Recap on the upcoming Leica M camera (Leica M10?)

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The new Leica M camera was initially supposed to be announced during the Photokina show in September but it was postponed. The second rumored announcement is/was for November 22nd-23rd but it seems that this date could be pushed back as well. Some tips suggested that the official announcement will not happen before February 2017.

So much on the announcement date, next is a recap of all the rumored specs of the next Leica M:

  • Leica is rumored to return to the original M numbering (M8, M9, M10) - this could explain why a Leica M10 was recently registered in China. Maybe Leica will make the new M10 their "classic" M camera and turn the M Typ xxx line into their modern, high-tech line.
  • I also heard rumors that the new M will be called Leica M-C (I personally don't think this will happen).
  • The new camera will be 3.8mm smaller than the M 240. Even if the exact numbers are off, this has been the consensus from all the tips I have received in the past few months: the new M will be smaller (pictured above: Leica M9 vs Leica M Typ 240 size comparison from Camerasize, click for larger view)
  • 24MP sensor (most likely the sensor from the Leica SL/Q)
  • Max ISO: 50k (just like the Leica SL and the Leica Q)
  • Bigger control buttons on the back
  • Slightly bigger LCD screen
  • EVF from the TL camera
  • Dedicated ISO wheel/dial on top plate next to the viewfinder (not sure about that)
  • Shipping will start in Spring of 2017, maybe even later (depending on the official announcement)

FYI: the French Salon de la Photo show will start tomorrow (November 10 - 14) and it seems that Leica is not participating.

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  • Luis Morales

    I am currently in the process of saving for a new camera. I am coming from a Canon T4i but I believe myself to have outgrown it and I feel as if to require better image quality (proper iso, better lens quality, dynamic range, tonal range, etc.) I love the idea of the M because it is definitely a smaller unit and it is obviously well designed. The quality that goes into manufacturing is impeccable and it definitely looks like it was crafted with care. As far as image quality goes, it(currently the 240) seems to deliver where I think I would need it for now, but if a new one is expected soon I guess I should wait, although I should mention that I have considered the Sony A7rii because it is far cheaper and performance looks as if to be on par if not better. Let’s hope with the current CMOSIS development that Leica develops this new M with a newer sensor that will compete better with everything else on the market.

    • John Barbiaux

      Being an avid Leica shooter I have to tell you… the dynamic range on an M240 is possibly the worst full frame dynamic range around. I love my Leica for street photography but it’s a very specific tool to do a specific job. Try renting on first to make sure the investment is worth it for you. Like I said, I love mine but I know its limitations and dynamic range is def one of them.

      • CHD

        Seriously?? Obviously you never shot Canon then….my M240 when I bought it was an improvement over my 5D2.

    • Andrew Gemmell

      The A7r is a different experience. I’d buy an M9 first and see if you like using it. Lenses very very expensive to if buying Leica.

      • Luis Morales

        I’ve played with the 240 and with a 246 but I find monochrome to be more of a commitment although it has the most beautiful black and white rendering I’ve ever seen. They are definitely different and compared to my T4i everything about the final output is exceedingly better.

    • Les

      If you are just interested in trying a rangefinder, you should look at getting a used M9 or M. They hold their value, so you won’t have spent much money if you find that you don’t like rangefinders.

      Don’t worry about dynamic range, it’s much greater than most films ever were. I’m sure you’ve already done image searches to see what others are doing with their Ms. DR is not a hindrance unless you are into HDR or tone mapping (two image styles that already seem very dated to me).

    • Max Pachernigg

      The M’s biggest advantages to me are the concept of handling and the viewfinder as well as size kompared to DSLRs. I think in some ways the M restricts photographic possibilities because it’s not as flexible as other systems. It also needs time to get used to it. In some ways it opens up new possibilities or creative ways of shooting things.
      For now I would never trade it in for any other system though. The M-P’s frameline selector would be great on the M. Sensor performance and processor speed could be (and it think will be) improved on newer models.

    • raziel28

      Well, Leica is the last option if You want a tool for image quality, strictly. Everything else on the market is better in that case.
      People buy Leica for other reasons… Rangefinder experience, for example. There are no other digital RF (am I wrong?).
      On the other hand, for the new Leica M price You can buy a 1DX II, or 5Ds + 7DII combo. If the image quality is all you want, take a look at 5Ds, D810, A7rII.
      If You do not have experience with Leica, You should try used M9 or M8 for example…
      Regards

  • K. Chae

    Design asides, it will be a huge let down if they use same sensor from leica q. M should remain their flagship and while it can’t have as big a sensor Leica S and so on have, they should keep on improving its sensors on M line. To be honest more and more M sensors are making images way too ‘digital’. I miss the CCD sensors from Kodak.

  • mitchellhartman

    my only request would be for more dynamic range, and better low light capabilities, like the SL…other than that, pretty satisfied with what I have. Want to make it slimmer, fine. Bigger , better back LCD, also fine, but not a deal breaker, just bring it all to the Monochrom as well.

    • Ric Ricard

      Can you post a link to your work showing where you need more dynamic range? Personally, I find that shooting with artificial light or shooting at the right time of day eliminates the need for more dynamic range. I keep thinking the desire for more dynamic range comes from people reading that the Leica has less DR than say, a Sony or a Nikon, and therefore they feel Leica needs to improve DR. I’m not convinced these complaints are coming from people with actual photographic concerns. Respectfully, I’d love to see some images of yours that demonstrate this concern/problem.

      • mitchellhartman

        I guess if you want to wait for the perfect time of day to shoot, you’re right Richard, unfortunately that is not always ideal, the Leica does have a contrasty response to NYC daylight with blown highlights when walking around the day. As far as low light is concerned, I shoot a lot in the subways, beyond 64,000 ISO you get sensor grids in the shadows, so I deal with f5.6 at 1/125 sec, would be nice to stop commuters when running for a train.

        • Ric Ricard

          I recently sold my M240. However, I use the M9 in the subways all the time. Generally F2 at 125 or F2 at 160. On the M9 I usually lock in the ISO at 640. You can see samples of some of this work on my new IG @RicInAction. Personally, I don’t have a problem with the DR of the M9 in these situations.

          • mitchellhartman

            Yes, f2 is ok, but for my own work I like a bit more depth of field but that is what makes the world go round… same as for my request. You can see my work on my website.. http://www.embrace-the-grain.com

          • Tadao_Isogai

            Passengers > 2016 III > images 13 and 24 > very strong work. Thanks for sharing.

          • mitchellhartman

            Thank you Tadao_Isogai

          • R R Diaz

            Nice work Mitchell. Monochrom images?

          • mitchellhartman

            Thank you, last year and this

          • Ric Ricard

            Will check link tonight.

      • Rev Les Crowley

        I switched from Fuji X-Series to Nikon D600 because of dynamic range.

        You want to see why I need dynamic range? This is the work I do. I supposed I could do multiple exposures and HDR it….

        https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevefretz/albums/72157664773700001

        • Ric Ricard

          Interesting link. It seems that this sort of work, featuring both deep shadows and bright lights regularly, could indeed benefit from using a camera with the maximum possible DR. Thanks for posting. (Most of the time that people are requesting increased DR, I feel they are just comparing specs online. Not actually shooting content that needs more DR).

          • Rev Les Crowley

            Thanks for your kind words. I agree that there are plenty of fanbois for whom specmanship is an end in itself. Lately I’ve been experimenting with medium format using print film, which, if you believe petapixel, has up to 18 stops of dynamic range, and I must say, film does seem kinder to highlights. But scanning is its own special hell, esp now that there are so few new film scanners being made. We shall see.

      • chrisgull

        Ever been to Australia?

        • Ric Ricard

          No.

    • Ric Ricard

      OK, so I looked at your work. There is nothing lacking in your work from a technical perspective. You really don’t need more Dynamic Range. You are producing very strong images both technically and artistically. I could see you wanting some of the same things I’d like from the next M body -lighter weight, thinner body, larger buffer, better high ISO and overall more responsive camera. However, better Dynamic Range is simply not something YOU need. It’s like owning an iPhone 6 and saying you need a 7 while in reality, all of us were fine with an iPhone 4. Your current gear is serving you very well in terms of DR.

      Maybe I’ll see you on the subway at some point. That’s the main place I shoot as well. My correct IG for my Leica images is @cameraworknyc. I posted the wrong link in an earlier post.

      • mitchellhartman

        Thanx, glad you didn’t think my work was “lacking”. But the whole point of this was to list “MY” wish list, doesn’t mean it’s something for YOU to think I need or not, now does it? How about we put our egos aside and let me imagine a Leica with more dynamic range than it already has, if I need or not.

        • Ric Ricard

          Normally, you’d be correct…that it’s “your” wish list and my opinion on it isn’t necessary. However, the moment you post that list on a public forum, you should absolutely expect people to comment on it. Hell, it’s essentially called the “discuss” forum! So I’m not out of line for commenting on your wish list. Not sure what you mean by putting egos aside.

    • Brennan McKissick

      Agree 100%.

  • Frank McKay

    I welcome a smaller camera but some possible corrections –

    The M / M240 / M 262 etc seems to be roughly the same size as the main body of the M8/9.

    The M 240 had an added thumb wheel which protrudes on the back and throws dims off, but here’s a compassion of the M9 & 240 with base plates removed (240 is on the left):
    http://static.squarespace.com/static/5177c8d1e4b084b94e4b5c0e/t/5183a805e4b0046126d1462c/1367582728975/KJD_0939.jpg

    The 240 seems to lie flatter and lower, the main body thickness looks the same.

    The dimensions repeatedly quoted for the M9 seem to be incorrect and undersized, but this depends where you measure from and I suspect there was some creative measurement done for marketing.

    The dims quoted here for the M9 are very close to the size of the M6 which we know is not the case, the M9 was always a larger camera.

    If someone owns / has access to a M9 (M-E) and new M (240,etc) and also a film M it would be nice to finally fact check this as these incorrect dimensions have been circulated for some time.

    Anyway, Hopefully the new camera will be close to the size of the film Ms.

    • maralatho

      Right. They’re exactly the same. I had both until very recently, and, placed bottom to bottom, the 240 and the M9 had the exact same footprint. Same thickness, same height, same length. The only difference is the protrusions, for instance the thumb outdent on the 240.

  • eric

    if the new m, has same sensor as the q, same pixels, the q will definitely become a steal then, price wise. if you arent worried about changing focal lengths that much, its a sweet deal to get a body and lens for way less than just an m body would cost.

  • Daryl

    Admin, is there any info on reason(s) for date changes? Sensor or firmware possibly, can’t imagine that it is mechanical from Leica:-)

    • No idea, I am not even sure if it’s delayed, but I received the same info from multiple sources. It could also be that they canceled the event and will still announce the new M at the end of the month.

      • Daryl

        Thanks!

  • tjholowaychuk

    The SL sensor seems to really be lacking, maybe it’s the glass, I’m not sure but I’ve been creeping on Flickr for quite a while and they all seem extremely flat. Maybe not the best place to creep but compared to what you see out of the m240 they seem off.

    • CHD

      There’s nothing wrong with the sensor…check Kristian Dowlings review of the SL; the images are full of colour and pop.

      • tjholowaychuk

        Nice yeah those look pretty good, hard to find pros using the SL maybe, plenty of really amateur stuff out there.

        • CHD

          Well….I think most of Leica’s owners are amateurs these days:)

          • Les

            That’s always been the case. Back in the 80’s the saying was “90 percent of professionals use Hasselblad, and 99 percent of Hasselblads are used by amateurs.”

            That’s true for all the “professional” brands.

  • John

    And the price?

    • ZMWT

      Around $2400, perhaps.

      • Luis Morales

        No way, I guarantee at least 6k for the body plus whatever lens you want, which can add on another thousand or more.

  • Jens Arnspang

    Would someone please define dynamic range in a photographic context!?

    • Walter Strong

      It’s the exposure latitude of a camera sensor or film in terms of how many stops of exposure it can capture between crushed blacks and blown highlights.

      • Jens Arnspang

        Thanks, Walter! Is that number invariant over ISO-settings? – The definition sounds like one fixed number; however, would for example a 100 ISO-setting and a 3200 ISO-setting not produce different number of stops between crushed blacks and blown highlights, ie different ‘dynamic range’, as defined here? – What am I missing or messing to understand here? 🙂

        • mitchellhartman

          Jens, you would get smoother transitions between the latitudes with lower ISO over Hi ISO but should be the same latitudes no matter which…but experiences and results may vary

          • Jens Arnspang

            In the film days, I would have the clear visual perception and technical understanding, that a low iso Kodachrome would have much less latitude / stop levels / dynamic range than a higher iso Kodak Tri X. So this is different with these days digital sensors, I understand, where the latitude / dynamic range stays constant at all iso settings!?

          • Jens Arnspang

            Thanks Mitchell! Concerning the concept of smoother transitions itself, disregarding the discussion of dynamic range, are we then not embarking on and including the topic of ‘color depth’, i.e. bits pr pixel, talking in a raster screen sense?

          • mitchellhartman

            I’m not that is too technical for me….lol. BTW Tri-X was pretty contrasty, it was the development solutions you used that soften that contrast. You can do the same with a raw converter to a point. But a blown highlight is a blown highlight. Where the Stones said black is black, in photography white is white.

          • Jens Arnspang

            And Simon and Garfunkel said Don’t take my Kodachrome away, however sadly enough not loud enough:) Speaking of which, Kodachrome; three kids ago I took a suitcase of those on a photo safari in Kenya and shot thousands of slides on 25 asa. Normally you would expect less smoother transitions, less tones, on a 25 asa film, would you not. However, flooded with light in Kenya, an immense amount of, at least percieved, tones were generated. Back home (in Denmark) I would need a much higher iso film to do so:) I know very well, that film and digital sensors do not gather light in the same way; however, Im puzzled by the meaning of dynamic range and tone transitions in current discussions:)

          • mitchellhartman

            not sure why you assume ISO 25 film would give you less transitions or less tones? In my experience, it all depended on your developer, but a smoother transition would be had if you had smaller and tighter grain.See if you can find a sheet of 4×5 Kodachrome in some archives, it’s absolutely beautiful.

        • Walter Strong

          I don’t have the technical answer to you question. Camera sensors have a set sensitivity to light. Raising ISO is boosting digital signal to give you the exposure you need/want at the expense of image quality (noise).
          Whether or not you technically have the same dynamic range at ISO 200 as at ISO 6400, I don’t know, but it’s a moot point if the image isn’t satisfactory to you.
          Also, don’t forget that even though your camera might have x stops of dynamic range, it doesn’t mean there’s that many stops of light information in every scene you might want to photograph, or that you even need to grab it all in the first place.
          Cheers!

          • Jens Arnspang

            Thanks again Walter! You are so very right, absolutely. Now let’s se, if we take the classical example of the bride and bridegroom in front of the white church wall; in order to bring out the fifty shades of grey for them (sorry), I might take a higher iso film, in those days a Kodak Tri X or an Ilford HP5, and get non crushed shadows and non blown highlights. If I kept the same film in the camera for ‘normal’ later motives, I would probably have more available stops to work with, than necessary for the presence of information in ‘normal scenes’, Absolutely.

  • Bo Dez

    I have a feeling this long delayed camera is going to be a major disappointment. 24MP would be a total failure by Leica.

    • Just look at the new TL – they did not upgrade the sensor. I think the same will happen to the new M.

      • Les

        We should wait for a proper test before saying that it’s the same sensor. Even if the specs haven’t changed, I expect that some performance parameters such as read noise and power use will have been improved, as they are for all chips.

      • Maybe it’s gonna be fuji wide instanx film + digital TL sensor. That would be so cool if they did that. half Leica M-A and half Digital 😀

    • mitchellhartman

      Really? 24MP would be a failure? The M240 and M246 already have 24MP last I looked

      • Bo Dez

        failure.

      • Brennan McKissick

        If it doesn’t have at least 42mp Bo here is gonna have too hard of a time using such a lowly device when a mere Sony, a camera for the peasants, can out resolve the Red Dot.

  • Superb Visual

    Dynamic range is not too bad. I just hope they make it weather sealed at least and more buffer. I just got the Leica M-D too so im kinda sad to hear about the M10 : ( But if you wanna see what a Leica can do with fashion/lifestyle shoots here is my page https://www.instagram.com/superbvisual/

  • DouglasGottlieb

    What was the dynamic range of Kodachrome that so many of us yearn for? Didn’t it “crush the shadows?” And yet I post about wanting more DR too. Having options is nice. Is it necessary? No. Weather sealing. Sure! But none of my lenses have it, so not sure how useful. Better LCD? I don’t need it or care. Better buffer? Yes please. Dual cards? I’ve never had a corruption. But I see the appeal. Lighter? Maybe. Thinner, like a film Leica? Nice to have. What do you add to perfection? It is hard to say! 🙂

    • good point, but I thought all the Leica Lens are WR? I dont care for LCD that’s why I have the Leica M-D. Better buffer and dual SD. The Dual SD is a great piece of mind. Lighter and thinner yes. GPS+Wifi with good iOS support is a plus but not needed.

    • Bo Dez

      resolution is the only other thing I need

    • Jens Arnspang

      Douglas, you’re right, the holy Kodachrome ‘did things’. Personally I think, if we are to talk tech, we need to understand more closely, what is contrast, what is dynamic range, what is tone transition, what is grey level and color perception, how much does resolution matter, where do human visual perception come into the loop, etc. – It can all be studied and explained by scientist, and I tried as well for some decades. – However the one, that bring out the pictures are the skilled photographers with the tool of their heart; the best photographer fully understand the complex of light, film/sensor/print and visual perception better than any single scientist do, for the purpose of making pictures, that is – still it’s good to talk about these tech-things, certainly:)

  • Valdo

    Maybe different sensor?
    CCD or back illuminated CMOS?
    For sure not curved.

  • Hello ! today i was at the french Photo Salon, many, many people but no Leica participation —;(((( I think this is a very bad point for Leica, but if you don’t have anything new why to go?

    • Exactly, this is why I think we will not see the new M this year.

  • Jens Arnspang

    Personally, I do not think, we need more sensor resolution, if not for making big prints, which absolutely is a valid practical issue, of course, absolutely. – Think about this fact: The human visual perception ‘see’ many more details, than the ‘resolution’ of our retina ‘should allow’. Let me rephrase this fact into: If you count the number of ganglion cells on the human retina, this number will by orders of magnitude be lower (i.e. much lower) than the ‘number of details’, humans are able to see under the ‘right wieving conditions. An interesting fact, I think. – Now, normal present digital camera sensors have a certain number of cells / pixels / receivers, that determine the resolution of the image, we capture and work with; there is no way to increase the de facto resolution beyond the sensor resolution. – However the human retina / visual computer can in the above senses do this. – I’m just saying we do not need more resolution for ‘better’ images, less you need larger prints:)

  • Jens Arnspang

    In stead of more sensor resolution in the sense of more pixels over the sensor area, we might need more ‘color depth’ / more bits per pixel. What are we talking of in a Leica, 10bit, educate me here? Some cameras have 14bit, I think, educate me again? Both of these numbers are far lower than the ‘human visual system color depth’, if we were to describe it in terms of bits pr pixel! – What I am saying is: Do not produce us sensors with more receivers over the sensor area, but with more ‘color resolution’ in each sensor cell; that would improve present digital images vastly, I personally think:)

  • sickheadache

    But really Leica…same old 24mp…grow a pair and upgrade to 48mp. Lol

  • Jaap Vle

    Your camera size comparison is incorrect; the M240’s 42 mm include the protruding thumb wheel. The actual body thickness is 37.5 mm.

    • This is not my comparison. My point is/was that the new Leica M10 will be smaller than the 240 and hopefully even smaller than the M9.

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