Leica has announced the latest variant of its M10 rangefinder, the M10-R. The M10-R is visually similar to the previous M10 and M10-P models, with the same overall design and handling. What’s different is under the hood, especially the new 40.89-megapixel CMOS sensor. Like the 40-megapixel black and white sensor found in the M10 Monochrome, the new chip has a significant jump in resolution over the 24-megapixel sensor in the M10 and M10-P. The M10-R will be available in July in black or silver for $ 8,295.
Because it is still an M10 at its core, the M10-R has the same body, the same touch screen, the same interface, the same battery, the same processor and the same quiet shutter as the M1
I had an opportunity to use the M10-R before today’s announcement, and as expected it shoots just like any other M10 model. Leica rangefinders are not considered for their technical capacity, but rather for the experience they provide when taking pictures. For many, including myself, that experience can be quite frustrating at first, as the M10-R lacks modern conveniences such as autofocus and advanced auto-exposure options. Once you get used to the measurement style of photography and focusing, the M10-R can reward you with beautiful images with a specific look on them.
Despite the M10-R’s much higher resolution, the camera works just as fast as other M10 models, and there was no noticeable delay when viewing or zooming in on photos on the LCD screen. However, these images will make a bigger dent in your storage, as a typical JPEG image is about 12 megabytes and a DNG RAW file is over 40 megabytes.
The M10-R is now the fifth variant of the M10 line (M10, M10-P, M10-D and M10 Monochrome are all still available) launched since 2017, and the company refers to it as the “highlight” of the line up. Whether this means that the M10-R is the last M10 we will see before Leica makes a more thorough design renewal remains to be seen. But for now, it represents the ultimate digital distance experience.
Photograph by Dan Seifert / The Verge