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New Leica M Monochrom Digital RangeFinder Announced

Leica has announced the new Leica M Monochrom, with a monochrome 18 megapixel full frame sensor.

| Leica M Monochrom in Mirrorless Cameras
New Leica M Monochrom Digital RangeFinder Announced: M Monochrom

Leica has announced the new Leica M Monochrom, with a full frame monochrome 18 megapixel sensor, the camera comes with Lightroom 4 and Silver Efex Pro 2.

From Leica: Countless iconic black-and-white photographs have been shot with the legendary cameras of the Leica M-System.

So it was time for a camera to continue this tradition and finally make it possible to deliver authentic monochrome photography in digital form: the Leica M Monochrom. It is the first full-frame, 35 mm format digital camera to be designed exclusively and without any compromises for black-and-white photography. It delivers ‘true' black-and-white images in unrivalled sharpness and dynamic range. This makes the M Monochrom the perfect camera for anyone with a passion for black-and-white photography.

Incomparably sharp

With a full native resolution of 18 megapixels, the Leica M Monochrom delivers 100% sharper images than with colour sensors. As its sensor does not ‘see' colours, every pixel records true luminance values - as a result, it delivers a ‘true' black-and-white image. The combination of the brilliant imaging qualities of Leica M-Lenses and the image sensor results in images with outstanding sharpness and natural brilliance.

Complete image control

The Leica M Monochrom more than satisfies the expectations of discerning users with a raw data histogram for the precise control of tonal values. The difference from conventional histograms is that it displays unprocessed and unmodified raw data. The combination of this with a configurable clipping display allows precise correction or optimisation of exposures.

At the touch of a button, images captured by the M Monochrom can be converted with characteristic toning effects from black-and-white film photography (sepia, cold or selenium toning). All users need to do is save the image in JPEG format and select the desired toning effect - simply and conveniently, and with no need for post-processing.

Monochrome Workflow

Leica M Monochrom buyers also benefit from a free online download option (available after registration of the camera) for the software packages; Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 4, a professional workflow solution and the world's leading black-and-white image processing software Silver Efex Pro™.

Silver Efex Pro 2™ offers an impressive collection of unique and powerful, darkroom-inspired tools for the creation of high quality black-and-white images. Silver Efex Pro 2 emulates over 20 different types of black-and-white film to recreate the glory of classical black-and-white film photography. The emulation of each film type is based on the analysis of many rolls of the respective type and guarantees perfect reproduction of the characteristic look of many popular films from ISO 32 to ISO 3200.

Leica Monochrom prints - an exclusive service for M Monochrom customers

In collaboration with WhiteWall, the premium photo finishers, the Leica M Monochrom print service offers customers an opportunity to have exclusive black-and-white prints made from their images. With this service, digital images from the Leica M Monochrom can be printed on premium-quality baryte photographic papers. Thanks to development in the classical wet-chemical silver halide process, the prints are hardly distinguishable from their analogue counterparts printed from negatives.

Leica M Monochrom Specifications

Image Sensor
Pixels18Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5270
Pixels (H)3516
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor SizeFull Frame
Sensor Size (width)23.9mm
Sensor Size (height)35.8mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.5in
Screen resolution230k
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing modes
  • Manual
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest32sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Manual
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • TTL
ISO sensitivity160 - 10000
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
Exposure Comp+/-3
Viewfinder ResolutionNo Data
MagnificationNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting2fps
Movie modeNo
Video Resolution
    Video FPSNo Data
    Stereo SoundNo
    Optical Zoom with VideoNo
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationNo
    USBUSB 2
    Card Type
    • SD
    • SDHC
    File Type
    • RAW
    • JPG
    • RAW + JPG
    Power Source
    Battery TypeLithium Ion
    Battery Life (CIPA rating)350shots
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsCharger 100-240 V with 2 mains cables (EU, USA, different in some export markets) and 1 car charger, lithium ion battery, USB cable, carrying strap.

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    Photographs taken using the Leica M Monochrom

    River BrentOxford Street (2)Begging FriendsDerelictionThe sun breaks throughThe Child MinderOrkney CoastlineWalking the DogSupporting the CanopyBeauty at the computer screenAbandoned farm near SvedbergHound Tor, DartmoorSea Holly in black and whiteOld car

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    11 May 2012 9:23AM
    Leica make beautiful cameras but I don't understand why anyone would buy this camera and be limited to just B&W when 'normal' cameras can produce B&W AND Colour. I'm sure there will be some people who will buy this camera but I'll stick to my normal Nikons and dream of owning a Leica M at some point, but one that can take Colour and B&W.
    User_Removed 19 17.9k 8 Norway
    11 May 2012 10:10AM
    ... and arguably, one can produce better monochrome images from a colour original. Wink
    JJGEE 18 8.1k 18 England
    11 May 2012 10:20AM

    Quote:one can produce better monochrome images from a colour original. Wink

    Maybe with digital, but I think Ilford's FP4 Pus or PANF Plus where better for B&W than colour printed as B&W Wink
    User_Removed 19 17.9k 8 Norway
    11 May 2012 10:31AM
    This is a digital camera JJ... Wink
    KenTaylor 18 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
    11 May 2012 3:38PM

    Quote:why anyone would buy this camera and be limited to just B&W when 'normal' cameras can produce B&W AND Colour.

    Obviously aimed at a narrow market where `true` black and white has been missing since the shift to digital with Leica filling that gap for those who work exclucively in B&W.
    paulashby 14 10 1 United Kingdom
    15 May 2012 1:11PM
    Are we forgetting black and white was around years before colour film, will be interesting to see the results fro a pure B&W sensor.

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