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Leica M10 Comparison Review

The Leica M10 (Typ 3656) is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera that was announced in January 2017 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 23.8 megapixel.

camera

Is the Leica M10 a good camera? The M10 has a Camera Elo of 1859. This rating puts the M10 among the top 30 percent of all rangefinder cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the M10 ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Leica M10
Rangefinder camera
Leica M mount lenses
23.8 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video
ISO 100-50000
Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second
210 shots per battery charge
139 x 80 x 39 mm, 660 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Leica M10 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Leica M10 vs credit card front
M10 versus credit card top view
M10 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Leica M10 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica M10 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 6.2 in 6.6 in 3.3 in 54.0 oz 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Leica M10-P« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« » 5.1 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 22.6 oz 300 n Jun 2015 4,249- i Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
 
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
 
Leica M8« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
 
Nikon D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Leica M10 was launched in the US market at a price of $6,595. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Leica M10:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Leica M10 features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Leica M10 among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Leica M10 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Leica M10-P« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-----Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976-----Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
 
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9« » Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472-22.511.788469Leica M9
 
Leica M8« » APS-H 10.4 3936 2630-21.111.366359Leica M8
 
Nikon D5« » Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5

It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the M10 does not provide the possibility to capture videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the M10 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.73x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Leica M10 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Leica M10-P« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »3680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n Leica SL
 
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n Leica M9
 
Leica M8« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n Leica M8
 
Nikon D5« »optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n Nikon D5
 

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica M10Y------Y--Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Leica M10-P« »Y------Y--Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« »Y-----2.0---Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica SL« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
 
Leica M Typ 240« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9« »Y-----2.0---Leica M9
 
Leica M8« »Y-----2.0---Leica M8
 
Nikon D5« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5

It is notable that the M10 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

 

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M10. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica M10--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »+80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
 
Leica M10-P« »----4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
 
Leica M Typ 262« »----- Nov 2015 5,195- i Leica M Typ 262
 
Leica Q Typ 116« »-80/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249- i Leica Q Typ 116
 
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
 
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M9« »--4.5/54.5/5- Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
 
Leica M8« »-+ +--- Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
 
Nikon D5« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Leica M10 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the M10.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the M10?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Leica equipped the M10 with the Maestro II image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the M10?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Leica M10 (Typ 3656)?

Leica does not publish a shutter rating for the M10. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Leica M10 (Typ 3656) has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Leica M10?

The M10 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The M10's flash sync speed is 1/180 sec.

Does the Leica M10 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the M10 use?

The camera gets its power from the BP-SCL5, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Leica M10
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2017
    Launch Price USD 6595
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 23.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3992 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.00 μm
    Pixel Density 2.78 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video
    ISO Setting 100-50000 ISO
    Image Processor Maestro II
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 86
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2133
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB no
    HDMI Port no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BP-SCL5 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)210 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 39 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 660 g (23.3 oz)

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