New Article Just Published - The NEW Leica M10-D

Started by Kevin Raber, October 25, 2018, 02:00:11 pm


a great way to help dump outdated sensor inventory? too bad its not also a mono offer
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kic


For anyone curious to read a report by someone who actually used the camera for a while check:
It is a fair and fairy critical review of the camera. 

And, the M10-D is not the first digital M without a screen, there is/was the M-D, basically a M240 without a screen. There must be a market - not for me - for this type of camera or Leica would not manufacture those. My Montreal Leica dealer lists both the M10-P and the M10-D for the same price!

John Hollenberg

Quote from: fotagf8 on October 25, 2018, 08:15:26 pm
On the other hand, I loved the game Labyrinth as a kid--moving the ball through a maze.  First I completed the game, then I saw how many times I could complete it in a row, and then I did it backwards.  Finally, I put paper above the board to see whether I could do it "blindfolded."  I guess this new Leica meets similar desires in some people.

My brother got so he could get a ball to the Labyrinth finish and back using his feet to operate the controls.  I wonder if Leica has a foot operated camera in the design stage...  ;) :D ;D


The M-D (same no-LCD deal as the M10-D but based on the earlier 240 model) sold well during its limited run. Sold out in fact. Like I said earlier here, there's a known market Leica is catering to with this camera. Its appeal makes no sense to me...but the camera isn't aimed at me.

I downloaded the Leica Fotos app last night. It's phone-centric, vertical format only (yuck!), and as far as I can see offers me nothing that the other current M app (also works horizontally) can't do. I might set it up on my phone, but I've already deleted it off my iPad.



October 26, 2018, 07:17:00 pm #24 Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 07:21:47 pm by bcooter
Quote from: Kevin Raber on October 25, 2018, 02:00:11 pm
I just published an article on the new Leica M10-D.  Is it a camera I like?  Not really.  I prefer the tried and true M10.  Read why HERE.


I enjoyed your article on the Leica and I've always lived with the motto to each his own.

I also thought the niche in a niche quote to be quite telling.     

I have an M8, quirky little camera and I love it, was going to replace it first with an M9, then M10 then . . . but when I look at the images this little camera shoots I just change my mind.  It doesn't make sense I guess and I don't use it that much, but I like it.

I was in the LA Leica store a few months back and the famed DOP Roger Deakins had just left.   The sales associate asked me if I have Leica and I said yes, an M8 and a S2.   Naturally he tried to move me up to a newer model(s) and I said well, I really like my cameras and think the M8 produces the most beautiful skin tones I've ever seen out of camera.  He said Mr. Deakins said the same thing and I'm sure an academy award winner could get a pretty good deal on a new Leica.

Shot in studio with profoto strobes, which I'm sure most people would not use an M series as a studio camera.

Shot on Zuma beach, no fill, color virtually out of camera with the model walking quickly, once again not the use for the usual M series user.

I guess I don't really have a point except I think it's kind of cool to have a camera that doesn't have an lcd screen and 30 pages settings you have to scroll down to make a change.

The 25 to 30 and under crowd I employ, many have gone to film for their personal projects.  They're the same ones that buy vinyl to listen to music.  In fact I just saw an ad for a cassette tape player that allows you to record electronic music, then convert it back to digital.  Might sound silly to most, but some people like the sound of cassettes.   

The thing I really love about Leica Leicas, (not panasonic Leicas) is their simplicity, F stops on the lenses and most of all they shoot dng which will go into almost any processing suite, or version of photoshop without having to upgrade your whole computer system.

Also I love the way they feel in the hand.   Many don't and Kevin your right, there are more versatile cameras on the market for far less money.   I've told assistants that if they really want to zone into a camera tape over the screen for a week.   

After a while it's like shooting film and you get to the point that backlight, soft light, cross light . . . whatever you get the hang of exposures pretty quick.

Now would I buy this Leica, I doubt it, but like everything I can change my mind.

The only offering of the new mirrorless cameras that gets my attention is the fuji Xt3.   I think a lot of people would rather have full frame, but for lifestyle work in motion footage I think an APS-C sensor is perfect, but I'm used to super 35, FF 35, all the way up to medium format, so it doesn't take me long to get it into my head.   The only thing that bothers me is the little fuji doesn't have stabilization, so for motion work, I'd need a stabilizer like the Ronin S.

Anyway, thanks for the article.




In defense of the M10-D and Pixii, the addition of tight cooperation with a mobile phone or iPad is something that many of us have been asking for. If only they had left in what is (as Rob C reminded me) the best damned built-in light meter ever.

Can we hope that someone will soon put this cooperation with our ever-present pocket computers into a camera that also has basic modern conveniences like AF and a rear screen? Maybe the Leica-Panasonic-Sigma L-mount system is a good candidate.


Quote from: bcooter on October 26, 2018, 07:17:00 pmI've told assistants that if they really want to zone into a camera tape over the screen for a week.

There is no need. You can just turn it off. I only use the rear screen to change menu settings once in a blue moon. Better battery life too.


Kevin, the histogram that you couldn't find is shown in the EVF when you half-press the shutter, because Leica convention is to do exposure simulation during a half press and just give you a bright view normally.  At least, that's what happens on an M10.


Quote from: skirkp on October 27, 2018, 03:41:49 pm
Kevin, the histogram that you couldn't find is shown in the EVF when you half-press the shutter ...

So a $500 upcharge (the optional EVF) for a feature routinely found on cameras that cost, in total, less that $500?

Rob C

Quote from: BJL on October 27, 2018, 05:16:42 pm
So a $500 upcharge (the optional EVF) for a feature routinely offered found on cameras that cost, in total, less that $500?

It only doesn't make sense because you're not insane. Otherwise, the logic of less is more is honoured to the letter.


Eric Myrvaagnes

Quote from: Rob C on October 27, 2018, 05:43:14 pm

It only doesn't make sense because you're not insane. Otherwise, the logic of less is more is honoured to the letter.

+1.    ;D
-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website:


Forget about the Leica, what is the lens you are using on the Sony to film the video with? That bokeh is horrendous!

Please tell me it is not the Tamron 28-75/2.8, I was just getting ready to take the plunge and buy it.


If ever there was a compelling argument in favour of MF Fuji over Leica, this is it

Rob C

Quote from: lyndhurst on October 29, 2018, 04:48:10 am
If ever there was a compelling argument in favour of MF Fuji over Leica, this is it

But the brain - and heart - don't work like that.

Don't believe me? Just wander into the steet and look at all the unlikely people that form a couple. Tells you all you need to know.



Quote from: Rob C on October 26, 2018, 04:46:11 am

Strikes me as being an almost insulting attitude towards one's own customer base. It's as if Leica were saying: yeah, you're a real photographer and don't need to consult anything other than your experience! Confirmation is for sissies!

If any camera raises negative comments it's the Leica brand, especially the M and maybe the S.  I think all the comments in this thread on this new Leica were negative.  As I said before to each his own.   

In the digital world I guess my M8 and S2 are ancient, but to me they look and shoot like film and when I shoot with them for some reason I shoot less ratios per scene, rarely over 20 frames a scene and after setting exposure I rarely look at the lcd or a tethered monitor. 

I've shown this before, but I purposely shot with tungsten and the S version Leica that has a  ccd sensor.   Tungsten kind of messes with the blue channel and has some grit, kind of like pushing 400 asa film stock 1 or 2 stops and that's the look I wanted.     Yes there was some post work involved, but not as much as you might think.

Now does this matter to anyone but me, no probably not, though I find the leicas very personal cameras.  They're really not meant for tethering  a commercial shoot where 6 people huddle around two large calibrated monitors, looking for smooth as silk imagery, with no relation to film.   

This weekend I was at a dinner party with a director and producer that rocks a series of documentaries for a well known U.S. network.   He said he likes the look of Arri because to him it resembles film, though many times for budget, size and schedule he shoots the FS5 or 7 Sony, that takes more post grading.    I said I agree, though my first Reds looked to me look close to Kodak film stock, especially with the last round of firmware graded in Resolve.  He said yea, if he had his way he'd shoot film, rather than digital, or always shoot and grade digital to look like film,  but then asked me a question that kind of surprised me. 

He said, do you think that today 80% of your clients, crew or audience even know what film looks like?   He said when he directs a commercial, the clients believe a good film look is like a Marvel Comic Movie.   In other words 75% of the look comes out of computers.  For docs that is out of the budget, but still, that is the look they want.

Rob,  I don't think Leica is being insulting, I believe they built a digital camera to "look" like an analog camera and I'll also bet they sell everyone of these they make. When you shot your Kodachrome calendars did you shoot a polaroid every 5 frames to know you have the shot, or did you see the light change and just make an adjustment?  Did you expect your Nikons to hold a film roll of 1200 frames and do you think you get the same look from your digital camera as you did from film, or did digital give you a better look,  because I think your film images look wonderful. 

But what the heck, I'm not in the camera selling business but Leica seems to be doing ok, in their little niche in the world.



Kevin Raber

BC, well said.  We are all entitled to the types of tools that produce the work we like. I am fortunate enough to be able to use many different cameras.  As such I expect certain tools to make my work easier. The most important tool is the histogram.  Exposure for me is paramount. I wouldn't push the shutter if I didn't see the shot I wanted in the viewfinder.  And as good as I am with even manually guessing exposure, I have come to rely on the histogram.  Colorizing, toning, and post-processing is whole other story.

As I said in the story and video I grew up with Leicas and love them.  The M10-D didn't make sense to me ( and I am entitled to that).  The M10, however, works for me.  It has what I need to take photographs with the best of both worlds.  It (as I said) makes photography fun.  I do scratch my head wondering what Leica is thinking many times, but they have the right to make a camera that maybe one out of ten will like and understand.  That is one of the things that makes Leica - Leica.  I'll be curious to see how well the M10-D does. 


Quote from: bcooter on October 30, 2018, 02:41:42 pm
I think all the comments in this thread on this new Leica were negative.

Not all: I have expressed my enthusiasm for the enhanced cooperation between camera and phone/mobile device. Also, the criticisms are not generic anti-Leica stuff; they are very specifically about omitting the rear LCD. Or as I will hence-forth call it, "the 21st century light meter".

This is not to deny that most shots can be got without that rear-screen, but until someone offers a rational advantage to that omission -- "cost saving" does not work with the price at $7,995! -- I am going with "irrational pseudo-retro/anti-modernist snobbery". But not irrational on Leica's part; it has a good choice of being profitable.

And as usual, I am unpersuaded by the "we got by without this in the past, so why not omit it now" line of argument.

Rob C

October 30, 2018, 07:30:25 pm #37 Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 09:17:27 am by Rob C
But Cooter, the film days also meant exposure meters were never far away. I didn't ever rely on guessing exposure, not even with black/white film; I kinda think many folks who make that claim probably never had to print their own negs!

Now, with digital, I rely totally on Nikon's Matrix metering and unless for backlit stuff, I don't chimp. That said, I can't see the sense in stripping that possibility out of a camers and selling its absence as a plus of some kind. For a buyer thinking it's a plus, I think the problem is even more seriously in his head. Why throw out a useful tool that doesn't get in the way?

Regarding the look difference between film and digital - well, I think that Kodachrome was beautiful with people and also, against all the reports I heard, made good black/white conversions, too. I also shot some 135 Ektachrome and converted to black/white with success. 6x6 Ektachrome is too big for my scanner, so to get that into the computer I made a large black card frame that covered my lightbox, with just the 6x6 hole for the film, and copied with a 2.8/105 Micro Nikkor on the D200 or D700 - can't remember if I had the FF at the time; worked out well in colour, but the snag, of course, is that it's a reduced size original now, and a digital camera's concept of colour, and that's no help!

The thing that I like about digital is the ability to convert into black/white so easily. I don't really think that making black/white files is bound to failure: I think the thing comes down to experience, possibly with printing negatives first, because that really does make you understand how to make a picture appear with the look you want.

I think Peter Lindbergh does this very well, and it's my guess that that's one of the reasons he, as I, ends up making so much of his work in black and white: he finds it easier to stay where he was (with b/w) instead of fighting for colour fidelity to the standard of some favourite film stock. After all, colour is such a subjective choice these days, because the tools exist to screw everything up as you go along, rather than end up with the built-in look that Kodak could give you.

But then, today I'm just doing this to keep sane and pass the time doing something enjoyable; quite how I'd feel about digital if I had to earn my living with it is something else! I know I'd hate the feeling of several people looking at every shot on a monitor as I make it: as you know, lots of shots are just made to get the enthusiasm going between peaks - other people don't know what's in your head, and may think every shot counts... embarrassing!

Thanks for the kind remarks about my pix! Much appreciated, I can tell you!



Having used a few devices which rely on phone Apps for control and monitoring, DJI Osmo, Mavic, and GoPros etc. I have to say this is a flat-out insane way to do camera control if you don't have to.

There are good reasons for not putting an LCD screen on a drone or an action cam- but even GoPros, the quintessential fisheye-lens shove it in a place and hit record without monitoring it camera- now have a rear LCD screen. For very good reason.

Why? Hundreds great reasons, but starting and finishing with "being able to perform basic functions like formatting a card" and "checking the shot AND HISTOGRAM afterwards to make sure you've not made a gross error in exposure or focus", which is vital when shooting in changing conditions or when you know you've got the shot of the day framed up.

I'm quite capable of not chimping to excess all on my own, without removing vital functionality from the camera.

For example, I swap from available light to studio flash sometimes if I think the modelling lights plus daylight are making a really nice look. To do so I often swap from ISO 100 to Auto ISO. And I can more or less guarantee that I'll forget to switch it back when I turn the strobes back on, and thereby burn out a shot or two.

For this and many other reasons my workflow includes taking a few test shots at the start of each set, making sure that I've not inadvertently left the camera settings on something other my default.

On this Leica it would be SO EASY to (say) leave exposure compensation on -3 stops after shooting a sunset and end up under-exposing a whole day's photos! And have NO way of knowing without pulling out your phone. Why not just take the photo on your phone in the first place, frankly?

Those of us old enough to remember film in the pre-DX-coding film days remember the sinking feeling of running a roll of Velvia through the camera and only then noticing that the ISO dial was set to 400! The number of tools we had to avoid making this sort of gross error on a costly shoot back in the day! Polaroids and light meters and double checking and triple checking and even having separate camera bodies which ONLY EVER took one sort of film and the ISO dial taped down - anything to avoid the dreaded "roll of black" coming back from the lab.

Without even being able to view the histogram on camera this is utterly, utterly useless to me. 

So I am most emphatically not the target audience for this camera.

What I honestly don't understand is if one is SOOOOOO nostalgic for the days of film, why not just shoot film? EBay will provide a nice M4 plus a suite of lenses for a couple of thousand, and film is £30 for 10 rolls these days. Get physical prints made then snap them with your smartphone. You could shoot literally thousands of shots for the price of this camera and get film's nice highlight roll-off and nostalgic colour science to boot. Strikes me as a lot easier and cheaper way to achieve the same horrible workflow.

Cheers, Hywel

Rob C

Just to illustrate what film could do that digital capture may find difficult.

My heroine, Sarah Moon at her best.

If I'd managed, just once, to do something as wonderful as the third shot down, those three heads, I'd die happy knowing it never gets better. I think she did it for Nova magazine, the original mag, not the attempted rebirth that lost the plot and died the inevitable death.