By Julian Clayton
FieldLens Director of Product

When I was still walking jobsites for a living, I never got out of my truck without a Leica DISTO in my pocket. So naturally when I saw their booth at CONEXPO, I had to see what new toys they had to offer.

Leica is obviously a lot more than their DISTO product. They make some of the best consumer and professional cameras on the market, as well as a lot of microscopes and biosystem products that I don’t understand. Lucky for me, CONEXPO isn’t about those things so I got to play with the Geosystems toys that I love.

Leica’s Geosystems family has lasers, levels and total stations and they’re all great, blah, blah, blah. Now let’s talk about the DISTO, specifically, the DISTO D810 Touch.

I can remember showing up on countless sites in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to find them frozen, without a roof, and usually in the middle of a snow or freezing rain storm. Needless to say the less time spent outside the better. Since a lot my work required an excessive amount of measurement calculation, the day I got my first DISTO was a good one. However, as time went by I wished for more. When measuring the distance to a wall a couple hundred feet away, I wished I could actually see the laser. I thought it would be cool if I could measure the length of that same wall when I was still standing in front of it, rather than risking a broken ankle to walk to the other side of the site to do it. And it would have been really cool if I didn’t have to stop and write down all the measurements I came up with. I wanted those things, but I didn’t get them.

Apparently, the reason I didn’t get them is because I didn’t wait long enough. Because today, they have all that and more. The D810 has a camera, which not only allows me to measure off the image it captures, it also shows me where the laser is. It has a compass, a 650 range, and a large touch screen. But best of all, it has Bluetooth along with standard iOS and Android applications that allow you to send all your measurements straight to your device.

Basically what I’m saying is the Leica DISTO D810 is sending the tape measure the way of the manual typewriter. We all remember what they did, by why would you still want one?