Cameras are not complicated, at least they do not have to be. They are tools to freeze time visually. I own (too) many camera systems, Sony, Olympus/Panasonic, Hasselblad, Nikon, and Canon. All of which are more ‘advanced’ technologically then Leica. However, a Leica remains a Leica.
You pay more to get less. By removing the ‘red dot’ (with a quieter shutter and a touch screen that I hardly use), Leica manages to charge more for the M10-P over the M10. This is obviously not a new marketing strategy as they did the same with the M and M-P (Typ 240) and the M9/M9-P. The ‘P’ is meant to make the camera even more subtle and unobtrusive. Truth be told, it is completely superficial.
The most soulful aspect with Leica is not the camera but the lenses. Sure, the M10-P is an excellent camera that is at least up to ‘modern standards.’ It is very simple to operate, with the most uncluttered physical layout one could hope for. But at the heart of Leica, it is the M lenses that make Leica special. No matter which Leica M lens you end up with, it will not disappoint. Each lens is hand-built and inspires confidence (assuming you manage to manual focus).
The only thing that is crucially missing compare to modern cameras, is autofocus. But by giving up on autofocus, you end up with much smaller lenses. For some people, that should be a tradeoff worth considering. Like a convertible, you should drive one before you go bald. For a Leica, one should use it before your eyesight does not allow you to focus manually.
So why do I still have Sony, Olympus, and Hasselblad?
As of the time of this blog entry, Sony remains the most technologically advanced camera out there (Canon EOS R, Nikon Z all announced). Sony Eye-AF is a game changer. Olympus makes some fine glasses and the m43 format allows primes with AF to be roughly the same size of a Leica M lens (despite the DOF is not nearly as shallow). Olympus also has some killer features.. the Dual Stabilization allows one to handhold for 4 seconds… Live Time feature is also unique and very functional. Hasselblad X1D 4116 is one of the most handsome cameras on the market, and one of the most comfortable to hold. And it does deliver the most stunning image quality.
But, a Leica remains a Leica.