Leica M10-D Review

January 10, 2019 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Leica M10-D is the latest variant of Leica’s top-of-the-line digital rangefinder camera.

Using the M10-P as a basis, it features the same full-frame 24 megapixel sensor and Maestro II processor, as well as the “quiet” shutter of the M10-P camera.

The biggest difference between the two is that the Leica M10-D, while being digital, has the look and appearance of an analogue or film camera, lacking a rear screen. In its place is a large exposure compensation dial, in the same place that an ISO dial was found on older M series models.

At the time of writing, the Leica M10-D retails for around £6500 / $7995 body only.

Ease of Use

In terms of shape and size, the Leica M10-D is the same as the M10-P, or the standard M10. It is closer to the M10-P because it is missing the iconic “red dot” on the front of the camera, and instead has “Leica” written in large letters on the top of the body instead. For the M10-P this was designed to make the camera more “discreet”, and thus more suited to street photography.

Of course the biggest difference between the models is that the M10-D is lacking a screen. Instead, on the back of the camera you’ll find a large dial which can be used to adjust exposure compensation, giving you the chance to choose between -3 and +3, with 1/3rd stops in between each. It’s a flat sort of dial that is a little stiff to adjust, but at least should prevent accidental changes – something which is even more important when you can’t preview your image.

Also on the back of the Leica M10-D is where you can turn it on or off. Again, it’s a dial which has three separate positions – there’s off, indicated by a very small red dot, on, indicated by a white dot, and on, with Wi-Fi connected, as indicated by a standard Wi-Fi symbol.

Leica M10-D
Front of the Leica M10-D

The rest of the dials contribute to the M10-D’s minimalist appearance. On the top left is an ISO dial, which you need to pop out of its housing slightly in order to turn it – or you can leave it on the Auto setting. Note that the ISO dial only goes up to ISO 6400 – if you want to shoot at faster speeds than that, you can change the speed via the app.

To the right of the top is a shutter speed dial, which gives you speeds between 8 seconds and 1/4000 of a second, or again you can leave it in Auto. You can also activate a Bulb mode. If you need to shoot for speeds longer than 8 seconds, you’ll only be able to do that via the app. Aperture is controlled via the lens itself.

Leica M10-D
Front of the Leica M10-D

Just to the right of the shutter speed dial is the shutter release button. Attached to this is a faux film winding on lever, which doesn’t have any function other than to act as a thumb rest, as well as to add a little bit of nostalgia. There is a small button on the top of the camera, as well as a small dial on the rear of it – there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable function attached to these, and perhaps are just there as they have been brought over from the body of other M10 cameras.

Another element of nostalgia comes in the form of the bottom plate which hides the battery and the memory card. The whole thing detaches, in the same way that an analogue M10 bottom plate would detach to allow you to insert the 35mm film. The downside is that there is a risk of losing the plate if you don’t immediately reattach it, plus it’s impossible to change the battery or memory card if the camera is mounted to a tripod – but it seems relatively unlikely that a camera like this will be used all too often on a tripod anyway.

Leica M10-D
Rear of the Leica M10-D

In order to change more complicated settings – such as drive mode, metering, white balance, file format and so on – you will need to connect the Leica M10-D to a smartphone app called Leica Fotos, which is available for iOS and Android.

The first time you attempt to connect the M10-D to your phone, you’ll get a message that you need to scan a QR code. This is found on the bottom of the camera, underneath the removable battery / memory card plate. If the QR code isn’t recognized, you’ll also see that there’s a password which you can enter manually to connect the phone to the camera instead.

Leica M10-D
Front of the Leica M10-D

Thereafter, in theory, it should be relatively easy to connect to the camera. The reality is much less successful though – oftentimes the phone (or at least the one I was using as part of this review – the Huawei Mate 20 Pro) refused to connect to the camera, often throwing up the message “could not connect”. On one occasion, after 30 minutes of trying and failing to get the camera and phone to connect to each other, I simply gave up. Most other times it would eventually connect after several attempts – but it’s a very frustrating process which suggests that the app needs some honing.

If you can eventually get the Leica M10-D to connect, you can also use the app as a remote control for the camera – which is a way to get around the issue of not having a screen. With this, you’ll be able to fire off the shutter remotely, and change a few settings, but not aperture or focus – since this is determined by the lens.

Leica M10-D
Top of the Leica M10-D

Unless there’s a setting that you need to change via the app, it’s almost better to ignore the Wi-Fi altogether, and treat the camera like an analogue one. Unfortunately, as some of the settings have to be changed via the app, avoiding its use altogether is difficult.

It’s very important that once you’ve finished with your connection to the app that you switch the Leica M10-D off, otherwise the battery will drain very quickly. There is a setting (accessed via the app) to automatically switch off the camera – but even though this is set to 10 minutes by default – it seems not to work if you leave the camera in the “Wi-Fi” position. After leaving the camera in this position for a couple of hours in a bag, I came to find that the camera was completely dead and unusable.

Leica M10-D
Bottom of the Leica M10-D

The Leica M10-D is a rangefinder, and therefore is a manual focus only camera with a slightly odd way of working. If you’ve never used one before, it’s quite an unusual experience that is not for everyone. In essence – looking through the viewfinder, you need to match up the scene you can see in a small box in the middle of the finder with the image behind it . When the images match up in the box, then the lens is in focus and you can take the picture .

It makes focusing on anything which is not in the centre of the frame very difficult, and is also quite slow when you’re just getting used to how it works. Lenses are marked with focus distances, so over time, you come to learn how to set the lens so it will be roughly focused on the subject when you lift it to your eye to take the shot.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 9Mb.

As is also the case with other Leica M series cameras, once you get the hang of using a rangefinder, the images that the Leica M10-D is capable of producing are fantastic. As the sensor and processor here is the same as found in the M10-P and the M10, we can expect similarly excellent images.

Images have a great amount of detail and sharpness, and as is common across Leica cameras, have somewhat of a “filmic” quality about them which is hard to describe. In other words, they “look” like they were shot on a Leica.

Noise is controlled well through ISO 100-1600, with some noise starting to creep in at around ISO 3200. At ISO 6400 and above images remain usable unless you’re hoping to print at very large sizes – well ISO speeds of 12500 and 25600 are best avoided if possible. The top speed of ISO 50000 renders images very poorly, so that should also be avoided.

Otherwise, colours are well saturated with a good degree of realism without going over the top. Exposures are general well-balanced when relying on the all-purpose metering option, but not being able to double check with a screen can lead to some slightly overexposed or underexposed images. Luckily, the Leica M10-D can shoot in the universal raw DNG format, giving you the option to tweak images should you need to.

Automatic white balance does a reasonably good job when faced with different lighting conditions, erring slightly towards yellowish tones when shooting under artificial lighting. A more appropriate white balance setting can be set – but not directly on the Leica M10-D, so again shooting in raw format and leaving it on Auto is probably the best option for speed.


There are 10 ISO settings available on the Leica M10-D. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting for both JPEG and RAW files.


ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)
iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

ISO 12500 (100% Crop)

ISO 12500 (100% Crop)

iso12500.jpg iso12500raw.jpg

ISO 25000 (100% Crop)

ISO 25000 (100% Crop)
iso25000.jpg iso25000raw.jpg

ISO 50000 (100% Crop)

ISO 50000 (100% Crop)
iso50000.jpg iso50000raw.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Leica M10-D camera, which were all taken using the 24 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Leica M10-D enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Leica RAW (RAF) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Product Images

Leica M10-D

Leica M10-D

Leica M10-D

Leica M10-D

Leica M10-D

Leica M10-D

Leica M10-D

Leica M10-D


As we’ve seen before with the Leica M and the M10-P, the M10-D is a beautiful camera, which is likely to appeal to Leica aficionados. Very expensive digital rangefinders are a niche proposition as it is, removing the rear screen just makes it even more niche – so it’ll be interesting to see how well the M10-D performs, sales-wise.

In terms of usability, the Leica M10-D is extremely frustrating at times. It would almost be better to assume that Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t possible, and use it in the same way as you would a film camera, only looking at the images when you get chance to get to a computer or similar. Otherwise, the number of times that the M10-D failed to connect to the phone made this aspect of shooting with the camera extremely annoying, and time-consuming.

Putting that aside, the images that the M10-D is capable of producing is very good, but as it uses the same sensor and processor combination of the M10 and the M10-P, you’d have to specifically want the “no screen” style to opt for this over the other M10 cameras in the series.

Using a rangefinder takes quite a bit of time to get the hang of – and it’s not for everybody. Once you get a bit more used to it, getting shots in focus comes a lot easier, but without the ability to double check (quickly) that you’ve nailed the shot, this is certainly not a camera for those who are new to rangefinder shooting.

Whether you’re tempted to buy a Leica M10-D quite probably has nothing to do with whether you actually need one. This feels like a camera which has been invented for camera collectors, rather than for people who want to actually shoot with one. Hopefully Leica will improve the stability and functionality of the accompanying app, because at the moment, that is its biggest drawback – if that could be improved, it’d be a slightly less frustrating process.

At £6,500 (body only) the Leica M10-D is not a camera purchase to be made lightly – but if you have to think twice about the price, perhaps you’re not the right kind of customer anyway. If you’re interested in rangefinder shooting – take a look at the standard M10, or the M10-P for a more straightforward camera.

3 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 2.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 2.5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Leica M10-D.

Leica M10

The Leica M10 is a new digital rangefinder camera, offering a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor, Maestro II Processor, optical viewfinder, built-in wi-fi connectivity and 5fps burst shooting. Is this the best ever digital M camera? Find out now by reading our in-depth Leica M10 review now...

Leica M10-P

The Leica M10-P is a stealthier, quieter version of the existing M10 digital rangefinder camera, offering a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor, Maestro II Processor, touchscreen control, optical viewfinder, built-in spirit level and 5fps burst shooting. Is the quietest M camera also the best ever digital M camera? Find out now by reading our in-depth Leica M10-P review...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Leica M10-D from around the web.

stevehuffphoto.com »

This new M10-D is the latest M from Leica and I was excited to test it and shoot with it, to see if I still had that love of this minimalist camera. Sure, it is the same camera internally as the standard M10 that I have owned before but it’s also different. The M10 is $700 less as well, and has an LCD. Same sensor, same IQ, same body style. So why on earth would Leica release a body that has LESS and charge MORE and WHO WOULD BUY ONE?!?!
Read the full review »

thephoblographer.com »

When I walked into a meeting with Leica and saw the Leica M10-D, it reminded me of the very few times that I gasped with utter and pure excitement in the industry; when Sony announced their radio flashes/transmitter, when Capture One finally started to work closer with Fujifilm, and when Kodak announced that Ektachrome was coming back. And for the most part, I’m writing my review of the Leica M10-D from the point of view of a fanboy simply because I don’t expect most people to understand the camera.
Read the full review »

shutterbug.com »

Leica just unveiled a new M-series digital camera, the M10-D. It’s an exciting blend of Leica’s oldest, most basic technology combined with today’s most modern, most advanced capabilities. It’s a camera with a dual personality, and although that’s not the meaning behind the “D” in its name, it very well could be. Shutterbug spent some time using an early sample before its release. Here’s the rundown on the new M10-D and a hands-on user report.
Read the full review »


Camera Leica M10-D (Typ 9217)
Order no. 20 014
Camera type Digital camera with rangefinder system
Lens attachment Leica M bayonet
Lens system Leica M lenses
Sensor CMOS chip, active surface approx. 24 x 36 mm
Storage Medium SD cards up to 2 GB, SDHC cards up to 32 GB, SDXC cards up to 2 TB Viewfinder Large, bright-line frame rangefinder and automatic parallax compensation Power Supply Leica BP-SCL5
1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery, rated voltage 7.4 V; capacity 1100 mAh, max. charging voltage/current: 1000 mADC,
7.4 V; operating conditions (in the camera): +0 to +40°C; manufacturer: PT. VARTA Microbattery, Made in Indonesia
Charger Leica BC-SCL5
inputs: 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 300 mA with automatic switch-over or 12 VDC, 1.3 A; output: DC, rated voltage 7.4 V, 1000 mA / max. 8.25 V, 1100 mA; operating conditions: +10 to +35°C; manufacturer: Guangdong PISEN Electronics Co. Ltd., Made in China
WLAN The Leica app will be required for the use of the WLAN function.
The Leica app is available in the Apple App Store™ or in the Google Play Store™.
Housing Full metal housing: Magnesium die-cast, leather covering Top cover and bottom cover: Brass, black
Dimensions (WxHxD) approx. 139 x 37.9 x 80 mm Weight approx. 660 g (with battery)


Leica has announced the launch of the Leica M10-D: the newest addition to the iconic Leica M-system range, which offers a unique combination of analogue and digital shooting. The Leica M10-D transports the analogue experience into the world of digital photography.

The Leica M10-D will be on sale from 24th October 2018 for RRP £6,500.00 / $7,995.00. The Leica FOTOS App will also be available as a free download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store on the same date.

Leica Press Release

Leica M10-D: Digital heart, analogue soul.

Wetzlar, 24th October 2018. Leica is delighted to announce the launch of the Leica M10-D: the newest addition to the iconic Leica M-system range, which offers a unique combination of analogue and digital shooting. The Leica M10-D transports the analogue experience into the world of digital photography.

Available in black chrome finish, the M10-D is the first digital M-Camera to feature a mechanical dial rather than a monitor screen for exposure compensation, which is reminiscent of the film sensitivity setting dial familiar of analogue M-systems. Coupled with the integrated fold-out thumb rest, the classic look & feel is further enhanced whilst allowing for solid handling especially for when shooting one- handed.

The photography experience with the Leica M10-D is focused solely on the essential aspects such as composition, aperture, shutter speed and the ISO sensitivity value. It encourages and enables photographers to slow down, take their time and consciously experience a moment with their fullest attention, without sacrificing the convenience of digital processing – an experience which is further enhanced by the quietest shutter ever of an M camera. In addition, the M10-D features the new Leica FOTOS app, providing the ease and functionality offered by a modern, high- performance digital camera.

When shooting with the Leica M10-D, it is up to the photographer to decide how digital their individual photography experience should be. Using the WLAN function, one can easily connect to an iOS or android phone, turning it into the monitor screen without distracting the photographer from creating the shot. Further key functions of a digital camera are made available by the new Leica FOTOS app. As well as allowing the user to view and assess the images on the app, it offers remote control of the camera in Live View, set exposure and can activate the shutter release. All chosen settings on the app are saved and stored on the camera, which enables photographers to configure the Leica M10-D to meet their specific needs. Additionally, the Leica FOTOS app can also be used to transfer pictures to iOS and Android devices for sharing on social media and saving to a personal photo stream. Thanks to the use of DNG format, even RAW image files can be seamlessly transferred to suitable image processing apps.

For greater flexibility and control, the optional Visoflex electronic viewfinder can also be used with the Leica M10-D. This is particularly useful when shooting with wide- angle or telephoto lenses, or when capturing complex subjects or scenes in which precise positioning of the focus plane is essential. The Visoflex has a tilt function that enables photography from various angles, displays the most recent exposure for up to five seconds and has an integrated, satellite-controlled GPS module for geotagging image files.

The Leica M10-D will be on sale from 24th October 2018 for RRP £6,500.00. The Leica FOTOS App will also be available as a free download from the Google Play Store™ and the Apple App Store™ on the same date.


Product name Leica M10-D

Camera type Digital rangefinder system camera

Lens mount Leica M bayonet

System lenses Leica M-Lenses

Viewfinder Large, bright, combined bright-line viewfinder / rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation

Processor Leica Maestro II

Sensor CMOS-chip, active area approx. 24 x 36 mm, 24 MP

ISO range 100 - 50,000

Storage media SD cards from 2 GB, SDHC cards up to 32 GB, SDXC cards up to 2 TB

Buffer memory 2 GB

WLAN The WLAN function can be used only in combination with the Leica FOTOS app. Available free from the Apple App Store™ or the Google Play Store™.

Body Full-metal body: diecast magnesium alloy, leather trim; top plate and baseplate: brass, black

Dimensions (W x H x D) 139 x 37.9 x 80 mm

Weight approx. 660 g (with battery)

Subject to changes in construction and specifications without prior notice.

Image Gallery

Click on a thumbnail to see the full version.

Preview Images

Ahead of our full review, here are sample JPEG and Raw images taken with a full production version of the new Leica M10-D digital rangefinder camera.

A gallery of sample JPEG and Raw images taken with the Leica M10-D digital rangefinder camera.

Leica M10-D Sample Images

Sample RAW Images

The Leica M10-D enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Leica RAW (DNG) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

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