The most unsurprising yet surprising recent news (due to some of its added features) from Leica was the announcement of the Leica M10P. Since the first digital Leica M, there has been a ‘P’ version released within 18 to 24 months after the original camera hit the market. So I don’t think anyone was shocked to hear a ‘P’ version of the latest M10 was being released.
Being a ‘P’ its considered by many as the version to get, kind of like Apple S version of the iPhone, it stands of “professional”. Normally mostly just a cosmetic upgrade, however, sometime, as seen in the M240P, we have seen increases in memory and buffer, and tougher glass on the rear screen that can really make the upgrade well worthwhile.
I purchased the M240P when it was released because I love the engraved script on the top plate that harkened back to the beautiful film Leica’s, and the removal of the Leica red dot from the front, but most importantly, the additional buffer and speed was an excellent addition.
The M10P includes many of these same features added to previous models, but with a few surprise extras. The first being the quietest mechanical shutter on the market. I thought it might be a bit of a marketing gimmick, but I was really surprised at how good this was. Standing in a very quiet Leica gallery, it was almost totally silent. Even holding the camera up to your eye, you could feel the shutter click more than hear it. So in a street setting, or at weddings and in Church’s where discretion is key, this is going to be a welcomed update.
The other more surprising feature for me was the addition of a touch screen. This feature seemed to fly in the face of the whole paired down simple philosophy of the M. I also have to admit, I don’t really use the touch screen on the Leica Q at all. So I wondered if this would be something that I’d have any interest in.
However, there was some really nice ways the touchscreen was implemented on the M. You can swipe and pinch the photos to navigate much like the iPhone controls we are all used too, but the really nice surprise was how well it works in Live View.
In Live View mode, clicking on the screen pinpoints a selected spot in the scene so that then when adjusting the focus tab on the lens, the screen would zoom into that precise point. With focus peaking enabled, this made it very easy to focus on any area within the shot. I could see this working REALLY well when using wide angle lenses on a tripod.
The strange removal from the M10 from the M240 was the disappearance of the level gauge. The small feature makes a huge difference in both landscape and architectural photography. So its really nice to see its return in the P version of the M10.
The wish for a future M or MP:
The one thing I would love to see in an upcoming M or MP model would be the addition of a faster mechanical shutter or the inclusion of a digital shutter.
A faster shutter would be a huge improvement when using fast lenses like the Summilux or Noctilux lenses. Not having to use ND filters and switch between ND and UV filters each time I go inside and out again would make me very happy!
Honestly though, the M10 and the P model are just stunning. The thinner body compared to the M240, the physical ISO dial, which I ended finding to be a feature WAY more beneficial than expected, and the very quiet shutter really make this a gorgeous camera. Now if Leica make the Monochrome M10… I think there will be no chance for me or my wallet!