New Leica M10 mockup looks spot on
Is this the new Leica M10 which will be announced at a press conference in Cologne on September 17? The mockup by Leica Rumors is a pretty accurate guess in my opinion.
Already there have been strong hints, and some leaked photographs, which indicate the new M10 will be based on a CMOS sensor (probably of 24MP) which, for the first time on a digital M, will enable live view on the rear screen and the possibility of an electronic viewfinder (not to mention video, which is missing from the current M9). This arrangement would leave the current iconic split-image optical viewfinder in the traditional position at the top left of the camera back.
Some have suggested the new camera would feature a hybrid EVF/OVF similar to the one seen in Fujifilm’s successful X100 and X-Pro 1 cameras but I think the chance of this is zero.
What is particularly interesting is that Leica Rumors now believes that the accessory EVF, which will fit in the hotshoe, will be identical to the 1.4MP finder already on sale for the Leica X2. If this is so, X2 owners who opted for the Leica branded OVF in preference to the much cheaper (but identical except for the badge) Olympus unit will be feeling chuffed for once.
What isn’t mentioned in the Leica Rumors article is the rear screen. The M8, M9 and X2 have ancient low-resolution screens that would nowadays disgrace a cheap point-and-shoot. With live view and video capabilities on offer, something much better, of at least 1MP, will be essential.
Some of these new ideas, in particular the appearance of the electronic viewfinder, will meet resistance from the more traditional Leica fans who have only just got used to the idea of digital photography.
When calibrated properly, the existing optical viewfinder does offer wonderfully accurate focus and a much bigger and brighter image than on any current electronic finder. I much prefer it to any electronic viewfinder I have tried.
Even traditionalists will admit, however, that the EVF could be useful with longer (90mm and above) and with 24mm-and-wider glass where focus and framing is a problem. Currently any lens wider than 28mm really needs a shoe-mounted optical viewfinder. And framing and focusing a 135mm is a hit-or-miss affair.
The M10 will be a radical departure for Leicaboys and will almost certainly meet resistance and some scepticism. I predict that one result will be the canonisation of the current M9, M9-P and the soon-to-arrive Multichrom, as the pinnacle of “traditional” rangefinder digital technology. Not everyone will rush to change and I see the current range becoming something of a classic. After all, fabulous results can be obtained from the current 18MP CCC sensor and many will ask why they should upgrade.
Read the story and see the full range of picturesin today's Leica Rumors article.
by Mike Evans, 21 August 2012
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