Leica M10 Review

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Ok, I have to admit one thing. I did not have to buy the Leica M10. It’s expensive and I’ve already had my analog M2 and digital M240. I didn’t need the M10, I just wanted one. And I could afford it, so I splurged, listened to my passion and got a black M10.

So, here’s my review of the Leica M10.

I’m very familiar with Leica cameras, they’re great, they push you out of your comfort zone, they have a unique character, they slow you down (which is a good thing). But to be honest I never loved bringing the M240 with me for some reason. It was way too chunky, it didn’t feel as good as my analog M2. The M10, however, knocked my socks off. This is a very biased review.

WIFI TO LIGHTROOM MOBILE

The Leica M10 is smaller, lighter, faster, prettier, it has better colors… You instantly want to bring that camera everywhere. But having the built-in Wifi that transfers your RAW (.dng) photos to your phone has been surprisingly game changing for me.

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I’ve had a few cameras with the Wifi image transfer feature, but I’ve never used it. The apps are usually very frustrating and slow and editing on my phone is not my first option. However, the Leica app is literally flawless and since the M10 is my main personal camera now, it’s awesome to have the option to send few favorite photos to my phone and post them on my IG Stories.

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I just love documenting life. I’m a professional photographer and I love traveling with my couples and capturing their big moments. But my favorite thing about photography is capturing my own adventures and just the everyday stuff.

The M10 has somehow become the tool capturing all of it. It was always around when I was moving to a new home, it’s always on my coffee table when people come over, when I decide to go for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s just always around and I enjoy picking it up every single time. Editing on my iPhone has also been easier than ever. I synced my LKO Presets and just use the Lightroom app on my phone for everything now.

paired with Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 produces some wild flares. I love it.

paired with Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 produces some wild flares. I love it.

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LEICA M10 FOR PROFESSIONAL WORK

Now, let’s slow down a little bit. As much as I love the Leica M10, it’s still a manual rangefinder camera. There’s no autofocus. That can make photography more fun at times and very annoying the moment after when you’re trying to do some actual work with this camera.

I’ve tried to use the M240 as my only camera and after a while I realized it just doesn’t work well with my style and my approach, no matter how hard I try. I photograph couples and weddings for a living and speed is important. It’s definitely possible to do the same with the Leica, it just feels like a lot of work and even more risk. And I’m not there yet.

Now, paired with a second camera, this thing is a joy to have. I’ve been using my Sony for most of the wedding day and I pick up the M10 for slower moments like getting ready, portraits… Matching the colors of these two cameras is not as hard as I though it would be and this way I can have the best of the two worlds. Here are some couple and wedding portraits taken on the Leica M10.

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THE LEICA EFFECT

Leica cameras seem to do something to people and it’s hard to tell what exactly that is. I call it the Leica effect. It’s the feeling you have while holding this beautifully designed piece of history. It’s also something about the manual focus and all the mistakes you make because of it. It’s the imperfect magic. It’s the sound of the shutter, it’s the colors, it’s the lack of features.

The M10 adds few extra bonuses to the mix – the best auto white balance I’ve ever seen on a camera, the ISO dial that’s designed to look like a film lever, and the Wifi feature I mentioned earlier.

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STILL TOO EXPENSIVE, STILL UNNECESSARY

When I showed my Leica M10 to my non photographer friend, his reaction was “there’s still no autofocus for that money?!” And I can’t blame him. The camera is so expensive that it just doesn’t make sense for most people. There are so many great cameras out there, my Sony A7iii costs less than an entry level Leica lens and I use it to make money every weekend.

The Leica does not help me to make more money with my photography at all. But it does bring the passion back every time I’m tired of taking thousands and thousands of photos.

It reminds me that a photograph is not just a click and a million computer operations happening in the background. It reminds me that the best camera is not the one that’s always on you (as a famous photography saying goes) but the one you enjoy bringing with you and actually using.


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  1. there is no camera on earth whose raw files don’t need processing, none. calling yourself a professional photographer because you get paid to take wedding photos is not being a competent photographer. the world’s best photographers are artists. you can buy all the tubes of oil paint you want, stretch some gessoed canvas over a frame, apply paint with the finest sable brushes money can buy and without artistic talent you are just another wedding photographer. cameras come with a brand name, whereas a true photographer comes with a following.

  2. I never understand why people buy a Leica camera, and then over process the images. The post processing in this post does the camera no justice, and can be achieved with any camera. The problem with the M10 vs. the M240 is it’s a bit too clinical out of the box and looks like any normal 24mp digital camera. Of course, connecting the lenses helps a lot and gives tack sharp images to edit. But the output of the M240 has a real character all its own, and is definitely being lost in all of these conversations. One shouldn’t need to feel like they have to edit a Leica file, let it stand on its own. 🙂

  3. Excellent story telling. I love reviews that come from actually experiencing it and how it feels and what it does to you and you nailed it. I came to this m10 review not for the first time and still loved reading it again. Also the images you show here are gorgeous, which is not always the case when reading a Leica camera review. Thanks for that wonderful user experience, greetings from Germany, Dirksón!

  4. Love your work and presets man 🙂
    What voigtlander 35 are you using? Cause i really love that flare?
    Because there are 3 i believe

    Thanks

  5. I’m glad I found your blog. Recently I bought the 35mm Nokton but I only used on film. After seeing your pictures with the M10 I can’t wait to shoot with it. I like how it renders but also your post processing skills are really good for reaching those tones and colors. Sorry if my English sounds weird! Also I like that leather strap in the M10. I have one but is too short. Could I ask what is your strap? Thank you!

  6. Beautiful article and beautiful photos! I also finally got my hands on a M10 this summer, after 10 years of waiting. And my impression and feelings is exactly the same, I love using it, it has become a much more integrated part of my life than any cameras before it, include iPhone. If I knew what I know now earlier, I have bought it a long time ago 🙂 Loving it! Have a great day!

    1. Thank you Fredrik! Glad I’m not alone haha. People still laugh when they see the price tag but hey, it helps us do what we do and it brings the passion back, that’s priceless to me.

  7. I’m still using my XT2 with the 23mm 1.4 thanks to you, and I freaking love it!!! Also with Wifi, so I can transfer the files to my phone and edit them in seconds. But I really want this Full Frame sensor and sexy lightweight body with the amazing voigtlanger 35mm 1.4 some day.
    I think that is the perfect camera to bring with you to capture LIFE.
    I’m trying to use the Z6 + 35mm 1.8S (native lens of Z mount of Nikon) and is lighter than any other Full Frame Camera that I try, but I’m still wanting that smaller Leica body.

    1. The XT2 is great, my favorite camera up until this point has always been the xpro2, fuji colors are just on another level. But now I can’t go back after having full frame in such small body. How do you like the Z6? I’m sure it’s amazing, if I didnt have Sony already I’d look into that option for sure.

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