I read an article this week about a Japanese Camera manufacturer who had created a digital camera with no screen which you have to connect to your smartphone to store and view your photos (curiously with a Leica M lens mount).
I thought this was mad and a bit off the wall.
Imagine my surprise when I received an email from Leica today announcing the same thing in the form of the Leica M10-D!
Of course, this being Leica they have gone a couple of steps further.
The camera resembles a traditional analogue Leica M10 and where the screen should be, there is a dial to access the WiFi to connect to your phone to access the JPEG or RAW photographs.
On top is a thumb rest, once used to wind on your film, now used to provide a more comfortable holding position.
There’s also a mechanical exposure compensation dial – a first for a digital camera.
The thing that surprises me the most about this camera, is simply that Leica has done this and for them, it does not seem so strange.
Leica has a long history of manufacturing cameras and making some of the finest analogue cameras that exist.
So why not create a digital/analogue hybrid?
In a world where more people are moving away from digital overload, trying analogue film photography etc, surely this fits precisely into that niche?
I am currently taking part in Assignment 15 on the Art of Photography which aims for you to use your camera like a Holga film camera. One of the big challenges is not using the screen – this Leica would be perfect!
That’s the thrill of film photography. You have to learn and understand your craft without the aid of all those dials, displays and widgets. Most importantly without being able to chimp at the screen every time you take a photo to check it is perfect.
This is where you learn and where happy accidents happen.
This camera works so well with the Insta generation too – why wait for the shots to appear on the screen to view and transfer to your phone when the wifi is always on and instantly shareable from the Leica app?
The fact Leica and this other company has realised this is kind of genius.
I just wish I could try it out as I am sure I would enjoy it. I am not sure I would be prepared or able to pay Lecias prices to be able to try this though (and it would be an expensive (£6,500 body only!), error if I didn’t get on with it).
I guess we should prepare ourselves for all the hipsters who will now be carrying a Leica M10-D!
What do you think? Is it Lecia genius or a touch of madness?