So after some rumors on the net, the new Leica M10-D is out on streets. Basically, its an M10 with a dedicated exposure compensation dial combined with an on/off switch and WIFI connectivity and without a screen. Ha, and there is a film advance lever at the top. A..what lever?? You read it correctly, a film advance lever which basically advances nothing…its there for the sake of ergonomics per se.
In a world of overwhelming screens, Leica decides that it will retain the old style by going back to screenless instruments that exemplify simplicity and nostalgia. They have done so in the past when launching an only black and white sensor camera, limiting their loyal customers in photographing the world in monochrome as was for other great Leica users such as HCB or Robert Capa.
It is funny though that the team at Leica didn’t go all the way back to the film experience and rather left the photographer with the option to preview images “on site” through their smartphone (wonder how much time it takes to transfer all the 24MP frames to the phone). Why it is funny? Because if Leica wanted to grant a photographer with a “real” film like experience, the logical path would be to transfer the frames to the 21st century dark room – your computer, at your home or office by eliminating any connectivity to a smartphone. Like all film users do every day, and street photography legends of the past, they know how the frame was only when going back home and developing the images.
Apparently, someone at Leica jumped up and demanded that at the least some way of previewing of your images on site without the need to connect to a laptop out on the streets. I think that Leica is walkIng the thinline between the current technological progress and nostalgia well mixed with romance.
And at the end of the day, I feel that Leica is selling more of a photography romantic experience than current state of the art technology. They have realized that people will be willing to pay 5 times more on a romantic piece of gear (top notch quality to be sure!) than to pay for similar products (quality-wise) that have a modern look and modern user experience.
I would note that it do requires a bit of courage and also good understanding of your audience to launch such a camera as the M10-D.
What do you think?