Unless you're really fond of its lens system, Leica's M-series range-finders have always been a tough sell -- models like the M8 and M9 have limited features, and they cost a fortune. Leica has just launched the M10, though, and is trying to give you a bit more (and less) for your money. The mirrorless model is now as small as classic film cameras like the M7 and weighs about the same. It's also got a new ISO-adjustment mechanical dial so that you don't have to dip into the menus, which again makes for a more Leica-like experience.
Inside, there's an all-new 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor driven by Leica's Maestro II image processor. That gives it faster shooting speeds, better dynamic range and a much-needed boost to the ISO range, now from 100 to 50,000 ISO. That sensor is the similar to the one used in the Leica Q, and should produce similar quality images, the company says. Like past models, the Leica M10 doesn't do video at all.
Unlike the EVF-equipped Q, however, the M10 is an optical rangefinder camera, and Leica has made some improvements in that area too. There's now a 30 percent greater field of view, higher 0.73X magnification and a better range of adjustment for users who wear eyeglasses. If you'd prefer to have an electronic viewfinder, you can attach Leica's Visoflex EVF accessory to the top.
Other new features include a simpler three-button control system for the rear display, giving you review, live-view and menu options. The menu function has been updated with a "favorites" menu, giving you commonly-used settings more quickly. It's also easier to focus using the back screen thanks to a focus peaking feature that draws colored lines around sharply focused edges. The M10 is also the first camera in the series to get built-in WiFi, letting you send pictures to a smartphone or control the camera remotely via the Leica M-App.
The main draw for Leica users is the lenses, and along with the M-series, you can use R-glass via a new lens adapter. You'll still be focusing manually, of course, but that's arguably an easier chore with a rangefinder than an EVF. The M10 is now available for $6,495, exactly the same amount as Fujifilm's new medium format GFX-50S. That's a pretty big ask considering it doesn't even do video, but with a lot of improvements over the last model, Leica fans probably won't hesitate.