Leica M10 on May 10th?

Leica M10 concept by Svein Gunnar Kjøde

Leica Camera sent out invitations for an event in Berlin on May 10th, 2012:

"Leica celebrates the essentials of photography! We invite you to exclusively experience a whole range of product launches in a culturally and photographically unique atmosphere on 10-11 May 2012 in Berlin..."

I was expecting the M10 to be introduced at Photokina together with the new mirrorless camera system. Leica is very particular with their announcement dates - the M9 for example was announced on 09/09/09, so May 10th is a good indication for a new M10.

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  • My goodness, that thing is elegant.

    But what of its guts? The Kodak question?

    • this is just a concept, not the “real” M10

      • I would hate to lose the tactile feel of the covering, and worry that exposure of more metal could make t wear very badly.

  • I hope they’re smart enough to go ahead annouce the mirrorless system as well instead of waiting for Photokina.

    • J Shin

      Yes… even if all they have is a prototype.

  • Leica needs to control the bleeding of its customers by other company “pre-orders”. With Fuji X shipping soon, this is preventive damage control. I was eyeing Fuji system myself, but with Leica announcement eminent I think I will wait and see.

    • Carlo

      It make sense, but wait and see the target price of the M10. It could be that you can buy 3 X-PRO 1..
      I’ve not read about a mirrorless system,only the M10. Other point, you do not know anything about the new M10 nor the mirrorless.
      And if Fuji announce the X-PRO 2 ff @ Photokina?

      • Robert Falconer

        It would be too soon for an X-Pro 2. I would expect Fuji to showcase some of the additional X-lenses first.

      • Christopher M

        No way fuji announces a FF X-Pro 2. I think they are committed to APS-C with their lenses.

        Agnius is right on the bleeding of customers.

    • harold

      People must understand, the Xpro-1 does in NO way compete with the Leica M9

      Perhaps in the minds of some people who would never nhave bought the M9 anyway, for whatever reason!

      • Tom

        Yeah it does not compete with the M9!!!
        Except for the fact that it takes just as good or better pictures for a fraction of the price, otherwise it does not compete!!!

  • Rinse

    Much better for Leica to anounce products at their own event then at Photokina. Now they get all the attention and at Photokina they will be blown away by the product launches of Canon/Nikon and the likes.

    • maybe the Fuji X-Pro1 pushed them to release it earlier, or maybe the fact that the M9 is currently in stock everywhere

    • Robert Falconer

      they will be blown away by the product launches of Canon/Nikon and the likes.

      Naw, I don’t think Leicaphiles – the primary intended market – will be too worried about Canikon, etc.

      And Photokina simply means more mainstream coverage.

  • please dont make it look like the titan m9 !!!!

    that metal part is disgusting

    • Banksie

      I agree. The Titanium M9 is super ugly. This rendering looks just like a T M9 painted black and with different vulcanite/leatherette covering. Not very imaginative and it clearly seems to be photoshopped off of a T M9 pic.

  • hexx

    i’ve heard rumours about sony working on FF NEX camera – that would be true Leica killer

    • MayaTlab

      I doubt that. Designing a FF mirror less camera is much much harder than what people think it is. It seems to me people think they just have to make everything slightly bigger and voilà, there is a full frame NEX. But as it is unlikely this rumoured camera would be a MF camera, we can start thinking about the implications of a full frame CDAF camera. The problem is that it’s already quite difficult to make fast- CDAF focusing lenses for smaller sensors (that means with small and lighter glass elements, and internal focusing). So imagine what it would give if those lenses had to cover a full frame area. The glass elements and their weight would be quite important, and there would only be two possible results : either slow AF, or large lens barrels to house bigger motors – which goes against the spirit of small mirror less cameras. The Fuji X pro 1 is already limited in AF speed by its lenses, not even the processor or the sensor FPS read out, because they were designed for brightness and optical quality first, therefore house rather large glass elements and focus by moving the entire assembly, but it’s only got an APSC sensor. That’s why I think it’s unlikely to see a full frame CDAF mirror less camera anytime soon, and that’s why this precisely is one of the advantages the Leica M will retain over other mirror less systems – the ability to have a full frame sensor (and all the potential advantages it can bring over APSC sensors, like better high-ISO IQ) in a rather small body while retaining fast and very good lenses. But that advantage goes away if Leica continues to use sensors that are in certain areas not even competitive with smaller sensors.

      • Justin

        Just so we are clear, you know that the M9’s high ISO IQ is far, far worse than the NEX5/7 OR the Fuji X-Pro1 right? Not even in the same league.

        • MayaTlab

          That’s exactly what I thought. That’s why I think Leica’s wasting the potential of full frame sensors right now, while they should exploit it to its maximum as it is one of the main advantages they’re likely to retain over the AF competition.

        • Daryl

          That Leica produced a full frame sensor was an achievement of great magnitude. That it is 18mp and equivalent to the best in Nikon and Canon is an achievement of great magnitude. That it is coupled with the sharpest lenses available in the 35mm format is quite an achievement. That it isn’t be state of the art for low light is made up for by a 50mm f 0.95 lens, a 21, 24, 35 and 50mm f1.4. Head to head with the Nex/Fuji, they aren’t in the same league. It’s a system not just a sensor.

          • MayaTlab

            Those lenses are big and mostly heavy, which goes against the philosophy of the M (especially the 50mm noctilux, which looks to me like a waste of R&D resources and just a game of who’s got the biggest ones). They’re also very expensive, probably a little too much for what they bring on the table, as good as they may be. The sum micron line is more in line with the spirit of the M (except maybe for the 50 lux or 35 lux which are quite small), and makes more sense in the digital age with the availability of better sensors.

            Leica lenses aren’t the only ones to be sharp – I could get equal results with for example a Zeiss 50mm makro planar on a Nikon D800e (maybe even better). Now, I think some of the lenses in the line up provide more than just sharpness (I love the 50 lux overall rendering), and also good mechanical qualities and ergonomics. Sharpness isn’t everything and actually, most of the greatest photographs taken during the 20th century aren’t sharp at all.

            But most importantly, you talk about achievement, while all the greatest achievements in the world wouldn’t have any point if they didn’t provide something relevant. Yes, it’s the only full frame mirror less, and as I said, it’s likely to remain one of their only potential advantage over AF mirror less systems, another reason why I never said the Fuji is a direct competitor to the Leica. But the thing is that in 2012, charging 6000 euros for such a sensor just isn’t relevant, as other than DOF management it doesn’t provide anything over concurrent APS-C sensors. Leica still has a lot of work to do to improve the M bodies, and criticism is the start of any improvement.

            There still is IMHO too much bling and luxury BS with Leica at the moment, a shame as it’s a great company and I’d buy a better M body in a heartbeat if they either charged less for it or improved it substantially. I’m lucky enough to have all the necessary cash at my disposal, but I’m not sure the digital M is quite there yet. Other than the sensor, there are many basic things to improve (body ergonomics – why no thumb rest ?, exposure dial, better auto WB and metering, less noisy shutter, viewfinder with various magnifications, prehistoric baseplate, unnecessary heavy brass – in the 21st century there must be better, lighter materials to make strong and durable cameras, at least LED based frame lines, if not a complete overhaul of the viewfinder, better battery life, better processing speed and shot to shot times, and the list goes on – I’m not even talking about the back screen as it doesn’t help me make better pictures, so I don’t care much, but I think it’s quite lame in 2012). I’m sorry, but to me a camera is just a tool (I don’t give a flying f… if it has a few scratches here or there for example).

            BTW, I own a M8.2, I love the RF concept and MF lenses, but it’s not by bowing in front of Leica that they’re going to improve their cameras.

        • Camerafocus

          The Kodak sensor (made by a division of Kodak that was floated of from the main company some time ago) is the same style CCD that is used in all the Digital Medium Format cameras. The reason that this CCD is so good is because it retains far more detail per pixel and has a far higher Dynamic range producing a more film like look and feel with better colour rendition than the CMOS sensors. If you want high ISO go with CMOS if you want high quality the choose CCD. The Leica is the only 35mm format CCD on the market.

          • MayaTlab

            It retains more details because it has no AA filter, not because it’s a CCD. It has the same bayer pattern as any other sensor and therefore is subjected to roughly the same demoscaing processes.

            And my experience of shooting with both a M8.2 and a D700 makes me doubt that the Kodak sensor has more dynamic range, something the DXO mark seems to concur with, just as well as anybody can try so by lifting the shadows of Imaging resources samples.

            On the other hand when it comes to colour reproduction I’ve indeed seen something that may look a little more attractive (but not necessarily more accurate) from the M8.2 DNGs than from my D700’s NEFs. But so far I’ve yet to read that CCDs have nowadays an inherent advantage in that regard, and I’ve also seen great colour reproduction from CMOS cameras, or simply by switching softwares. So I’m not sure CCD is the reason why I seem to get in a few pictures this tiny difference (and I’m not talking about UV / IR differences, i’m using a filter).

            Finally I’m ready to bet that despite saying that CCD still offer in 2012 the best image quality, the main reasons behind MF cameras sticking to CCD has less to do with IQ than economical considerations.

            In the end CCD vs CMOS is irrelevant to the end consumer (unless one wants video or live view). Only the end result matters. In 2009 Kodak must have been for various reasons the only manufacturer willing to produce something customised for the M, but I think it already was technically outdated and charging 6000 euros for such a sensor today when it’s clearly out of the competition is likely to be hard to swallow for many people.

    • Robert Falconer

      Apples don’t kill oranges, or vice versa.

  • peter drijver

    So a B+W only Leica. Black dot. To me this is for super snobs -as the manual SLR Contax made at their 60th anniversary, the rerun of the 0Leica’s and even the rerun of the Nikon RF cameras.

  • I do not see a b&w only M camera as very likely, (almost any digital file can be converted flawlessly). Personally I think the M9 is almost perfect for many uses, I produce wonderful images over on meter wide of architecture (my professional job). The only thing I could wish for, is more pixels and a little more dynamic range. Live view would be a bonus for long lens use and when I use an adapted 15 mm lens. I expect to see a camera with live view (for R lens use), high iso settings (much higher than the M9), and not much else (what else would be useful)(i can still focus considerably faster with a M camera than my 5D2 in low light)

    • Robert Falconer

      I agree – far too much third party R&D required for what amounts to a niche-within-a-niche. What’s the point?

  • pooh

    Another special edition M9-P is more likely.

  • Raffi Kirdi

    Can’t wait to hear some accurate news about the M10 release date…

  • Nobody Special

    Notice the importnt words below – specifically; “…a whole range of product launches..”,

    “…….exclusively experience a whole range of product launches in a culturally and photographically unique atmosphere……”

    Normally I would blow off most of that simply as Leica over-stating things as usual. But it will be hard for them (I’m guessing) to come away from this kind of statement again if they don’t deliver something uniquely ‘different’ – ……a whole range of product lauches – those new big shot ‘venture capitalists’ partners must really want to see a return on their money. Maybe we’ll see just how much they know about photography?

  • rcoill

    Every sensor except the SIGMA FOVEON are black & white only sensor 🙂 For the black dot, they can’t use it because Leica Geosystems owns it and won’t allow them to put it on their camera anymore. For the screen i would love the M10 not having it as being able to shoot without the need to look back at a (crappy on the M9) screen is what i want for my photography. Because of this screen, the Leica M9 is more a digital camera than a Leica in my opinion… i can understand some wants it but would be great the M10p not having it.

    Anyway, are we on the 1st of april ?

  • JSB

    It says May 10-11,

    maybe a BW Leica M10 with no LCD on the 10th
    And a Leica M11 on the 11th, which would be a performance boosted M9, with your 24mp senser, lcd, possibly with an evf like x100…. (CEO did comment he liked the x100 mechanism)

  • The second day is to announce a grey scale lens, that cannot produce colour photos.

  • MJr

    DOUBLE Digits ! OMFG ! 🙂

  • Camerafocus

    Why is there so much talk of a mirror less system Leica. Have none of you realised that Leica has always been mirror less with the only exceptions being the R and S range.
    Do you mean you’d prefer a more compact version of the M’s or a cheaper range of lenses .
    I’m sure that if a smaller Mirrorless camera was launched you’d all want to put the original M lenses on it anyway.

  • Henry

    Take a Leica M6 body, make it a very little lighter , take the Zeiss Ikon ZM optical viewfinder, a Nikon D800 sensor, NO lcd screen, a good ,long lasting battery- 1 day for one battery, a quicker shutter till 1/4000, more silent and smooth too, put everything together and this could be an interesting new Digital FF camera..on wich we can put all brand of M-lenses.
    WHAT are they waiting for : we should go back to film or so?

  • markus

    for an industrial design study nice.
    aesthetically totally ugly. gone wrong.

    if an M10 is gonna look like an MP, i’m ready to order!

  • Wolfgang

    Did anyone else get an invitation to a Leica event in Berlin on May 10-11 in the meantime, or is even the event itself a rumor?

    • several people that I know got an invitation, of course Leica will not invite me 🙂

  • simon B

    Requirements for successful Leica M10:
    18mp+ FF sensor with high ISO performance to match canon and nikon’s big guns.
    Video recording capability.
    Better battery performance.
    100% reliability.
    viewfinder magnification options.
    I would have bought an M9 if there had been bit better high ISO performance, and viewfinder options. Until then I’ll keep shooting film.
    C’mon Leica, surely thats not asking too much.

  • May 10 or Photokina – who cares? Leica can either announce a new model (M10?),
    a new system (X2 with interchangeable lenses), and improvement to the R (and more
    unavailable lenses) or a different overpriced Panasonic and in the greater scheme of
    things, it’s just another day. I’m not holding my breath.

  • one possibility i don’t hear mentioned is the most obvious one to me: a new (revised) film camera. talk about the ‘essentials’ of photography. it would be very, very nice if they at least offered a version of the mp with a shutter speed dial identical to the m7 and m9. it’s crazy–the mp is a perfect complement to an m9, each enhancing the other’s strengths and weaknesses, but it is insane to have to switch back and forth between cameras where exposure dials operate the opposite ways. sheesh. which leaves me with the m6ttl, lovely camera and i like mine, but i would be happy to be able to get a new one.

    anyway, my only hope for the m10 is that they don’t attempt to take it in a radically new direction. i don’t need something that matches the ‘features’ of an xp1 or nex7 at the cost of losing the rf window with all its advantages. all i need is a more reliable, more weather resistant, faster (shutter lag) camera without color shading on the edges and with a screen and files which can be used to confirm critical focus. beyond that, it’s just wants: sure, i *want* a deeper buffer, more dynamic range, instant on with extended battery life, live view, and ideally (partly just to combat moire) higher resolution. i would love to see a physical iso wheel, preferably placed in the notch to the side of the vf; whole stops only plus auto, for them what uses it (i don’t), third stop offsets settable through the menu as currently provided, but this i will not hold my breath over. i DO NOT want (and probably wouldn’t buy) a camera with evf (unless it is completely external to the camera, attaching eg to the hotshoe and does not affect the optical rf/vf at all) or even stupid glowing red framelines. that is not an m series camera; save it for the x line, where it would all be extremely welcome.

    personally, i’d love to see in addition to an m10, an m9bw with a checkerboard 2 stop nd array over the existing m9 sensor instead of the bayer filter. that would be very impressive in resolution and dynamic range, and pretty efficient in terms of new parts/rd.

  • hinting

    They may show an R mount mirrorless solution!

  • Banack

    I am glad to know that the M10 image is just an “Artist concept” because it is one ugly looking black box … right down there with the Fuji X1 Pro. Leica got it right with the M9, now just upgrade the sensor … or not. It’s still more camera than most humans will need in any given lifetime.

  • 10.10 in 10 anniversary of M system (2 weeks)

    • Just like M9 on 09.09.09 🙂

      • The new camera will be the T or M? who will be faster?

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