Leica announces the Leica M10-R

Leica camera has announced a new, high-resolution version of the Leica M10 rangefinder, called the M10-R. The new higher resolution sensor has been added to the range to accommodate the demands of professionals and ADs requiring the extra flexibility of larger image dimensions during post-production.

The new M10-R model, which adopts the familiar body and layout of the original Leica M-10 adopts a new full-frame 40.89MP RGB CMOS sensor sans AA filter and a native ISO 100-50,000 sensitivity. Besides an increase in resolution, Leica also claim a wider dynamic range over the 24MP CMOS sensor in the original M10 series, said to be up to 13.5 stops. Another benefit of the new sensor is lower noise at high ISOs apparently, with even less colour noise at ISO6400 than the current M10.

According to a Leica spokesperson during the launch briefing this morning, the ‘unique’ full-frame sensor was designed specifically for the compact dimensions of the M body, which precluded the use of the ‘bigger’ 47MP CMOS found in the Leica SL2 and Leica Q2. This, it was mentioned, is more to do the depth of the sensor, micro lenses (which are highly convex to reduce vignetting) and cover glass, than the length and width. Even though the Q2 is similarly sized to the M, according to Leica there’s even less room inside the M body.

The new M10-R has the same quiet mechanical shutter as the M10-P but with an extended exposure time of up to 16 minutes (step-less in Aperture priority mode, half steps to 8 secs in Manual and then whole steps to 16 minutes), for night time and low-light shots. It’s not clear whether there’s an additional dark-frame of the same duration made after, but presumably that’s the case. According to a quick hands-on from one of the presenters of the briefing, there is no option to turn it off (which means up to half an hour between shots, potentially).

Continuous shooting is slightly slower at 4.5 fps (down from 5 fps), however, handling of the large files is apparently little different to the Leica M10-P, with images displayed quickly on the rear screen. Even so the 2GB buffer hasn’t been expanded over and it has no integrated WiFi module. Battery life, using the same BP-SCL5 1100mAh battery, is mostly the same as well, according to a Leica Ambassador who used the camera prior to the launch.

Still, while it’s curious that the M10-R wasn’t called the M11 or M10-2 perhaps, the new model is arguably what the original M-10, as the update to the M240, should have been.

At £7,100 (inc VAT), the hi-res M10-R is slightly less expensive than expected. It’s lower than the M10-Monochrom at £7,400, just £500 more than the M10-P at £6,600, and £400 more than the screen-less M10-D.

In the US, pricing among the M models is slightly different. At the expected $8295, the hi-res M10-R is some $500 less than the M10-P or the M10-D both of which are $8,795 (USD).

The new camera will be available from Monday (July 20), in silver chrome and black chrome finishes.

Pre-order

B&H Photo (US) 

Adorama (US)

Leica Store UK 

Key specifications

  • 40.89 MP full-frame RGB CMOS sensor sans AA filter
  • ISO 100-50,000
  • Bright line viewfinder with frame lines for 35/135, 28/90 and 50/75mm
  • 50.6mm base RF with 0.73x mag
  • 3-in LCD 1.04 million dot touchscreen with Gorilla glass cover
  • 1/4000 sec to 16 mins (A and Manual mode)
  • 4.5 fps (2GB buffer)
  • BP-SCL5 1100mAh battery
  • 139 x 38.5 x 80mm
  • 660g with battery
  • Silver chrome/black chrome
  • £7,100 / $8295

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