I picked up a Leica M10 camera a few months ago. I've longed for a Leica camera for many, many years. The moment I finally held it, I knew it was something special.
The Leica M system was introduced in 1954 with the launch of the Leica M3. Even after nearly 70 years of innovation, the Leica M10 remains a manual focus camera with an optical rangefinder. It's beautifully old school.
A couple of months in, I'm starting to understand why people fall in love with Leica. Thoughts like
I may never use my Nikon camera again, have crossed my mind.
What I love about the Leica is that it slows me down while pushing my discipline and technical skill. Because the Leica is a manual camera, you adjust the focus of the lens by hand instead of using auto-focus. And because it is a rangefinder camera, you look next to the lens instead of "through to the lens". It's an acquired skill.
Last weekend, Boston was hit by a major snowstorm: we saw 23 inches (60 cm) of snow in a single day. I went out in the snowstorm with my Leica. Using my camera made me more conscious, and appreciate the small or ordinary things in life. I smiled as I took photos of people shoveling their sidewalks, and admired snow plows clearing the streets. I would not have appreciated a severe storm the same way without my camera, or when simply snapping pictures with my iPhone.
It's when it finally hit me: photography can be a meditative experience.
— Dries Buytaert
Dries Buytaert is an Open Source advocate and technology executive. More than 10,000 people are subscribed to his blog. Sign up to have new posts emailed to you or subscribe using RSS. Write to Dries Buytaert at email@example.com.