Last night at Camera Electronic's shop on Stirling Street he Leica company showed the newest of the M series cameras to an appreciative audience.
As is usual for these events, there was food and drink and cameras. Also industry representatives and a professional photographer who had been given a chance to use the new camera in the field. Several of he camera were in evidence...indeed one of the new M 10's has been in the shop for several weeks - you saw pictures of Saul unboxing it in this column a while ago.
There was a video presentation and I must commend the man from Leica for his use of the joys of mobile phone control - he commanded the whole procedure from his phone and it went flawlessly. It's a long long way from doing 35mm slides hows on the old hand-changg Pradovit that I own, and a lot better show.
But if you were handling the new M10 during the evening - taking pictures and reviewing them on the rear LCD screen - you might have been fooled into thinking you were holding an old M2 or M3...Not that the M2 and M3 were all that good at taking digital photos. Oh, you could jump out of airplanes with them and go to Africa, Antartica, and 8000 weddings with them and they would never miss a beat - but they weren't good at digital photos...
So why would you think you were holding the older bodies? Because Leica has finally trimmed the front-to-back body dimension of the M10 to the same as the film cameras. And as a kindly little design exercise, they have put a neat lift-and-lock switch in the exact position that the old M2's and M3's had a rewind knob. It is almost like coming home to a familiar house.
It might be familar real estate, but prices have risen. As our professional photographer - and on-set stills shooter for major cinema productions - said, you are looking at about $ 10,000 for this model camera and lens. If you want the fancy Noctilux you can advance that price considerably. Of course, you will, as the gentleman pointed out, be advancing your low-light photography considerably too. While you may not wish to rush into the 50,000 section of the ISO settings on a regular basis, his photos on the screen ceertainly proved that you can go to 6400 like strolling to the corner shop - free, easy, and with perfect confidence.
Apparently you can do it about 800 times on one battery charge, too, which is nice. Mind you, the old M2's and M3's never gave battery trouble either...
Note: the M10 has a camouflage cover available. You can just see it in this photo. The fact that it is only invisible in a Leica Boutique cabinet is neither here nor there. You might be photographing in the interior of a red-plush lined Victorian boudoir and it would disappear quite nicely. You have to be prepared for these things...
Labels: Camera Electronic, launch day, Leica, Leica M, Leica M10, New, rangefinder