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Leica M10 Review

A compilation of annoyances

Sure, I’ve been giving Leica a lot of praise in my posts because it’s really that great of a company that focuses on the essentials but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. You’d expect such a high valued item to be closer to perfect but here are some things that could be better.

On Camera

  • Small rangefinder patch: I’ve seen worst [looking at you Hasselblad Xpan] but I would like an explanation why the M3 was able to have such a large rangefinder patch while future models got smaller. I can’t imagine why anyone would say, “yes, yes make their lives harder and they will pay more for it!” in a Dr. Evil voice. Is it because newer lenses have a closer focusing distances than the vintage ones? Is it because the M3 was originally designed for 50mm lenses (and above) that somehow makes it possible? I would appreciate a drop in the comments if you know why.

  • Frame lines startup lag: Anything less than instant is unacceptable when all the film variants starting with the very first M camera (the M3), had the capabilities to display frame lines at all times.

  • Top cover plate: My main issue with this is the face design. The illumination window for bright frame lines is gone (maybe this is why the digital frame lines take forever to show up?) and the viewfinder doesn’t sit above the lovely classic bevel that was once there on all other prior models. It’s too minimal. I get it, it’s a bit more of a modern look but it’s a bit boring and too streamlined.

  • Rear display: This is a two part issue. I’m not going to complain about the display resolution for the M10 and M10-P, maybe it was ok for 2017? However, no increase in quality with the M10-R is a bit sad especially when the “R” means resolution. Secondly, the cosmetics of the screen. Why is it not centered within the margins? I’ve seen this issue on other cameras recently so I guess it’s just one company making these parts but I would imagine Leica with it’s price point can demand something a little more acceptable.

  • Self timing lever: The M10 series is definitely the closest resemblance to the film Leica’s and I think it could’ve been that much better if they returned with the self timing lever. One less reason for me to go into the menus would’ve made the experience that much better. I love it on the M3 and I think the M6/7/P could’ve just been almost perfect if they had it.

  • WiFi/Leica app: Maybe I would let the self timer issue go if the phone app wasn’t horribly slow. It’s ok’ish once you get it connected but it takes handful of moments to startup. Better than nothing in a pinch but most times I’d rather not use it at all with the M10. Maybe they should’ve got rid of this too when they got rid of video? Jk.

  • No silent shutter: It’s a digital camera so I don’t understand why it doesn’t have an option to take a photo without the shutter. I hope there is a better reason than the M10-P/R.


  • Leica M10 Thumb Support: I think the Match Technical thumbs up grip came out first and Leica tried to get some of that market by making their own “knock off”. It uses the exact same black or silver paint as the camera which is probably the only thing it has going for it. (But honestly I can’t tell a difference of paint with the Match Technical version.) It’s also Leica branded which means its excessively overpriced. The issue I have with this thumb grip is that it’s a quarter circle cut without the ergonomic design of the Match Technical version. Why bother releasing an additional accessory if you can’t make it better than what has become the standard?

  • Leica Visoflex Typ 020: Another almost useless accessory. I thought it would make life easier when shooting summilux lenses wide open while adding the ability to look straight down into your camera. It kind’ve does but it also makes the camera too slow. The resolution is the worst I’ve seen in a long while, and it protrudes over the shutter dial. I know it was originally made for the Leica T system and I guess it’s just an added perk that it works for the M10. It would’ve been nice if they had one that followed the M10’s aesthetics. Then again, if it worked a lot more fluid I probably wouldn’t have bought a SL2… Actually, an M10R and a Visoflex worth it’s money would be amazing! Maybe M11 will fix this but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Well, that’s all I have which are mostly minor cosmetic and nitpick issues. No camera is perfect but the Leica M series is closest for me in the digital realm. All I can hope is someone at Leica reads this and takes it for consideration in the next versions.

Oct 5, 2020 Photography