Leica’s iconic film-inspired digital rangefinder series is now batting at 40 megapixels. Announced on Thursday, July 16, the Leica M10-R hides a newly developed 40-megapixel full-frame sensor in the M-series’ traditionally understated body. That new sensor makes the M10-R the flagship of the M line, which also includes the M10, M10-P, M10-D, and M10 Monochrom.
Stepping up from the M10’s 24 megapixels, the M10-R offers a wider dynamic range as well as increased resolution on the color sensor, Leica says. While fitting more megapixels onto the same size sensor tends to increase noise, Leica claims that the M10-R also reduces image noise. The camera offers an ISO range of 100 to 5,000, as well as a new longer shutter speed limit of up to 16 minutes in bulb mode, a significant step up from the M10’s 125-second max.
The new M10-R also borrows features from the rest of the M10 line. The camera uses the same quiet shutter found on the M10-P, the camera designed for discrete street photography. Besides less obtrusive photography, the shutter design is also made to minimize vibrations, increasing sharpness.
While the sensor is new, the M10-R uses the same processor as the M10. That older processor mixed with the larger files means the camera clips along at up to 4.5 fps for only 10 frames, compared to the M10’s 5 fps for up to 40 frames. The M series, however, isn’t designed for fast action anyway, considering the entire rangefinder series is manual focus only and still photos only.
The M10-R adapts a body design inspired by film cameras and similar to the earlier M10 models, with dedicated dials for both ISO and shutter speed. Like other Leica cameras, this digital rangefinder is constructed largely by hand in Germany. The M10-R uses a brass and magnesium alloy construction, with a Gorilla Glass cover on the 3-inch, 1.04 million-dot touchscreen.
The camera is compatible with Leica M lenses, including both recent additions and vintage film lenses.
While Leica always comes at a luxury price, the new M10-R is listed at only $300 more than the 24 megapixel original, retailing for $8,295, with black or chrome color options. Shipping is expected by the end of July.
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