An Initial Review of the Leica M10-R

The Leica M10-R is soon to be released and boasts impressive camera features. This video review from a predominantly film photographer offers a unique perspective on a full frame, mirrorless rangefinder camera that promises to satisfy even the strictest of photographer's specifications. 

In this video, Matt Day offers an initial review of Leica’s newest camera, the M10-R, an impressive 40 MP full frame rangefinder. This camera is a welcome edition to Leica’s digital lineup. Day does not try use this new camera in an astrophotography setting but demonstrates the low-light capability, which seems quite impressive and makes me wonder just how capable it may be for astrophotography. 

Would I get one? No. I cannot fathom spending that kind of money on a full frame camera (north of $8,000). I do like and appreciate that it utilizes the M-mount, which allows for a seamless transition between film and digital for Leica photographers. I look forward to the M10-R coming out officially and more reviews; I’m particularly looking forward to reviews that compare it to other mirrorless cameras, which can also easily utilize all manual lenses. 

Do you have any experience with any of the Leica mirrorless rangefinder cameras? What were your thoughts?

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John Nixon's picture

You either like the Leica rangefinder way of working or you don’t. If you don’t, then the price of admission is irrelevant. If you do then either you can afford one or you can’t.
Personally, I can’t afford them. However, many years ago, I had a Leica M3 and a couple of lenses and I loved it. If anyone wants to buy me one, I’ll have an M10 Monochrome please! If you’ve got £20k to spend on a camera and two lenses, you could do a lot worse than a Leica M and you’ll learn a lot about photography in the process.

Sam Sims's picture

Unfortunately, far too many people who have no interest in Leica and likely never used one attack the brand (and often the people who use them) for being overly expensive and lacking in ‘essential’ features.

Euan Gray's picture

True, but Leica is the Apple Corp. of the camera world - people will buy for the name and perception, however much it costs and however good it actually is (or isn't).

Photography is of course full of that sort of thing. Look at the Canon AE-1 35mm camera - popular in its day, largely because it took a lot of the need to think away from the user. Today, an AE-1 in good order sells for £150. The Canon Rebel X is a very basic all-plastic EOS camera - there is nothing an AE-1 can do that a Rebel X cannot do better, yet the Rebel is seen as junk and goes for a tenth the price of an AE-1, despite being a far better camera. It's all fashion and perception, reality takes a back seat.

Phill Holland's picture

There is another way to look at this, typically any other camera, you'll probably want to refresh every few years, a bit like the lifecycle of most consumer electronics these days; if you're on the serious end of the market, this may cost you a substantial, if not comparable amount of money as a Leica. A Leica takes you out of this life cycle focussed on upgrades, you don't need to think about the details of the tool for a while.

A few years back, I would've considering buying another Apple laptop, but not today, the tipping point was the cost justified how many years they'd last; in recent years apple have crippled their own upgradability whilst increasing the cost, it's no longer justifiable.

I'm not sure if a second hand digital Leica may fetch the same resale, or classic status as a film Leica, but still, the value holds better after a few year, compared to say the Fuji X line.

A Leica, even in digital form may be the closest we have to how "using" a camera could feel, compared to other cameras which have edged away from being a camera to just another piece of technology, in some respects you may as well be jabbing buttons on your TV remote control, with that experience being comparatively closer to using a modern camera today.

Timothy Turner's picture

If I had a Leica M10 and the 50mm lens, I would never need another camera.