Every release of a new flagship camera, be it from Leica, Nikon, Cannon or Fuji will make a splash. It announces the direction the company sees photography going in and it highlights how the engineers of the company have managed to pull in new technology into their offering.
That is the problem with the Leica M10....there is nothing to talk about. Essentially Leica have taken the M240, removed a bunch of bells and whistles (video being the key thing), slimmed it down a bit and added an ISO dial. The argument is one of simplification. Remove what you do not need....except for the frame line preview (no one uses that but it was brought back), and simplify the shooting experience.
This camera matches the new generation of consumers that appear to be announcing themselves through documentaries of minimalist ideologies and the popularity of "off the grid" minimalist homes. This lifestyle is driving what people consume and how. If you are Leica, who have built an expensive brand around excellent build quality, it becomes a challenge to adapt to this new culture. Their answer, build a simpler camera with a minimalist design.
Few options, less buttons and the "classic feel" are the selling points. I get it and heck I even like the marketing but it does present a problem....what do we talk about? There is nothing really innovative in the camera aside from the lack of things...which is difficult to talk about for more than a minute or two.
Leica tells us that the image quality is better, and it may indeed be but it was never bad to begin with. Leica builds good cameras with excellent image quality so any improvement there is hard to discern. Low light performance has been improved but this is still not as impressive as some other cameras.
I feel for Leica...the M design and feel cannot be altered. If bells and whistles are added they get the backlash of diehard M fans. If they remove bells and whistles then there is little to talk about.
The best and worst thing is that this is a classic M. If you like the M design and concept you will love this camera. If you do not, then you will not. This camera will not convert photographers to use the M it will only persuade people who already like the M to buy another one.
This product release will not open a new market but it will ensure that Leica keeps their market. The splash will be short-lived as, after much anticipation of this release, we are left with little to talk about. It is a pity because it is a great camera. Maybe, just maybe, we should talk about cameras less and shoot more....perhaps that is the point of the new Leica M.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.