Best Sd Card For Leica M10

By | 27/10/2022

TechRadar Verdict

The M10-R is still essentially a prestige photographic camera for the purists or somebody who only likes to do things differently, just it is also now right in the mix in terms of the epitome quality standards existence gear up past the leaders in mirrorless cameras. The price tag is always going to be an issue, but anybody who tin afford it is also buying into the Leica heritage and a very distinguished history.


  • +

    40MP resolution delivers a competitive image quality

  • +

    Archetype styling and handling has enduring appeal

  • +

    High resale values will help offset purchase toll


  • No video and limited digital functionality

  • Rangefinder focusing won’t be to everybody’s taste

  • Can only use with prime lenses

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Two-minute review

The idea of a digital version of Leica’south One thousand rangefinder camera got off to a shaky start in 2006 with the M8, only the concept has been evolving ever since and the M10-R is arguably the best execution yet. The challenge for Leica has been to remainder the key traditional elements of its legendary 35mm RF cameras with the consumer expectations of a contemporary digital camera… which is hard to do without compromising something somewhere. Consequently, these will never be mainstream cameras – and, in fact, Leica sees the exclusivity as being desirable – but  M10-R owners can expect competitive imaging performance… just in a very unlike package to a DSLR or a mirrorless camera.

At the heart of this is the M10-R’s 40.8 megapixels total-frame sensor, which is essentially the color version of the current M10 Monochrom’s B&W-only CMOS imager.

To extract fifty-fifty more than performance, the sensor doesn’t have an optical low-pass filter. The native sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 100 to 50,000, and JPEGs tin can be captured in one of three image sizes, while RAW files are recorded in the Adobe DNG format with 14-bit color at 7864×5200 pixels.

As with the other M10 series models, there’due south no provision for recording video so there are neither HDMI or USB connections. The single retention card slot is for UHS-I speed SD devices. The sensor is matched to Leica’due south current-generation Maestro Two processor, enabling continuous shooting at upward to 4.5fps with a 2GB buffer memory for bursts of up to 40 frames.

The classic Leica combined viewfinder/rangefinder – which was a revolution when introduced on the M3 in 1954 – is supplemented by a fixed three-inch LCD monitor with a resolution of 1.037 million dots and touchscreen controls. The optical viewfinder (OVF) is the aforementioned as the standard 24MP M10’southward, with 0.73x magnification, automatic parallax correction and machine-activated brightline framing pairs for the 35mm/135mm, 28mm/90mm and 50mm/75mm focal lengths.

The torso is magnesium blend with contumely top and bottom plates, and sealing against dust or wet. The mechanical shutter is the aforementioned quieter system that was introduced the M10-P and has a speed range of 125-1/4000 2nd with flash sync up to 1/180 second. As e’er with a digital M, exposure control is via either aperture-priority motorcar or manual modes, but the longest timed exposure is now up to sixteen minutes (versus 4 minutes on the other M10 models). In-camera adjustments for JPEGs are limited to colour saturation, sharpness and contrast, only the M10-R does however have a few frills – namely an intervalometer, auto exposure bracketing and a dual-delay self-timer.

Leica M10-R

(Image credit: Hereafter)

Withal, the M10-R does have a bit of a digital alter-ego, accessed past switching to alive view performance. Obviously, the monitor screen becomes the viewfinder, just there are besides some actress capabilities, about notably a selection of exposure metering patterns – multi-zone, center-weighted average and spot – as measurement is now via the imaging sensor. The live view display also provides a dual-centrality level indicator. There’southward also a existent-time histogram, both highlight and shadow warnings (each adaptable for the lower and upper thresholds), a grid guide (either 3×3 or 6×4) and manual focusing aids, namely a magnified view based on a moveable target and a focus peaking display.

In terms of functioning, some of it is entirely in your hands as the focusing is manual and the exposure control is based on middle-weighted average metering, which can be catchy in contrasty lighting situations. The double-image rangefinder focusing is like shooting fish in a barrel to use and very precise too, but it’ll be a culture shock for anybody who has merely ever relied on autofocusing before. Every bit expected with 40MP resolution on tap, images take plenty of detailing and definition along with shine tonal gradations. The colour reproduction balances accuracy and saturation very well, and the sensor’s broad dynamic range means plenty of exposure latitude when shooting in RAW so, if the centre-weighted metering does underexpose, information technology’s hands corrected post-camera.

Information technology’s become a common do among reviewers to compare cameras with similar sensor specifications in guild to establish where they sit in the scheme of things. This is harder to do with the Leica’s digital Yard models because there merely isn’t anything else like them on the market – Fujifilm’s X-Pro3 is arguably the closest, but yet miles abroad in conception and execution.

In essence, you won’t exist buying the M10-R simply considering it has a 40 MP sensor – appealing though that certainly is. When you buy an M camera, you’re essentially buying into the history, the heritage, the mystique, the individuality and, yes, the prestige… put simply, you desire a Leica and you lot’re prepared to pay for it. Nothing else will do and, to some extent, the specifications are secondary. However, the M10-R does evangelize something more because, across the all the archetype rangefinder photographic camera stuff. Information technology’s a competitive performer in terms of image quality, ably assisted by the supreme quality of the Leica Chiliad prime lenses.

Leica M10-R price and release date

Leica’south latest rangefinder was announced on July 16, 2020 and began aircraft worldwide a few days later on July twenty.

It is available now direct from Leica stores and from major retailers for the rather large sum of $8,295 / £7,100 / AU$13,500. For a Leica photographic camera, though, that’southward the kind of price you lot’d expect to pay.

Those numbers are for the torso alone, which is available in a choice of black or chrome finishes.

Leica M10-R

(Image credit: Hereafter)

Primal features

  • Color version of the M10 Monochrom’s forty.9MP sensor
  • Quieter mechanical shutter assembly from the M10-P
  • Optical viewfinder with rangefinder focusing

The M10-R is the 5th member of the Leica’s M10 line-up, joining the original model, the stealthy M10-P, the purist M10-D (which goes without a monitor screen) and the B&W-only M10 Monochrom.

In terms of its item party tricks, the M10-R has what’due south substantially the RGGB-filtered version of Monochrom’due south forty.89 megapixels full-35mm CMOS sensor, plus information technology inherits all the refinements introduced with the M10-P, including the quieter mechanical shutter associates and the touchscreen controls.

In keeping with the Leica philosophy of
Das Wesentliche
– which translates every bit ‘The Essential’ – the in-camera processing for JPEGs really is just the bare essentials… contrast, sharpness and color saturation or, alternatively, monochrome capture. There are a couple of frills – an intervalometer, machine exposure bracketing and a dual-filibuster self-timer – but that’s your lot and everything else is about direct camera command.

This starts with the optical viewfinder, which has been at the heart of every M camera from 1954 and the original M3 to today. The ‘M’ stands for
– yes, in that location are 3 esses – the German language discussion for a combined viewfinder and rangefinder, which was the genius of the M3 at the time. Of grade, it’s been steadily refined over the decades with the original M10 introducing the current circular of improvements, including a wider field-of-view and an increased magnification of 0.73x.

It has automated parallax correction and iii sets of LED brightline frame pairs which automatically actuate when a lens is fitted. A lever on the forepart allows for the brightline pairs to be previewed for determining framing. The big deal with a rangefinder camera’s optical viewfinder is that it also shows yous what’due south happening outside the epitome frame, providing an element of anticipation… which has e’er been a key aspect of street photography, for example. There’s over 100 parts in the M10-R’due south viewfinder and Leica takes the optical performance here every bit seriously equally it does with its M mount lenses.

Focusing is achieved via a double-image rangefinder which has an effective base length of 50.6mm. In RF photographic camera terms, the longer the base of operations length, the easier information technology is to focus precisely… and l.6mm is comparatively long, assuasive for greater accuracy. Of course, it helps that the Yard lenses also have the mechanical precision that allows for very fine control – something that will certainly surprise y’all, if you’ve only ever relied on autofocusing.

Leica M10-R

(Image credit: Future)

Exposure command hasn’t changed all that much since the 35mm M7 (introduced in 2002 and scandalised the purists by having an electronically-controlled shutter and, gasp!, an discontinuity-priority semi-auto exposure mode). Now, equally then, the metering is via a centre-weighted average measurement that drives either the aperture-priority motorcar manner or fully manual control.

The shutter is the quieter – simply not totally silent – unit of measurement that was introduced with the M10-P and is, for the record, very unlike from the M7’s, having vertical-travel metal blades (versus the traditional horizontal-travel cloth curtains) and a superlative speed of 1/4000 2nd. Wink sync is upwardly to 1/180 2d with external units coupling via a hotshoe only. The longest timed shutter speed has been increased to xvi minutes which is also the limit of the ‘bulb’ (‘B’) timer. There isn’t a sensor-based (electronic) shutter pick.

Also of a more than recent vintage, of course, is the car exposure bracketing which can be set up to sequences of either three or 5 frames with an adjustment of upwards to +/-3.0 EV. Combined with the exposure bounty – which runs up to +/-3.0 EV – you can subclass to either +half dozen.0 EV or -6.0 EV.

The white balance command options comprise auto correction supplemented by eight presets (including one for HMI lighting), one custom measurement (which Leica calls “Greycard”) and manual color temperature control over a range of 2000 to 13,100 Kelvin.

In live view, the M10-R delivers a few extra capabilities. Firstly, there’southward now a choice of metering patterns – multi-zone, heart-weighted average and spot – as measurement is via the imaging sensor. Arguably more useful are the diverse brandish elements of the live view screen which at present include a dual-centrality level indicator. In that location’s also a real-time histogram, both highlight and shadow warnings (adjustable for the lower and upper thresholds), a grid guide (either 3×3 or 6×4) and manual focusing aids, namely a magnified view based on a moveable target and/or a focus peaking display. The former tin be set to either 5.0x or 10x, and the latter is available in a selection of colors – red, blue, green or white.

Leica M10-R

(Image credit: Hereafter)

Pattern and treatment

  • Hand-built magnesium alloy and brass body
  • Minimal external controls
  • Fixed 1.037 million-dot screen with touch controls

The M10-R provides two distinct handling experiences. There’south the mechanical one – the optical finder, focusing and exposure control – and the digital ane, which is everything you can do in live view.

For anybody encountering a digital Leica Thousand for the first fourth dimension, the affair you’re going to discover first is the sheer solidity of the structure. It feels ultra-tough because information technology is, but then there’s the traditional Leica finessing to make it feel like a fine musical instrument at the same fourth dimension. Assembly is entirely by mitt. The construction comprises a diecast magnesium alloy chassis with brass top and lesser plates which, no doubt, make a flake of a contribution to 660 grams trunk weight.

The styling is classic Leica 35mm rangefinder photographic camera – more so since a slimmer body arrived with the first M10 – but with the obvious omission of a picture advance lever and rewind crank. Yous become the iconic ‘red dot’ badge on this model, but you’ll struggle to find the model number… information technology’s engraved in very minor type forth one track of the hotshoe.

Newbies may also struggle to find the compartments for the memory card and battery. They’re in the base of operations, but
the baseplate that detaches entirely to facilitate access – a design characteristic that’s directly carried on from the original M3 and every Grand photographic camera since, film or digital. The reason was to maintain optimum structural integrity and this is still the example today and, fifty-fifty with this arrangement, the ultra-fine machining tolerances mean that the M10-R trunk is still protected against the intrusion of dust or moisture. Furthermore, the body isn’t compromised by any other compartments either, because there are no interfaces other than the flash hotshoe.

As with the rest of the M10 clan, this is exclusively a stills photographic camera and, in reality, it’s all the more purer of purpose as a result… and, besides, this configuration really doesn’t lend itself to shooting video.

Leica M10-R

(Prototype credit: Future)

Perhaps non so surprisingly, at that place aren’t too many external controls to worry about. The top deck is dominated by a large shutter speed punch while a smaller punch – no doubt deliberately sited where the movie rewind crank used to exist – sets the ISO value. Information technology’s marked from 100 to 6400 with an ‘A’ position for accessing the preset auto range and an ‘M’ position which can exist assigned whatsoever setting you like from across the full sensitivity range, including the extensions and the ane-third stop incremental values. Motorcar ISO control can exist preset to either a maximum ISO setting or a maximum exposure time.

On the rear panel is a trio of principal office buttons, a four-way navigator keypad – with a fundamental ‘Enter’ button – and rear input wheel. No customisation complications to worry nigh here. The nav-pad simply navigates you lot through the menus and sub-menus so y’all won’t all of a sudden notice they’ve taken you lot somewhere you didn’t want to get.

Control customisation is limited to the input cycle, which defaults to setting the exposure bounty, merely can exist set to cycle through the image magnification settings in live view. Likewise customisable is the Favourites menu that can be configured with as many regularly used items equally you lot demand (upwards to eight per page).

The M10-R is set up then this appears as the showtime menu when you hit the ‘Menu’ fundamental… which actually makes sense when you call up about it. The main menu covers everything in iii-and-a-fleck pages, including camera set up-upwardly, and here you tin create up to four User Profiles to store a preferred camera gear up-upward. In do, y’all’d probably use these to configure the photographic camera for shooting specific subjects or situations.

The iii-inch fixed rear is protected by a toughened Corning Gorilla glass faceplate and is adjustable for brightness over five levels. Yet, you can also set it to ‘Exposure Simulation’, which some users volition undoubtedly find more useful given the viewfinder is optical.

The touchscreen implementation is a bit limited by today’s standards, only nonetheless handy to have. When shooting, information technology allows yous to position the point on which you want to focus by simply tapping on the screen which will then also position the magnification aid if you’re using it. What’s really useful though, is that the principal info display – which is available when using the optical viewfinder – has affect tiles so you tin straight access a bunch of capture-related settings, including exposure compensation, white balance setting, bulldoze style and file format.

For review/replay there’s touch on browsing, zooming or switching to the thumbnail pages, progressively to 12 and so 20. The replay screen itself includes a brightness histogram, highlight/shadow warning and the basic capture settings.

Interestingly, while the M10-R may not accept any physical interfaces, it still has wireless connectivity and, via the Leica FOTOS app, y’all can transfer images, admission the alive view feed on your mobile device and the remote adjustment of some settings (just plainly non focusing or apertures).

Leica M10-R

(Image credit: Hereafter)


  • RAW capture in Adobe DNG with 14-bit RGB color
  • ISO 100 to 6400 sensitivity range, expandable to ISO 50,000
  • Dynamic range of fifteen stops

At this point in a photographic camera test we’d exist evaluating the autofocusing performance, which obviously doesn’t apply here, but it is worth repeating that the M10-R’s rangefinder focusing does permit for very precise manual focusing or, alternatively, there’s the digital-era focusing aids in live view.

Eye-weighted average metering needs to be managed too, equally information technology will exist hands influenced by overly bright or overly dark scenes, then you’ll need to know when to apply exposure compensation or to make adjustments when shooting in the fully transmission manner. Again, though, in that location’southward the real-time histogram brandish in live view to provide a guide (and the option of multi-zone metering).

The M10-R’s sensor – which, equally is the instance with the SL2, is designed by Leica, but fabricated by somebody else – delivers a maximum epitome size of 7864×5200 pixels with 14-fleck RAW capture in the Adobe DNG format (using lossless compression). The largest JPEG is just a few pixels less in image size – at 7840×5184 – only there is too the selection of ii smaller file sizes.

The native sensitivity range is equivalent to ISO 100 to 6400 with extensions up to ISO l,000. Leica is challenge a two-cease increase in the dynamic range over the 24MP models ,which would put it at but over xv stops. The buffer memory stays at 2GB and the continuous shooting speed is four.5fps (versus 5.0fps) despite the big increase in resolution, then the burst length is reduced. Simply information technology’s hard to meet this being a major result with a camera like the M10-R. It’south virtually more considered shooting rather than blazing away indiscriminately and hoping for one skilful shot out of a sequence.

With a Panasonic 64GB SDXC UHS-II V90 speed retention card loaded, our exam-example M10-R captured a flare-up of 12 JPEG/large frames in 2.671 seconds, which represents a continuous shooting speed of 4.49fps. These examination files were around 18.8MB in size on average. The M10-R matches its quoted specs here, but it’south quite likely many users won’t ever take the drive mode setting off ‘single’.

Image quality

With 40MP of resolution tap, the M10-R delivers plenty of tightly-resolved fine detailing and seamlessly smooth tonal gradation. The archetype Leica ‘punchiness’ is still there and really adds depth to an paradigm. The new sensor’s wide dynamic range ensures plenty of exposure latitude when shooting in RAW so, if the centre-weighted metering does trip you lot up, information technology’s easily correctible post-camera.

When shooting JPEGs, lots of detailing is maintained in the brighter highlights provided you lot’re on top of the exposure control, only dialling in a trivial minus compensation is good insurance as the shadows will easily brighten with no appreciable increase in noise.

With no color modes to play with, what you come across is what you lot become, but it’s good in terms of balancing accuracy and saturation. The subtler shades are particularly well-managed and, overall, there’s nigh a filmic await to the color reproduction, which is very pleasing to the eye.

Leica M10-R + Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH; f/8.0 at ane/4000 second and ISO 1600.

(Epitome credit:

You’d look the high ISO performance to not friction match that of the 24MP cameras, but this doesn’t announced to be the instance… in fact, the M10-R does better. Once again, you can use the unabridged native sensitivity range without any meaning drop in either definition or saturation at the higher settings. The extension settings exhibit some deterioration equally the noise reduction processing becomes more than aggressive, but ISO 12,500 and even 25,000 are still quite adequate with but slight graininess acquired by chroma racket.

Leica’south Grand lenses – also painstakingly hand-built, including the polishing of aspherical element surfaces – are a big function of the story here. The Holy Trinity of Summilux-M (f/ane.iv), Summicron-M (f/2.0) and Summarit-Chiliad (f/2.4) set the standard for fast primes in resolution, contrast and three-dimensional tonality. Furthermore, Leica specifically tunes its sensors to the optical characteristics of its M lenses, including the physical structure which, in this case, has an ultra-thin (0.9mm), unmarried-layer cover glass to filter UV and IR light, and employs a dedicated microlens design. Uniformity of middle-to-corner brightness and sharpness are the key considerations.

Should I purchase the Leica M10-R?

Leica M10-R

(Image credit: Hereafter)

Purchase it if…

Don’t buy if…

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Paul has been writing well-nigh cameras, photography and photographers for close to 40 years. He joined
Australian Camera
as an editorial assistant in 1982, after becoming the magazine’s technical editor, and has been editor since 1998. He is also the editor of sister publication
ProPhoto, a position he has held since 1989. In 2011, Paul was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute Of Australian Photography (AIPP) in recognition of his long-term contribution to the Australian photo manufacture. Outside of his mag work, he is the editor of the
Contemporary Photographers: Australia
series of monographs which certificate the lives of Australia’due south most of import photographers.