2020-07-16

Leica M10-R Rangefinder Specs And Sample Images

It’s hard to think of Leica Rangefinders without appreciating their timeless designs heralding back to 1954, together with their historical significance thanks to numerous high profile users. So whenever a new model is announced such as this, the new M10-R Digital Rangefinder, Leica fans and the entire photographic community take note with interest. The latest camera introduces a number of upgrades and refinements whilst staying true to Leica’s mantra of being immersed in the moment, with the purest form of photography that Rangefinders facilitate. Our blog post investigates new features and specifications, along with sample images and a comparison with previous Rangefinder models.

Oozing class with the Leica M10-R Rangefinder in Silver chrome finish

Leica M10-R Features Highlights:

  • A new high resolution full-frame colour CMOS 40 megapixel sensor
  • Class leading low light performance with ISO 100-50,000 native range
  • Sophisticated ergonomics and haptic camera body feedback
  • Silent shutter for discreet shooting
  • Latest Leica Maestro II processor
  • Up to 16 minutes exposure time
  • Seamless integration with numerous high quality M Series lenses

The black version of the M10-R body

Our handy table compares the features of the M10-R with previous models so that users considering upgrading or side-grading can appreciate the key advantages of never Rangefinder cameras.

Comparison Between Leica M10 | Leica M10-P | Leica M10-R cameras
  LEICA M10 LEICA M10-P LEICA M10-R
SENSOR 24 MP CMOS Sensor 24 MP CMOS Sensor 40,89 MP CMOS Sensor
PROCESSOR Leica Maestro II Leica Maestro II Leica Maestro II
DISPLAY 3“-TFT monitor (1.04 million pixel)
Corning Gorilla Glass
3“-TFT monitor (1.04 million pixel)
Corning Gorilla Glass
3“-TFT monitor (1.04 million pixel)
Corning Gorilla Glass
TOUCH FUNCTION No Yes Yes
EXPOSURE TIMES 4 min – 1/4000s 4 min – 1/4000s 16 min – 1/4000s
LEVEL GAUGE No Yes Yes
SHUTTER Standard Extra silent Extra silent
ISO 100 – 50000 100 – 50000 100 - 50000
ISO SETTING Dedicated ISO Wheel Dedicated ISO Wheel Dedicated ISO Wheel
VIDEO No No No
WLAN Yes Yes Yes
BUFFER MEMORY 2GB / ~ 22 DNG Images 2GB / ~ 22 DNG Images 2GB / ~ 10 DNG Images
DESIGN Black chrome finish Black chrome finish, without Leica logo Black chrome finish and silver chrome finish

Leica M10-R Rangefinder sample images

We’ve gathered sample images for our visitors, some of which document this unprecedented time during the Covid-19 pandemic. Images are captured by the Leica Akademie and photographer, Huw John, member of the British Press Photographers Association

  1. Rainbow Stay Safe. 50mm. 1/750th sec. ISO 400. f/8 - APO-Summicron-M 50 f/2 ASPH
  2. Street Scene Baby. 50mm. 1/750th sec. ISO 400. f/16 - APO-Summicron-M 50 f/2 ASPH
  3. 2m distance. 35mm. 1/250th sec. ISO 100. f/11 - SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH FLE
  4. Castle. 24mm. 1/500th sec. ISO 100. f/4.8 - SUMMILUX-M 24mm f/1.4 ASPH ASPH
The M10-R definitely favours high quality APO lens variants, which draw out high resolution, sharp details from the new sensor.

New High Resolution Sensor Technology

Rainbow Stay Safe. 50mm. 1/750th sec. ISO 400. f/8 - APO-Summicron-M 50 f/2 ASPH

The new CMOS sensor has been developed to capture more dynamic range together with 40.89 megapixels of data. This was achieved through pixel level technology which can now capture 10% more photons than the previous M10 camera. An increase in dynamic range allows photographers to work with greater tonal variety, which is particularly useful for subjects where there is a broad range of light and dark areas within a scene. These may frequently include subjects such as;

  • Landscapes where the sky is far lighter than the ground
  • Street scenes where shadows fall against bright areas
  • Naturally lit portraits which cause shadows on a face or body
  • Documentary style images where images are captured in the blink of an eye whatever the brightness of the scene
  • Architecture where skies or shadows increase tonal variety

Another pixel level upgrade for this sensor is the introduction of Dual Gain Technology which engages at ISO 125 or above. The electrical signal is amplified which allows for cleaner high ISO images, right through to the native ISO 50,000. This presents an excellent advantage for photographers working in low light situations with excellent performance from the M10-R.

A final sensor enhancement is the optimisation of high incident angles which delivers better lens performance with any native M Series lens. Images are sharper and respond better from a more symmetrical pixel design for the high resolutions which this camera is capable of.

M10-R Rangefinder Ergonomics and Useability

This new model remains thin and lightweight at just 660g. and follows on from previous classic M10 Rangefinder designs. A three button layout on the rear with a single round selector surround the large LCD screen and maintains ease of use with the familiar design shared with analogue models. Many users will be delighted that the ISO setting dial for quick access to adjust ISO without interrupting shooting is still on the camera.

Street Scene Baby. 50mm. 1/750th sec. ISO 400. f/16 - APO-Summicron-M 50 f/2 ASPH

The 3” touchscreen LCD is bright and clear with toughened glass sporting 1,036,800 pixels which provides a beautifully clear image.

Another headline feature is the silent shutter which enables photographers to work in environments where the slap of a camera shutter could be awkward or worse. Silent photography opens up avenues which allow the photographer to gain more intimate perspectives which would otherwise be impossible without disturbing the subject.

The addition of extended shooting times of up to 16 minutes will appeal to fine art photographers who capture extremely long exposures such as seascapes, blurred clouds or perhaps creative night skies.

Connectivity and Accessories

Having the ability to capture digital images then immediately share them is a relatively new phenomenon for those of us who don’t deliver news or sports images. These are often required during an event so that an editor can sift and release pictures while an event is still underway. The inclusion of WiFi connectivity together with seamless integration with the Leica FOTOS app allows instant editing and sharing in todays’ fast-paced social media driven world.

2m distance. 35mm. 1/250th sec. ISO 100. f/11 - SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH FLE

Accessories for the new M10-R Rangefinder are abundant providing extended functionality and convenience. These currently include a number of flash units such as the SF 60 and SF 40 flashgun units, the Visoflex (Type 020) which also captures GPS image data. A number of custom handgrips and thumb supports also allow photographers to customise their cameras just the way they like them, improving ergonomics and handling.

Durability and Body Materials

An investment in a Leica camera has repeatedly shown itself to be an investment in many decades of photography pleasure. The experience of immersing into an image, oblivious to noise and surrounding distractions is where the art of Leica image-making excels. This rangefinder is crafted in Wetzlar, Germany from metals designed to stand the test of time. We still see film cameras pop up into our used Leica department from time to time which are decades old. Unsurprisingly they are snapped up and will bring many more decades of joy to the next user.

The M10-R is an all metal die cast magnesium body with brass top and base panels finished in a choice of chrome plated black or silver. The camera is designed to be used on a daily basis and as such is manufactured to be robust and durable. Any photographer lucky enough to join the esteemed M10 club will without a doubt benefit from many, many years of enjoyable service from this model.

Castle. 24mm. 1/500th sec. ISO 100. f/4.8 - SUMMILUX-M 24mm f/1.4 ASPH ASPH

This last sample image shows the level of detail the new sensor is capable of capturing with endless small architectural features which can be seen.

Click here to read more and to order either of the black or silver new M10-R Rangefinder cameras.

Choosing between the two stylish colours is the hardest part! If you enjoyed our blog please leave us a comment with your thoughts.

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