The GetDPI Photography Forum

Great to see you here. Join our insightful photographic forum today and start tapping into a huge wealth of photographic knowledge. Completing our simple registration process will allow you to gain access to exclusive content, add your own topics and posts, share your work and connect with other members through your own private inbox! And don’t forget to say hi!

M10-D mini-review

scott kirkpatrick

Well-known member
Surprise!

L1000647 1 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr M10-D with 24/2.8 asph, ISO 10,000

In early August, I received an email asking if I would be interested in joining a beta test of a mobile app plus an unannounced and unidentified Leica product. Can't resist that. I struggled with a very early version of FOTOS, and have watched as it got ready for prime time. An M10-D finally reached me in Israel the following month, with two weeks left to try it out before it went back.

L1000112 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr M10-D with 24/2.8 asph, ISO 200

Its predecessor, the M-D, had a very simple, clean concept. Based on the M-262, which had already stripped out LiveView and video, the M-D further removed the LCD and all the buttons on the back of the camera, leaving just exposure controls, shutter, aperture, ISO in its traditional place on the back of the camera, and exposure metering offset on the thumbwheel. One kluge was required -- a button that was used for video in the M240 reappeared, but on the M-D it started a complicated process that let you set the date and time, and also played a role in installing a firmware upgrade. Once that is done, you can forget it. Everything else came as factory defaults. Every copy of the M-D that was made seems to have sold, to very satisfied buyers. If you find one for sale used, be prepared to pay more than it cost new.

L1000267 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr M10D, 24/2.8 asph, ISO 200

The M10-D is based on the M10-P. That was apparent the moment I clicked its nicely damped shutter. That means that there is quite a bit more under the hood. The M10 and its -P derivative have live view, supported through the Visoflex 20, a big improvement over the (Olympus) VF2 which the M240 had used, approaching the quality of the CL's viewfinder. They also have WiFi, which in the latest firmwares switches on in one click from the WLAN line in the menu. This creates a hot spot, which FOTOS captures the first time by taking an image of a square QR code on the LCD. For the M10-D, the WiFi switches on one step past the ON position in the outer ring on the back of the camera. On the M10-D (remember, no LCD) the QR code is printed on a little piece of paper which is glued onto the bottom of the camera, under the removable baseplate. Either way, once the information is captured, FOTOS remembers it and you can skip this step.

L1000610 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr M10-D, 18/3.8 asph, ISO 200

I did some tests of WiFi power consumption and discovered that the M10-D must have a new radio card inside. I kept the M10-D's hot spot active for over two hours, using only half of one battery. Of course, doing something useful with FOTOS during the time that WiFi is active will increase the power demand, but this was less than half of the power needed by an M10 or a CL. Didn't have an M10-P to compare with; didn't try this with the SL.

L1000128 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr M10-D, 24/2.8 asph, ISO 200 f/[email protected]/4000

The Visoflex support is invaluable if you like to shoot wider than 28mm lenses (I do), or have R and other non-M lenses (I didn't have time to go down this path). But you can just take the M10-D out of its little box, set the date and time, and go shooting with any standard lens, just as with the M-D, and upload from the SD card at the end of the day to see what you have got. That's essentially what I did. I wondered if the classic exposure metering off the silver surface of the closed shutter would be accurate in low light (it was). I wondered if the camera would be easier to hold and quicker to shoot with, with nothing on the back but a leather coating (it was). I wondered if the charming little thumb rest that comes out like the film advance lever of the old days would provide extra grip and be comfortable (it did and it was). And no, it doesn't do anything but provide a thumb rest, and only does that if you want it to.

L1000334 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr, M10-D, 28/1.4 asph @ISO 800

I shot with the M10-D at night, in a very dark restaurant, under street lighting on the evening of Yom Kipur, and in bright daylight at an event and in our local sculpture garden. Everything works and it is a bit faster and less fussy than its brother, my M10. Pleasant to hold. No one paid any attention to it.

L1000373 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr M10-D, 28/1.4 asph, ISO 2500

The M10-D, having more horsepower under the hood than its predecessor, also has several areas in which reasonable people might not want to accept the factory default settings. M10 derivatives all have auto ISO, which I like to use, on the dial. But the default Max autoISO was set at 12,500, which seems a stop too high for me, and the min shutter time is 1/2f, which can get too low for wide angle shots with people moving around in them. Focus magnification, seen through the Visoflex 20 anytime you move the focus ring, can be helpful or annoying. I'd be happy to switch that to come on only when I press the button on the front, as I do on the M10 by setting "focus aids" to manual rather than automatic. And options for 2 or 12 second delay and continuous shooting are now deep in a menu. FOTOS is the answer to these desires, or at least will be some day. The document describing it on Google PlayStore promises that it will let you go "deep into the settings," but so far I have only seen that "drive mode" is one of the settings that comes up for an M10. The Leica press release introducing FOTOS at Photokina showed a screen shot with auto ISO parameters and automatic/manual focus magnification settings controllable. So I think we will see these eventually, and perhaps more. Most of the controls like this I would just set once and then again forget them.

L1000587 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr M10-D, 35/1.4 asph, ISO 6400

Finally, what does this configuration of attaching the powerful computer that lives in my smart phone to my Leica over a WiFi channel capable of many tens of Mbps foretell for future products? Can touch input at the smart phone interface replace touch input on the LCD that the M10-D has eliminated? FOTOS provides touch control of the focus point for the CL and SL but not, during the beta tests, for the -D. So I have no idea how far this will go and how soon. It still takes FOTOS 10-15 seconds to upload a compressed M10 DNG file, and more like 45 seconds for the uncompressed DNG from my CL or SL. JPGs are smaller and thus faster, and I guess I will have to figure out the path to WhatsApp where the rest of my whole family lives. In principle, this setup is able to send party JPGs to a printer in the back room and print souvenir magnets for the guests' refrigerators, but I have no plans to do that.

L1000564 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr M10-D, 35/1.4 asph, ISO 200

L1000579 by scott kirkpatrick, on Flickr M10-D, 35/1.4 asph, ISO 3200

Here are more pictures, in two galleries, both shot with the M10-D.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/6DvB30
https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/3268B9

Don't miss Jono Slack's review over at http://www.slack.co.uk/m10-d.html .

.
 
Last edited:

Godfrey

Well-known member
My note to each of the ten Leica dealers and to Leica USA, Leica GmBH:

You can tell your contacts at Leica that the only time I'm ever going to be interested in an M10-D is when they offer a model without that stupid faux film wind lever on it. All those stupid things do is get in my way. I put up with them on film cameras as a necessity, I DON'T WANT ONE ON MY DIGITAL CAMERA. At all. EVER.

Thank you,
Beyond that it sounds like a nice enough camera, albeit that I think it breaks the notion of what a simple M should be.

I'm delighted that I have my M-D typ 262.

G
 

jonoslack

Active member
Nice Writeup Scott
I think we're on the same side of the fence on the thumb grip, but Godfrey, you'll be pleased to hear that my son is just as adamant as you are about it's awfulness!

best
Jono
 

Sebben

Member
Jono, could you ask Leica if it is possible to easily remove the "thumb grip" and just have a metal spacer instead?
 
I wondered if the charming little thumb rest that comes out like the film advance lever of the old days would provide extra grip and be comfortable (it did and it was). And no, it doesn't do anything but provide a thumb rest, and only does that if you want it to.
Charming? Really? Is this what Leica has fallen to?
 

DB5

Member
I've never felt so much disgust for such a small piece of metal.

:cussing:

Leica, I detest your thumb rest!
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Jono, could you ask Leica if it is possible to easily remove the "thumb grip" and just have a metal spacer instead?
Good thinking, I'll ask :)
Yes, that would be good. Otherwise I'll have to think of how to do it myself if I ever want to buy one of these cameras. :(

Your son and I are in full agreement, Jono. Although I dislike the move of the ISO setting to the left knob, and the necessity of WiFi AND a smartphone to get the most out of the camera, the ability to use the Visoflex 020 and fit an R Adapter M so I can use my R lenses and, more importantly, my R macro equipment is a good plus.

I remain very happy I splurged when I did and bought the M-D typ 262. It is, so far, my favorite Leica M, regardless of film or digital capture. My only regret is that I didn't buy a second one when they were easy to find. It is most likely that if I find myself wanting to buy another M, I'll buy an M10-P: Why not have all the features rather than this hodgepodge with the bogus film wind lever that gets in the way?

G
 

D&A

Well-known member
Regarding the advance lever, there's going to be a diverse range of opinions as expected. Personally I both enjoyed and found the film advance lever useful in re-cocking the shutter on the Epson RD-1, especially during near silent critical moments during the televised filming of a performance where even the slightest quiet whirl of a electronic film advance would have the artistic director up in arms. Been there, done that. So there is a place for a virtually silent advance to the next frame.

Although most M users generally shoot on single frame, for those smaller numbers who require "continous" , a optional electronic frame advance or motor drive attachment is possible. This keeps the camera very much in line with many M series film cameras and allows the frame advance lever serve as both a thumb rest and silent re-cocking of the shutter. Just another possible approach to all this.

Dave (D&A)
 
Last edited:

richardman

Active member
I LOVE the wind lever in the original Epson R-D1. It's functional. It's great.

On the M10-D, it's like an eff'ing leg (singular) on a snake. Serves no function and ugly as sin.

Good thing I don't have money ;)
 
Last edited:

jlindstrom

New member
Nice mini review, enjoyed reading it.

Quick guestion though: we have iso dial on top left, on/off & exp comp in the back. So what’s the use for the thumb wheel top right?
 

Sebben

Member
Nice mini review, enjoyed reading it.

Quick guestion though: we have iso dial on top left, on/off & exp comp in the back. So what’s the use for the thumb wheel top right?
From what I can tell, to set the date the first time you use the camera...unless you use the EVF.
 
This keeps the camera very much in line with many M series film cameras and allows the frame advance lever serve as both a thumb rest and silent re-cocking of the shutter. Just another possible approach to all this.
Earth to Dave: the advance lever doesn't do anything other than act a a thumbrest. It's a fake.
 
Last edited:

scott kirkpatrick

Well-known member
About the thumbwheel operations --

Some of this I have done, some of it hasn't surfaced yet.

To set the date, just as in the M-D firmware, you hold the top button down for a long time (12 seconds) and then the LEDs in the optical VF present the values of the date and time fields. You step through the fields one at a time, turning the thumbwheel to get the desired digit in each. Pressing the top button briefly saves each value and moves you to the next one. When you are done, press the top button for a long time again and everything is saved. You don't want to do this too often. If you travel, leave your camera on your home time zone...

Focus zoom (magnification) in Live View comes in three sizes: 1X, 3X and 6X. The thumbwheel changes the magnification, cycling through the three values. If you hold the top button while the view is magnified, and then turn the thumbwheel, the area of the magnified view moves through a range of positions. This wasn't very convenient, so we'll have to wait and see what ultimately turns up. I would have thought that touch position on the phone screen in FOTOS would be used for this.

Cycling through menus to change settings -- I haven't seen this.

The M-D had a way to update firmware, which was used once to set a default timeout for switching off when idle. I think we'll a few firmware upgrades for the M-D to add some of the promised features.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I LOVE the wind lever in the original Epson R-D1. It's functional. It's great.
...
It's a necessity in that body due to the way the camera was made with an existing Cosina film body and shutter. When I bought one of those cameras, the thumb wind was one of the big things that made me say "No!" and send it back.

G
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
...
The M-D had a way to update firmware, which was used once to set a default timeout for switching off when idle. I think we'll a few firmware upgrades for the M-D to add some of the promised features.
I don't find it takes more than a minute to set the time and date on the M-D.

The M-D firmware update works as described in the attachment. Very easy.

M-D_firmware_update.jpg
 

D&A

Well-known member
Earth to Dave: the advance lever doesn't do anything other than act a a thumbrest. It's a fake.
faberryman, instead of being snarky (and a bit childish) with a comment like "Earth to Dave" , if you had taken the time to carefully read my entire post, you would have easily seen that I was proposing that the film advance lever on the M10-D should have been utilized like the Epson RD-1 to actually re-cock the shutter as opposed to simply being a thumb rest.

I could have simply responded to your post by saying "Earth to faberryman" , but almost everyone in these forums show some proper decorum when addressing individuals and their postings, regardless of their point of view.

Dave (D&A)
 
Last edited:

iiiNelson

Active member
I don't find it takes more than a minute to set the time and date on the M-D.

The M-D firmware update works as described in the attachment. Very easy.

View attachment 136934
Would it have been more simple for the camera to sync the time with the phone through the app? That’s how I would’ve designed it... along with being able to format cards in the camera through the app.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Would it have been more simple for the camera to sync the time with the phone through the app? That’s how I would’ve designed it... along with being able to format cards in the camera through the app.
The M-D typ 262 (that's the instruction manual I took the firmware update page from) does not support WiFi at all, so can't talk to phones or anything else. When you put storage cards into it, it expects them to be ready to use. Since you cannot review what's on them, it has no facility to delete or format them.

It is its own machine, complete unto itself, ready for storage, power, and a lens to be put to use. It has no camera configuration options other than to set the date and time, and upload firmware. All other controls are the traditional: focus, set exposure, frame, release shutter. Plus frame-line selector, self-timer, and 2fps continuous sequence mode. Just the essentials.

:D

G
 
Top