Review of the Leica M10-P camera from a user and LR fan (not a dealer/blogger)


Review of the Leica M10-P camera from a user and LeicaRumors fan (not a dealer/blogger) by Onasj (see also previous guest posts):

I sold my M10 and purchased an M10-P in silver. In case people are looking for them, I hear the silvers are in stock still at several places though the black model is already hard to find. Since the black model is chrome, not painted, it wouldn’t patina in the way some like their black Leicas to age, though personally I just like silver bodies, especially with silver lenses, better.

I shoot a lot of thin-DOF images with the 75/1.25, 50/0.95, and other lenses, and checking focus by the usual play-cursor scroll-enlarge wheel-cursor scroll-enlarge wheel-cursor scroll-enlarge wheel routine is very slow and cumbersome. Being able to double-tap any part of the image to jump to a 100% enlargement is therefore a major improvement to my shooting workflow. Touchscreen scrolling (by dragging one’s fingertip) of an enlarged photo was quick, responsive, and smooth. Occasionally reverting to my M10 habit of scrolling with the cursor quickly reminded me of the much greater ease and speed of touchscreen scrolling. These are two simple functional improvements that make a significant increase in the ease of reviewing images. Of course I appreciate that some consider viewing the images you just took to be worthy of derision, if not excommunication, but for me actually checking my work as I shoot helps maximize the quality of the resulting images.

The other non-cosmetic difference is the shutter sound, which is substantially quieter than the M10’s, and also more pleasant (less like two hard objects colliding at the end of the “stroke”). It’s not just a little bit quieter... it’s much quieter. Quiet enough that I will be able to use the M10-P at some (not all) quieter stage performances and recitals, whereas my attempts to use the M10 at such events were limited by its shutter noise. The sound of the M10-P shutter does not quite evoke romantic dreams of a kiss as Anthony Lane noted in his beautiful and brilliant essay about Leica cameras of yesteryear (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/09/24/candid-camera), but it is to me a more pleasant and less disruptive sound envelope than that of its predecessor.

The cosmetic differences are minor. The M10-P is gorgeous. The M10 is gorgeous. There’s no red dot on the front, but that’s not exactly stealthy given the huge Leica engraved on the top, and I rather liked the red dot, preferring it over a countersunk flathead screw. Honestly I don’t think 99.9+% of subjects or people around my shoot care if your camera is a Leica or not. The dimensions are the same as the M10, and my half-case (by Arte di Mano) fits both perfectly.

The ISO dial is still stiff to lift up. The sensor is supposed to be the same. I took some shots with the 75/1.25 at ISO 12500 (which I’ve done quite a bit with the M10) and was a bit surprised by how clean the images were, but without a side-by-side comparison between the M10-P and M10 one couldn’t tell if there was any improvement in high-ISO processing, and I would be surprised if there were any differences given the lack of mention of this point in Leica’s (surprisingly sparse?) press about their latest M camera. WiFi still takes far too long to set up and connect, and a bit too long to transfer, but I guess my M10 trained me well and I’m used to that now.

Overall, the M10-P provides the best digital Leica M experience, which is noteworthy. Until the M11, of course.

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