The new Leica M10 is Here! My Review in Photos and Video.


The new Leica M10 is Here! My Review in Photos and Video. 

By Steve Huff


Just. Wow. I can not believe this day has come! To me, time has just flown by too quickly. It seems like yesterday when I was waiting at my door and living in Southern Illinois for the UPS man to deliver my long awaited Leica M8. YES, this is a review of the brand spanking new Leica M10 but first I want to talk about what led me to this review, and my history with the digital Leica M as I have been here from the start and even before (with an M7 and MP)…

The 1st Digital Leica M, the M8. Leica has come a long way with the digital M but then again, much has stayed the same.

The M8 brings back great memories of a time in my life when my son was young, we had so much fun every single day and my Leica M8 was with me every day.

My passion was so high, and my love for the Leica brand at that time was so intense that M8 could have done no wrong in my eyes. Even with its many flaws back then, I loved, adored and used that camera to death. In fact, the M8 is the camera responsible for starting this very website when it was in its 1st version at another domain! It inspired me so much I wanted to review it, and there were maybe 1-2 reviews of it online (before the big camera review blog boom).  That M8….it was a beauty to me even with its cropped sensor and purple issues (to those with the M8 you know what I mean, lol). Sadly when I switched domains from an old Apple iWeb sit to this one, my M8 review was lost. But it was an amazing camera at the time…for ITS time.

The M8 and 50 Summilux Asph. The M8 had a way of really making some striking imagery. OF COURSE this was processed in Photoshop a tad 😉

It’s a fact! That M8 could shoot as high as ISO 320 with minimal noise! Try to shoot at iso 640 and look out, noise city. It hosed up at times, froze up and also my rangefinder went out of whack 3 times in a year. But I still loved it as for me, it created images that at the time, no other camera could match. Remember folks back when the M8 was announced on September 14th 2006 we were living in a DSLR world. Canon and Nikon ruled the day and mirrorless was just starting to be born. The M8 provided those who valued build, design, simplicity, small size and a crisp Leica look to their photos from using the beautifully compact Leica M lenses.

But alas, 3 years later and the M8 was getting old we wanted more!

The BIG One. The Arrival of the Leica M9 on 09/09/09

M fans wanted the full frame digital M and everyone said “It’s not possible” but our dreams came true and in September of 2009, 3 years later, when the Leica M9 was announced. It finally arrived! The full frame Leica M9 digital…The hype was there and the hype was real. This was a historic moment for Leica as they were bringing in the worlds first full frame rangefinder and guess what? Also the worlds first full frame mirrorless camera. Yep, the M9 and all M’s are mirrorless, so the M9 was indeed the world’s 1st full frame Mirrorless camera.

But issues also came with the M9. We soon found out that some lenses, like wide angle lenses would have issues on the full frame Rangefinder but even so, it sold like hotcakes for Leica and they could not keep it in stock. Lenses were selling like mad and the used market for some lenses….well, they were selling for more than they would new. Leica had a goldmine with the M9. To many, the M9 is still the preferred Leica digital M. For me, I shot some killer images with that camera and took it with me on the SEAL Tour through Europe in what became one of the great memories of my life. That camera and the Noctilux, at the time, was the Holy Grail for me. My M9 review, called “My Big Bad Ass Leica M9 Review” was written and I then went on to write so much about that camera my site was being known as a Leica camera blog. See my old M9 review HERE. 

Shot with the Leica M9 in Paris during a live performance (not staged) – The cover for Seal’s “Soul 2” CD

But as always, new tech comes in and camera companies start feeling the squeeze from consumers and the masses. Video was making its way to cameras of all shapes and sizes, mirrorless was here in the form of Micro 4/3, APS-C and Full Frame and it was getting hot, and live view was something that almost all modern day cameras had. Leica decided that the next modern day M would feature new modern tech. It was to be the M of the modern day and therefore a new naming scheme had to be in place. Gone were the numbers like M8, therefore NO M10 here. Nope, this was to be called the M 240! Oh, I mean the M Typ 240. Huh? What? Me, I was never a fan of that naming scheme. But with its big beefy red dot (that some hated) and just the big bold M on the front, it looked as if it meant business.

The M Typ 240 – The Modern Day M

The M 240 was announced in September of 2012, three years after the M9 and 6 years after the M8. It was clear Leica was on a 3 year cycle, and that is exactly what Stefan Daniel of Leica told me as I sipped some brews with him on a beach in Mexico after the M9 came out 😉 True story. Now I was not there on that beach for a big Leica meeting, in fact I was there for a totally different reason that had nothing to do with cameras or Leica. He happened to be there too, so we chatted for a bit. Fun times for sure 😉

Me, Seal, Stefan Daniel and Stephen K shooting with and talking M cameras (the M9 mostly) back in 2012. Funny as what did I have with me? An analog MP! But all of us here had and still have a huge passion for Leica M cameras. Stefan has been with Leica since he was a young lad. 

But back to the M 240… it was announced and some were put off by the features that were added…video, live view with a huge EVF on top that was as laggy as could be, and some thought the body was thicker than ever but in reality it was the same size as the M8 and M9. It just seemed meatier due to the new thumb grip added and the overall vibe. Many hated on the M240.. but me, I loved it to death. My review was HUGE, see it here to refresh. I mean, here we were finally with an M that can shoot over ISO 1250 and get usable results. Here we were with an M that had a real modern day LCD screen, a new sensor that had great dynamic range, and a new bad ass battery system that lasted a long long time. It seemed to have it all for anyone but still SOME of the Leica purists hated it and some purists loved it as they knew what had to be done to be competitive, and BTW, these were all IMO great improvements. It still looked like the M8 and M9 with some minor tweaks and the backside looked awesome.

The M 240 with 50 Noctilux

I owned one on and off for the last four years as I would buy, sell when I needed cash and then buy again when I had a cash surplus. I always always missed it when it was gone. But one thing to note here is that the 3 year upgrade path was now gone. It was going on 4+ years and no new M. Sure, we had stripped down models like the M262 but it used the same sensor as the M 240. Just stripped away the video and bloaty features some did not like.

But at its core, they were all pretty much the same. M240, M262, M-D (just no LCD screen on the M-D)

Many said the “POP and BITE” of the M9 was missing in the M240, but even though I agreed at first, later on I realized it just took different processing to match that look, or come very close. Some could not choose between an M9 file and M 240 file when put side by side unmarked. So was there a difference? Sure, but it was slight. What the big difference was, IMO, was the extended dynamic range in the new sensor with a lower standard contrast. That to me, was a good thing but for some it seemed to take away the character of the M9. Many even start a petition to try to get Leica to come out with a CCD sensor M again. Me, I never wanted that as CCD is so so limited especially for low light or higher ISO. I knew whatever Leica had planned for their next M would be “the one” as they would take all they have learned, take all customer feedback and create the best M ever!

Well, that was my hope and wish. 

As time went on, Photokina 2016 came and went and no sign of a new Leica M. I WAS SURE there would be one announced there but no go. I mean, it was the 10th Anniversary of the digital M as of September 2016! But no sign of the new M.

Eventually rumors were a brewing and someone, somewhere spilled the beans on what the new M10 would be. But I try to never ever quote rumor sites as they make money off of outing camera releases when others have to follow NDA, and we never know what is accurate in those rumors 😉 Some have the feeling that those of us who do the real work evaluating cameras to try and earn a living get bit in the ass by signing an NDA thanks to rumor sites. We can not talk about it but rumor sites can and they profit from it. But in all reality,my view is different. To me, it doesn’t matter. This review for example…it will be read and viewed by tens of thousands of people because unlike the rumor sites, I have had the M10 in hand now for a week or so, and it will be longer by the time this is finished. So in the end, I think Rumor sites just fuel excitement. All is good. You guys are here as you want to read and see what a guy who actually used the camera thinks about it, so in the end those of us who follow the NDA end up winning anyway, as we have the trust of the manufacturers to be able to shoot these cameras early. So again, all is good..all is GREAT. 😉

So here we go…THE NEW M10 from Leica has arrived…

Here we are in January of 2017 and finally Leica has announced the new M, and it is called the M10! Now, I would have thought they would have called it the M11 or just M again with a funky slew of numbers like Typ67655454 but Leica told me they are done with the numbers, at least when it pertains to the M. They wanted to go back to the old way and call it the M10 which I applaud. I never was a fan of the “type” numbers. I mean, M10 sounds majestic…it sounds as it should. It sounds classic, like a camera that has been around the block for many years and is not in its 10th version. IT HAS TO BE GOOD right?

Well, it is not good.


Leica M10 and 50 Summilux ASPH – CLICK FOR LARGER AND BETTER!

While it is an M at its core and honestly not much different from an M 240 or M9 in looks, what is under the hood has had me impressed all week long. Here is a list of the new key changes to the new M10 over the previous M 240:

  1. It is now thinner, which is what so many have asked for over the years since the fat fireplug looking M8. It is now the same thickness as an analog M7 and you CAN INDEED feel it when you hold it. When you attach a 50 Lux or 35 Lux or whatever M lens and pick up the camera it feels to me, almost exactly like an M7. It’s finally at the right size for those who wanted the thinner digital M. It also seems to give the illusion when using it that it is a film M. Not sure why because we know it is pure digital but that feeling is sublime in the hand. Those new to an M would say “Whats the big deal” but those with an M history like me, you will appreciate it. Really. You will.
  2. The new ISO dial up top. Many thought this would be an exposure comp dial including me but it is an ISO dial. Fear not though, the back thumb dial can EASILY be configured for exposure comp (see my detailed video here at the top of the page, 20 minutes of the camera) and that is how I immediately set up this review unit. Now I have ISO up top and EV comp at my thumb. What makes the ISO dial so cool is that one can now just glance at the camera and see all of the settings. No need for any use of the menu. ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. All at a glance. What is also nice is that the ISO dial has an “M” mode. One can go into the menu and set up the M mode to be any ISO they want up to ISO 50,000. I have mine set to ISO 12500 so if I want that extra UMPH I just twist the dial to M and I have that extra ISO boost, and ISO 12500 looks AWESOME.
  3. New 24MP sensor. Yes this is an ALL NEW sensor and Leica was quite clear to me about this. It also has the micro lenses all adjusted for even better performance with wide angle M lenses. It can go up to ISO 50,000 which is ground breaking for an M! That usually means ISO 6400 will be pretty nice and I am happy to report the high ISO of this camera is AWESOME. Up there with the better modern day cameras. I even have some ISO 25k shots here that are rich in color, sharp and minimal noise (considering it is 25k) but as always the key is to nailing exposure, or nailing it in the RAW processing 😉
  4. New button layout that is minimalist.
  5. New Maestro V2 processor and bigger buffer. The M can now shoot 5 FPS and go up to 100 JPEGS before hosing up. 100 JPEGS in a row for an M? Insane! It can do something like 36 RAW files.
  6. New battery level and info display. Just press the center button on the Dpad anytime and see your details like SD card stats and battery life.
  7. ALL NEW battery system. To some this will be a bummer as you can not use any previous digital M battery in the new M10. But you guys wanted it thinner so you must pay the price! In battery size and life. The battery is now smaller and therefore will not last as long as the M 240 battery but I will say this. I shot 500 frames and have 65% left. I did not use live view and did not chimp, at all. A friend of mine in the review buz was getting less but he was using live view and chimping. This battery lasts much longer than my Sony A7RII batteries (of which I have 6).
  8. New shutter and it sounds great.
  9. New larger FOV in the Rangefinder. 0.72 Magnification. Look through it and compare to the M240 and you will see a larger view as it is larger. Sadly your old diopters will not fit as the eyehole is larger. Leica will be selling an adapter kit though to fit your diopters of the past. With this RF you can easily see the 28mm frame lines without glasses on. It also appears brighter to me. Nice nice nice.
  10. It now has WiFi and can be used with the Leica app for iOS, coming soon to Android.
  11. You can use the EVF from the T if you want to use an EVF. Lag has been minimized but it is still a little laggy. You can also move the focus point around with the thumb pad on the back when magnified.
  12. Finally, in my use there has been ZERO bugs, glitches or issues. Turn on, and its ready to shoot in about a second. Image review is quick and speedy. Camera is very responsive.

THE M10: As always, click images for larger!

1st one 35 Summilux ASPH at f/1.4

50 Summilux ASPH  -VSCO Tri-X Filter Applied

50 Summilux ASPH

So I have only had the M10 in my hands for a week or so and 3 of those days were in NYC while traveling to meet with Leica so they could tell me all about the new M, and the fact that they listened to customer feedback when creating this. They said a huge number of M users asked for a thinner M, and this is what they concentrated on first and foremost. They had to rearrange everything inside the body to get it to be as thin as the analog M7, and yes indeedy they succeeded! They tell me it is the same width as the M7, and holding  them side by side…it sure was. That in itself is an amazing feat considering this is a full frame sensor camera. Leica was able to get this M back to basics and back to their old analog feel.

M10, 50 Lux

The M10 and 35 Summilux ASPH

As I was handed over the camera from Leica’s Stefan Daniel I was immediately impressed with the feel of it. I mean, it feels amazing and to me it felt thin at first..I was thinking…“wait! This feels much thinner than the 240 even though it is not a huge difference”. But take a look at the bottom plate and you will immediately see how thin it is. 

This camera has all of the qualities in the build as your fave analog M does.

Some photos of the new M10


What really excited me is the brand new 24MP sensor inside of this guy. Leica says it is an all new sensor, not a rehashed sensor. So this means it is not the sensor that is in the Q and SL. It has also been designed to make the most from your M lenses, and deliver the corrections with those wide angle lenses that are better than ever. Use a 6 bit coded lens and you will be golden. Now, since I have only had this for a week I have not had access to the really wide angle lenses but my 28 Lux is looking good on the camera.

The detail is there! 100% crop – click it!

The big one..HIGH ISO. With this new sensor comes something that digital M owners or even Analog M owners never had access to, ever. FACT: This M10 delivers the best low light performance of any M ever created, and that is a fact. Where some experienced banding with the M240 at ISO 6400, crank the M10 up to 12500 if you like…GO AHEAD, IT’S OK!

ISO 12500 with the M, 50 Lux f/1.4 – Click it for Larger

In fact, that is one thing I love about the new ISO dial up top on the camera. As I talked about in the video overview above at the top of the page, the dial has ISO selections up to 6400, where you can get pretty damn clean images. But if you need more, that extra ISO speed bump there is an ‘M” setting which is your manual ISO setting. In the menu you can set what ISO value that you want that M setting to be, so I set mine at 12500. When 6400 is not enough bump it up!

But how about a more extreme ISO setting? How about ISO 25,000? How about ISO 25,000 IN COLOR?

1st shot. Nail the exposure and you can do ISO 25k in color, that looks this good. Click it for larger.

Here is a B&W at 25k ISO..

And at the bar with ISO 25k – 50 Lux at 1.4

As with any camera and sensor, ISO performance will vary depending on the light available to you, and your exposure. If you shoot in a dark cave at ISO 25K you will get gobs of noise. If you shoot where there is a little bit of light you will get much better performance. But in the top 25K ISO shot above that place was lit by ONE small red light bulb, and of course the light on his music stand. It’s a notoriously tough place to shoot and I have tried every M here and the only one that could put out a usable image was the Leica Monochrom. But now, the M10 can do it with ease.

ISO 12500 – 28 Lux at 1.4

The Details of High ISO and the M10

Since this new sensor is finally going to give us great high ISO performance, let’s take a closer look at what it can do. Here are a couple of shots that show the impressive results of normal high ISO’s around 3200-6400…this is one of the major improvements over the M it needs to be discussed.

OK 1st shot, FULL SIZE FILE HERE! Click it for larger and to see the performance of ISO 5000. Taken through a hotel window nonetheless. 50 Summilux ASPH. THIS IS astounding for an M camera. 

ISO 6400 from the same it.

ISO 3200 at night on the street. 50 Lux.

ISO 6400 in my house, no external lighting, just our lamp in the corner on. Evening time. 50 Lux 1.4

So it is safe to say that the new M is looking really good at higher ISO. With the combo of this new sensor and the amazing fast beautiful lenses we now have a TRUE no compromise Leica M. Shoot it anytime and anyplace. Truth be told, the sensor reminds me of a crisper version of the SL sensor. Seems to have the same color signature of the SL.

Weather Seals

This new M10 is also water and dust resistant. It has seals to keep rain out. With that said, it is not designed for a downpour and the lenses are NOT weather sealed but it can be taken out and if it rains, you can still shoot without worry. Many shoot their film M’s in the rain and lenses are fine, so it’s nice to see some sealing on this M10 as well.

The New Rangefinder Viewfinder. 

The new RF window is large and has a great FOV. With a 28mm lens attached we can now see the framelines with room to spare, if you do not wear glasses of course. The viewfinder is also larger so your old diopters will not work but Leica is selling adapters for use with your old diopters or you can buy new ones that fit the M. Looking through the viewfinder is a big improvement from the M240, in fact it is like night and day. Its big, bright and the frame lines do glow with a white color. No more option for them to be red, which I preffered….but I was in the minority there. Either way the framelines are bright and clear and the camera is a breeze to focus and shoot.


You can also attach the EVF from the T (see the video to see what it looks like) and yes, you can move the focus point with the thumb pad on the back when magnified. The camera will auto magnify when you turn to focus your lens. It is still a little laggy but much better than the very laggy M 240 EVF experience.

Was so nice to be out shooting with this new M10. It’s fast, responsive and yet has no bloat. No features we do not want. The buffer now allows up to 36 RAW files or 100 JPEGS to be shot before it is filled. It can also do 5FPS but I am a one snap at a time guy, even if using uber fast new cameras. I feel an M should be 1 FPS 😉 but many like the fact that it can now do 5FPS, thanks to the new Maestro V2 processor inside the camera. 


THE BACK: The new button layout

The back of the new M10 is simple. Three square buttons. One for live view (yes there is live view) and one for play and one for menu. What is awesome about this new M10 is that once you set up the menu settings to your liking, you really never have to go into the menu again though the menu is simple and very easy to navigate and understand. No 10 pages with sub levels of settings. This is not a computer type of camera it is a photographers camera. To me, it is exactly what a Leica M should be, and what it stands for. In this modern day Leica has guts to go back to basics but it truly is inspirational to use. Never do we have to worry about what settings are what as we can see EVERY SETTING WE NEED by glancing down at the top of the camera. ISO, Exposure and Aperture. I set my thumb dial to Expsosure Compensation, and I show how to easily do this in the menu 😉

When I first was walking around with the camera I could not for the life of me figure out how to see the battery life remaining. I was out shooting for 2 hours and wondered if my battery was near death. Turns out to easily check stats and your battery life all you have to do is press the center button on the D-Pad/Thumb Pad on the back. It will come up with a screen showing battery life remaining and shots remaining, etc. Easy as can be. One button, bingo. BTW, there is no touch screen here.


The new Battery system is now slimmer. Yep, new battery folks. You wanted a slimmer camera so you must get a slimmer battery as the old one would be too thick to fit. Leica says there is less battery life but I shot in NYC and locally over the week and still am on the same charge from my 1st battery. But then again, I shoot 1 frame at a time, and I do not take shot after shot of nothing. I also do not chimp (I got so used to the MD) so battery life can last a while if you do not go nuts.

The M240 Stays in the Lineup?

Leica told me that the M240 will remain in the lineup. It will still be offered for those who want the video feature, larger battery system, etc. I think they have quite a few left in stock and need to get rid of them. BUT, they did say they will discount the M 240 if you buy with a lens, but it would have to be a healthy discount IMO. Me…well, I am fond of that 240 but this M10 to me, is the best digital M created for performance, feel, and speed (buffer). The new sensor rocks here my friends, and I think once I really get out and give it a  true workout with some better image opportunities it will really shine. As I said, this is a slim, no compromise super polished M. NO issues here that I have come across in real world use. None. No hang ups, no freezes, no funky colors or AWB performance, no issues at all. For a new digital M that is rare! But depending on how much discount they put on the 240 time will tell if they can still sell them.

The M10 – click them for larger. EXIF is embedded.

So what are my thoughts on the M10 after 1 week?

I wish I had the camera for at least 4 weeks before I wrote this review but hey, I was thrilled and happy to get it for the week that I did. During this week I have learned that the M10, for me, is indeed the best digital M ever made. Hell, to me it is the best M ever made period. It can shoot in situations that film never could, it feels like a film M, it looks like a film M, it has a modern day LCD and low light abilities that rival cameras like the Sony A7s series. (almost).

The color and snap of the sensor is part Leica Q and part Leica SL. It’s different yet again from the M 240, M9 and M8 but I have never seen this nice of color from an M using AWB out of the gate. The M 249 had a weird Magenta issue when it was released and Leica had to come up with a firmware fix for it, and another, and another until they finally got it right.

Today with so many cameras out there that can take an amazingly beautiful image, the M10 has some serious competition that comes in at much less than this M10. But remember, shooting with an M is an experience that is not for all as it is nothing like shooting any other camera made today. It is not like the Q, not like an EM1, not like any Sony and not like any Fuji. It is an M, period. You must be ok with manual focus, you must be ok with using a rangefinder and you must have deep deep pockets.

For me, the M is a camera you bond with. Once you fall in love with a Leica M, it is with you for life. You always have that emotional attachment and you always gravitate back to it. I have shot with all of the Leica M digitals and I loved them all, honestly. This M10 though is on another level for sensor performance, ISO performance, and the viewfinder is nice and large and brighter than ever.

It still has live view and for that you would use the EVF from the Leica T, the one that looks like a porthole. You can add that to the top and use live view or the back LCD. If you compare it to the SL or even an Olympus EM1 MKII, it is a little laggy but nothing like the lag of the M 240 when using the EVF. I am not a fan of the add on EVF, so I would not use it but Leica did send one along with me to try, and it was nice. Just not my thing with an M.

I look forward to shooting this more and more and truly seeing what this sensor can do. I will be posting updates on the M10 throughout the next 2-3 months so updates and more thoughts are on the way.

But in all reality, this review, even though it is part 1, went over everything there really is to go over.

  • It’s slimmer and now the size of an M7
  • It has a slimmer battery, so you will need to buy new batteries
  • It has a new 24 MP sensor with more pop and contrast than the M240
  • It has a larger buffer to allow 100 JPEGS or 36 RAW to be shot before hosing up
  • Has a new ISO dial and new M ISO setting
  • New “favorites” section in menu (see video)
  • Works better with all M glass, wide angles (when coded)
  • Low light capability is amazing, best of any M ever
  • Has some weather sealing
  • Has live view on the LCD or when using the EVF

The Bottom Line?

If you love the Leica M, you will LOVE this camera. It’s the best they have made for an M digital and it just works. It is shipping now and hold on to your heart…don’t have the big one! The Leica M10 comes in at $6595 and also launch with a slew of accessories from half cases to grips to a thumbs up style thumb grip that Leica has made.

If you are interested in the M10, it is SHIPPING NOW and I recommend the dealers below. Mine arrives FRIDAY which is awesome as I just had to send back my review unit 😉 

Mine came from Ken Hansen, Leica dealer extraordinaire! 

Dealers I recommend and yes, some may have stock NOW!

Ken Hansen – E-mail him at – Tony Rose will help you out!

B&H Photo 

Amazon – LINK Coming

Leica Store Miami


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  1. Every Leica M is an M3 thats been fiddled with. Not always for the better. An M2 was good fiddling, M1 had rangefinder-ectomy fiddling, M4 OK fiddling, and the beginning of viewfinder clutter. M5 inspired, but unloved by the market fiddling. M6 good meter fiddling while increasing frame clutter fiddling. M7 the beginning of bloat fiddling, (its thicker than an M3/2/4/6) Not by much but thats all it takes to dehappy haptics. The M10 is the 3rd attempt to fiddle an M3 into the 21st century. The M8 ‘was a Leica Jim’ but not with a frame as we knew it: let alone that it needed filters to get over its analogue hangover and understand the digital world. In its tackling of digital , the M8 was like those who get into the pool slowly, gingerly one toe at a time. The M9 was a a bit more like an arschbombe, (German for cannonball dive). I liked it, used it but I was never in love with it. However that first Monochrome was an M3 forever loaded with digital tri X. I loved that Monochrome once I tig welded my Noctilux to it. The 240 known to its friends as Chunky and with video. Video ! Thats like Ms Prim the bun haired maths teacher offering you ‘extra curricular tuition’ if you know what I mean. The 240 was the kind of camera that if it threatened you in an alley you give it your money before sobbing on Flickr. But now the M10, hopefully is 3rd time lucky, looks great, and I have one on order, through the wonderful London Red Dot. I respect my SL but it will go to pay for the M10; as with a 24/90 zoom its to big, may as well get out the wheel barrow and go medium format and as for the 90/280 zoom gives great images while building biceps. That should be straining biceps and my biceps failed. The greatest digital Leica IMO ‘evah’ is the Q. It lets me shoot slow film on my beloved M3/2/6/MA and then bails me out in low light emergencies. Still the M10 , looks as if it might be the M3 for now, I look forward to getting it. Thanks for the M10 review Steve.

  2. Hi Steve – Great review, your passion shines through, so much so that I visited my nearest Leica store and played around with the M10 a number of times. I subsequently fell in love with it and have now placed an order (3 month wait). Now I need to decide whether to go for the Summarit or Summicron 35mm route for my first M lens. Anyway, you have definitely gained another fan in respect to your site and I look forward to following you going forwards. Thanks again for the intro to the M10!

  3. Hi Steve, I am wondering if got the same problem I got with the M10. It seems that the exposure metering stays stuck at center weighted, even though I am selecting either spot metering our multi-field. When I review the pics the camera always says it’s center-weighted…

    • When using the RF you will always have center weighted. When using Live View you have the options for metering. So if you are using the RF, you can not change the metering.

  4. Thanks for the comprehensive review. I have an M9 from it’s first year and love it. (my son at architecture school frequently borrows it, has produced amazing stuff—Euro trips…lots of milage). The M10 seems to be what I would love in a street camera with the ISO boost, and the handling characteristics.

  5. Hi Steve,
    Thank you for sharing the strong images from the muslim travel ban protest. Excellent B&W documentary work.

  6. I think this is for Leica M fanatics only, but even for them I think Leica has made an awful mistake. Two things stand out, the fact that for photographers with eyesight problems you now have to get a diopter correcting eyepiece with the M10 and to change battery or card you have to take off the bottom plate of the camera. This is like, hairshirt stuff.

    I have never bought into the Leica system as it’s limitations would get in my way for my style of photography but I have used an M6 and can see it’s appeal for the people who like owning classic and beautiful things, but for photographers who want a camera to get out of the way of creating images, why would you buy one that makes life difficult?

    This is not the camera which will save Leica from going the way of the dodo. It’s a shame because Leica, whether you like and use the cameras or not, have always had the reputation of excellence. The huge SL and now this M10 are the last throws of the dice for Leica as a camera company. The comments on here like “wow”, “awesome” to describe a 24 megapixel camera costing over 6000 dollars, body only, indicate that there is a waiting bunch of prospective purchasers that will always buy the latest from Leica, whatever it’s abilities as a camera.

    • “Two things stand out, the fact that for photographers with eyesight problems you now have to get a diopter correcting eyepiece with the M10 and to change battery or card you have to take off the bottom plate of the camera. This is like, hairshirt stuff.”

      Umm, exactly how the M has been since…forever. Worked then, and works now.

      BTW, this camera is selling like mad, M9 numbers here. It is doing VERY well for Leica and M users are adoring it. So Leica has a success here.

      • It’s a thing of beauty to be sure and I’m glad it’s selling well. When I wanted to own one I couldn’t afford it. Now I can afford it I I don’t want one, only because in my old age I just love SLRs, DSLRs, autofocus, ibis, EVFs and all the other advances that have taken place in the industry.

        I appreciate your delight in getting the M10 and I hope you’ll enjoy the experience.It will always appeal to those who want the best, and of course the rangefinder mode of shooting.

        What’s best for me now though, is the enjoyment of walking my City (London) with my fantastic little Canon 100D, so light, small and capable and taking pictures. Hardly in the same league as the Leica but that’s me, trying to screw excellent pictures out of cheap cameras like the 100D (SL1)

        Thanks for your efforts in running the site, even if I don’t buy these lovely things you review, I sure like reading about them.

  7. Great review, Steve. Thanks! I have a 35mm Summicron v4 non-ASPH. Do you have an opinion about how that lens would perform on the M10?


  8. A quick 1million$ question! Regarding only image quality, do you prefer an SL with its new 50mm Lux or the new M10 with a 50mm M Lux?

    I ask that cause I own a SL, and I really love it. Now I’m about to buy the new Lux for SL but it costs really a fortune, so I want to think a little bit more! I always loved the M but I need a “pro” camera cause I work with it…so…keep going with SL and get the new Lux…or wait and maybe buy an M10 as second camera? Midnight thoughts… your opinion about that sooo welcome;)

    THANKS as usual for your great REAL WORLD reviews, cheers

    • The M10 is MUCH better with all M glass. Like a different lens. It is more like the M9 rendering but with better color, sharpness, contrast, AWB, etc. I sold my SL to fund the 10.

      • Really? I tried M10 yesterday at a Leica store. Great stuff, just took a couple of pictures with M10 with 35lux and my SL with 24-90. The AWB works really in two different ways…I found SL image a little bit more “3D” at same apertures, but it’s just my opinion and I really can’t say for sure after some shots inside a store. Image quality is at top with both system, both are a joy to use but the new M is thin, light etc…and rangefinder is always a wonderful shooting experience

  9. “Just wow” – I think Steve is being a bit over enthusiastic. I have a M240 which I love except for its primative add on copied EVF. I would purchase this camera if I did not already own the M240 but this is like a minor upgrade after all these years. I will wait for the M11. I am delighted to see video gone and the thinner version being nice but I am not unhappy with the current thickness. From an image point of view this is not a major upgrade after all these years.

    • ITS A HUGE UPGRADE, this sensor is the best Leica has ever put in any of their cameras…wait for more. I doubt we would see an M11, ever. For an M, I do not see this getting better, there is nothing to improve here.

  10. Hi Steve,

    Quick question about the viewfinder. Can you see the 28mm frame lines if you are wearing glasses? I hope it is a “yes” now that they have increased the eye relief.


    ps… keep up the the good work! I sent you a little something via paypal… and I really do hope that you can make lots more than 500$ All the best.

  11. Steve, please do a side by side M240 & M10 portrait shots with DNG files available in your full review. You are mentioning colour. So, it’s important to see skin tone difference between the two. And DNG – so we can try & process it how we do it (e.g. I use VSCO and don’t care much about out of camera performance). With M240 being sold for about 2k EUR less when in a kit, it’s a metric worth considering.

    • I will do my best to try. I can tell you without question the sensor in the M10 is stunning. I just scratched the surface here. It has the M9 pop for sure, but the best color output of any M sensor to date, without question. Plus low light is amazing. Skin tone is no contest, M10 all the way. But more to come soon.

  12. I love everything about it….just one question…. is the shutter sound louder then M240?

  13. I played with Leica M10 yesterday and I was instantly in love. Slimmer, sexier than M240, un complicated buttons, ISO dial – great. M cameras are highly flawed in this advanced digital age – all of them – think about archaic remote cable release mechanism, the sheet metal dust-grabbing-gaps at the hot-shoe, fixed markings on RF viewfinder (that is its not dynamic – technology is easy), battery compartment is underneath the baseplate. Guess what! I sold my M240 but could not wait for the M10 so bought the SL – almost flawless (except its size and missing dials – ISO specially) but I don’t love it whereas the M highly flawed but I love it. That how I explain love for M – a piece of engineering marvel with minimal electronic and software interference, lots of flaws, yet lots of emotions-love, slow of course – if you like sailing you should like M, and SL if powerboat is what inspires you.

  14. Maaan… Steve the moment I saw this review on Wednesday afternoon I immediately preordered an M10 from BH – mid meal in a nice restaurant in Santa Monica. Never done that before.
    Even when I ordered the HyperPrime 50 T0.95 after reading your review of it a few years ago I waited a few months.
    I hope you profit from this review. You’re awesome.
    Can’t wait for my M10!

    • Thank you and you will LOVE This camera. It has reignited a passion in me that was starting to fade with constant releases of the same old same old. Enjoy.

  15. While the Leica M10 may reign as the best digital M camera for some time to come, there is an elephant in the museum that the inquisitive camera person seems to be ignoring. Understand that I an not criticizing Leica for building an excellent new M camera, but rather the lack of criticism from all of the Leica “fans” (short for fanatics) who have had no mercy for Sony (and others) when they only put one SD card slot in their “A” cameras.

    Where is all of the outrage for this horrendous blunder by Leica? Reviewers and fanatics alike have ripped Sony, Fuji, and Olympus a new one for years because they didn’t make their cameras with two card slots. “It’s a great camera, but I wouldn’t use it for a wedding because it only has one card slot,” a reviewer stated.

    Oh my, every review can’t wait to mention that the M10 is 3mm thinner than the M Type 240. Talk about the greatness of sliced bread why don’t you. Perhaps Leica would have been better off keeping the extra 3mm and adding a second card slot. At the very least it would be nice to see consistency in our critiques. Well, that’s my rant. It’s time for me get back to my little Nikon D810 Piggy and stop dreaming of owning the M10 !

    • The M10 is not a “pro” camera. It never was. Why does every camera now require a dual SD slot? It’s usually on the pro models, and this is an RF camera made for everyday life. Ive never had an issue with SD cards in life where I lost images, probably because I use good SD cards. So with something SO SO rare, and something that is usually on PRO cameras, why would they want to add a 2nd one when 90% of the feedback for this new M was to make it thinner? That would have been ignoring the customers requests, and they did listed to the requests.

      • It’s certainly used by many professional photographers.
        Not only those renowned ones promoting the brand in many articles, conventions etc, but by many other Steve

      • Mr. Huff, we agree on the SD card issue. Fortunately, I’ve never had a problem with any of the cards that I’ve used for over twelve years and at least 96K shots taken. In addition to buying the best cards that were available at the time, I never took them out of the camera. All downloads were done thru the USB port. And yes, I did erase the terrible ones while I was still shooting the job.

        Given what you have stated and the look of the samples that you have provided, it appears that the Leica M10 would be an excellent camera for many professional jobs including events, especially weddings where its’ size and weight would be a real blessing to my 64 year old hands! The manual focus is something that I grew up with since 1978 and is not frightening. I have found that zone focusing can be faster than auto focusing when you are in a dark location many times too.

        Again we agree that Leica listened to their customers and built a camera that many were hoping for. Thinner, lighter, better high ISO performance, simple menus and mechanical dials that are readily viewable are all very professional features. The fact that Leica has stood behind their products (like replacing problem sensors) without all of the nonsense that we have seen from other big name companies, has made them a company that I would invest in.

        In conclusion, let be clear and state that my rant was NOT towards you personally or your reviews, but rather towards the “fan boz” of every company that criticize others while using different standards for their favorites. I apologize if my cynicism overshadowed the topics clarity. You are one of a handful of reviewers that I enjoy because you are sincere and you are NOT a hypocrite. Thanks! Sincerely, Michael

    • I think the Sony A7RII not having a dual SD is extremely problematic. M10 not so much but I get what your saying M.A.D., the fact is you can technically do paid gigs with the M10 so it is troubling that it doesn’t have dual SD slots in that aspect. Digital cameras are very complicated electronic gadgets and it just takes a simple software bug from a firmware update that only effects some SD cards to basically destroy your work. Its rare but i’ve seen crazy bugs pop up and having backups of anything is really the best strategy.

  16. Hiiii Mister Steve HUFF,



    I m a M3, M7 user, I love film. As you said, film cannot match all the situations, where digital can.
    So, I do more and more digital. And this new M10 and the famous Sony A7 R2, asks myself if I can use very well my lenses set, and which one of this camera fits better my photographic interests and works better.

    Now, I do street photography, landscapes, architecture, sport (a little), animals, macro, concerts.
    I want the lightest and smallest bag, sometimes I only take one lense.
    My favorite lenses, I mostly use are :
    Voigtlander M 15 model 2, not 3
    ZEISS Biogon C 21 4,5
    Nikkor Ai_s 28/2’8
    Leica Summicron 40
    Voigtlander Nokton 40/1’4
    Nikkor Ai_s Micro 55/2’8
    Leica Tele Elmarit 90/2’8
    Nikkor Ai_s Micro 105/2’8
    Sonny G 70_400

    Thank so much for your wonderful web site.

    Eric, France

    Like your photographies.


      • @@@@@@@@@@

        THIS IS A “THANK” for the question,
        or because I tell you you are great?

        Some people who are using films, using also great lenses like Voigt 15 Mk 2, Biogon C 21, and others, and it seems that NOW, with new softwares they work well with SONY A7 R2 and probably M10. Your great expert level can help us to know.

        • They work much better now with the A7rII than they did with the 1st gen A7 series. But I have yet to try these lenses on the 10, will do soon. I will have some posts using various lenses coming soon. Thank you.

          • Wonderful, Thank you very much. Very very pro. I will wait to read.
            I m very interested because you make true photographies, not tests who have No relations with real taking photos.
            😉 😉 😉 😉 😉

          • Thr Voigtlander close focus adaptator you know could be a solution, with some camera profile and maybe, not sure a software profile on computer.
            Some friends say that they use for example a 18 mm profile or 25 mm profile for a 21 mm lense. I m not sure it works. But A7 R2, seems to be extremelly flexible, I dont know if people use at 42 pxl, or 18 pxl ?

            By the way, I ve found here :
            December 27, 2013
            Thank you Steve. Its good to know that at least the Nokton 1.5 on the Sony A7/A7R is doing great without corner vignette, softness, color cast or any other weird behaviour. Still, I BELIVE IT WOULD BE VERY INTRESTING TO RETEST LEICA LENSES ON A7/A7R WITH THIS ADAPTOR, USING THE CLOSE FOCUS. Sorry for Caps, but this adaptor is really the last chance that lenses like the Voigtlander 12mm 5.6, 15mm f4.5 and Zeiss ZM, Biogon under 50mm have on these cameras. If even this official Voigtlander adapter doesn’t work, I think it would be safe to assume that the lens issues on the A7/A7R are unsolvable.



            December 27, 2013
            Hi Paul, I was able to resolve nearly every issue except for some slight corner softness with the Voigtlander 12mm on my A7r using Sony’s Lens Compensation app at – it really fixes 98% of the color issues, it doesn’t completely fix the vignetting but it can be completely fixed in post via Photoshop or whatever program you use. ALSO: using the Voigtlander close focus adapter, you can focus so close with the 12mm that the lens can literally hit whatever you are focusing on. Now THAT’S close 🙂


            December 27, 2013
            Also focuses dramatically closer on the 35 summilux and 50 summilux (latest versions). The adapter is just plain awesome.


            December 29, 2013
            Wow that’s great news. I was really scared that I would have to use a center ND filter of 2 or 3 stops on an A7 just to cancel out the vignette. Thanks Patrick.
            Its awesome Sony jumped fast on this issue.

            A further question: With the vignette gone, is corner softness an issue? I read that lenses not only have the vignette and color cast (now corrected via your solution) but also corner softness…

            Thanks Patrick for pointing me to the playmemoriesapp, I was so mad after visiting 3-4 comparisons which showed the M9 had better corners than the Sony that I thought Sony wouldn’t fix it that fast. Thanks again!


            December 29, 2013
            The vignetting is pretty severe, having the app set to maximum vignette correction still leaves fairly heavy vignetting but as I mentioned earlier it can be corrected in post. However, something unfortunate I have noticed is increased noise in the corners because of it, it’s not terrible but it’s there. I’m also noticing the color cast may not be perfectly corrected by the app depending on the scene, but I have been able to remedy any remaining color issues in ACR. Here’s the rubdown so far in my experience to get the 12mm working well on the a7R keeping in mind I need to do more testing:

            1. Get the sony app set up as accurately as you can, realizing there will still be vignetting and some color issues.

            2. Fix vignetting in post – no problem.

            3. Remaining color cast issues may be fixed in ACR, for example right now I have some remaining purple color cast on the far right and left sides of a few images that I can adjust the hue for in ACR. However, I think this step may be better handled by CornerFix, though I have no experience with that program (it’s on my to do list). The reason why I say this is because I seem to get a little color casting on the top of the frame on some images and the sony app really only fixes the corners and some of the sides, it’s circular. The casting at the top of the frame is still fixable manually but it would be nice to have it automated.

            4. Sharpen up the corners as best as you can or crop in a little. The sony app doesn’t address sharpness, only peripheral shading, chromatic aberration, and distortion.

            I will say I have definitely been able to create vignette and color cast free photos so far but it does take some fiddling with to get everything set up. I’m going to keep playing with this 12mm, I think it may actually be workable after configuring the app and then making an ACR profile. The corner softness may end up being a deal breaker for some. I’m still undecided personally. I’m sure the corners are better on an M body due to its specialized designed, but the only thing that really matters is if the corners on the A7r + 12mm look good enough for *you*.


            December 31, 2013
            Thank you Patrick for sharing your experience with the A7r and Voigtlander 12mm. I apologize for the long long thread. I won’t bother you with further further questions. Thanks again.

            It’s set in stone that I’ll buy the A7 and it’s a joy to know that with some work in post the vignette and color cast is correctable to an ok level. I will probably buy the Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 since it has less vignette and color issues than the 12mm (abeit the 12mm is the world’s widest rectilinear (non-fish-eye) lens) and easily accepts filters. Pity the Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 adapted to A7 is 1kg heavy while the Zeiss Distagon 15mm f2.8 is still a hefty 700g at a higher price than the Nikon. There really is no ultrawide that is light and also sharp. I guess there are chices in life…


  17. Steve,

    What do you think that Leica stays with sensor size 24MP? Is it possible this is due to Leica lens limitations?
    BTW, thanks for your good review. I always welcome that photography industries roll out their new models though my current models become obsolete immediately and drop value sharply. For M10, besides good things such as new sensor with high iso capacity, thinner, body weather seal, ISO dial, any negative thoughts during your shooting experience?

    • Because they are smart 😉 24 MP gives the perfect balance between IQ and noise performance. Go higher, lose ISO capability and have larger file sizes that in reality are not needed for 90% of us. 24 MP is for many, the perfect top end for resolution. For an M more would never be needed. So better to optimize IQ and performance than degrade it by going with more MP.

    • Yes, physically it’s very beautiful, and as you point out it’s (pro). When I bought my first camera I had major Leica envy (as well as for Rolleiflex, Hasselblad and Mamiya). I bought a Pentax MX, which I could afford, and loved for its size and simplicity. Now, thanks to Steve I have a Nikon V1, which I also love for its size and simplicity. Does IQ compare to the Leica? No, of course not, but I have tons of fun, and love using it, and the nice inexpensive collection of lenses.

      I find it interesting (and perversely satisfying) that many years later I’m still living with major Leica envy, and resisting the GAS that goes with it. I’m enjoying living vicariously and watching Steve’s and others’ enthusiasm at a distance, enjoying the results, and hoping Leica one day out of the blue picks me for their random M10 give-away.

  18. They eliminated the horizon/spirit level which makes using an 18mm or 21mm lens a real problem. I would have considered purchasing this camera but for that omission. What was Leica thinking?

  19. I noticed you didn’t mention this Leica is taller than previous M’s?
    Could you speak on this, and maybe in Part 2 you could show some side-by-side photos with it and m type 240?

  20. For me it’s missing over all a new conception. What the SL wanted being.
    The only very new thing is the sensor (how good is it?).
    Aperture priority mode could have been developed with new monitored lenses. Sensor dust removal installed. A second card slot preferably.
    Perhaps that’s too much asking for, but it’s actually very much to pay for.
    Still an M, but really a new one.

  21. Tried M10 today at Mayfair, London shop. The camera is lovely with just minimal controls. I took a few photos with my sonnar 50/1.5 and also with a 35 lux from the shop. When I got photos at home and processed, I wasn’t terribly impressed. It didn’t appear massive progress over my A7ii sensor. I use A7ii with the sonnar. I have an M10 waiting from a retailer, but I might not buy that after all. Maybe I will invest in an leica lens instead or get an M-E which I can get brand new for 3000 pounds ($3690). I am not sure anymore that M10 will give me as much joy as it sells for.
    I was also surprised to see that the Leica shop staff were not that friendly at all. They were not rude but just answered only what I asked. When I wanted to take some pictures, they were quite indifferent and not too keen on getting their pictures taken.

    • Hi Mahesh,

      If you want more enthuasic and better service try one of the independent dealers which are run & staffed by photography / Leica buts usually, there’a a few lists of respected dealers online but I’ve found Red Dot Cameras to be really great, Park Cameras are also fantastic and while they are not Leica specialists they do have brand new stock in before other dealers (not affiliated with either, Red Dot have always been helpful despite me not yet purchasing anything from them, while I bought my M10 from Park on Friday – their wait list is tiny compared to the other stores and they received more cameras on release than most specialist dealers)

      I suspect the Leica Store Mayfair is unfortunately run more like a luxury retail environment, with more general sales staff, I also know retail is hard work and I never expect staff to perform beyond their roles such as emotional labour for me if they do their job correctly. If you want to test candid or posed photos perhaps bring a friend or go to an independent retailer. I wouldn’t let this impact your view of the product.

      I would suggest you try, or rent, an M-E / M9 if you have’t already. If you’re disappointed by the M10’s files I suspect this would be also the case with these 7 year old CCD sensor design and it’s limitations and restrictions (lower res, poorer performance beginning at 800-1600 ISO, less dynamic range etc). The Leica M10 is the first M release that has a sensor on par with other manufacturers, prior releases were a bit under speced when new.

      That said you might really enjoy the CCD look of the M-E but I would consider aspects like the handling, speed, antiquated LCD monitor, etc – and lastly warrenty on the sensor (corrosion issues still crop up). Until the M10 I found auto white balance to be useless on the Leicas, this new camera fixes that and provides actually usable WB presets. The viewfinder on the M10 is also vastly improved over the ambient light illumated finder on the earlier models.

      If you are considering compromises and money saving second hand might also be a route for you – you could get 2 lenses then and good dealers tend to provide 12 months warrenty on used equipment. There will be a lot of used M9s, M-Es on the market.

      I now own the M10 and the Sony A7s II (bought for video work), within the 100-6400 ISO range I would say the Leica files are far far superior. The Sony begins to deliver a touch better at higher ISO but how the Leica renders colour across the whole range is much much better. I found files out of M10 to be the best files I’ve had from a digital camera from standard daily use over the weekend in a variety of conditions.

      I also found live view a massive plus (I’ve had an M 262 before – which I would not recommend for many reasons now the M10 exists). The size to be another win over the previous digital Ms, I found the 262 was not a huge difference in size when shooting along side the Sony A7s while the M10 shaves the camera down to something you can bring everywhere and you can even slip in a coat pocket with compact lenses (something I could only do with my M6)

      those are all somewhat subjective opinions but I feel are generally shared – but I would suggest you just find what’s right for you through trying side by side in store or renting. Perhaps too much has been written about this online to be useful!

      • Hi “hubertus”, thanks very much for a detailed explanation.

        Red dot and Park are definitely some of the best companies. I have been to Park numerous times to try lenses, they have been very good, enthusiastic, pose if you want to take pictures too with a very happy attitude. Red dot are good though I managed to go only once due to their limited opening times.

        I would never visit Leica shop again (at least Mayfair) unless there is something that I can’t get anywhere.

        If I didn’t have an A7ii I would have got an M10, in fact my heart still wants it. But I am now thinking of getting the new Fuji medium format instead. I have been massively impressed by the size, quality, features (touchscreen) and the fact that it is not going to be an X trans sensor.

        That would definitely give me something that M10 or A7ii can’t.

        I will keep A7ii for portability in place of M10. I even looked at steve’s review of A7ii where he had taken pictures with Noctilux and other lenses. That just affirmed my decision.

        PS- This is not to say M10 is not a good camera, in fact it is.

        Regards, Mahesh

    • They are not sellers at all, quite the opposite. In fact, when handing me the camera they said “You may not like it”. Then they said, “give us your honest opinions on the camera so we can have feedback”. They are not sellers at all in meetings. In fact, they are quite nice and I have always likes Mr. Daniel.

  22. Like you, Steve, I have had a love affair with Leica, which has been on again, off again. I love the old fashioned film Leica’s and still have one in my collection. The new M10 seems to be a wonderful harkening back to the old style, which made Leica famous. Seeing this new camera, as a foil for the monster Leica SL, which I couldn’t climb a hill with in my old age, makes it seem that the good old days are back again.

    However, a note of caution. When I bought my Leica M8 several years ago, it stopped operating after 2 months use, and it took 3 whole months for Leica to fix it. Since I no longer trusted the camera, I sold it immediately and have begged off Leica ever since.. I note that the sensor in the M10 is designed by a European company CMOSIS, and produced by yet another European company. We have years of positive experience with Japanese sensor makers and have come to trust them implicitly. To my knowledge, this is the first full frame camera sensor produced by CMOSIS, and we have no track record as to its durable functionality. This is what came to my mind as I stilled my hand, which was ready to tap out a pre-order for the M10. Better to wait for for real time evidence of durability, rather than to be sorry for $6500 consigned to limbo by a downed sensor.

    • We don’t know who designed the M10 sensor. The M (Typ 240) sensor from 2012 was designed by CMOSIS and manufactured by ST Microelectronics in Grenoble, France. There have been no known issues with it.

    • No because everyone begged for a thinner body, so how could a thick battery be used in a thinner body? It cant. So if everyone wanted thinner, they got it.

      • I didn’t ask for a thinner body. Please don’t speak for ‘everyone’. I am moe than happy with my MP240. I didn’t ask for a asa knob, one of the greatest benefits for me of the digital camera is auto ISO. And, just in case anyone has already forgotten, the Leica M262 was the nearest Leica have ever got to the basic camera. Be careful what you wish for.

        • Leica’s surveys told them 90% requested a thinner body. So you are in the 10% 😉 This is more basic than an M 262, but not an MD 262 though the sensor here is much much better than any previous M and is much more versatile than the 262.

  23. Steve, thanks for the awesome review. Did you like the auto magnify feature? Does it improve the “hit rate” of manual focus? I know you probably don’t care about that feature very much since all you need is a nice RF, but for people with aging eyes like me, this is a pleasant surprise from the M10 and may actually be the deciding factor for the purchase decision. Your comments would be appreciated.

  24. Hey Steve,

    Is the black version black chrome or black paint? I’m getting mixed information.


  25. Love your passion, Steve. And. Of course, not just for this review. But many of your reviews on all camera companies. Partly because of your honest reviews, I purchased a M9 – whenever that review came out. These days, I use a couple of M240’s for much of my wedding and street work. The point I’m getting to is I think for photographers who shoot weddings (present and future Leica users) the M10 will be very welcome, especially the extra couple of ISOs for low light. Even the EVF atop the hot shoe could help using longer lenses. Anyway, I welcome the M10. Exciting times and a lovely refinement to already a solid lineup.

  26. Steve,
    Thanks for the review. Can you say that the photo with the three women dancers in red, that the color red blew out in your original? Jpeg probably and not Raw since it’s probably not supported at the moment. Maybe a repost of another exposure from this street scene is better?

  27. Hi Steve, it would be interesting to have a crazy comparison between this Leica M10 and Fuji Medium format. That and a good phone camera, that’s my quiver.

  28. I’m very excited by this camera and will probably buy one. The way it renders color is a bit unusual to my eyes. But after studying a lot of sample shots I’ve decided I really like the look. The colors call to mind the old autochrome process and almost look like colorized B&W images. The effect is difficult to describe, but it’s unlike anything I’ve seen from a digital camera.

  29. Hi Steve did you check out the SL 50 LUX its amazing ! though I’m using a 35lux on sl now going to loose a £1000 ordering a M10 as you say it not as good with m lens so mines for sale a only a week old , though its hard to part because i thought it was a good camera , but not as good as M 🙁 think leica are bringing out new manual lens for SL and zeiss are doing it too sorta like the loxia but for leica sl instead of sony . Cameras ! at least glass is good ! LOL checking out the other site that Angel person wtgoodness !

    • That’s fine, but the Fuji isn’t a rangefinder with an optical viewfinder and doesn’t work with Leica lenses. If you didn’t want those things to begin with, why were you considering the Leica? Or maybe you weren’t. Could that be it?

  30. Colors are fine, but I would have expected better detail from a $6500 camera. The Canon 6D seems better value to me.

  31. Steve, please?
    Tell Leica to give us an option, make the RED dot black and keep the name Leica in silver as it is.

    This RED dot is screaming…come and take me. Or, I’m bragging having a Leica camera.

    In addition, why not as per the old M4 have the Leica engraved on top of the camera house and NO RED dot? A stupid ‘invention’, period!

    • Just wait for the M-P and your nightmare will be over. But here’s a secret: Any thief who would recognize the red dot would recognize the M-P without the red dot. You’ll never be safe!

      Rhetorical question: Are people who carry multi-thousand-dollar cameras with the words “Nikon” or “Canon” or “Fujifilm” written on them in bright white lettering bragging too, or is it just Leica users?

  32. Just spent 3 weeks in Florida where i have seen a guy shooting one of those new Hasselblads that are around 40K$ like it is the AK47. When he was satisfied he drove off in his nice Bentley. Some people, lol. I know I think would put it in better use just like this Leica, but money… Right… And who knows, maybe his pics were awesome…

    So, about the Leica, it is so funny to hear all the talk (from the leica people) about the innovations they are basing their whole success, but in reality the only innovation was back in the beginning when Barnack designed first 35mm camera (please correct me if I am wrong). And in 1954. when they introduced the M3 as their first “rangefinder/viewfinder in one” that was something that Contax was making 20 years before (again, correct me if I am wrong, I think 1932.).

    Twenty years lol, what camera was popular in 1997.? 20 years from now? so… they do move slow, but somehow they do move good… They rely on high quality build, simple and effective design, longevity and posh assholes that enjoy thinking better of them selves if they buy the most expensive camera out there. I am kind of one foot in that grave lol. Just got the old M3 and was thinking about the M9 but I’ll keep it at film so maybe M6, just for the fun of it… So, yeah, do you need the most expensive watch to know what time it is? Patek Philippe maybe? No, you don’t, easy… But there are people in this world that do want more nicer, more unique, more fine crafted, more whatever and they keep the designers, the finest craftman and builders busy. If they are earning their pay then someone did a good job, marketing guy, designer, whoever.

    Some people get their weddings shot by cheap semi pro photographers for 300$ and some people pay tens of thousands of bucks to be photographed by their favorite photographer, so why should it be different with photographers buying that gear that they desire?!?!

    This M10 is the best M so far for sure, as far as digital M’s go. You just can’t beat that viewfinder. No EVF is as good as the real thing. But remember the hype about Sony a7 series not so long ago, everybody was like, yeah, the 7s, the 7R, the 7R2, the 7S2 (they keep coming like bad movie sequels), the best ever, evf, new sony revolution and BS… For sure I got it, sold all my canon stuf that I had been using for 10 years, and yes, video is better, but everything else is crap, the screen is pealing of, the shit feels like a toy in a hand, that small iso wheel rotates by a slight breeze, and what… That very Sonys battery is pretty sure to die before this one in Leica, lol, but people are complaining how bad the Leica battery is. Do not worry, if the guy has 6500$ for a camera he will buy some extra batteries, really, he will…

    So, they (sony) made tons of money, as they should, and couple of years later most people think, man, that camera really isn’t made to last, crappy, maybe I should sell it and buy Canon 6D or whatever, good workhorse and no pain in the ass while trying to figure the real colors. My pocket wizards could go to 1/8000 again, and where the fuck did that green cast come from you f…in sony…

    What I am trying to say, maybe Leica is a bit behind of them all in one way, but on the other hand I really do not know a single person that went for a Leica and got disappointed, sold it and got back to whatever they were shooting… So manny guys bought every single new Nikon or Canon or Sony and sold it, but Leica was always a keeper.

    While Sony nervously makes new models, or new half products couple of times in a year, Leica keeps it cool and plays a longer game. Yes, I know, even those half products have so much more options, resolution, dynamic range and what not, but, most of that stuff never gets used… The thing is that most of the camera users are not professionals, the semi pro cameras can produce pretty pro pics, and even the pro photographers don’t use all of the shit that their cameras can do. More than 70% of a photo club that I visit sometimes went for Fuji, how about that. The image quality of Fuji can not be better even than the old Canon 5dmk2, and one is full frame and the other is not. So, that says people want smaller cameras, never mind the image quality and even fuck that bokeh, they don’t even need that. So who is to say what people should buy, what people need, what people want in cameras, how important the FF is, how wonderful the dynamic range is and all that jazz (even a lot of leica m240 users complained about the dynamic range until they learned how to do the settings)…

    The market is constantly changing, there will be a new HYPE tomorrow, but M9 still has a price of 2500-3000 bucks nowadays, leicas that are 60 years old still go for 1000$ (not to mention the black ones lol) but my canon 5dmk2 went for a used bicycle and my Sony a7s will go for a lens or two, lol… That is just how it seems to me from “I don’t get it but I do get it” point of view.

    Cheers, S

    • I would be one of the photographers that sold up the 2 M240s for 2 A7s purely because it took Leica way too long to carry out repairs, and as a working professional in the wedding industry, it was not feasible to be without the gear for half of the warranty period (the last final straw was just under 6 months to replace a cracked LCD glass even though the LCD was fully functional).

      Were it a different situation with Leica to truly offer a premium build and quality assurance of repairs, set aside the firmware bugs, I’d consider again, but the repair process is completely ridiculous.

  33. Steve, I have a Leica M-D now. Absolutely love the lack of an LCD. ISO6400 is useable if exposure is nailed when shot is taken. But just curious, since you’ve reviewed both, how does the M-D compare with the M10? And also, how does the color of the M10 CMOS compare to the M9 CCD? Thanks!

    • To me the M10 has the best sensor of all. The M9 color for me was a tad off on many occasions. The M240 had its color issues at times as well. This sensor just sings.

      • What are your thoughts on skin tones from the M10?
        In all these pictures, the skin tones seem to lean too far towards red, and in one photo it seems to have a strong yellow cast. Could just be your post processing? To my eyes they look far from natural.

        It’s the only thing that jumps out to me. Other than that, id agree that this definitely looks like the best M to date.

        • Skin tones are amazing actually. Take a look at Ashwin Rao’s shots from yesterday on his Facebook page 😉 Skin tones are some of the best I have seen from any camera recently.

  34. Brilliant in many ways. Loving the color rendition of the photos and the way out-of-focus areas are rendered (with that beautiful smooth transition between in-focus subject and the rest). What a great tool to tell a story! (in the right hands of course). Steve you are a manual focus master! Seems like you’ve already found your camera of the year for 2017! 😉

  35. More of the same, the thing is old Leica cameras do not become cheaper as new cameras come …..

  36. These M cameras are not designed to be appreciated in comparison to other cameras (like, for example, a sony). Really, you either want one for the construction and feel of the camera and the images it produces, or you want the prestige attached to the brand. Irrespective of whether you do not agree with the latter as a purchasing motivation, you should respect the former.

  37. Steve,

    I’m currently shooting with a Typ 262 and an MP (film). The thinner digital is a welcome design change, and only 60g heavier than the MP. This looks like a winner!! Also Ken will be kept busy 🙂

    Question – Does this M10 have a self cleaning sensor as with the SL, or just a function to dust detection and manual sensor cleaning?

    Thanks for your always excellent review!!

    • Steve,

      I had a chance to download the manual from Leica. The functionality is the same as for the Typ 262. I guess we will have to wait until the M11 for a self cleaning sensor and in-body stabilization (both of which will take up space in the body).

      Thanks again for the great review (and thank you for spreading the work regarding Ken as a great Leica dealer).

  38. I really hope you try this camera with Leica Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8. It’ll be interesting to see the ISO capability of this camera when paired with a wider, slower lens & the results it can conjure not to mention the compact wide package it’ll be when paired with that particular lens. Looking forward to the second part of this review.

    • Yesterday, I was looking at a review of the M10 where it was being used for street shooting; the reviewer was pleased the chrome version attracted less attention (c.f. a M240) from subjects with its classic amateur looks. That has to be good, plus not being mistaken for someone in the photo trade.

  39. Steve —

    Does it have a black-and-white shooting mode? Or do you need to convert to B/W later? The M typ 240 has a B/W shooting mode, whereas the M 262 does not. I’m wondering what Leica chose to do with the M10… thanks for any light you can shed on this…

  40. How is the new rangefinder’s field of view and eye relief, compared to a classic M2, M4, M6 and M7?

    • Well it has been a while since I shot with an M7 or M6 but this VF was a big or as one Leica guy said to me “Night and Day” difference when compared to the 240. It is large and they made it easier for those with eyeglasses as well. The 28mm frame lines for me were clearly and easily visible with space outside of the lines as well.

  41. Last week I held an SL in my hand for the first time – Wow superb build quality and viewfinder.
    I thought how will the M line stay in contention.
    Then I realised they are two quite different experiences . Delighted to see that Leica is evolving the M cameras as they are my first love as far as cameras go.

  42. This iteration of Leica M does indeed look very nice. It appears to have the color and pop of the M9 and the soft out of focus areas of the RX1RII, as illustrated in the croissant photo. At nearly $12,000 TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS, one shouldn’t expect any less 😉 For me, I’m getting very pleasing results from my E-M1MKII + 25 f1,2 Pro kit for just shy of 3200. That’s 73% less expensive than the new M. And if you get close enough to your subject like in the croissant shot, the bokeh is very similar wide open, perhaps even smoother. As for the rangefinder experience, as Dirty Harry would say; “that’s a hell of a price to pay for being stylish” 😉

    • I agree Scott! That 25 1.2 reminds me a lot of Leica glass. My fave Oly lens and it seriously upped the game. These days, Leica is more about the RF experience, the way you shoot, the RF, the feeling you get when shooting it, the basic concept of it and all of that good stuff. It’s more about the body and experience but this M will slaughter the EM1 MKII in low light 😉 But I have that 25 1.2 here on my desk right now! Lovely lens worthy of high praise.

      • “slaughter” Interesting choice of words… though from your pics, it does appear so. However, since I’m not inclined to spend 12k on a camera, at present, what is the next best mere mortal choice? 😉 Is the A7SMKII as good? Better? Thank you.

  43. Thanks for the review Steve. You clearly have the best job in the world. What can you tell us about the balance of the body. Every time you set it down, it seemed to want to tilt forward and rest on the lens. Was this a really heavy lens? Sometimes I like to just sit the camera down on something and use the timer to get a shot. If it’s going to fall forward like that, it seems a tripod will be required or something to prop up the lens. What about long bulb exposures. The 240 is limited to 60 seconds at low ISO, and that time gets reduced the higher the ISO, supposedly because of sensor heat issues. Any improvement there?


    • Due to it being thinner, if you set it on a table with a 50 Lux (mine is a brass special edition so its heavy) or a larger lens it will tilt forward. But past M’s did the same with the heavier lenses. I have not tested bulb exposures yet but will, just wrote it down! Thank you.

  44. Great review Steve as always. I have already placed an order, will be my first Leica! However, just noticed on the phoblogger website review – “Rangefinder seems a bit dark. I’ve seen brighter viewfinders in other Leicas” ! Also that color depth is not as deep as Sony and Fujifilm.

    • Well as much as I love Chris, that is incorrect. This is the brightest VF I have seen of any digital M. Even Leica states this. It is also the largest. As for color depth what I see beats Fuji easily, and even Sony. This new sensor is amazing. But I have owned and used all digital M’s extensively and as for IQ and color this is the best by far. Wait for part 2 and we will see this.

      • Thanks Steve. I have placed an order and I was in 2 minds after reading that – doesn’t help when such high cost is involved! I was even thinking maybe I will just get an M-E – from a retailer who has it. I am hoping to see my sonnar 50/1.5 sing with M10 🙂

  45. Well done, Steve! It strikes me that Leica really listened to photographers who love M cameras because they are rangefinders. They did everything they could to optimize the experience of shooting with the M10 to something like what we experienced with the old film Ms, with the digital improvements augmenting the experience without overly intruding on it. All good.

  46. Hey Steve,
    I’ve been looking hard at the type 262 for awhile. I’m a film Leica shooter so the 240 ergonomics disqualified it. How would you say this compares to shooting the 262? Especially for street.

    • Its thinner, feels more like an M6/M7, has much better low light abilities, better color and if it matters to you, the buffer is larger so it will not hose up on you. The sensor though is the big one for me here. I also love the ISO dial mainly for the M setting. Its similar, very…but different. Both are great but if you want a more capable sensor, this one wins.

      • The ISO dial is a gimmick for film fan boys. A simple change in the existing firmware of the M240/262/242 etc would allow the same function by using the current thumb wheel. As for size, Leica say that the M10 is 4mm thinner than the existing range, again M240′ etc. I’m not sure how many people are really going to notice this, particularly without direct comparison. That it has a better/different sensor is the M10’s unique selling point which could have been accommodated in the M240 body. Personally I rule out ever buying an M10 simply because it would mean carrying additional batteries and, I assume, charger, than I already carry for my MP240s. Had Leica put the new sensor in the M262 and replaced the lightweight top and bottom with brass, brought in the firmware change to adjust ISO via the thumb wheel they would, for me at least, got much nearer to the ideal camera than the M10. It would have also allowed for a natural progression/up grade. Instead, to address more film boy fan issues, they have created a thinner camera requiring different batteries with less shouting capacity. All of this, the retooling to make the body, the new battery and charger etc, adds costs which have to be passed onto the customer. The changes I have suggested to the M262 would have not included retooling costs as the brass to and bottoms already exist on the M240. But then, as true a Leica film fan boy would say, Leica has never been about costs. I own 3 MP240’s for my extensive travel and documentary photography. If I should need to replace one of these bodies for whatever reason, it would be with an M262 which, had it been introduced before the 240, I would have brought from the beginning and lived happily ever after. Well, until they put the M10 sensor in it, updated the firmware for ISO functionality on the thumb wheel and brass top and bottomed it. Still, I shouldn’t have to wait long. It would seem Leica loves to meet the expectations of wish listers.

        • No camera company will ever make everyone happy. That is a fact. But instead of doing something that is useless (complaining) you should put your energies into something positive. 😉 Be happy, smile.

  47. Steve,

    Thanks for the great review. Was hoping you could answer a question for us? On the M240 the exposure time was significantly capped at higher ISOs. For example at 3200 the exposure time caps out at 8 seconds and the there was no true bulb mode from that perspective. Is the M10 capped in the same way?

  48. I’m a bit underwhelmed. But I’m not surprised by that either. From the images I’ve seen, it looks like a well-crafted M body, as it should.
    I am pleased by the enlarged eyepiece; though after years of using Leica M’s and asking for it for years, I have to ask, “what took you so long?” I mean, really?
    Then I was happy to hear that there was 5 FPS capability, something I have also been asking for since the old M4 mot’s 3-4 FPS. That is until I read elsewhere that the ‘switch’ for frame-rate change was removed from the top plate shutter release collar and PUT INTO THE MENU SYSTEM!!!??? Is that really true?
    Because if it is, then I’d have to ask the ‘designer’s approval decision tree’ why? Having found multiple FPS a valuable feature through the years on other cameras that enables another level of creativity, and, one that is EASILY accessible/switchable. Well…..
    an M body should have a (real) motor, with extra battery back-up, function switch/release, a real grip to enable use with gloves in inclement weather,, etc., too, have an extra card slot or two. And while I’m barking up the Leica tree, how about having the Leica M5-like shutter speed release and speed control cluster?
    So before anyone gets all ‘bunched up’, while Leica makes excellent M glass; they’ve already been massaging an aged design while trying to lightly step into the big ocean of change – one that they did years ago -1954 – with the M3. All I’m saying is they shouldn’t be afraid to maintain the look/function of an M while making it easier to use, sorry Leica, next time take off your shoes and really step in it. In the meantime an M9 is fine by me – for now.

  49. Man! I’ve been living in NYC for 4 years now, but your pictures show the city from a different perspective! Really nice shots.
    And, a question: when are you going to review the a7 III? 😉

  50. A beautiful review Steve.i don’t understand how you can sell your sl and give up that great EVF view and go back to the you are going to have to deal with the rangefinder mechanism going out of alignment every few months to a year.i love using my sl as I see what the lense sees thru the viewfinder.i know you change cameras as you run a review site but you should keep the camera that gives you the most joy.the Leica sl just rocks.i use M lenses only on the sl.

    • This camera gives better performance with the M lenses, sharper, snappier, better color and contrast as well as better low light abilities. I will miss the EVF and the SL, but I have to pay for this somehow and this camera just performs better with the lenses I use, the M lenses. It’s also just as much of a joy to shoot.

  51. The files look very SL IMO more of an upgrade an m 240/2 should have been out 2 years ago will take a year to buy one by that time its old boring tech and still crap EVF i love Leica because I love design and German made products can’t beat em but ITS CAMERAS DONT SEEM TO BE GETTING THAT MUCH BETTER to justify the price IMO SO ILL STAND DOWN AND BE SELLING ALL MY LEICA LENSES AND CAMERAS AND JUST WALK AROUND WITH ONE CAMERA ? Lol
    Rant # 546754 oh and Steve thanks for all the reviews and watch your back with the other interest it’s not so simple I know cause I’m special if you get my drift and you can edit this last comment it’s meant for you it’s not a threat btw it’s a warning from a clairvoyant eh keep your self safe :>)

  52. Hey Steve,
    Since they removed the “delete” button, how would you delete one or two pics if you wanted to? Just wondering. Thanks!

  53. The start-up time is apparently quite slow…how fast does it wake up? These are some of the most vital numbers most people leave out of reviews IMHO.

      • That’s odd, as DP review says it’s a second and a half. Perhaps your firmware is more recent than that of their copy. In any case, as this is supposed to be a street photography camera, especially as it has a smaller battery, it really should be ready at any given moment to actually take a shot, which is why startup time and wake up time are important. I suppose you could just keep it on all day, but then you have the situation where the camera is dead and there is no obvious indication until you notice that it’s not responsive.

        I don’t understand the 1Ds mark 26 remark.

  54. I didn’t realize that it would be comparable in price to the SL !!

    Makes the purchase of this M10 a tougher choice for sure.

    If we have a bunch of M lenses already why not opt of the SL and adapter?

    This gives you the option later of buying a fast SL prime (say the 50) and then having the best of both worlds.

    Leica build, Leica image characteristics, but also autofocus, in camera ELV, adapters for canon lenses ect.

    I know you said in your review that for M lenses the M10 is better than the SL. Can you comment a little further on that? The images look better on M10? Can you comment on the real world use of a manual focus M lens on the SL vs on M?

    I guess like most comparisons, it comes down to personal preference of shooting. The heavier SL with options for autofocus vs the compact m10 with rangefinder.


    • THAT IS TOUGH. The Sl is beautiful. BUT the lenses do work better on this M. Smaller, lighter, better color, better high ISO… all depends on if you like the RF style or EVF style.

      • Hello Steeve, had the chance to hold them one next to the other thanks to SFO Leica Store… I was awaiting the new M to decide what way to go…M10 vs SL.

        The few thoughts I came back with for – my – silly usage are :

        – I’m not getting any younger, and the SL viewfinder is more suitable to me.
        – I want the ability to use M AND R telelens…

        You know what ?
        within minutes I saw myself forgetting to wear my glasses to shot LV with R on the screen, and then forgetting to remove them to shot through the viewfinder on M !
        Ok, I know, i’m not the smarter of the gang… but it made it odd to use.

        Compare to this, the SL was addicting…and much more easy to focus.

        The M is terrific but limited to M usage which might be more than enough !
        The SL is for me a lot more versatile and open system.

        Best regards


        • I agree, the SL is more versatile and the EVF is AMAZING. I will miss my SL but I enjoy the M system, always have and my lenses were looking much better on the M10 over the SL, so that is what sold me.

    • The SL is a fantastic camera much more versatile then the M10. I had one with the 24-90 lens and some M lenses. The system was too heavy for me and the recent addition of the huge 50mm summilux made me to decide to switch to the M10.
      No doubt i will miss the SL.

  55. Steve, thank you so much for yet another engaging review. I couldn’t wait for the camera to be launched, partly because I knew you’d review it!

    Nobody pretends that Leicas should be the cheapest cameras, but it’s good to see that Leica has some pricing discipline here. They could have made it maybe $100 more than the M240, but perception is everything, and even $50 extra could have caused some potential customers to dismiss it on account of perpetually rising prices.

    IMHO you get much more for your money with the M10 than you ever could with high end DSLRs. If it’s true that less is more (to a point), then the M10 is, for most purposes, the best camera with a 135 sensor that money can buy. (I’m also a Sony fan, and in fact I prefer APS-C sensors).

    A lot of people, I included, were telling Leica to ditch video in the M. Good to know that they listened! And it’s good to know that they kept live-view. LV and video can certainly be separate features.

    I think that the bargain M now will be the M240. The M8 and M9 are special, and the M240 does not seem to have the appeal of the CCD cameras. Perhaps it’s the smart buy for those who know how to process the files. The M9 can still fetch over US$3,000. And it’s seven years old!!

    IMHO the M10 overachieves in terms of sensitivity. 95% of people would be happy with a nice, detailed, usable ISO of up to 6400. That’s the highest I’ve ever gone with any camera, and that was at f/2.8. I used it twice in my life. (Sidenote: I took the M8 to 1250 once, and it did quite well). Sure, the next Sony A7s will be insane, and that’s a result of progress.

  56. Excellent review, Steve! I would like you give your thoughts on IQ in comparison with Sony RX1R. Since both have 24MP full frame sensors and based on your large experience, our little guy can deliver equal or even better results than the expensive Leica? I’m avoiding selling a kidney to buy one, but this time they really nailed it, I guess I’ll HAVE to buy it!

    • Well, this will have better low light abilities IMO. But totally different cameras. The RX1 is tiny, AF, and delivers gorgeous IQ. But it is only a 35mm. This M is MF only, much more expensive and uses a rangefinder to focus. As for IQ tough to say. Different is what I would say as the lens on the RX1 is so much different than a 35 Lux or Cron. I would say that if you want 35, and AF and small size and do not mind slower AF the RX1R is still a fantastic camera. If you want an M, nothing else will do. But I need to use it more to really dig in and get a feel for IQ and wha I can do with the RAW files. This is a unique camera and one that is beautiful in build, feel and the lenses are amazing. I think it will be as hot as the M9 was back in 2012.

  57. Interesting. Looks promising.

    I know Leica now has something similar to a close focus adapter that can overcome the large close focusing distances of their lenses.

    Have you used it on this camera? I assume youd have to use live view either on the screen or with the visoflex, correct?

    Is it variable? By which I mean can you put it on keep it tight and shoot regularly with the rangefinder and then extend it and use the liveview?

  58. Hey Steve, cool review! I’m loving the color here and the reds are really nice. I was wondering if these are OOC Jpegs that the M’s producing or was there some LR processing?

  59. Good review, I have to say my heart dropped when you said It was no good…It’s Awesome!!


  60. Thanks so much for your review Steve. Brilliant as always. Especially for the passion you put on. It seems this “new” sensor is recovering the typical 3D pop all of us love from Leica. Congratulations

  61. Can’t wait to buy one in about 5-10 years. LoL.
    M9 is still great to me but I dream about that high ISO.
    Thanks for the review.
    Long time fan,
    Brian Palmer

  62. M8, M9, M240, M10… Next, M250? Why wasn’t called the M240 just M10, and this would be the M11? Anyway, thanks Steve for the info.

  63. Great review and read Steve, thanks! I wonder if you have any opinions about the live view, while useable with M240, it was cumbersome.

    • I mentioned it a coupe of times…it’s still a little laggy, but not nearly as laggy as the 240. It’s not fast…if I had to estimate I’d say it is at least twice as fast as the 240 😉

  64. This is exciting for me as I did not like taking pictures with the M240 because of the bulk (whereas I truly truly love my MP).

    My take on your review Steve: you can certainly nail focus with that rangefinder! Amazing stuff.

  65. At the end of the day, with cameras, it’s whatever floats ones boat. Having grown up with film, medium format couldn’t be beat. Digital has thrown everything at us, so the day has come where i want MF in digital. I await the Fuji.

  66. Thanks for this part 1 review of the new M10. saw your youtube video also.

    It really looks like the best M to date. Using an M seems like a very tactile experience and they seemed like they got it just about right in refining a digital M to it’s core and back to basics.

    The only thing I find unusual, and this goes for the previous M240 is the weather sealing.. I’m glad it’s there in the body, but also confused that Leica still doesn’t bother to update their lens lineup with a weather resistant build to match with the camera bodies.. kind of like building a weather shelter with windows that don’t close all the way. Is it that hard to add weather sealing into their M lenses?

    Seems like people have gotten by without weather sealing at all for all this time anyways, which is great, but it still seems like an odd manufacturing decision to include weather sealing that cannot necessarily be 100% weather sealed by the other major half/component of the camera system, the lens.

    • Yea, it is funny isn’t it? We spoke about that in the meeting. The body is weather sealed but for “light rain” but the lenses are not. Leica said their lenses have always been used in the rain with no issues, so they assume it will be fine here and has been really. Ive shot my M8, M9 and 240 in the rain, never had an issue other than the lenses fogging up. But if they did update the lenses to be sealed, it would jack them up another $800! So I hope they do not do this. 😉

  67. Steve,
    Couple of questions.
    1. Did Leica Camera pay for your trip to and hotel in NYC? Did they pay for Debbie’s?
    2. Did Ken Hansen give you the M10 free of charge?

    • Debby did not go as she never can go on these trips, I am not rich, and I paid for my hotel and airfare on my credit card and no, Ken did not give me the camera for free (and I never charge him for ad space as he helped me start this site years ago by supplying lenses I could borrow for review, so I owe him for the life of this website). I have to sell my Leica SL to pay for this (which is now in the buy and sell forum as you can plainly see) Not sure where you are going with this, but it sounds like you do not know how the review business works. Also sounds like you are looking for trouble, which I do not allow here. Now, think of this. If I spend $1100 to travel to NYC to see and preview a camera, how do you think I will make that money back? I most likely will not. Now with all of that said, companies usually pay for media trips (as I explain in the about me section of this website if you cared to read a little) and ALL websites have trips paid for so we can evaluate a camera in good conditions. They always say “we want your HONEST opinion”. So when you see DP review, Imaging Resource, Luminous Landscape, etc write about a trip, the camera companies paid for their trips as well. It is how it has worked since the 1980’s. Of course some publications refuse but then they do not get to review the camera which is a bad move on their part if they want to be a success. Most media trips have 20-30 publications on board..Fuji does it, Sony does it, Nikon does it, Canon does it. Leica does not do this, they never have done a big “Media Trip”. It’s always, “if you want to preview the camera you must arrange to fly to NYC and arrange the flight and hotel yourself”. Then it is up to the publication to try and negotiate a reimbursement because why would I spend $1100 to go to NYC to review a camera? I do not charge for this website, and I do not get paid in a traditional way. I will be lucky if I make $500 with this review. So with all of that said, Leica will re-imburse me for my expenses for flight and hotel. If not I would not have done it, and I would have missed out on having a nice review but I just can not afford that for the return I get. I review cameras due to my passion for the craft and the gear, and if you knew me you would know that. But please read the about me page, and learn how this business has worked for 30+ years. Also to those who do media events, they are done only for flagship products that the companies KNOW are fantastic. Fuji just had one for their big medium format camera, and they know they have a hit so those who were invited to that will say great things, not because they got a free trip (which is work morning till night) but because it will be a great camera and Fuji knows this, or else they would not have created the trip/event for the media. Hope you learned something here.

      Oh and finally, none of this is your business anyway.

      • I think it’s a little unfair when people accuse camera reviewers, ambassadors, etc … as if to say that those people don’t know anything about photography, or were just “handed” cameras and now tout their merits—even if those cameras might suck. No photographer worth their salt are going to use gear that doesn’t work for him or her, regardless of whether or not it was supplied free of charge.

        As to paid or non-paid events, the photographic industry is seriously contracting for a number of reasons: camera IQ hit sufficiency several years ago for most uses > rise of the smartphone > etc., so events that celebrate photography — and, yes, even the new precision instruments that are are integral to it — are a good thing in my opinion, because they keep the interest in photography alive and kicking at a time when it’s a bit under assault. It’s fun, it’s social, it’s an enjoyable part of the process.

        So let’s all celebrate the industry in its various ways and forms while we’re still able.

        My 2 cents…

        Also, I’ve been critical of Leica for some things in the past, but I’m also very grateful that they’re still alive and with us—even if one doesn’t shoot with their products, they’re an historical cornerstone of photography’s history and much of what we enjoy about it today can be traced directly back to their evolution.

      • Hi steve,

        Great camera for sure !

        Thanks for your website , your reviews made me buy the em5 , pany25 and the allmighty ricoh gr and still using them with a lot of fun.
        Have fun to with your new M10 , we are waiting for others shots and crazy comparisons.

        Enjoy !

      • Steve- well said- and thanks for all your hard work and enthusiasm. Tens of thousands of your fans (and likely many many more) really appreciate all your hard work. You literally put your heart and soul into these reviews. But a few trolls like above will always try to spoil it with stupid questions and insinuations. Please ignore such nonsense.
        When I see more side by sides of M10 vs 240, and I get to test it at B&H in person, I will very likely get one myself. And I will be sure to like thru your website so you can get some money from them to help pay for the cost of running this web site.
        Your reviews and photos are a source of inspiration, knowledge and just plain fun for so many of us…..please keep up great work!!!
        When you are in NYC next time, I just wish I could buy you a drink and say ‘thank you’ in person for everything you’ve been doing to the photography community with your wonderful web site.

      • I am not Steve’s friend
        And yes i am a huge fan of his site since Leica M8 Days
        I read Steve’s answer and thought he did not have to do it.
        He examines cameras and that is his work, ( besides his love for cameras,lenses and photography in general) so why on earth should’nt he be payed for it.
        I never saw a company giving their products for nothing, publicity is part of the game and Steve is part of this pablicity, so if they are asking for his services ,they must pay for it !!!
        No doubt companies believe they can sell more cameras being examined by Steve,
        And that costs money.
        NO ONE is working for free!!!!
        So if the companies want to pay for his hotel, flight, restaurants, and everything else who are we to interfere?
        I think he is doing a great job, He is honest and writes his beliefs and i believe him.

      • You don’t need to explain yourself Steve, been visiting your site since the beginning and loved how personal and friendly they sound compared to other sites. To be honest even if Leica paid for your trip or if Ken gave you a free M10, it wouldn’t really change how I view your opinions. In fact I wish that they did pay for your trip as you deserve it.

      • From France, working in China now, I have two favorites websites, your and Japancamerahunter. The most part of others make me …
        … anxious.
        Your photographies are great, you are energetic, diplomat, and free, what I cannot find in a lot of one.
        Thank for all your work, I know this is only words, it will be better to donate to your website, but everythings start by word. And your answer to all this messages and you try to carry something : I m very impress. If you will make money it will be fair.

  68. “Well, it is not good…It’s freaking awesome!” Love your enthusiasm and sheer, unbridled joy at the new M. Thanks for the great review and the intelligent commentary on all things photographic.

  69. According to the technical specifications I’ve read, the M10 has eliminated UNCOMPRESSED RAW capture, and COMPRESSED DNG is the highest file quality available. Maybe my concerns are unwarranted, but this does worry me. Thoughts?

    • Usually this just means lossless compression, which is what the M240 has. It is just a way of more efficiently storing data without losing anything, so your file is smaller but the data is the same. A zip file is the same thing, PSD files have used this for years, every software update you download for your computer uses this, etc.

      Not all compression schemes lose data (which JPEG and MP3 does for instance).

    • Nice review, thank you Steeve.
      However my main concern is Uncompressed raw not available on M10??
      I would be curious to play with a file in LR with an extreme grading…
      Is that the same problem with had with the Sony A7RII before an updated firmware gave us uncompressed raw….

      • Uncompressed raw is seriously overrated. Seriously. There is usually no visible difference or difference when processing a normal photo. Just my opinion. To me, uncompressed, compressed…doesn’t matter and does not effect the output of any photo if it is taken correctly to begin with. I turn it off whenever possible.

        • Steve,

          Compression is a much more subtle issue — it’s a “long term” issue from the standpoint of future preservation of an image.

          DNG promised to be the digital equivalent of the film negative, but it isn’t and probably never will completely be. As a result, any file format that can promise straightforward format migration is going to be the best one for long term. It’s the reason that we use TIFF for digitization projects in the archives world. And, of course, you can convert your RAW files (or even your JPEGs, before you do anything to/with them) to TIFF for future-proofing purposes.

          So while there may not seem to be much difference VISUALLY between an uncompressed RAW and anything else being used, there are HUGE differences in the long-term, archival aspects of image making with the files in question.

          Sorry if this seems like splitting hairs, but my other hat is one of digital preservation training and instruction in the library/archives/museum world … love the reviews!

  70. Must say I am quite disappointed by the M10 after eagerly awaiting its reveal. I say this not as a Leica-hater but as an avid fan of the company and a current or previous owner of every digital they have made aside from the SL. This M10 offers nothing that makes me excited or makes me think, “I need this one.” I sold my 240 after realizing that it couldn’t compare to the Sony A7 cameras in so many areas and in many ways this has become my benchmark for a new M. I use my M lenses on the Sony more than any native lens and with a close focus adapter that overcomes that limitation of the lenses. I have kept my M9 to satisfy the “purist” desire to shoot a rangefinder and to have that “Leica look” when it arises. I kept it over the 240 because for all its shortcomings (slow, ISO) it offers a look so different from anything else. So upon the release of the M10 I ask myself does anything about this camera make it rise above the combo of my A7rii and M9. Sadly, disappointingly, no. All this being said, I’m not sure what I was hoping for and I really cannot think what changes to the M10 I WOULD make that would make it surpass the combo I mentioned. Ability to use and auto focus T lenses? Built-in EVF? Steve, I’d be interested to hear your take on why the M 10 could indeed surpass the combo of an A7rii and the M9.

    • All depends on YOU. Shooting with and M, as you know, is so much different than a Sony. It’s not as easy, it’s not as versatile, and it has shortcomings, especially the M9. What the Sony will not give you here in comparison is the color and snap. I used the A7RIi extensively with my M lenses, and this M10 is much better with the lenses. Much better than with the M9 as well. You would have to really love the M and the RF experience. The LCD, Viewfinder, Battery Life, High ISO, Color, resolution and feel all surpass the M9 in every way, no contest at all. So if you are a Leica M fan, this is the ultimate M camera. End of story. If you prefer versatility and an EVF, the Sony wins. All depends on your likes, wants, needs, desires, etc.

    • For me, the Leica M’s greatest shortcoming is its most obvious one: the lack of autofocus. Now, some will say that it’s a purist camera and that AF isn’t necessary or desired.

      I largely reject that side of the argument. I don’t think that’s why it lacks AF.

      The same argument was put forth years ago about semi-automatic exposure, and then full automatic exposure, and then multi-segment metering, and then intelligent TTL flash control … yet studies have shown that these are all advancements that have helped enthusiasts learn the process faster, while producing better imagery, and helped professionals in certain types of photography — photojournalism in particular — capture a greater percentage of keepers when delivering to clients.

      For example, I can remember back when the Nikon F3 arrived in 1980 to replace the F2, and many pros were lamenting all the electronics and aperture priority automation, neither of which they trusted. After a short while they were singing its praises because it made their jobs easier.

      The M is still the most popular camera in the Leica stable, and I’m sure if it had autofocus, many “purists” would eventually sing its praises as well.

      That said, there’s a likely technical limitation here as well. The M series unlikely ever will have autofocus, because it would require a major rethink of the camera’s engineering, and a level of miniaturization of AF modules that isn’t yet possible in the industry — and may never be possible — with M sized lenses, while retaining a full frame sensor. So that’s probably while it’ll never happen, not because of a “purist” philosophy held by Leica.

      If one wants an “M-like” experience in a similarly-sized high quality camera with an optical viewfinder, sporting autofocus, then Fuji has the X-Pro2 (though the Fuji is arguably more like a Contax than a Leica).

      In most other respects, I don’t think there’s much more Leica could have done to update the M10, save perhaps adding an integrated EVF and a second card slot.

      • To date all competitors failed to deliver AF lenses in the same compact package. Even APS-C lenses for mirrorless bodies are larger than their counterparts for Leica M with equivalent field of view.

        As an amateur, after two weeks, can you still remember how to make the multiplicity of presettings for auto focus, auto exposure, auto ISO, or how to switch between presettings under stress? Leica M was outdated technology during the larger part of her life.

      • The M-mount is simply too small for the electrical contacts needed for AF lenses.
        That’s why Leica made a new L-mount for their T and SL cameras.
        In theory Leica could make rangefinder type of cameras (with EVF) with the L-mount, just like many mirrorless cameras from other brands.

  71. Awesome. The M10 finally seems to get the ergonomics correct (ISO dial!). However, I love my Fuji X-T1 (with the 35 f2 prime) for street photography… haven’t used my M8 since. I still love the M8 though… it was a break through camera for me. Maybe once the M10’s come down in price I will buy another M. They are really really great cameras.

  72. Hi Steve,

    Is it really worth the upgrade from a 240? Personally don’t shoot over ISO1600.

    Yooro Yoon

    • Well, you will get a nicer sensor here for color, snap and feel. The body feels much different, viewfinder is larger and brighter, but you lose the video, larger battery, etc. I mean, if you had to sell your M 240 and pay an extra $3k and never shoot low light, then no not worth it. The biggest thing for me in this M is that it is finally a no compromise M. Shoot in any light, finally. It’s responsive, never lags, never froze on me and is quick to shoot. It’s lovely but I also like the M 240, and still do. So would be just a personal pref.

  73. Thanks Steve! Now it is time to get this new M10! I am using M8 & M9 all the time but I think it is the mature time for this new M with the 2nd generation CMOS senor and bigger viewfinder!

  74. I’d like to see some rigorous comparisons of the new sensor with that in the Q/SL. But this sure looks like the Leica digital camera I was looking for: simple operation, no video, a rangefinder, just a joy to shoot with.

  75. Excellent review, Steve! I thought the leaked specs were too close to the M240 to warrant an upgrade, but now I cannot wait to get my hands on the M10.

  76. Wow! The differences between images from the M240 and M10 are night and day! My goodness. I remember how orange Debbie’s skin looked from the M240 and then Leica releasing a firmware update shortly after release. The M10 definitely has much more micro-contrast, that pop, and more importantly, that distinctive Leica look.

  77. Thanks Steve! We’ve been waiting quite a while for this one. It must have been hard to say nothing about this camera.

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