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Image credit: Leica

Leica's M10-P rangefinder has an ultra-quiet mechanical shutter

It also comes with a touchscreen and no red dot for extra discretion.
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Leica has unveiled the M10-P rangefinder, an update to last year's M10 with a couple of changes that makes it even more discreet and technically proficient. The biggest change is a new mechanical shutter that's Leica's quietest ever, even more so than its old film cameras that were famous for their silent operation. It's not completely noise-free like, say, Sony's A7 III in silent mode, but unless you're right next to your subject, they likely won't hear a thing.

The other big update is a rear touchscreen. In live view mode, it allows you to tap to select a region to zoom in on it, or double-tap for an instant "pop-in" zoom -- all of which is pretty key for a camera without autofocus. For playback, meanwhile, you can pinch to zoom, double tap and swipe to play through your photos. Finally, Leica has added a spirit level so you can check that your horizon line is straight. As before, the M10-P is nice and compact, but feels beautifully solid thanks to the brass and magnesium construction.

Gallery: Leica M10-P rangefinder camera press gallery | 19 Photos

Other features are mostly cosmetic, as Leica has eliminated the famous "red dot" on the front of the camera, as it has done with past "P" models. If you really want to flaunt the brand, there's now script engraving on the top.

Most DSLR and mirrorless lovers would scoff at M-series cameras, with their wonky optical viewfinders that date back to the 1910s, though a Visoflex EVF is optional. With a modern 24-megapixel sensor and 50,000 max ISO that offers excellent low-light performance, the M10-P does have nice specs. However, it lacks things you'd expect on a modern camera, like 4K video (it doesn't shoot video at all) and continuous shooting.

Then there's the $7,995 price tag, which doesn't even include a lens -- and Leica M-lenses are unbelievably costly. Despite all that, Leica's M-series cameras are popular with professional photographers and rich aficionados, thanks in part to the pure simplicity and fantastic build quality. If you're seeking extra discretion and have the cash, it's now on sale.

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