If you were to drop a droplet of water into the ocean, how much would the water level rise? By an infinitesimal small amount! The same impact has the introduction of the M10-P by Leica, Wetzlar. The improvements are minor and the price increase is only a pleasure for the CFO of the company.
I do not receive any cameras for inspection and testing (the management presumably thinks I am too critical and not enthusiastic enough). Well the point is that I am critical of the current strategy that is based on three pillars: (1) expansion into a broad portfolio (from cine lenses to spectacle glass and exclusive watches); (2)exploitation of the mythical past; (3) introduction of a range of cameras that are secondary compared to the products of the worldwide photographic industry.
There was a time (long ago) when the Leitz Company designed new cameras when the engineers thought that the new product could significantly enhance the quality of the photograph or assist in taking better pictures. That was the period when the whole photographic world would wait for the announcement of a new Leica camera.
When looking at the three additional features of the M10-P (the more silent shutter, the level gauge and the touchscreen), the basic question is: do these features help the photographer taking better pictures.
The answer is obviously negative. There are early comments that the silent shutter is good for street photographers. The reality is that the normal urban street isto full of noise and that the camera noise will not draw any attention. The touchscreen requires that the photographer to hold the camera in one hand and uses the other hand to pinch and swipe over the screen. This is hardly the condition that HC-B called the extension of the eye. The classical handling of the camera requires a triangle of two arms and the forehead to stabilise the camera and to focus on the subject. The functions of the touchscreen may be helpful for post-photography inspection, but not for the act of photography itself.
The gauge level is good for studio and architectural photography. These are hardly the domains where the M camera excels. And what about the famous skew horizons of Garry Winogrand?
The M10-P is a camera type that the world is not waiting for, but it might excite the occasional Leica guru.
Below a marketing picture of the M8 and silent shutter
Below the almost identical picture for the M10-P and silent shutter