Some things remain the same, whilst others change…..
What is the same, is that familiar experience of being sat in Birmingham airport waiting for a flight to Frankfurt. What is different is that last time I made this trip to Leica I was employed by them. Last time I travelled out here the head office was a large ex-furniture factory, this time I'm be heading to their new state of the art HQ in Wetzlar.
The reason for the trip, to attend the launch of the New Leica M10
There are some things that are a given with any new Leica M, it will be beautiful, you will want one and, if you are lucky enough to own one, you will love it! Another thing that is the same, you will read plenty of reviews that say “it’s expensive” but that is a relative term, understand how it is made, appreciate what it is made of, know the history, then this cameras price tag of £5,600 is not unexpected.
So what is it like? how does it differ from the current top 240 series? and should you own one? these are the questions, so lets see if we can answer these for you.
Whilst you will have seen images of the camera over the last few weeks and months, what is clear is that they don't do it full justice. The feel and design is as different to a TYP 240 as the Leica X1 was to the Leica Q. There has been considerable R&D money invested in this camera that is apparent as soon as you touch it.
The spec sheet tells us how much smaller it is that a TYP 240 (33.75mm) and it looks good on it, same width, same height, just thinner and lighter. This has been achieved my moving the processor to one side of the sensor. A processor that has been upgraded to the Maestro II that will allow much faster processing of your DNG files; useful now you can shoot at 5fps, 2 more than the TYP 240.
For those of you who like to shoot in low light, but didn't buy the 0.95 Nocitux, more good news, an increase in maximum ISO from 6,400 to 50,000, and that ISO can now be changed with it's own dedicated wheel on the top plate of the camera. For those who have bought a Noctilux, its even better news. It is an all new sensor to the M system, the same as used in the SL and Q, but new and very welcome.
There are new features too, Wi-Fi will be a welcome addition for some, the lack of video will be a surprise to others, but as a photographers tool….there will be none better.
Forgetting the glitz of tonights champagne launch, you have to admire the Leica way work. This new M, like all of it's predecessors is a machine of substance, almost a piece of art in it's own right. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on one and really trying it out.....
Another change for me is tomorrow I tour Leica's new factory, but not as an employee, as a customer....and I can't wait!
View the new Leica M10 here >