Looking at a pair of cameras purchased about a week apart really got me thinking.

Exhibit A – Panasonic Lumix G85

Exhibit B – Leica M10:

The difference in the controls are simply amazing.

First off, I’m going to ignore non-electronic controls. Things like lens-release and stuff aren’t going to count.

Just looking at the top plates of each camera is astonishing. The Leica has an on-off, a shutter speed dial, ISO dial, a shutter release, and a dial on the back that is typically used for exposure compensation. The Panasonic has four dials, two for mode (who’s interaction is kind of strange), two unmarked ones, a custom function, a video record, a center button on the back dial, on-off, and shutter release.

The backs are similarly skewed. The Leica has three buttons on the side and a direction control with a center button. (The direction control is relatively rarely used, mainly during menu operation and playback) The Panasonic has six random buttons, a focus select, a direction pad with center button — and in this case, they do other things too,

You really do need to read the manual to figure out how to use the camera.

The only place the Leica has more controls is on the front with the button is has on the front (the black button, the silver one is the lens release); the Panasonic doesn’t have any controls on its front. The button on the Leica is to turn on either exposure compensation or zoom in live view.

Using the two cameras, both of which are thoroughly modern cameras in their own ways, can’t be more different. It’s amazing how different they can be.