Leica brings back film camera feel with pricey M10-D rangefinder
With the M10-D, Leica is attempting to give photographers an old school analog/film camera feel, driven by modern digital technology. As there's no LCD panel around back, users are offered a distraction-free scene framing experience and will need to use a mobile app to display snapped images on a smartphone screen – very much like the Pixii from earlier in the week. Though naturally, being a Leica camera, all that nostalgia mixed with modern tech doesn't come cheap.
Settings for the M10-D are adjusted on the camera itself using mechanical controls, there are two dials to the top and a large exposure compensation dial on the back where a modern camera display panel might sit, and which harks back to the film camera ISO sensitivity setting dial on old analog M cameras. This settings wheel is also used to turn on the camera's Wi-Fi function.
The retro feel continues with a thumb rest near the shutter release button that swings out for stability when shooting one-handed, and could easily be imagined as a film winder in a previous life.
The Leica's Fotos app for iOS and Android is used to remote live view the scene in front of the lens. It can also serve as a remote shutter release and to adjust parameters such as image formats and white balance. And once such settings have been confirmed in the app, they're saved to the camera so the photographer doesn't have to keep resetting from default.
Users can opt to attach a Visoflex electronic viewfinder to the M10-D if all this app business gets a bit too fiddly. Leica says that this could prove useful when shooting with wide angle or telephoto lenses, or when "capturing complex subjects or scenes in which precise positioning of the plane of focus is essential." The EVF can be tilted too, and features a built-in GPS module for image geotagging.
The Leica M10-D is on sale now for US$7,995. The Fotos app is free to download from Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store.
Product page: M10-D