So finally Leica M10 has landed in my hands. This is my 5th M, after M6, M8, M9, and M240. I’ve been using M system for 9 years now, and it was my choice to use a M that changed the way I photographed. I do use different cameras here and there, but M will always be my bread and butter, so I was really excited about what M10 promised to be.
I just had a few days to travel in Kyoto, and was able to capture some images and get used to its new features. But the truth be told, a great thing about M is that its simplistic way of photography doesn’t change no matter the body. Some find a rangefinder to be a very complicated method to be used, but it’s just very simple, bare bone to basics, so I can always just start shooting the way I’ve have been with a new M in my hand.
It was supposed to be a full cherry blossom season this past weekend in Kyoto, but it arrived very late this year, and I didn’t get to see them as much as I’ve liked. But seeing locals coming around to enjoy hanami(cherry blossom picnics) wearing kimonos, it provided a beautiful setting to stroll around. One thing I’ve liked right away from M10 is the ISO wheel, and ability to put it at auto mode. I’m kind of a photographer who’d rather change ISO than shutter speed and f stop when shooting, and exposures on streets are always quick to change due to many different factors, having the easy access was definitely a plus.
Sensor wise, the initial images aren’t drastically different to what M240 images were like. A bit more natural in color, I’d say, but not something you’d notice significantly, and obviously something you can easily change within post processing. While it’s still same 24 MP in image size, I will say the image quality seems much higher and clearer in a way. I don’t know if it’s just my eyes deceiving me in excitement of getting a new camera though.
Above photograph deserves a mention as this is what puts M10 apart from previous digital M cameras- its ability to push ISO very high, allowing low light, night time photography a possibility. I wasn’t able to go over ISO 1600 in M240. I did go to 3200 when I really had to, but image quality was then noticeably compromised. Now, the above image was shot at ISO 3200 and surely you can see some noise, but the shot was fairly under exposed so I had to bright it up some. My impression has been that I’m not afraid to use up to ISO 16,000 with this guy, and that’s even better performance than Leica Q. To me this alone makes the upgrade worth it, as it opens up many new possibilities.
As aforementioned M10 is my 5th M, but my lens have been always the same. Summilux 50mm 4th generation. Fairly a old lens and it always held up well no matter which M I used. It still does with M10, and it also is one of the things I love about M. I know the lens like the back of my hand and I still get to use it with newer cameras. It helps to get the shot I want, at the same time keeps me up with new technologies.
It was only a few days so I still have to use it some more to get different perspectives. I will be using it every day once my personal project in South America begins next month. Then I will be sharing more photographs and thoughts with you. To be honest, I like it more than M240 already. Will it top M8, my favorite digital M up til now? We will see!