As a writer in the world of DPReview, typing these words and pressing ‘Publish’ might amount to an avalanche of physical threats by its passionate, gear-obsessed readers.
In fact, sacrilegious as this might sound to some readers, I think that the Leica M10 is at its best when used essentially as a point and shoot camera – for street photography at any rate. –Barney Britton 3/14/2017
But that is exactly what the apparently fearless Barney Britton did in his latest article on DPReview. Now, after reading through Barney’s experiences of photographing through Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan with nothing but a Leica M10, I can understand why he is comparing it to shooting with a point and shoot. But simply uttering the words ‘Leica’ and ‘Point and Shoot’ in the same day, let alone the same sentence, can be grounds for flogging on DPReview. But, this man nonetheless did it.
In an interesting and humorous recap of his experience photographing the fast moving Japanese culture using a purposely slow Leica, Barney says:
I’ve heard it said that if you write a song on a banjo, and the song works, then it’s probably a good song. The point, of course, being that because the banjo is so simple, and so limited an instrument compared to (say) the electric guitar, it forces the composer to focus on the essentials of structure and melody.
With no auto-focus, the hipster in Barney was excited for the challenge that lie ahead. After all, auto-focus is SO mainstream. And at the end of the day, the experience is just what Barney and other Leica fans find so appealing about the camera brand.
Without question, I would have come back from Japan with more in-focus, correctly-framed shots had I traveled with a DSLR. I’m not afraid to admit it. But they wouldn’t have been the same shots. And at the end of the day, would I have had as much fun? I doubt it – and I certainly wouldn’t have thought as much about my process.