Leica M with a touchscreen? Barnack turns in grave
The arrival of a -P (for professional) version of any digital M camera is a foregone conclusion. It is normally a cosmetic upgrade designed to attract those owners of the “standard” model who must have the latest. The engraved top plate is an obvious attraction — why don’t they just put this on the camera from the beginning? But, of course, I know the answer to that. There’s usually a sapphire glass screen for greater scratch resistance and the occasional internal tweak. The last M-P, based on the M240, arrived in 2014 and included an increased buffer size which many found to be a good enough reason to upgrade.
One of the most distinctive "improvements" on the M-P, however, was the suppression of the red dot. Many preferred the stealthy approach and flocked to buy the new M-P instead of using a piece of black tape to cover the logo. While this worked reasonably well on black bodies, it was unsightly on the silver-chrome finish. So better change that camera.
This time around, however, there are rumours of something revolutionary — at least for an M camera. According to Leica Rumors, the forthcoming M10-P could have a touchscreen in addition to the usual cosmetic changes. There is also talk of a new colour and a revised shutter, with luck increasing the speed from 1/4000s.
I expect the M10-P, with or without a touchscreen, to arrive around Photokina time, that is in September. It will be interesting to see if this does turn out to be a really worthwhile upgrade and not just a magnet for those who must have the latest.
And while we are indulging in a bit of rumour mongering, there is another camera that I am pretty sure will be announced in the next few months. It will be a screenless M10-D, following on from the successful-but-now-discontinued M-D. Now that’s a rangefinder I will be really interested in, perhaps even more than in the M10-P.