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Leica M10-R: Review by Jonathan Slack


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More: Leica M10-R | Technical Data | Video Interview Introduction The lifecycle of Leica M cameras has led us to expect a Monochrom at the end of the line, and we have had it, the surprising and wonderful M10M which was released in January this year (Leica M10 Monochrom Review). So, we’ve had the wonderful M10, the premium M10-P the minimalist M10-D, and the 40mp M10-M, now we have to wait for the announcement of the M11 right?  Wrong! It doesn’t require sixth sense to realis

I think there is one important design element overlooked which might be utterly valuable to some.  The M10-R can easily replace your M10 without your wife taking any notice at all.

The biggest benefit of the M10R may be more M10s being sold second hand, allowing more people to afford to buy one. 

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34 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

Another question, Jono.  Did you need to adjust your shooting habits at all due to the higher resolution, e.g., to avoid camera shake?  There has been much debate here as to whether that’s a real issue in the first place, depending on viewing magnification, subject matter, etc.

Jeff

Hi Jeff

No, I didn't, and I didn't find it a problem - even with my shaky old hands!  I've always liked the 1/2 fl option in the auto-iso settings to keep the shutter speed sensible. 

All the best

Jono

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3 minutes ago, Raid Amin said:

Thank you for this review, Jono.

I am expecting in the mail a "regular" M10 as I decided a few days ago that I am OK with the lower resolution M10 (if we can call it this way).

 

Raid

Hi There Raid

Enjoy - I'm sure you'll really enjoy it - I prefer the slightly louder shutter too!

best

Jono

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49 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

Jono, for comparison, what max ISO did you deem ‘comfortable’ shooting with the M10 (to the same degree as 12,500 with the M10-R)?Likewise, for b&w conversions, how would you compare max ISO personal comfort compared to the M10 Monochrom?

Jeff

Hi there Jeff - I usually limited it to 6,400 but I do sometimes go up to 10,000

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1 hour ago, jonoslack said:

Well, that's an interesting point, I guess that the resolution is better with the M10-M, but I like colour myself (why I said in my opinion). Certainly I prefer to do conversions from colour

Hi Jono,

What then, in your view, sets the M10M apart now that it has lost some of the resolution advantage to the M10R, as compared to the M10/P? Additionally, if high iso of 12500 is useable,  whilst the M10M can go to greater extremes, in practice I haven't found the need to shoot above iso 6400 most of the time. I feel we're really getting into the territory of diminishing returns (within the world of already diminished returns, since we're talking Leica).

Monochroms will always have a niche appeal, though in my opinion the M10M changed that when it was released because it gave a lot more than just a pure B&W shooting experience, coupling superb high iso capability with that much resolution which we had never seen before in an M. Maybe that's the reason why it was released first.

Edited by chasdfg
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4 minutes ago, chasdfg said:

Hi Jono,

What then, in your view, sets the M10M apart now that it has lost some of the resolution advantage to the M10R, as compared to the M10/P? Additionally, if high iso of 12500 is useable,  whilst the M10M can go to greater extremes, in practice I haven't found the need to shoot above iso 6400 most of the time. I feel we're really getting into the territory of diminishing returns diminishing returns within the world of already diminished returns, since we're talking Leica).

Monochroms will always have a niche appeal, though in my opinion the M10M changed that when it was released because it gave a lot more than just a pure B&W shooting experience. as it coupled superb high iso capability with that much resolution. Maybe that's the reason why it was released first.

Hi There Chas

I think the real point about the Monochrom is the limitation it imposes which is a real discipline. It's not quite right for me, because I often like to use colour! If I shot principally black and white I would probably have a Monochrom. I'm sure also that there is a resolution advantage with the lack of Bayer filter. It would be interesting to do some comparisons, but in the end I'd say that it really amounted to angels dancing on the head of pins! As you say - diminishing returns!

All the best

 

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Thanks for all feedback, Jono.... much appreciated!

It seems that you have a more positive reaction to the M10-R vis a vis the M10 than you did comparing the SL2 to the SL. You seem to have really bonded with the SL, including its controls, so maybe the SL2’s extra resolution wasn’t as much of an attraction. At least that’s my reading between the lines!

Jeff

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6 minutes ago, lanetomlane said:

Great review Jono which I really enjoyed reading. However, I'm fairly certain that I'll be sticking with my M10 as it has all the resolution I need and the results usually exceed my expectations.

Best wishes

https://photographybytomlane.com

Hi there Tom

All I can say to you is "don't try one". I thought exactly that myself, until I put the first card into my computer when I thought F*%k YES! It isn't just the resolution!

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Jono, 

Any thoughts on the reason for the vignetting? Has the chamber tighter dimensions than earlier M cameras or are the now very small micro lenses just less effective? As principally a wide angle user, this is of some concern to me. 

Wilson

 

Edited by wlaidlaw
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While the M10-R doesn’t have a bigger sensor than the M10, as discussed above (rather more MP), Stefan Daniel does explain in this video that the proportion of active to inactive sensor areas (the latter incorporating the associated electronics) has increased, and that each pixel can hold 10% more photons, helping noise and ISO results.  
 

See from about the 6 minute mark...

Jeff

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Hello Jono:

Your review is succinct and thoughtful, and very helpful!  Excellent photos too!  Were you shooting an “early” firmware, or the final version?   
 

Based on your review, I might consider trading my Q2 for the 10R, which would be my first M.  The M clearly offers a different shooting experience than Q, but the 10R should be able to handle the street, landscape, and portraiture that I favor, with the advantage of interchangeable lenses.  Manual focus will be my biggest adjustment!   

Edited by jjb
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I wonder if the touchscreen can be inactivated. Some have reported unwanted nose interference or other unintended activation when using the M10-P, which apparently cannot (yet) be set touch to off.  (This is not an issue with my SL2).

Jeff

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Thank you for the enlightening review, Jono. As always you just happen to address those issues I'm interested in and don't waste space on the issues I'm not! And, as always, illustrated by your superb colour compositions!

I'm unlikely to buy the M10R - attractive though it is, I don't think I can find space for it between the CL and the SL (where my M240 was squeezed out), but the M10R is a signpost to what to expect in the next Leica model upgrade, which I hope will be a CL2.

The improved highlight control is a really good step forward. Where does this come from, do you think? Is it to do with IR and UV elimination, or is it the higher 'photon capacity of the sensel' for want of a better phrase?

Did you see any sign of the impact of the new sensor and bigger image files on battery performance?

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Thanks Juno for your quick review of the M10R. Very good reporting as always. Appreciated as we are all very anxious to learn how M10R performs. Have you done any comparison on how it matches the M10M in a BW conversion?

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