Leica appears to have announced the M10-D in New York although we are still waiting for the official press release. We will have more on this shortly. But the important thing is that the new camera does have the quiet shutter of the M10-P — something that will please potential buyers. The second fascinating fact is that, as I reported last week, the “advance lever” is simply a pull-out dummy which acts as a thumb rest. So much for back-to-basics cocking the shutter after every shot!
The M10-D is essentially an M10-P without the screen — down to the top-plate engraving and the absence of the Leica red dot. It also has a real leather covering.
I need to get my hands on the manual to see what functions are allotted to the thumb wheel which, on the original M-D was used to adjust exposure compensation. As with the M-D, basic functions can be made by using a sequence of button presses (using the button to the right of the shutter release. More advanced settings, presumably including the parameters for auto ISO and, possibly, for non-coded lens recognition, should be possible via the new Leica Fotos application.
The bad news, although expected, is that the M10-D, without a screen, will cost the same £6,500 as the M10-P. It’s a case of less for more, but this is hardly likely to deter buyers.
From the Leica website
Leica M10-D: Digital heart, analogue soul.
Wetzlar, 24 October 2018. With the Leica M10-D, Leica Camera AG transports the analogue experience into the world of digital photography. In place of the monitor screen, it offers a mechanical dial for exposure compensation and an integrated swing-out thumb rest for additional stability – and thus perfects the association with the analogue models of the Leica M. Photography with the Leica M10-D is an experience focused sharply on essential aspects that concentrate on the elementary parameters for image creation, such as composition, aperture, shutter speed and the ISO sensitivity value. The latest M model does not, however, limit itself solely to the analogue facets of its character. In combination with the equally new Leica FOTOS app, it provides many of the features and functions offered by a modern, high-performance digital camera.
All settings on the Leica M10-D are made with mechanical control elements. Instead of a monitor screen, the back of the camera has a mechanical dial for exposure compensation that is reminiscent of the film sensitivity setting dial familiar from analogue M-Cameras. The analogue look of the camera is further highlighted by a swing-out thumb rest that is strongly reminiscent of the combined film winding and shutter cocking lever of the analogue M models and makes a decisive contribution to the handling of the camera – especially when shooting one-handed.
It is up to the photographer to decide on the proportion of digital technology to be used in the workflow when shooting with the Leica M10-D. For instance, the WLAN function can be activated directly with the setting wheel on the back of the camera to quickly and easily connect the camera with iOS and Android devices. In essence, the monitor screen is detached from the camera body and no longer distracts the photographer from the process of composing and making the picture.
Numerous functions of a modern digital camera are also made available by the new Leica FOTOS app. In addition to enabling assessment of pictures, it also offers remote control of the camera in Live View. Many exposure-relevant settings can be made, and the camera’s shutter release can then be activated by wireless remote control. Depending on the photographer’s needs, parameters such as the image file format – DNG and/or JPG – or white balance can also be set from the app. As all settings made from the app are saved and stored in the camera, this enables photographers to configure the Leica M10-D to meet their specific needs whenever required. Finally, the Leica FOTOS app can also be used to transfer pictures to iOS and Android devices for sharing in social media channels and saving to a personal photostream. Thanks to the use of DNG format, even RAW image files can be seamlessly transferred by the app to suitable image processing apps installed on iOS or Android devices.
For greater flexibility and control, the optional Visoflex electronic viewfinder can also be used with the Leica M10-D. This is particularly useful, for example, when shooting with wide-angle or telephoto lenses, or when capturing complex subjects or scenes in which precise positioning of the plane of focus is essential. In addition to this, it has a tilt function that enables photography from various angles, displays the most recent exposure for up to five seconds and has an integrated, satellite-controlled GPS module for geotagging image files.
The Leica M10-D will be on sale from 24 October 2018. The Leica FOTOS App will also be available as a free download from the Google Play Store™ and the Apple App Store™ at the same date.