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2017.12.15

Leica has a long history of making cameras and lenses. They entered the digital camera market initially by re-branding Panasonic cameras for which Leica made the optics anyway. Eventually they introduced a digital version of their famed M-rangefinder cameras to allow the superb Leica glass to be used digitally. They later added their own systems with the S Medium Format Digital Camera and the full-frame SL-system.

Leica M10

Today, DxO Mark revealed their score for the Leica M10, the newest digital rangefinder from Leica. This full-frame mirrorless is built around 24 megapixels CMOS sensor of unknown origin and paired with a Maestro II processor. Together these deliver an ISO 100 to 50,000 sensitivity range and 5 FPS continuous shooting. The camera is obviously fitted with a M-mount which the only MF-only mount for which cameras are still being developed.

The Leica M10 scores a paltry DxO Mark score of 86 which must be one of the most disappointing performances of all times, considering this is a $7000 USD Full-Frame camera. Putting this into perspective the latest full-frame DSLR scores 100 points. Even worse, the M10 scores less than a few APS-C cameras! The Nikon D7200 in particular gets a score of 87. Agreed that both these cameras are much larger yet the Sony A6500 manages an 85 score.

DxO Mark breaks down the M10 score into 24.4 bits of color-depth, 13.2 EVs of dynamic-range and 2133 High-ISO points. Compare this to the Nikon D850 that scores 26.4 bits, 14.8 EV and 2660 High-ISO points, betting it significantly by on all sides. The APS-C sensor in the D7200 fares rather well too with 24.5  bits of color-depth, 14.6 EVs of dynamic-range and 1333 High-ISO points. As we keep repeating in our reviews, physics cannot be beaten. Even a poor full-frame sensor like the one in the M10 delivers a much better low-light performance than the best APS-C sensor.

Image-quality is not everything and DxO only characterizes sensors. Leica lenses are legendary and the M-system has a certain prestige associated with it but consider this: You can get a Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera for less!

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