The slimmest ever M is here, complete with a 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor, improved performance and video-free

Leica has announced the latest model in its M series of rangefinder cameras, the much rumoured and highly anticipated M10. Like previous models in the range, we can see a balance between heritage and technology. Interestingly there is no video functionality making it an appealing choice for Leica purists.

The M10 offers a 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor along with the latest-generation Maestro II image processor. With a 2GB buffer memory, it enables continuous shooting at up to 5 frames per second at full resolution. Photographers will also be pleased to hear that the focusing technology has been optimised. To improve the view of the subject being captured, the field of view has been enlarged by 30 per cent and the magnification factor has been increased to 0.73. The ISO sensitivity range has also been extended from ISO 100 to 50,000.

Oliver Kaltner, CEO Leica Camera AG, says: “The Leica M10 unites state-of-the-art technology and exceptional optical performance with a conscious focus on the traditional advantages of the unique Leica M rangefinder system. In this, the innovative camera and its concentration on the functions essential to photography set new standards, while its exceptionally lean handling concept takes us a further step towards absolute perfection.”

A noticeable difference from its closest relative, the Leica M (Typ 240), is its size. Leica have taken on feedback from photographers to create a digital M with the same ergonomic features as an analogue that fits perfectly in the hands. Its top plate depth is 4 millimetres less, at 33.75mm, making it now the slimmest digital M of all time.

For more intuitive handling, Leica has adopted a leaner operating concept by limiting the controls on the back of the camera to just a single joystick control and three buttons for Play, Live View and Menu. The most distinctive feature on the M10 is the ISO setting dial on the top plate. For the first time ever in a digital M, all essential settings such as focusing, aperture, shutter speed and ISO value can now be selected manually without the need for delving into the camera’s menu settings or even turning the camera on.

Also featured in the M10 is integrated WLAN connectivity, enabling fast wireless transfer of images to Apple mobile devices courtesy of the Leica-M app. In addition to this users are able to control the M10 remotely from a smartphone or tablet, ideal when shooting from unusual angles or to avoid camera shake.

The Leica M10 is scheduled to be available from 19 January 2017, at a suggested retail price of £5,600 including VAT.

A full breakdown of all the Leica M10’s features can be found by reading our in-depth Leica M10 review: first look hands on article.
You can also view high resolution sample images taken with the Leica M10 over at our Leica M10 sample image gallery page.

Press release:

M is for Milestone.

Introducing the Leica M10: slimmest ever digital M delivers enhanced performance, intuitive handling and direct control

Leica Camera has today announced the M10: the latest milestone in the Leica M rangefinder portfolio. This iconic camera system has once again set new standards with a perfect balance of long-established tradition and technical innovation, while embodying the true essence of photography like no other camera.

Although its features have been adapted to meet the precise needs of contemporary photographers, the essential principles of the renowned M-System have been meticulously retained. Every single component and technical detail is focused uncompromisingly on photography. With its compact dimensions, improved performance and intuitive handling, the Leica M10 has established a new landmark in the ongoing history of the legendary Leica M.

The form factor: analogue dimensions enter the digital age

Many photographers working with analogue Leica M cameras have expressed their interest in a digital M with the same ergonomic features and size that fits perfectly in the hands. With the Leica M10, this wish has become a reality, with a top plate depth of just 33.75mm – four millimetres less than its closest relative, the Leica M (Typ 240). The Leica M10 is now the slimmest digital M of all time.

The rangefinder: a precise window on the world

The rangefinder has always played a significant role in the heritage of the Leica M-System. Several key aspects of this legendary focusing technology have been further optimised in the Leica M10. To improve the view of the subject being captured, the field of view has been enlarged by 30 per cent and the magnification factor has been increased to 0.73. For eye-relief, the optimum distance of the eye from the viewfinder eyepiece has also been lengthened considerably. Thanks to a 50 per cent increase in this distance, the viewfinder is much more comfortable to use, particularly for photographers who wear glasses.

The sensor: the digital canvas

The key component of the Leica M10 is the 24 MP, full-frame CMOS sensor developed specifically for this camera, offering significant improvements in all image performance parameters: impressive dynamic range, excellent contrast rendition, exceptional sharpness and fine detail resolution. Its unique pixel and micro-lens architecture enables a particularly large aperture, ensuring rays of light hitting the sensor even from the most oblique angles are precisely captured by its photodiodes – this has been further improved compared to its predecessor. The glass cover plate of the sensor acts as an infrared cut-off filter, therefore avoiding undesirable refraction of incoming light with additional layers of glass. The omission of a low-pass filter also ensures the Leica M10 delivers maximum sharpness, leading to significantly enhanced imaging results, especially in the case of wide-angle and very fast lenses.

Thanks to the new design of the Leica M10 sensor, the ISO sensitivity range has been expanded, allowing exposures at values between ISO 100 and 50,000, with considerably improved noise characteristics at higher ISO settings. The Leica M10 opens up entirely new genres of photography and delivers exceptional imaging performance even in challenging lighting conditions.

Image processing electronics: the next quality level

The latest-generation Maestro II image processor incorporated in the Leica M10 represents state-of-the-art, advanced processor technology. Combined with the new 24 MP sensor, it ensures that all exposures are captured with exceptionally brilliant image quality. Thanks to its 2GB buffer memory and continuous shooting at up to five frames per second at full resolution, photographers will never again miss the decisive moment. The Leica M10 is the fastest M-Camera ever made.

Furthermore, the processor allows the loupe function to be freely positioned for even better sharpness assessment. This new function can be used both on the camera’s monitor screen, and in conjunction with the Visoflex electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 2.4 MP resolution. The viewfinder features a swivel function, enabling shooting from unusual angles, and an integrated GPS module for the geotagging of image files.

Intuitive handling – focused on the essentials

Since the beginning, Leica M-Cameras have always focused on the essentials of photography. This principle has been conscientiously pursued in the Leica M10, setting new standards in intuitive handling and rapid access to the most relevant settings: for example, the controls on the back are limited to a single joystick control and just three buttons for Play, Live View and Menu. Particular settings can be selected according to personal preferences and photographic needs via a freely-configurable Favourites Menu.

One of the most distinctive features of the Leica M10 is the ISO setting dial on the top plate. For the first time in a digital Leica M, all essential shooting parameters such as focusing, aperture, shutter speed and ISO value can be selected manually without using the menu – or even switching on the camera – ensuring even more direct control and greater discretion when shooting.

WLAN module for wireless transfer and sharing

The Leica M10 is the first M-Camera with integrated WLAN connectivity. This enables the fast, wireless transfer of pictures to Apple mobile devices, where they can be edited, posted and shared on social networks, for example. The Leica M-App also allows the direct transfer of RAW data in DNG format to mobile devices for further processing with suitable apps from iOS Version 10.2. The Leica M10 can also be remotely controlled by WLAN from a smartphone or tablet, making it easy to capture pictures from unusual angles or avoid camera shake when shooting with longer shutter speeds.

Leica M10: A further step towards perfection

Oliver Kaltner, CEO Leica Camera AG, explains, “The Leica M is the heart, the backbone and the soul of Leica Camera. The Leica M10 unites state-of-the-art technology and exceptional optical performance with a conscious focus on the traditional advantages of the unique Leica M rangefinder system. In this, the innovative camera and its concentration on the functions essential to photography set new standards, while its exceptionally lean handling concept takes us a further step towards absolute perfection. Made in Germany and made by Leica – the Leica M10 stands as an outstanding brand statement for the finest arts of engineering, highest quality and craftsmanship.”

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera AG, emphasised, “The new M, the M10! Not a camera for everyone – but increasingly a camera for people who love a system that is built for the future while maintaining consistent compatibility with its past. The rangefinder system lets me frame and compose my pictures. The rangefinder system lets me tread in the footsteps of the world’s greatest photographers. The rangefinder system lets me create photographs with my own visual style. The new M10 and the wealth of present and past Leica M-Lenses – products that awaken and fulfil the desires of every photographer.”

Pricing and availability

The Leica M10 is scheduled to be available from 19 January 2017, at a suggested retail price of £5,600 including VAT.