Leica M10-P Review: Leaving Sentimentality Behind with Ambivalence

Leica M10-P Review: Leaving Sentimentality Behind with Ambivalence

Camera Review

Leica M10-P Review: Leaving Sentimentality Behind with Ambivalence

Leica M10-P shutter curtains
Leica M10-P with Noctilux 50/1.2 ASPH (E49 reissue) (Front)

Leica M10-P

In 2017, I bought a Leica M10 hoping to replace my beloved Leica M9-P. I had spent quite some time with the M9 and M9-P and decided that I did not want to deal with, or even think about, the CCD corrosion issue. I believed that one can create images not because of the tool and that I did not want to limit myself with this camera. After seeing many samples from Leica advertisements and online reviews, I thought that the color was quite good, especially after owning a Sony A7II, which had disappointed me. The Leica M10 not only changed my photography style, but also changed the way I operated with a camera. Considering all these factors together, I was happy with the Leica M10. However, I eventually traded it for a Fujifilm X-Pro2, which was a great camera that allowed me to take great street photos. Yet, there was something missing in my mind; I missed how the Noctilux gave me the power of separation, and I needed a full-frame sensor. I also loved rangefinder focusing that gave me autonomy. Luckily, I received a message from a fellow member in HKLFC who had a Leica M10-P for sale, and I still use it today, even though I have tried the Leica M11 and have been quite pleased with its results.

Leica M10-P, Noctilux 50mm f1.0 V1 (E58), Hong Kong
Leica M10, Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH, Hong Kong

From time to time, I think about the Leica M9-P because of the CCD color. It is true that it gives authentic color and vivid tones, but it also comes with many problems, such as battery, corrosion, ISO, and SD card compatibility. I know I should keep my head straight and not look back. If you are looking for a camera that combines timeless aesthetics with simple functionality, the Leica M10-P should be at the top of your list. From the moment you pick it up, you can feel the build quality and attention to detail that has made Leica a household name in the world of photography.

Leica M10-P, Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH, Hong Kong

Image Quality

The 24-megapixel full-frame sensor produces stunning images with natural colors and incredible sharpness. The absence of a low-pass filter means that you get maximum detail and texture in your photos. The M10-P also has a wider dynamic range, which allows it to capture more detail in both bright and dark areas of the scene. The ISO range is from 100 to 50000, which means you can shoot in almost any lighting condition. I love how the color is so neutral. The key reason that I love Leica cameras is because of the skin color. I often need to fix or find different ways to adjust the color hue on my Sony A7II. Although I understand that the Sony A9 or A7IV have already improved significantly, and I agree that they would be great “work” cameras, I don’t like photo editing. Shooting with this camera left me with minimal workflow and tweaking in Lightroom.

Leica M10-P, Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH, Hong Kong
Leica M10, Summilux 35mm f1.4 FLE ASPH (11663), Tokyo
Leica M10, Summilux 35mm f1.4 FLE ASPH (11663), Cuba
Leica M10, Summilux 35mm f1.4 FLE ASPH (11663), Cuba

Manual Focus

The Leica M10-P is a rangefinder camera, which means that you focus manually using a split-image rangefinder. While this may seem intimidating at first, it becomes second nature with practice, and it allows you to be more deliberate and intentional in your photography. The M10-P also has a focus peaking feature, which highlights the in-focus areas of the image in real-time. This helps you achieve accurate focus quickly and easily. If you love using an electronic viewfinder, you can also add one to assist in focusing when dealing with the Noctilux 50mm or 75mm.

Leica M10, Noctilux 50mm f1.0 V1 (E58), Tokyo
Leica M10, Noctilux 50mm f1.0 V1 (E58), Tokyo


The viewfinder’s 0.73x magnification is quite close to the traditional 0.72x magnification on my Leica MP. I found the viewfinder to be very bright and easy to focus. If only they could add back the frameline illuminator as a decoration, it would look perfect. I had a difficult time accepting the M240 and M10 without that part. And I really miss how beautiful the Leica M9-P was.

Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x
Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x, Framelines, Meter indicator

Compact Size

The Leica M10-P is smaller and lighter than most other full-frame cameras, making it a great choice for travel and street photography. The slim profile and understated design also make it a pleasure to carry and use. The camera has a sleek and minimalist design, with all controls and buttons placed ergonomically for easy access.

Leica M10-P with Noctilux 50/1.2 ASPH (E49 reissue) (Front)
Leica M10-P engravement

Quiet Shutter

This is the major reason why I prefer the M10-P over the M10. The M10-P has a near-silent shutter mechanism, which means that you can shoot in quiet environments without disturbing your subjects. This makes it a great camera for documentary and street photography, where discretion is key. The camera has a fast shutter speed of 1/4000s, which means you can freeze fast-moving action with ease. The Leica M10-P is smaller and more pleasant to hold than the original film cameras. The shutter in Leica digital rangefinders is quieter with each iteration, and the M10-P is the most silent to date.

Leica M10, Noctilux 50mm f1.0 V1 (E58), Tokyo
Leica M10-P, Noctilux 50mm f1.0 V4 (E60), Hong Kong
Leica M10-P, Noctilux 50mm f1.0 V4 (E60), Hong Kong

Black Chrome Finish

Frankly, I was very disappointed to discover that the M10 model doesn’t come with black paint as a default option. While I understand the need for durability in the paint job, I still wish they had provided this choice. However, given the product segmentation, I don’t think it’s likely that they will release an M11-P model with black paint.

Fn (function) key
Shutter Dial, Komaru shutter release button

Simple Menu and Fewer Buttons

I like how this camera is designed with limited function buttons. There is a wheel for photo magnification and EVF magnification. There is one function button in the front next to the lens, which I never use. There are three main buttons to control settings. I usually use them for setting lens coding, transferring photos to my iPhone, and previewing images. I love how simple it is.

Menu setting
Wheel, Thumb rest and D pad

Touch Screen

The camera has a touch screen, which is absent in the M10. The resolution is excellent enough to judge sharpness, and the rendition of the image coming from the sensor is accurate.

Photo Preview

ISO Dial

The M10-P also has an ISO dial that sits on the top left-hand edge of the camera, a nod to the early rewind knob seen on the M3, M2, and then brought back to the MP and M-A. The range of ISOs is from 100 to 6400, and it has an ‘A’ setting for auto and an ‘M’ setting for manual.

ISO Dial and Leica camera engravement
Push ISO button

Leica M11 vs M10-P

Waiting for the Leica M11-P may be the better option due to its smaller DNG raw file size. The downside of the M11 is that the camera wake-up time is too long. Leica M11 has three resolution options to choose from. For details you can refer to this post.

Leica M10-P, Noctilux 50mm f1.2 ASPH (E49 reissue), Hong Kong

Leica M240-P vs M10-P

The Leica M240-P is an older model that was released in 2014, and it has some key differences compared to the Leica M10-P. The M240-P has a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor, just like the M10-P, but it has a lower maximum ISO of 6400, compared to the M10-P’s maximum ISO of 50000. The M240-P also has a thicker body and a heavier weight, which can make it less convenient to carry around. The M240 or M240-P has a tendency to give you incorrect white balance. The good thing is that the file is quite rich and with great depth “thickness”.

Leica M10-P, Summilux 75mm f1.4 V1, Hong Kong

Leica M9-P vs M10-P

The Leica M9-P is an older model released in 2011, and it has some significant differences compared to the Leica M10-P. The M9-P has an 18-megapixel full-frame sensor, which is lower in resolution than the M10-P’s 24-megapixel sensor. Additionally, the M9-P has a lower maximum ISO of 2500 compared to the M10-P’s maximum ISO of 50000. The M9-P also lacks built-in Wi-Fi, live view, and touch screen capability, which are all available on the M10-P. Finally, the M9-P has a thicker body but lighter weight than the M10-P. Furthermore, the M9-P’s battery life is much shorter.

Leica M10-P, Summicron 50mm f2 Rigid Type 2, Hong Kong


It’s always a struggle between sentimental value and how we perceive things. Whether it is the camera or the photographer, we need to think about this question, otherwise, we lose the purpose of photography and become gear heads only. After all, the purpose of photography is it about work or personal life? For me, the most important element is comfort and a camera that gives me superb color that I only need to do minimal tweaking in Lightroom. The Leica M10-P offers just that, along with a unique shooting experience and outstanding results. While it may not be the most affordable or versatile camera out there, it is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a camera that will inspire you to create beautiful images. The Leica M10-P is ideal for photographers who appreciate a stripped-down feature set and want to shoot with a simple-to-use camera that feels comfortable in their hands.

Leica M10-P, Summilux 35mm f1.4 FLE ASPH (11663), Hong Kong
Leica M10, Summilux 35mm f1.4 FLE ASPH (11663), Tokyo
Leica M10-P, Summilux 35mm f1.4 V1 (Steel Rim), Hong Kong
Leica M10-P, Summilux 35mm f1.4 V1 (Steel Rim), Hong Kong

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  1. Actually M9-P weight is lighter than M10-P (600g vs 660g). The former is thicker but lighter while the latter is thinner yet denser.

  2. Thanks for your reviews. Keep them coming, I love reading them. Currently I’ve a M-E Typ 220 and looking at a M10-R black paint version. The gear lust never ends!

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