Leica M10-R adds 40-megapixel color sensor

Leica has unveiled its latest camera, with the Leica M10-R digital rangefinder packing a new full-frame 40-megapixel sensor. In this case the "R" stands for "resolution," with a significantly higher pixel count than the regular M10 which clocks in at 24-megapixels.

Usually, Leica acknowledges, that increase would come with a sacrifice in low-light performance and thus more noise. For the M10-R, though, the company says that trend has been bucked, with a base sensitivity of ISO 100 and a super-quiet mechanical shutter using tech borrowed from the M10-P.

The low volume isn't the only advantage of that shutter: it's also responsible for minimal vibrations, Leica points out, and so helps cut down on camera shake. Then the company adds its Maestro II image processor, for lossless raw file compression.

It's compatible with Leica's M lenses and, with an adapter, the company's R lenses too. ISO range clocks in at 100 to 50,000 – with the familiar dedicated ISO dial on top – and there's support for extended exposures up to a whopping 16 minutes in length. There's up to 4.5 fps shooting for up to 10 seconds, courtesy of the 2GB buffer.

What you don't get is video. As with Leica's other models in the range, this is all for stills only.

On the back, there's a 3-inch TFT LCD display with 1.036 million pixels and 100-percent field of view, covered with Gorilla glass. There's also an optical viewfinder with 0.73x magnification, but the M10-R will also work with Leica's Visoflex Tip 020 electronic viewfinder accessory. Even without that, though, you get automatic parallax compensation and bright-line frame lines.

A viewfinder frame selector on the front allows you to manually change the apparent image field you see, across 35mm/135mm, 28mm/90mm, and 50mm/75mm focal length pairs. There's also support for split or superimposed bright field images for better manual focusing.

Leica bakes in WiFi b/g/n for remote control with its app, and then finishes the whole thing off with an all-metal weatherproof die cast magnesium body with brass top panel and base, and synthetic leather trim. It'll be offered in Black Chrome and Silver Chrome finishes; both have a hot shoe on the top.

Sales of the Leica M10-R kick off later this month, the company says. It'll be priced at $8,295 for the body-only.