Leica’s latest M camera is quieter and sleeker than ever

Leica’s M cameras are often praised for their compact size and discreet operations, but the new M10-P takes those things even further. A new variant of the M10, available starting today for $7,995 (about $700 more than the standard M10’s current price), the M10-P has the quietest shutter ever used on an M camera, film or digital. In addition, it has a touchscreen and new, more discreet design elements, such as the removal of the iconic red Leica badge and the old-style script lettering engraved on top. To top it off, Leica is also including a color-matched metal hot shoe cover.

Under the hood, the M10-P is exactly the same as the M10 that was released in January 2017. It has a 24-megapixel, full-frame sensor; Leica’s Maestro II image processor; an ISO range of 100 to 50,000; and a thinner frame than prior digital M cameras. From a spec sheet perspective, the M10-P is indistinguishable from the M10 and has the exact same photographic capabilities.

But it’s how it goes about capturing those photos that has changed. Leica claims that the new mechanical shutter is 50 percent quieter than the M10, and even the film versions of the M that used cloth shutters. Leica achieved this by mounting the shutter onto the camera with a new rubber-bearing suspension that reduces vibration and noise. At the same time, the M10-P’s shutter has the same maximum 1/4000 second speed, 1/180 second flash sync speed, and overall reliability as the M10’s.

For the M10-P’s new touchscreen, Leica enabled the ability to swipe through and pinch-zoom on images when reviewing them. It also lets you tap for focus when using the camera’s live view mode. But if you don’t ever want to touch the screen, you don’t have to: all of the M10-P’s controls are available through physical buttons or dials as well.

Leica says that the M10 has been tremendously popular since its release, though the company declined to give precise sales figures. The M10-P does not replace the M10 — both will remain available for purchase — but it does give the camera a slight refresh without totally reworking the platform. The company says the M10-P will appeal to those photographers who don’t want the flash associated with the M10’s red badging or the noise from its shutter.

The M10-P is available in black or silver at Leica stores and dealers worldwide starting today.