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Thread: M10 Monochrom vs M246

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    M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Can anyone point me to a good hands-on comparison between the two latest Monochrom versions? I have been on the fence regarding the M246, but not my decision has gotten more complicated.

    I understand the increase in megapixels could be advantageous, but how wide is the gap in other image related areas?
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by GDI View Post
    Can anyone point me to a good hands-on comparison between the two latest Monochrom versions? I have been on the fence regarding the M246, but not my decision has gotten more complicated.

    I understand the increase in megapixels could be advantageous, but how wide is the gap in other image related areas?
    Sean Reid (reidreviews.com, subscription only) discusses some differences between the two cameras in his article Leica M10: Lens Tests.
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    A couple of things that jump out to me is first it is a new sensor. Created to be B&W and not a sensor that was already in the stable with the color array removed as with previous MMs. It is two stops better in low light than the 246. And the DR is better. Then it is in the M 10 body which I prefer with a faster processor Maestro II and IIRC the 246 is the Maestro I. And to my liking as with the M 10 they removed video.

    A review
    https://www.ultrasomething.com/2020/...m10-monochrom/
    Last edited by airfrogusmc; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:52.

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Another technical difference is that Typ246 uses 12-bit while M10M uses 14-bit data. I do not know what is the practical implication when comparing the files of those two cameras.
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    I won't receive my M10 Monochrom until Monday, but I own a standard M10, and just sold my M246 in anticipation of the new model. So, I can talk about the M10 series in a broader sense, and what I didn't like about the M246.

    I found the M246 to offer good low-light performance up to about ISO 10,000- plenty for my purposes, but I won't say no to a higher ceiling. Perhaps more important to me than the high ISO performance is the new minimum ISO of 160 on the M10M (it was 320 on the M246). With the M246, you'll either accumulate a lot of ND filters, or get used to shooting stopped way down when it's sunny.

    Much has been made of the size difference between the M10 body and the M 240/246- I don't really mind, personally. For people like myself with bigger noses, the viewfinder on the M246 didn't really cut it- I found that using the 35mm framelines would require my eye to be uncomfortably close to the viewfinder. The eye relief on the M10 is much appreciated, to me. I had the EVF for the M246 (which was not very good), and have used the updated EVF on the M10- everything about the newer EVF is better.

    Part of what I loved about the M246 is that the images looked great with little to no work in post. The lack of WiFi for quickly sharing things through my phone was annoying at times, and obviously is remedied in the M10 series.

    I don't love the control ergonomics on the M10 series. On the M246, there were more buttons, but they were mostly useful- particularly the ISO button, which you could easily hold while spinning the multifunction wheel. Your options for changing ISO on the M10 are an extremely-fiddly knob that locks in place _like it means it_, or paging through the menu. It's been cold in NY, and I can attest to the knob being basically impossible to unlock and turn with gloves on- it looks cool, but is a step backwards in functionality. The relative lack of buttons on the M10 makes some other basic tasks feel very awkward- since there's no Delete button, to delete a single image, when in playback mode, the Menu button acts as a delete key. I am very surprised that I haven't screwed this up and accidentally deleted something when trying to go to to the menu yet. The M10M also has a touchscreen, which I didn't find especially useful when testing an M10P.

    If the M10M is on par with a standard M10, it will feel much snappier in operation than the M246. I didn't realize how slow the M246 was until getting my M10.

    My advice, unless you are truly in love with the M10M, is as follows: people are dumping their M246's left and right here and on the FredMiranda forums. Buy a used, clean M246 for around $4k and see how it fits into your workflow. Bored doctors and dentists selling immaculate cameras with a few only a few thousand frames on them are truly a gift to the Leica user open to buying on the secondhand market. You probably won't lose any significant money- up until a few weeks ago, even the old M9M was going for around $3500, so for the time being, I think the M246 has hit a plateau in terms of depreciation. If it's more than a novelty to you and you're using/enjoying it, sell it for roughly what you paid and get an M10M (ideally secondhand again, because they'll be out there soon enough).

    For my part, I'm impatient, and was egged on by Leicaphile friends. The M10M is one of very few cameras I've purchased new in my life, and is the most valuable of those purchases, but I know exactly where it fits into my workflow/life after testing the waters with my used M246. Good luck to you.
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by clonardo View Post
    I won't receive my M10 Monochrom until Monday, but I own a standard M10, and just sold my M246 in anticipation of the new model. So, I can talk about the M10 series in a broader sense, and what I didn't like about the M246.

    I found the M246 to offer good low-light performance up to about ISO 10,000- plenty for my purposes, but I won't say no to a higher ceiling. Perhaps more important to me than the high ISO performance is the new minimum ISO of 160 on the M10M (it was 320 on the M246). With the M246, you'll either accumulate a lot of ND filters, or get used to shooting stopped way down when it's sunny.

    Much has been made of the size difference between the M10 body and the M 240/246- I don't really mind, personally. For people like myself with bigger noses, the viewfinder on the M246 didn't really cut it- I found that using the 35mm framelines would require my eye to be uncomfortably close to the viewfinder. The eye relief on the M10 is much appreciated, to me. I had the EVF for the M246 (which was not very good), and have used the updated EVF on the M10- everything about the newer EVF is better.

    Part of what I loved about the M246 is that the images looked great with little to no work in post. The lack of WiFi for quickly sharing things through my phone was annoying at times, and obviously is remedied in the M10 series.

    I don't love the control ergonomics on the M10 series. On the M246, there were more buttons, but they were mostly useful- particularly the ISO button, which you could easily hold while spinning the multifunction wheel. Your options for changing ISO on the M10 are an extremely-fiddly knob that locks in place _like it means it_, or paging through the menu. It's been cold in NY, and I can attest to the knob being basically impossible to unlock and turn with gloves on- it looks cool, but is a step backwards in functionality. The relative lack of buttons on the M10 makes some other basic tasks feel very awkward- since there's no Delete button, to delete a single image, when in playback mode, the Menu button acts as a delete key. I am very surprised that I haven't screwed this up and accidentally deleted something when trying to go to to the menu yet. The M10M also has a touchscreen, which I didn't find especially useful when testing an M10P.

    If the M10M is on par with a standard M10, it will feel much snappier in operation than the M246. I didn't realize how slow the M246 was until getting my M10.

    My advice, unless you are truly in love with the M10M, is as follows: people are dumping their M246's left and right here and on the FredMiranda forums. Buy a used, clean M246 for around $4k and see how it fits into your workflow. Bored doctors and dentists selling immaculate cameras with a few only a few thousand frames on them are truly a gift to the Leica user open to buying on the secondhand market. You probably won't lose any significant money- up until a few weeks ago, even the old M9M was going for around $3500, so for the time being, I think the M246 has hit a plateau in terms of depreciation. If it's more than a novelty to you and you're using/enjoying it, sell it for roughly what you paid and get an M10M (ideally secondhand again, because they'll be out there soon enough).

    For my part, I'm impatient, and was egged on by Leicaphile friends. The M10M is one of very few cameras I've purchased new in my life, and is the most valuable of those purchases, but I know exactly where it fits into my workflow/life after testing the waters with my used M246. Good luck to you.
    Many thanks for the detailed advice!! That is very helpful, hopefully you will post updates after you receive the new camera.

    I have considered a used 246, and may go that route. But I am very intrigued by the new sensor, and to me the thickness of my previous digital M's really bugged me. I am used to shooting film Leicas and much prefer the thinner body. I know that the value proposition for the used camera is probably greater than the M10M, but may just go ahead and bite the bullet.

    I didn't realize the cameras were available anywhere yet, any tips on where I might find one?

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by airfrogusmc View Post
    A couple of things that jump out to me is first it is a new sensor. Created to be B&W and not a sensor that was already in the stable with the color array removed as with previous MMs. It is two stops better in low light than the 246. And the DR is better. Then it is in the M 10 body which I prefer with a faster processor Maestro II and IIRC the 246 is the Maestro I. And to my liking as with the M 10 they removed video.

    A review
    https://www.ultrasomething.com/2020/...m10-monochrom/
    Thanks for the link, I was a good basic comparison.

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by GDI View Post
    ....

    I didn't realize the cameras were available anywhere yet, any tips on where I might find one?
    It looks like pre-orders will get filled first. I haven't seen/heard of any M10 Monochromes that haven't been spoken for yet.

    ken

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    A few thoughts regarding the various posts above. I may be mistaken but I believe the sensor in the M10M will be basically the same sensor that will be used in the upcoming film M10-R, the high resolution M10 variant except of course it having the Bayer filter. The M10M and M10R will have the same resolution (# of megapixels). Therefore I don't believe the M10M sensor was specifically designed for the M10M but simply like other monochrome Leica cameras that came before it, simply has its Bayer filter removed. In this case, Leica to switch things up decided to release the M10 monochrome 1st and then the color variant. It would have surprised me to have a specifically designed sensor for this monochrom only due to its relatively low volume numbers.

    Lastly some have reported M10M's being available on Leica's website without having been preordered. It appears it's a matter of finding one available that might not be spoken for. Looking forward to feedback and images from those that aquire the M10M. Looks lovely.

    Dave (D&A)

    (p.s.....sorry for my previous spelling and syntax errors by typing on my cell phone when 1st posted. The above text has now corrected essential errors.)
    Last edited by D&A; 4 Weeks Ago at 19:30.
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    I ordered mine from B&H a few minutes after the announcement- their site now lists "mid-February" as the estimated availability, but mine's already en route. Will update once it's here and I've had a chance to shoot with it


    Quote Originally Posted by GDI View Post
    Many thanks for the detailed advice!! That is very helpful, hopefully you will post updates after you receive the new camera.

    I have considered a used 246, and may go that route. But I am very intrigued by the new sensor, and to me the thickness of my previous digital M's really bugged me. I am used to shooting film Leicas and much prefer the thinner body. I know that the value proposition for the used camera is probably greater than the M10M, but may just go ahead and bite the bullet.

    I didn't realize the cameras were available anywhere yet, any tips on where I might find one?
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by GDI View Post
    Many thanks for the detailed advice!! That is very helpful, hopefully you will post updates after you receive the new camera.

    I have considered a used 246, and may go that route. But I am very intrigued by the new sensor, and to me the thickness of my previous digital M's really bugged me. I am used to shooting film Leicas and much prefer the thinner body. I know that the value proposition for the used camera is probably greater than the M10M, but may just go ahead and bite the bullet.

    I didn't realize the cameras were available anywhere yet, any tips on where I might find one?
    I got mine on launch day from Leica’s online store. Wonderful camera, my first Monochrom.
    If judging from past experience with SL2, from time to time, a bunch of cameras will appear online for a couple of hours.
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Looking forward to the photos chaps- talk mey eyes into one - please!
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Still learning about the camera and B&W.

    Palo Alto, CA
    M10M, 35mm f/1.4 ASPH, ISO 5000, 1/60sec

    Name:  getdpi-1.jpg
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    ISO6400, 1/60sec
    Name:  getdpi-2.jpg
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Thanks all!

    I am finding that all retailers are only taking pre-orders, including LeicaUSA. (But I did see they can supply a Hodinkee Ghost Bezel M10P edition right now - but I am resisting that temptation!) I am on a pre-order list at one shop but they say the wait may be 4-8 weeks.

    On Clonardo's advice, I did some pricing of 246's and they are hovering at a little over $4K. Given that I see the M9 Monochrom version at mid $3000's, that does make the 246 look like the sweet spot in the used market right now. But before I follow his advice and go with the 246 and then decide if I want to upgrade later, I am hoping to find one of those obsessively detailed, anal retentive, pixel level, scientifically borderline a/b comparison reviews between the two versions! We'll see if I can hold out till then.

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by SrMphoto View Post
    Still learning about the camera and B&W.

    Palo Alto, CA
    M10M, 35mm f/1.4 ASPH, ISO 5000, 1/60sec

    Name:  getdpi-1.jpg
Views: 575
Size:  539.4 KB

    ISO6400, 1/60sec
    Name:  getdpi-2.jpg
Views: 573
Size:  660.5 KB
    Nice, I look forward to seeing more!

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by GDI View Post
    Thanks all!

    I am finding that all retailers are only taking pre-orders, including LeicaUSA. (But I did see they can supply a Hodinkee Ghost Bezel M10P edition right now - but I am resisting that temptation!) I am on a pre-order list at one shop but they say the wait may be 4-8 weeks.

    On Clonardo's advice, I did some pricing of 246's and they are hovering at a little over $4K. Given that I see the M9 Monochrom version at mid $3000's, that does make the 246 look like the sweet spot in the used market right now. But before I follow his advice and go with the 246 and then decide if I want to upgrade later, I am hoping to find one of those obsessively detailed, anal retentive, pixel level, scientifically borderline a/b comparison reviews between the two versions! We'll see if I can hold out till then.
    I too am looking forward to the comparison of the M246 vs the new M10M...basically from image comparisons using same lens and if possible a side by side shootout. Operationally the differences are quite apparent.

    Although it's been done (and quite through), I'm not sure one is comparing apples to apples when comparing or deciding between the original monochrom MM1 (M9 based) vs. The M246. They have quite different looks, most notably but not exclusively due to the original being CCD based vs. CMOS of the M246 and M10M.

    It's not that one of these cameras, image wise, is better than the other but more so on the image aesthetic one prefers....especially if extraordinarily high ISO is not a main prerequisite for their intended uses.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:48.
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    The original MM does indeed have a 'look' which I attribute to the CCD chip - under the right conditions the images have that 'sparkle factor' with bright whites and rich blacks....under less than ideal conditions....not so much.

    This 40MP chip and base ISO of 160 and higher useable ISO up to 50K is a bit of a game changer from Leica - one can easily see the difference in tonal rendition in doing B&W conversions from high megapixel cameras - my SL2 delivers much better B&W conversions V my SL for example - and the GFX100 - justwow.

    This Leica MM v3 on paper should easily outperform the SL2 (or any other 35mm chipped camera) as far as tonal palette/microcontrast and 'perceived resolution' goes....my test will be this camera V the GFX100 in side by side comparisons one with 'real' panchromatic files and the other with the MP 'leg room' to match it via PP.

    You have to be a B&W nut to consider opting in for such a camera - I must say I do qualify - but I would have much preferred to see an SL2 monochrom version tbh - THAT would have been impossible to resist.
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Got my M10M on Monday and had a brief chance to shoot with it on Tuesday. So far, so good- I have uploaded some full-res JPEGs (converted from DNG in Lightroom) here- https://adobe.ly/38Rs4xy . The ISO 6400 shots were pushed about a half stop in post- it's definitely cleaner than the M246 at high ISO, but not enough that I'd say that it really increases the shooting envelope (so far).

    The sensor seems to hold highlights better than the one in the M 246- I had read that a lot of people shoot 0.7 EV under metered exposure on the M 246 to preserve highlights, and I found myself doing the same. This doesn't seem as necessary on the M10M.

    Otherwise, it does what it says on the tin- it's a monochrome M10. If you like the M10, and like Monochrome, and have the means, it's wonderful. Everything that made the M 246 great is here, and the whole package is a bit more compact, quicker, and nicer to use.

    One surprising bone to pick- the Leica FOTOS app. I never bothered to get it for my regular M10, but part of the beauty of monochrome files is that there's less processing required- perfect for quickie mobile edits. On top of a camera body that just cost me over $9k (inclusive of tax in NY State), Leica has the temerity to make a $50/year subscription ("Leica FOTOS Pro") basically essential to use WiFi with the camera. If I understand correctly, you can't transfer full-sized DNGs over WiFi without paying for the Pro subscription, and also don't have even basic integration with Lightroom Mobile (that is, "Open in Lightroom Mobile") without ponying up the 50 bucks. This is pretty insulting- literally every other camera company I can think of offers this functionality as part of the standard offering. I've already signed up for the subscription, because usable WiFi is a new feature (vs. the old 246) I was actually eager to use. I couldn't imagine any other camera maker pulling this without being completely savaged in the reviews.
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    You have to be a B&W nut to consider opting in for such a camera - I must say I do qualify - but I would have much preferred to see an SL2 monochrom version tbh - THAT would have been impossible to resist.
    Please no, Leica have taken enough of my money
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by clonardo View Post
    Got my M10M on Monday and had a brief chance to shoot with it on Tuesday. So far, so good- I have uploaded some full-res JPEGs (converted from DNG in Lightroom) here- https://adobe.ly/38Rs4xy . The ISO 6400 shots were pushed about a half stop in post- it's definitely cleaner than the M246 at high ISO, but not enough that I'd say that it really increases the shooting envelope (so far).

    The sensor seems to hold highlights better than the one in the M 246- I had read that a lot of people shoot 0.7 EV under metered exposure on the M 246 to preserve highlights, and I found myself doing the same. This doesn't seem as necessary on the M10M.

    Otherwise, it does what it says on the tin- it's a monochrome M10. If you like the M10, and like Monochrome, and have the means, it's wonderful. Everything that made the M 246 great is here, and the whole package is a bit more compact, quicker, and nicer to use.

    One surprising bone to pick- the Leica FOTOS app. I never bothered to get it for my regular M10, but part of the beauty of monochrome files is that there's less processing required- perfect for quickie mobile edits. On top of a camera body that just cost me over $9k (inclusive of tax in NY State), Leica has the temerity to make a $50/year subscription ("Leica FOTOS Pro") basically essential to use WiFi with the camera. If I understand correctly, you can't transfer full-sized DNGs over WiFi without paying for the Pro subscription, and also don't have even basic integration with Lightroom Mobile (that is, "Open in Lightroom Mobile") without ponying up the 50 bucks. This is pretty insulting- literally every other camera company I can think of offers this functionality as part of the standard offering. I've already signed up for the subscription, because usable WiFi is a new feature (vs. the old 246) I was actually eager to use. I couldn't imagine any other camera maker pulling this without being completely savaged in the reviews.
    Thank you!! I am glad you are enjoying it. I am somewhat envious, but still patient. I agree that holding owners hostage for $50 a year to use a camera feature is pretty low!

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by clonardo View Post
    Got my M10M on Monday and had a brief chance to shoot with it on Tuesday. So far, so good- I have uploaded some full-res JPEGs (converted from DNG in Lightroom) here- https://adobe.ly/38Rs4xy . The ISO 6400 shots were pushed about a half stop in post- it's definitely cleaner than the M246 at high ISO, but not enough that I'd say that it really increases the shooting envelope (so far).

    The sensor seems to hold highlights better than the one in the M 246- I had read that a lot of people shoot 0.7 EV under metered exposure on the M 246 to preserve highlights, and I found myself doing the same. This doesn't seem as necessary on the M10M.

    Otherwise, it does what it says on the tin- it's a monochrome M10. If you like the M10, and like Monochrome, and have the means, it's wonderful. Everything that made the M 246 great is here, and the whole package is a bit more compact, quicker, and nicer to use.

    One surprising bone to pick- the Leica FOTOS app. I never bothered to get it for my regular M10, but part of the beauty of monochrome files is that there's less processing required- perfect for quickie mobile edits. On top of a camera body that just cost me over $9k (inclusive of tax in NY State), Leica has the temerity to make a $50/year subscription ("Leica FOTOS Pro") basically essential to use WiFi with the camera. If I understand correctly, you can't transfer full-sized DNGs over WiFi without paying for the Pro subscription, and also don't have even basic integration with Lightroom Mobile (that is, "Open in Lightroom Mobile") without ponying up the 50 bucks. This is pretty insulting- literally every other camera company I can think of offers this functionality as part of the standard offering. I've already signed up for the subscription, because usable WiFi is a new feature (vs. the old 246) I was actually eager to use. I couldn't imagine any other camera maker pulling this without being completely savaged in the reviews.
    Congratulations on your new M10M. Enjoy it in good health!

    The free version of FOTOS allows transferring full-sized DNGs to the phone (tried it with success).
    The subscription gives you a direct (vs indirect) transfer of files to Lightroom and the iPad version of the app. I do not find any need for the subscription of FOTOS. Looking forward to the app update that implements proper GPS tagging.

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    A direct transfer to Lightroom is possible for iDevices after their latest iOS upgrades using an SD card reader. Simple, camera battery friendly and fast. Their FOTOS app is not really well done - there are still display errors in for a long time, no one seems to care. I only use it when I have to change a setting on my M10D - virtually never.

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    I own all three Monochrom's. Here are my thoughts...

    http://www.jeffreyhughes.net/photogr...monochrom.html
    Jeff
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    I own all three Monochrom's. Here are my thoughts...

    http://www.jeffreyhughes.net/photogr...monochrom.html
    A very enjoyable read Jeff.
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    I own all three Monochrom's. Here are my thoughts...

    http://www.jeffreyhughes.net/photogr...monochrom.html
    Nice read and thanks for sharing!

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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    "The girlfriend, after struggling with her weight for years, has once again found fitness."

    I love this quote. The M10 Monochrome is the first Leica to call my name.

    She's here now.
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  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    291
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    Re: M10 Monochrom vs M246

    Just an update - I decided to take clonardo's advice and I now have what appears to be a very nice M246 arriving in a couple days. I may decide to get an M10M later after they become more available, but this should scratch my Monochrom itch for the time being.

    Thanks for all the advice...

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