The Leica M10R review we did when the camera first came out sent waves through the camera world.
It’s never my intention to get people to not purchase a camera. It’s only ever been our intention to report our findings. Amazingly, we stopped people from buying the Leica M10R. We’ve got a reputation for finding issues with lenses and cameras that no one else even bothers to look for. And that was the case with the Leica M10R. I got a ton of emails about this camera over time, and I’ve dealt with them accordingly. We found a significant problem with the camera’s compatibility with Capture One 20. Leica champions Adobe Lightroom with editing, but the Leica M10R shoots the universal DNG file. We test all our RAW files in Capture One 20 as industry manufacturers openly champion it over Adobe support. But we’ve also just found C1 to be so much better. Capture One support for the Leica M10R still isn’t available, but you can edit the RAW files. Nevertheless, you’ll get slightly better performance in Adobe Lightroom.
I’ve been reconsidering the site’s stance on Lightroom. I still think they ultimately don’t care about photographers in the long term, but they love our money. Sometimes, we have no choice but to test in Lightroom, but Capture One 20 is still our standard. And we encourage you all to step into the light with us.
Further, I’m also editing in Adobe Lightroom Classic on a PC. I know that most folks now use PCs instead of Macs. And again, that’s because most of our readers are passionate photographers. Some happen to be hobbyists, and others manage to make taxable income from their images. This produces a plethora of problems for us, though. Setting up Lightroom Classic to print at ANSI C sizes is frustrating, and we ultimately failed. We’ve used the Canon Prograf 1000 printer for many years, and it’s never caused us problems, but Lightroom on the PC is a headache. This ultimately made our high ISO testing of the Leica M10R that much worse.
All of that aside, we found the dynamic range and the high ISO output from the Leica M10R to suffer in Capture One 20. But in Lightroom, it’s noticeably better. Even so, there are still better products out there. It sort of baffles me that Leica didn’t give this the same sensor as their Leica SL1. I know the SL1’s sensor is a variant on the sensor in the Panasonic S1R, but it’s also just so good. The Leica SL2 gave me the most detailed high ISO files I’ve seen to date. This sensor, I also believe, is from Sony. And so Leica should be applauded for not giving into Sony’s monopoly. With that said, Lightroom provides the M10R a fighting chance with high ISO files. They’re cleaner in that there’s no color noise. They also retain surprising amounts of dynamic range, but the grain is still pretty noticeable. It’s going to mostly matter for crops and big prints.
Specifically, though, I’ve seen RAW files from almost every other camera with comparable megapixels perform better. With that said, it’s not my intent to impact sales, it’s our job to objectively report. If we find a problem, then we have to talk about it. Otherwise, we’d be lying to you. And personally, I’m not about to jeapordise an 11-year long career as EIC of this site.