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Leica M Monochrom Hands-On Preview

We have a hands-on look at the new Leica M Monochrom, the full frame digital rangefinder from Leica with a black and white sensor.

|  Leica M Monochrom in Mirrorless Cameras
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Leica M Monochrom
Leica M Monochrom

Here are a number of hands-on photos of the Leica M Monochrom with the new Leica 50mm f/2.0 ASPH. lens. At the heart of the Leica M Monochrom is the new 18 megapixel black and white sensor:

Leica M Monochrom Sensor
Leica M Monochrom Sensor

First Impressions: Setting options while the camera was still held up to the eye was possible as you can quickly learn where options are, with positive feedback on the scroll wheel. The camera has a lot of latitude in the shadows with a lot of detail recoverable so it is best to underexpose with the camera, rather than over-expose, as very little could be recovered from overexposed highlights even when shooting RAW. The sensor is the same as used in the Leica M9, with the same micro lenses in place, however the colour array (bayer filter) is not present, making the sensor more sensitive to light.

Leica M Monochrom Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Here are a number of sample photos taken with a pre-production Leica M Monochrom digital rangefinder, and the new 50mm f/2.0 ASPH. lens. Click the image to view a larger version, or click "Hi-Res" to see the full size JPEG. The images have been converted from DNG to JPEG with no other adjustments made. Noise at ISO10,000 was impressive with the image having a fine grain.

Leica M Monochrom Other sample images

Leica M Monochrom ISO test images

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
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

    Oxford 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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    17 Jun 2012 12:11PM
    Oh yes please!Grin

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