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Today Leica unveiled the long-awaited Leica M10 as their latest digital rangefinder. This M-Mount digital camera supports Leica manual focus lens which are still regarded as being among the best lenses in the world. The M10 is built around a newly developed 24 megapixels Full-Frame CMOS sensor paired with an also new Maestro II processor which lets it shoot continuous at 5 FPS for up to 100 JPEG images or 30 RAW files. The new sensor offers a wide ISO 100-50,000 sensitivity range for improved low-light usability.

Leica M10

The refined body of the Leica M10 makes it the slimmest digital rangefinder to date and is fully weatherproof. Additionally, the LCD screen at the back of the camera is now covered with Corning Gorilla Glass, giving it the durability of cellphone screens. The viewfinder that gives it its rangefinder namesake is 30% larger than on the M9 with a magnification of 0.73X. Keep in mind that this optical viewfinder has a fixed field-of-view, so this is the maximum magnification. Longer focal-lengths results in lower magnification.

The M10 offers built-in WiFi but no other type of connectivity, not even wired ones. It has a single SDXC memory-card slot which is accessible via the same removable plate at the bottom as the battery. In order to keep its size low, a smaller battery had to be introduced which results in about 210 shots-per-charge. The Leica M10 supports a new combined EVF and GPS unit. No idea why these come together as they are completely independent concepts but the EVF is the only way to frame accurately with the M10, so we suspect most users will buy it along with the camera.

Leica revised controls of the M10 yet it still remains an anachronistic oddity. Aperture is of course set on the lens. The shutter-speed dial on the top plate selects only full-stops with a rear control-dial to select smaller steps. They added a tiny ISO dial with only some sensitivities and an M position which is a customizable ISO setting. There is clearly room for a dial with more settings (the Shutter-Speed Dial proves it), so it is very odd that only ISO 100-6400 can be selected directly.

For such a small company, it is surprising that they are managing to maintain so many systems with an SL mirrorless platform and S medium-format DSLR hybrid, plus a number of fixed lens cameras with small to large sensor sizes. They are also managing to avoid following the crowd by not provided video on the M10, and other of their digital cameras. This is certainly a testament to the endurance of the Leica name on the market.

The Leica M10 is available this month for about $7000 USD. Adorama is already accepting pre-orders. They also have the M10 available in Black.

Neocamera Blog © Cybernium

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