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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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