My choice for Gear of the Year is a pricey camera with niche appeal. The Leica M10 is not a camera that many people are likely to buy, when compared to other major DSLRs and mirrorless products released in 2017. Leica knows that, and trust me – Leica is fine with it. The M10 probably isn’t a camera that will suit the majority of photographers, either – even those with the funds required to purchase one.
The M10 is a curious beast: a highly evolved throwback, which combines some very old technology with a modern 24MP full-frame sensor to offer a unique user experience with some unique quirks. It’s awkward, tricky to master, and lacks a lot of the bells and whistles common even in much cheaper competitors, but I love it all the same.
|I could have taken this picture with pretty well any camera. But I took it with the Leica M10, because that’s what I had with me. (I didn’t promise you an exciting story).|
There is a certain magic to Leica rangefinders, which is hard to properly explain. A lot of their appeal comes down to the quality of construction, which is obvious the moment you pick one up. While other brands have thrown their efforts behind high-tech mass-production (with admittedly impressive results), Leica has never aspired to market saturation and still makes its M-series cameras in much the same way as it always has done; relying heavily on manual processes, and the accumulated years of experience of its small workforce in Wetzlar, Germany (with a little help from electronics suppliers in Asia and a facility in Portugal).
I’ve been pretty → continue…