photo diary of those times, on video with narration take a look at this video I made a while back. 

That video is more than just a photo diary as I speak about Leica in detail in that video and what that M9 did for me during those times.

When the Leica M 240 came out I was thrilled to death with it while many trashed it. I still love the M240 but when Leica released the MD version of the M240 and called it the MD 262, I knew I had to get one, and so I did. That MD with a 28 Summilux went with me here and there, and again I captured many memories with it, mostly personal memories with that one. Even shooting it with this small, tiny, strange but incredible  lens. 

It brought back those old memories of shooting the M7 and those were some great memories as I was never able to recreate that feeling of shooting an M7, until the MD. Yes, shooting without an LCD screen is strange indeed, but once you get used to it, well, it feels natural. It feel right.

Shot on the M10-D with the Voigtlander 50 1.2 at f1.2

This new M10-D is the latest M from Leica and I was excited to test it and shoot with it, to see if I still had that love of this minimalist camera. Sure, it is the same camera internally as the standard M10 that I have owned before but it’s also different. The M10 is $700 less as well, and has an LCD. Same sensor, same IQ, same body style. So why on earth would Leica release a body that has LESS and charge MORE and WHO WOULD BUY ONE?!?!

To many reading this, I bet you can not imagine anyone buying a $8000 camera without an LCD.

Click for Larger

Well, many have asked for it and Leica did have some success with the original MD. Those who bought one LOVED it and understood what it was and bought it because it was a super minimalistic camera. It’s not a camera one buys if you want features, 4k video, image stabilization or even two card slots. It has no video, is manual focus only, and is about as old school as you can get. This puts it in a category that makes it pretty rare as not many will buy this kind of camera.

That just seems to make it even more special for those who own one and enjoy it for what it is.

Voigtlander 50 f/1.2 wide open. What a lens when used on the M10. It was a bit lackluster on the Sony A7RIII in comparison but on the M10 series of cameras, it has some mojo and magic. Not as good as a Leica 50 Summilux but if you are on a budget after spending $8k for an M body, this can be a great way to start your M journey. 

The NEW M10-D Arrives

Leica sent me this camera to review without me even knowing about it. I hopped on a Skype call with them one day about 2 weeks ago and they said “A package is arriving today for you to check out for 2 weeks”. They then went on to tell me what it was, and discuss with me all of the details of this new Leica M10-D, of course, after signing my life away in an NDA ; )

Click image for larger and better. EXIF info is embedded if you want it!

I was thrilled by the news and even suggested to them that they release a Monochom version of this camera, which they replied (and they are 100% correct) that the M as is, is a Niche camera. The M10-D is a Niche within a Niche and a Monochrom version would be a Niche within a Niche within a Niche! Meaning, not a broad audience for that at all! Sure, some hardcore Leica fans would eat it up but is that enough? Probably not. Maybe a limited edition of 25 will make it out in 2019..a Monochrome M-D. Hmmm.

Another wide open at f/1.2. Click it for larger.

WHY I LOVE THE M-D

In a world that is constantly pushing the tech envelope with cameras and companies giving us more than ever before, what Leica is doing here is pedaling backwards it seems. Every day I see people on the internet moan and groan about cameras missing IBIS or Dual Card Slots so here comes Leica to tell them, YOU DO NOT NEED THOSE THINGS to take beautiful photos. Again, you do NOT need them. You may want them, but you do not need them.

I believe that most of these new features are put in cameras to make people feel that the camera will do it all for you. Have shaky hands? Camera will fix that with IBIS! Cant focus right when taking portraits? We will give you EYE AF to be foolproof. Want to be sloppy with your metering skills? That’s ok, we will give you 13 stops of dynamic range so if you screw up, you can fix it! I love tech as much as the next person but sometimes it is just too much, and takes away from the experience of taking an image.

The Leica M10-D changes all of that, in a huge way and that is why it was made.

I have been reviewing cameras for 11 years now and have had the opportunity to shoot with EVERYTHING under the sun. I started with Leica years ago and then I let other more feature rich cameras sway me away from them. For years I then shot Olympus, Sony and now own a couple of Canon cameras including the new EOS-R (which I enjoy for video and stills as well, though it is no Leica). After a while though, shooting some of these other cameras sucked the inspiration and life from my photographic mind, body and soul. I became bored with having 100 features in the camera and having the camera do ALL OF THE WORK for me. When I recollect back over the last 15-20 years of my life, my favorite images of all time and most important work that I am proud of has all been shot with, you guessed it, a Leica. It’s not even close either.

I think I know the reason behind this. 

A Leica has always inspired me to use it. To get up and go even when I did not feel like getting up and going. When I got to where I was going, I was happy I did get up and go, every time.

A Leica, and as silly as this sounds to some, has made me a better photographer but really only WHEN I USE A LEICA. When I use a Canon or an Olympus or other camera with 1001 features I tend to get lazy, and let the camera do it all. Then, the resulting images are, well, boring. There is indeed a sparkle, life and depth to a Leica file no matter what anyone will tell you. While this does not make them worth $8000 for a body only, it is the entire package that can make it worth it to some. Leica gets a lot of hate due to the pricing structure and elitist vibe of their cameras. I agree that the prices are ridiculous but even so, when you own a Leica you own something special. Even those who still shoot an M8 feel it is a special camera, many years after its release, and it is as there is nothing like it.

For me the Leica M10-D inspires. It has a unique quality to images. It uses tiny fast prime lenses. It now does amazing in low light. But buyer beware! It has no tools that will aid you in getting a shot, as that will be all up to YOU. The color from the M10 is fantastic. Using the M10-D keeps all distractions away, and that is not some talk to justify buying one, it is fact. It is built and designed like NO OTHER camera and it is thin, light and built like a tank at the same time. There is something to German engineering!

Three Choices

Today we have three choices in the M10 series of camera. The M10, the M10-P and M10-D. They are all sharp and they also allow for some serious micro contrast with the right lenses. Beautiful depth and color as well and as good as my results are here with the Voigtlander lens, imagine the 50 APO on this camera. Something I have yet to try actually but a dream setup would be one of the M10 cameras and a 50 APO. Expensive but what a combo.

So the M10-D is here, and available to order now for $7,995. Yes, that is expensive but Leica has always been expensive. They have never been “cheap” so to those who complain about their pricing today, not sure why as you should know by now that a real German made Leica will never ever be a cheap purchase. With that said, their previous M-D was $6000, which is $2k less than this one. Not sure why this is but $2k is quite the price increase over a 2 year period. $1000 per year increase in price. Doesn’t seem right.

Many think Leica cameras are only for rich dentists, doctors and lawyers or maybe rich people who like to just own a Leica for the name. I am sure this is true in some cases, as I have seen it, but there are also many passionate shooters who own a Leica because for them it gives them what they want, need and desire in a camera. It inspires and delivers results they like. It can be used in an intimate setting or in any setting you desire as it is discreet and quiet and it doesn’t look like the same camera everyone else uses. It is unique and brings a fresh motivation when you use it.

I know of many who shoot Leica who are far from rich, hell, I am one of them. I have no right buying a Leica as it’s out of my price range but then again, I live in a small modest house, have one car, and do not buy boats, watches or crazy things. I do work every day, morning until night and love photography and also love the gear. Always have, always will.

Life is short, in fact, I can not believe I am now 49 years old (will be in November). Time has flown by so fast and before I know it I will be on my death bed. I want to live life with happiness, positivity, love and also enjoy things I love while I can. If it is within my means or I can make it work, I do so any chance I get. So for me, owning Leica is out of pure love of photography and while I rarely can afford it, I usually find a way to own at least one Leica camera, even if I have to settle for the cheaper lenses ; )

The D is really a P which is really the 10

The Leica M10-D is an M10-P without an LCD, which is an M10 with a softer shutter sound and a few cosmetic changes. Same 24 MP sensor, same performance. Exactly. What you gain in the D is less, and to me, less is always more. Always. I guess Leica feels the same as less = more $$ as well.

Seeing that it is an M10, this means the camera will have a tendency to blow highlights a tad if you are not careful, and you need to learn you way around this which come with practice and metering. It will also give an image rendering closer to the M9 than M240, and many have applauded this as the M9 was a benchmark for Leica IQ for many, even me. But IMO, the M10 surpasses the M9 for IQ, without question. The color is better. The Low Light and high ISO is  better and overall the files are just better.

But yes indeed I truly feel that when it comes to cameras, sometimes less is more. The M10-D is a camera that really has nothing to hold you back (if you truly know how to shoot you do not need all the fancy tricks in a camera), but at the same time, nothing to help you get the shot. For that, it requires your skill, your patience and you getting to know the camera. For me, that is a beautiful thing as when I nail a shot, I know I made the image, not the camera. Sadly, these days the people looking to buy a new camera always feel like they must have MORE MORE MORE. I am here to say what you may need is LESS LESS LESS.

The Leica M10-D is the perfect antidote to boring feature rich cameras that offer flatter images, duller color and a robotic “camera does it all” experience. It really is a unique experience shooting this M10-D, even more so than shooting a normal M. It’s also light and small, and has an amazing thumb grip in the very retro and vintage film cocking lever. Once you use this grip you will not want to be without it.

Leica, please put this in all future versions of the M ; )

Getting Excited…

When you shoot a camera like the M10-D it also gets you excited to get home to see your shots. Since you can not see them on the camera while out shooting, it just adds to the fun of it all. The anticipation, the fun of it and every time I went to look at images from the old MD or this new one, I was always happy with what I saw on the screen.

But one thing that is cool is that with the M10-D we can now see our shots, in the field if we want to.

The Leica Fotos App. 

Something BRAND NEW that launched the same day as the M10-D (today) is the Leica Fotos App. This is a must download if you buy an M10-D because it gives you a choice to review your images on the spot if you so desire. Since you have no LCD on the back of the camera you can now just turn on the app and then turn on the WiFi on the camera and see all of your images, within an instant, on your phone. It will show you the images, automatically as you fire the shutter. It can also show you a live view and allow you to change settings within the M10-D itself. Something you can not do with just the camera alone.

It’s also a quite elegant app and interface. I find this to be a great new part of the MD experience as it allowed to me to check my exposure when shooting the band I am showing here in these images (Ghetto Cowgirl). After checking the first few images on site, I knew I was exposing correctly and then turned off the app and my son and I shot with the M10-P without worry, taking turns with it and the EOS-R which also did well but was a much different shooting experience.

The Fotos app can be used with all Leica cameras, or nearly all of them. The SL, the CL, the TL, the M10 series, etc. I find this a welcome addition to the Leica stable of tools and it is just as easy to get going as the camera is to use.

There it is again, the basics. The “Less is More” philosophy.

The Future

I am not sure what the Future holds for Leica but I do know what the future may hold for cameras in general, and IMO, it’s more of the same. More tech, more features, more of the cameras doing all of the work for you and in essence, sort of replacing the skills of the photographer over time.

The Reality…

The M10 series does not have auto focus. It does not have Eye Detect AF, it does not have in body IBIS, it does not have dual card slots, it does not offer 10-20 FPS, it does not have video modes, 1080 or 4K. It does not have an EVF though one can be aded externally with the Visoflex EVF from Leica if you really want to shoot in Live View mode. It does not have a battery that will last for days (though it does seem to last longer with the M10-D over the M10 as there is no LCD to power). It does not offer pano modes, selfie modes, a swivel out LCD or in the case of the M10-D no LCD at all. With all of this, it is the most expensive full frame digital camera one can get coming in at $7995 without a lens. For this reason and all of the reasons I listed, this is not a camera for the masses or even 95% of you reading this.

Even so, with all of these things missing from the M, I feel this is what makes the cameras so special. Less is More. I am getting tired of new cameras trying to give us everything that IMO, makes me lazy as a photographer. Good photos do not come from the features in a camera, they come from the person behind the camera.

I have been away from the M for a while and feel these new feature packed cameras have made ME lazy, and therefor my results have suffered. My motivation has suffered. I wasn’t sure what it was before and yes, I have cameras I love like the Leica SL and even X1D but this M kicked me in the behind and reminded me what is so special about it, or the M series in general.

It’s funny as I was sure I was done with the M as my eyesight is getting worse every year and using the RF was getting tougher, or so I thought.

Interestingly enough with the M10-D  I nailed focus, even at f/1.2 with this M10-D every time. Hmmm. That wasn’t happening for me my last go round with an M10.

Two more images both shot at ISO 12,500, without any noise reduction. Shot at f/1.2. Pretty impressive. Sharp, has depth and the subject is separated from the background nicely even at a far distance from where I was sitting. 

Final Thoughts

I have already said it all but if you want to go back to your Analog M6 or M7 glory days, this is as close as you are going to get to it in digital form. No film required, just an SD card and a passion to shoot. You can use this camera with the Leica Fotos app or skip it for the full “wait util you get home to see your photos” experience.

I do not know exactly WHY I love this camera but something about the M-D just keeps pulling me back in. No matter how crazy it may sound, I really love this version of the M10 the most just as I did the previous generation M-D.

It’s pricey at nearly eight grand, but for those who can swing it and truly want this experience, I doubt you will be disappointed.

My TRIBUTE to the Leica M: Forever Memories. A must see if you enjoy Leica and want to hear how Leica and the Musician Seal literally saved my life years ago. 

Where To Buy the M10-D

You can buy the M10-d from my list of recommended A+++ dealers below. I have been shopping with these three dealers for over 11 years and they are top notch.

Ken Hansen – Email him at [email protected]

PopFlash.com

B&H Photo

A brand new Beautiful Leica M Bag that will hold one M camera and two lenses. See it HERE. 


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74 Comments

  1. There is a niche – but rather a large one and one that I am a member of – of those who with old age can’t read (or remember) the million different settings on modern cameras and so in the absence of a simplified choice have ditched camera for iphone.

    It’s not just the buttons but also the screen which I only see ‘roughly’ and how many pics I have taken that I look at and see my framing is JUST off.

    For this the simplicity of the camera is what will bring me back from the iphone and the controls that are there will allow me to make the adjustments I need for subject and environment.

    Manual focus for those who like wide angle is not an issue and from the past I would preset based on photo I know I am after. As for exposure I know the final result I want while the million point meter only knows the situation when the picture is being taken.

    So, I will be going for this camera not because I can in any way afford it but because it seems it will offer what I need

  2. I wouldn’t like to spoil the game but cannot one just turn the LCD off in a “normal” Leica? Or the sole LCD existence creates too big a temptation to not to use it? 😉

    • I have the Epson R-D1s with the flip out screen where you can hide the screen. But I still look at it because it’s there (lack of confidence with exposure and composition). I think it helps you to get better with manually controlling the camera if you don’t have the LCD. Hence give you more pleasure later back at home in front of the computer when you nailed. There is definitely a difference being able to check it right there on your small camera screen and later at home in front of your screen.

    • The differences are:

      New one will be thinner (just like the M10, same thickness as an M7), much nicer high ISO (12500 is usable in low light), a better viewfinder, and the different back dial that now includes the on and off, and EV comp instead of ISO. You also gain the ISO dial up top and the thumb grip/lever. IQ will be different, but same as the M10.

    • I own the previous M-D and while I’ve not tried the new one, I did own the M10 and have tried the M10-P.

      I owned the M-D for a year before upgrading to the M10, and then after another year I downgraded BACK to the M-D (Typ 262) and have taken myself off the upgrade hamster wheel.

      The original M-D remains, in my opinion, the most analog of all digital cameras. No, it doesn’t have the wind-lever styled thumb rest, but it’s shutter is more than quiet enough, the sensor wasn’t as good as the M10’s, but again it is more than good enough.

      Where I like the old one better is the ISO dial on the back. I found the M10’s pop-up ISO dial fiddly, and the M-D’s simply perfect.

      I don’t want or need live-view, wifi, EVF or JPG capability. I started on digital rather than analog Ms (though I love shooting my M5) and so the slightly thinner body doesn’t mean much.

      The M-D remains the perfect digital M for me. It is essentially instant-on since it’s computer doesn’t really do anything except control the sensor. It’s battery lasts essentially forever, again because it does nothing except power the sensor. It has far less features than even the new M10-D, which like Steve says and I agree with, less is more.

  3. I always anticipate your Leica reviews, even if the model in question doesn’t interest me much. But this thing is beautiful, I’ll agree there!

    The only objection I have is that Leica could have offered a Monochrom option. Some would say that Leica could also have used a CCD sensor in this model. But that is probably more complicated than it sounds.

  4. I kept thinking why does the ISO dial only go down to 100, when I shoot ISO 60 and even ISO 6 films, then I thought oh well I guess you can dial down the exposure comp. And then I realised, Oh hang on, it’s a digital camera lol.
    OK I am off to shoot my Fed 2 now, it is also a fun camera with no screen 🙂

  5. You hit me right in the gut with the fact that as you age, it is time to use a Leica. I started right out of college with a Konica TC and moved through the world of Olympus and Nikon. I still have a Nikon and Lumix M4/3 system that I sometimes use; however, I recently turned 65 and jumped on the Leica Q. Fresh back from Europe with over 1,400 pictures, I feel a lot different with the Leica. It speaks to me in a way my other cameras don’t. Here is one validation for the point that you make. Some people might have to find this out on their own, I hope at some point they do!

  6. Nice photos Steve, this camera has triggered something special in the creative process…

    So the big question has Debbie noticed the missing 8 grand from your bank account yet?

  7. Great camera. I love its simplicity. It’s shame that Japanese abandoned that line with digital and stopped making simple (digital) cameras like (film) fm or k1000, just aperture on the lens, speed, iso and manual focus. They don’t even make manual lenses anymore. All they do nowadays are well built contraptions in the Casio watch style, with motorized functions and predefined settings. Sad.

    • Yes
      But besides paying just a 10% you can use lots of lenses in most of those bargains and still pretty focusing and measuring exposure and taking beautiful photos.
      The M bayonet won’t couple the rangefinder with those lenses so you will need an extra 600 to get the evf to perhaps give some sense to that camera

  8. Beautifully written and it made me finally realise why I now prefer to shoot with my film Leica’s than my Olympus digital. I feel I am in control and not the computerised camera. Of course, the addition of home processing film helps too, but it is the shooting experience with the Leica that counts.

    Now, do I sell my Olympus gear and buy one, hmmm, decisions!

  9. Dear Leica

    M-11D

    : “FILM WIND” LEVER ADVANCES FRAME.
    Be BRAVE Leica. Don’t be scared. R-D1 EPSON did this you can too.

    : tiny screen in corner of viewfinder thereby
    PARALLAX ERROR CORRECTED, EXTERNAL EVF NEGATED
    see FUJI X100T. It is fine to adopt a fine concept.

    : SIGMA FOVEON sensor …..
    If you think Digital M images sings, wait until you see Leica lenses on Sigma Full Frame Foveon :
    now much more a possibility L Alliance.

  10. Less is more: I have a very fine nearly extinct M6 classic 0,72 with handgrip now for a mere USD 10000 for the discerning connoisseur. Enquiries welcome. As my income doesn`t increase 25% not in two and not even in 25 years, this is a true value offer.

      • The ultimate analog approach is when you leave the film in the fridge and pretend to take pictures by swinging the true leaver that is when the M10-D fails obviously…This approach is so intense that you don’t have to delete your pictures but start to draw the best moments. Real artistic freedom:-)

  11. No rear LCD means less battery power is wasted for playing with images taken. No AF and EVF to begin with. I wonder to which extend this reduces power consumption to level that no longer requires rechargeable batteries. After all, most Leica cameras to date had their design quirks which Leica did not bother to change over decades (film loading, to TTL meter, reverse orientation of shutter speed dial). The M10 and its iterations get closer to perfection much quicker than any Leica before.

    Camera body, the mechanical dials and the optical rangefinder likely will live as long as analog Leica M from the 1950s. But the digital innards will die or will become obsolete almost as soon as on any other digial camera from the Orient. It is a shame and a pain that from then the M10 will be just a doorstop, at best a lensholder for the show cabinett in your living room.

    Leica shoud design the sensor-shutter-processor-battery assembly in a way that the user or at least the Leice service can replace it, like film magazines or digital backs in acient medium format. This would help many potential customers to justify the price as it did with the analog Leica M.

  12. First, the shots accompanying this review are terrific. You have mastered this camera. Well done.

    Second, I have an M10 and the LHSA 50 APO Summicron. The combo is magic. You don’t have to be wealthy to appreciate, have and use fine things. If you can swing it, do it.

    • They will never sell an M at half the price. Leica, for some reason, just keeps getting more and more expensive. The M10 sold pretty well, and still does, at over $7000 a pop. Leica will never ever sell, nor do they want to sell, Sony, Canon or Nikon numbers. They sell enough to make them a healthy and huge profit and at the same time, those who buy them have something special that not everyone has. It’s sort of a win/win for all in a weird expensive way.

      • One day will some company step up and make full frame rangefinder Leica like style body…maybe even for M lenses. After that will be Leica screwed.

  13. Hi,
    Thanks for this review. What I would like to know is, I see 2 buttons on this camera, one on top next to the thumb support and one in front. Will appreciate your input on this.

  14. Great passionate review as always 🙂 Steve very nice and sharp images those were taken with the new voigtlander? Looks like an amazing lens… I just got an m10 and been really loving the camera, I added the Leica hafcase with the back cover and it almost feels like an MD 🙂 what I don’t understand about this new Leica is the lever why build something only for the looks 🙁 yes it can work as a thumbs up, but still looks quite ridiculous to me…. Would have been great if it worked like in the rd1.

    • Thanks! I LOVE the lever, it is the most functional thumb grip I have ever used on an M, so it is very functional and adds to the vintage style as well. No idea why they didn’t go all in and make it functional for the shutter but I am sure there are reasons. Im sure if they did, half of the people would have complained that it was not electronic. Anyway, thank you and yes that is all the new Voigtlander 50 1.2. They have come a long long way over the years and most of their new lenses are actually competitive with Leica for a fraction of the cost.

  15. Thank you for the review and the magic you can take with a Leica. I have had an M9, MP and now M10. I just want to take it out an shoot every day. My DSLR was too heavy and wore me out. The Leica is magic in a “bottle.” Thanks for the inspiration.

  16. I would have liked this camera if the film advance lever actually worked and manually advanced/cocked the shutter. For it to be fake, makes the whole experience fake.
    Just shoot film if you want that experience. It’s real. And everything on film cameras have a real purpose. Not to coddle someone who wants to pretend they are shooting film but actually do not want to put the effort into it.
    Seriously how much more pretentious can one be than by putting on a fake film advance lever?

    • I suppose one could also argue that the rewind knob is fake since it changes the ISO rather than rewinding the film. But it’s not a fake rewind knob. It’s a real ISO dial.

  17. I love this simplistic Leica aproach, and your review. Well, it’s not really simplistic since for me photography is only four controls: speed, aperture, iso and focus (manual). The rest is beyond me. I love this Leica and I don’t understand the japanese tendency to pack 1000 functions in all their photo products. It’s like they think all cameras are like Casio Watches. Why Pentax has been unable to produce a K1000 but digital, or Nikon a real FM but digital is over me. All this Nikon, Canon, etc crap with one zillion capabilities is all right for whoever wants that thing, but give me a solid simple body with real manual lenses. And there is only one brand, Leica. That’s it.

  18. Personally I love it. Years ago when I got my M8 (used) people on the RF Forums were asking what would be a perfect digital Leica… essentially my specs are exactly the MD. Simple analog controls, no screen, and full frame. Perfect. I really don’t use the screens on my M8 or Fuji anyway; I prefer reviewing them afterward like film. Anyway, here is hoping that a lot of people buy it and hate it so I can buy one used… 🙂

  19. I don’t want to say told you so.
    So I’m going to say it now.

    That “film wind” lever will be first thing to malfunction.

    Reason is simple : there are no full body mechanical components supporting it like in full analog Leica.

    • I will disagree as there is nowhere it can fail from what I can see. It’s not plastic, none of it is. There is simply no where that it can fail. It is also not floppy, nor loose. It will not extend unless you pull it out. But I guess time will tell.

      • Epson R-D1 wind lever advanced to next frame.

        M-10D lever is a Dummy because Leica knows they couldn’t make it reliable.

        Time will tell how grinding it gets.

        BTW one benefit of this lever is street photography : people will think it is analog and won’t get angry that they being filmed or are going to get put on Facebook, Instagram or some forum.

  20. Oh Steve! I love your niche within a niche reference for this camera. But really? Does this hearken back to the old days of film cameras? You bet!. But not in a good way. I have been a photographer for over 50 years, mostly with 35mm SLR’s. And I can tell you I would never go back to the ‘good old days’, where some of my best hoped for shots were either a bit out of focus or suffered from camera shake. And I never knew it until I got home and the photographic moment was long past. Of course, now you can lug along your iphone to check the quality of the moment. But isn’t that a bit NUTS!, the camera in one hand and the iphone in the other? No Steve. I’m not buying your adulation for this product. It’s just another one of Leica’s niche within niche creations that cater to the rich.

  21. Let me see if I understand: this camera is designed to avoid unnecessary distractions, but just in case I want to review my photos “in the field” I can see what I’ve done if I can manage to juggle the camera and the iPhone at the same time “in the field.” My M10-P has an LCD, which I can turn off to avoid distractions, but I can switch it on to see what I’ve done all while leaving my iPhone in my pocket. Chacun à son goût – I guess.

    • Well the whole point of the M-D is to NOT check. To avoid even the thought of that. The option IS there but in reality, you do not want to use it. When I owned the original MD that was never an option and it was a beautiful thing. This camera has every control you need at your fingertips. No muss, no fuss, no stress, no worry, not thinking about what mode you need to be in. Just pure photography. With that said, I almost bought it but did not as I may get an MP because as you said, the option is there but in a much easier way. This camera is for the purist, who do not want to ever check their photos. Who want a full film experience in a digital world.

      • for the purist? oh come on Steve. You can chimp if you get the EVF or use the iPhone app. I do understand when less is more, I own the Monochrom and love it, but this M-D/M10-D is gimmicky and this “analog soul” marketing is a bit disingenuous.

        • Cant chimp using the EVF, so no can do. I wouldn’t use the app if I owned the camera. I sort of wanted to so I could test it, but once I did, it was all over. But even with the EVF you can not review photos. It is strictly for taking the shots, period. It does have analog soul, I have used it and owned the last one. It is a different experience without question and yes, for purists which is who will but it. Thanks.

    • The LCD screen on the M10 annoyed me, it stuck out and felt unfinished. The MD I had before it felt much better in my hands. I am sure thIs camera would feel even better.

    • I have never met one photographer who does not have a mobile phone. With that said, I wouldn’t use the app with this camera. I did to test and try it, and the option is there but I feel it takes away from the camera.

  22. I remember the greater sense of involvement I had when shooting Nikon film cameras when no autofocus lenses were available. There was a feeling of accomplishment when nailing focus on action shots. It is good to be mindful of what we lose with new technology as well as what we gain. Using a camera like the Leica M10-D might provide a more satisfying shooting experience that can complement using more automated gear.

  23. Hi!
    About six years ago I had had it with digital,there was no challenge anymore. So now I shoot film, color and black and white, SLR, TLR, rangefinder, with or without a built in light meter, format 11 x 24mm to 6x9cm. I have cameras like the 6×9 Fuji GL690 rangefinder which cost me 200 dollars.

    Stave Huff nails it about the rewards of the minimalistic experience. It makes such a difference. I don’t want a machine that does everything for me except compose.

    I’m back two weeks from a three week trip to San Francisco, shooting a 6×6 TLR. 480 photos, color. Hope to print 40. Of course I missed shots which I wouldn’t have missed using a modern digital camera. Often I spent minutes getting it perfect, searching, walking around, figuring out the light, guessing DOF, deciding, after discovering a composition. I still take too many shots.

    This Leica is great, I understand it. But there’s no problem vat all to get the same experience, and maybe even better, starting from about 2.5% of the Leica cost: buy a film camera!

    Dirk.

    • Dirk,
      You are on to something. The most fun I have had in recent years was with my MP, 1 roll of film, 2 lenses (35mm and 50mm), and a day or two to take photos. Also I have 3 film cameras and 3 digital cameras, and I keep thinking I have too many digital cameras (but not too many film cameras). How can someone shoot digital but get the experience of film? That’s the real question.
      Thank you!!
      Jerry

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