Leica M-Monochrom

A dedicated black and white (monochrome) camera with the Leica M mount. Basically an M9 without the Bayer filter over the sensor. 

  • Sensor: 18mp CCD sensor with no Bayer filtration, 24x36 (no crop from 35mm film), no AA filter
  • Mount: Leica M
  • Images: 5212 x 3472 JPEG or 14-bit raw, 2 fps max
  • Video:  none
  • Shutter: mechanical 32 sec to 1/4,000 sec, bulb 
  • Exposure: center-weighted, -3 to +3EV exposure compensation, 6 white balance settings (plus Custom), ISO 320-10000 (plus Pull 160)
  • Focus: manual focus
  • Display: 2.5" 230k dot fixed LCD, optical viewfinder (.68x magnification) framelines for 24, 28, 35, 50, 75, 90mm lenses
  • Flash: hot shoe, 1/180 flash sync, red-eye reduction, slow sync, rear sync
  • Remote: no
  • Other Notable Features: auto lens compensation, bundled with Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro 2
  • Cards: SD, SDHC
  • Battery: LEBM8
  • Size: 5.5 x 3.2 x 1.5" (139 x 80 x 37mm) wide, tall, deep
  • Weight: 21.2 ounces (600g)
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: US7950 body only
  • Announced: May 10, 2012

Note: How does taking away color increase the cost? This is a camera made in very low volumes, and so it essentially has a very expensive one-off sensor. Some people question whether you need a monochrome sensor to do black and white, since we have multiple ways of converting RGB data into black and white. Here's why: all else equal, the true black and white sensor should have at least 25% higher resolution (and higher perceived edge acuity). Moreover, black and white films (and good black and white sensors) distribute spectral response a bit differently. If you're so into black and white you've converted your desktop printer into a dedicated black and white ink system, you're at the level where the extended capabilities of an M-Monochrom might be of interest.


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