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Leica announces M-Monochrom black-and-white 18MP rangefinder

By dpreview staff on May 10, 2012 at 19:00 GMT
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Leica has announced the M-Monochrom, a black-and-white version of its M9 full-frame rangefinder. The M-Monochrom has no color filter array in front of the sensor, meaning it captures more of the available light but cannot perceive color. It also means there is no need for demosaicing (the process of combining color information from adjacent pixels), so higher levels of detail are retained. In most other respects, the M-Monochrom shares its hardware with the M9.

The camera can add three toning colors to its monchrome output or its uncompressed DNG files can be edited using the included copy of Photoshop Lightroom. A full version of the mono processing software Silver Efex 2 is also included. It will cost around $7,950.00.

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Press Release:

LEICA M MONOCHROM: THE FUTURE OF BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY

Solms Germany (May 10, 2012) - Leica Camera AG presents the Leica M Monochrom, the world’s first digital camera exclusively for full-frame, 35 mm black-and-white photography. Featuring a sensor designed specifically for this purpose, the new addition to the Leica portfolio enables photographers to capture images in outstanding black-and-white quality, setting entirely new standards. The latest camera in the flagship Leica M-System, the Leica M Monochrom continues the successful story of the Leica rangefinder system, which has written numerous chapters in the history of innovative photography.

“Black-and-white photography is more popular than ever before. Even today, it has lost none of its fascination as an expressive medium, not even for younger generations of photographers. This is confirmed by the numerous monochrome images shown by members of the M-Community, who we are in constant contact with,” said Jesko von Oeynhausen, Product Manager for the M-System at Leica Camera AG. “For the first time ever, we are offering an opportunity to consistently and authentically explore black-and-white photography with the M Monochrom, a tool that is unique in the digital world. The camera’s exclusively black-and-white sensor brings an enormous technical benefit that is reflected in the amazing imaging quality it delivers.”

The 18 MP image sensor of the M Monochrom is perfectly matched to the unique properties of the Leica M-System and the superior performance of Leica M-Lenses. As the sensor does not ‘see’ colors, every pixel records true luminance values – as a result, it delivers ‘true’ black-and-white images that are significantly sharper than comparable exposures from a camera with a color-sensitive sensor.

To allow precise control of tonal values, the Leica M Monochrom offers a raw data histogram display to exhibit original, unprocessed and unmodified raw data. This, combined with a configurable clipping display, allows precise correction or optimization 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, with no need for post-processing.

The classic, iconic design of the Leica M-cameras is carried forward by the Leica M Monochrom. The matte-black finish of the chromed top deck allows the camera to be an unobtrusive tool. Only an engraved script on the accessory shoe reveals the product name. The camera features particularly soft leather trim with ideal grip that perfectly complements the camera’s discreet character. The camera package also includes a genuine leather carrying strap in premium full-grain cowhide.

The M Monochrom is supplied complete with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, a professional digital workflow solution. The software is available to customers as an online download after product registration. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom offers a wide range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images. For example, this software allows for the creation of simple print layouts, slide shows and photo books.

A full-version of Silver Efex Pro 2, the world’s leading black-and-white image processing software, is also included in the package. 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.

For the production of high-quality black-and-white prints, Leica Camera AG also offers a unique service in collaboration with Whitewall. After registering their Leica M Monochrom on the Leica website, customers can have their digital images from the M Monochrom printed on premium-quality baryte paper. These prints can be ordered from Whitewall through a personal link.

From photojournalism and available light photography to discreet, artistically aesthetic, creative compositions – the Leica M Monochrom adapts flexibly to every application and enables the expression of personal photographic style and consciously creative composition. The enormous potential performance of the current M-Lens portfolio, with focal lengths from 16 to 135 mm, is also fully accessible. In line with Leica’s renowned commitment to extreme system compatibility, almost all lenses of the Leica M range built since 1954 can still be used on the M Monochrom.

All characteristic properties of the Leica rangefinder system are also present in the new Leica M Monochrom. This, for instance, also includes the system’s intuitive and discreet handling. Its manual focusing based on the combined viewfinder and rangefinder concept and aperture priority exposure mode is an aid to photographers rather than placing undesired limitations on their creative freedom. In combination with the monitor display on the back of the camera, the simple menu navigation needs only a few control elements to enable rapid access to the entire range of camera functions. Together with its compact construction, the camera’s almost silent shutter benefits discreet and unobtrusive photography. Photographers can even select the appropriate moment for re-cocking the shutter. When longer exposure times requiring an extremely steady camera stance are essential, a slight pressure on the shutter release button in ‘soft release’ mode is sufficient.

All functions of the Leica M Monochrom are constructed with extreme robustness and a long working life in mind. Its one-piece, full-metal housing, made from a high-strength magnesium alloy, and the top deck and bottom plate, machined from solid brass blanks, provide perfect protection for its precious inner mechanisms. The digital components and shutter assembly of the M Monochrom are similarly constructed with a view to a lifetime of endurance. For photographers, this provides absolute reliability over decades of use. The experienced hands of Leica technicians at the factory in Solms are responsible for the assembly and calibration of M Monochrom bodies and the precise testing of all mechanical and electrical components. Leica Customer Care has decades of experience in repairs and maintenance and therefore creates a solid foundation for long life and enduring value. Even today, the service department maintains and repairs all M-Cameras built since 1954.

The Leica M-System has played a significant role in the development of the company’s performance in recent years. The annual figures have been correspondingly positive since the launch of the Leica M9 in September 2009 and are now registering record revenues.

The Leica M Monochrom in black chrome will be available from Leica dealers including the Leica Store Washington DC beginning in late July 2012.

Leica M-Monochrom specifications

Price
MSRP$7,950.00 / £6,120 (inc VAT)
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy with synthetic leather trim. Top deck and baseplate in brass with black chrome finish
Sensor
Max resolution5212 x 3472
Other resolutions3840 x 2592, 2592 x 1728, 1728 x 1152, 1280 x 846
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels18 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors19 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
Color spacesRGB hardwired
Image
ISOAuto, Pull 160, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000
White balance presets0
Custom white balanceNo
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Standard
File format
  • DNG (RAW) 14-bit uncompressed (36 MB)
  • JPEG (Fine / Basic)
  • DNG + JPEG
Image parameters
  • Sharpening (5): Off, Low, Standard, Medium High, High
  • Contrast : Low, Medium Low, Standard, Medium High, High
  • Toning: Hue (Sepia, Cool, Selenium), Strength (Off, Weak Strong)
Optics & Focus
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Lens mountLeica M
Focal length multiplier1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size2.5
Screen dots230,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT color LCD with a sapphire glass LCD cover
Live viewNo
Viewfinder typeOptical (rangefinder)
Viewfinder magnification0.68×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed32 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modesFront Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync
Flash X sync speed1/180 sec
Continuous drive2 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Center-weighted
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (3, 5, 7 frames )
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
MicrophoneNone
SpeakerNone
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC card
Storage includedNone
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
Remote controlNo
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)600 g (1.32 lb / 21.16 oz)
Dimensions139 x 80 x 37 mm (5.47 x 3.15 x 1.46)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Additional images

31
I own it
62
I want it
2
I had it
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Leica M-Monochrom

Comments

Total comments: 224
12
SDS102
By SDS102 (Jul 4, 2012)

Can't wait to get my hands on it. Suits my style of photography. reminds me of shooting and processing mono film. Then you had a hint when taking the wet film from the tank to dry it. So the screen gives you a hint, what do you people expect? I personally require a camera to have great optics, be easy to use, have only a few functions, the fewer the better. It's the camera user who takes the photographs, not the camera. If you require a camera to do more, be autofocus, shoot colour then go buy a different camera, it'll have more functions, but bulkier, probably more plastic than solid, the Leica's more like an old film camera, I might be a dinosaur but a happy dinosaur. All that's needed are great optics, there is no colour distraction.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
km25
By km25 (May 22, 2012)

After thinking about Leica and the modern times. I must say this camera falls short of the mark. Look a the spces. 18m is a little short. Look at what Canon can due with 2-m in 5dlll. And that is best of it. It goes to ISO of 10K. Canon goes to 12.8k. See what the Nikon and Canon 16m/18m cameras can do in low light. This monochrome should be able to hold a reasonable image to 25K. What Leica needs is a digital camera that is to par with Nikon and Canon. If you shot flim as I do, the M7 is great. Dear Leica, the fault lies not with your lens. But with in you... in name your digital cameras.

0 upvotes
MarkoM
By MarkoM (May 21, 2012)

I like the way it looks.

I wonder if the black chrome finish available for the Leica M9 upgrade program...?

0 upvotes
Victor Engel
By Victor Engel (May 16, 2012)

No ISO 200? That seems odd.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (May 18, 2012)

Native speed of the sensor is 320 ISO, slower speeds have to be artificially made from that with no quality gain, actually a slight loss of DR. What would you need 200 ISO for?

0 upvotes
SDS102
By SDS102 (Jul 4, 2012)

You can always try ND(x2) filters to reduce the light, possibly. Or am I being thick?

0 upvotes
Noah Stephens
By Noah Stephens (May 16, 2012)

I wonder how much of the $8,000 price tag goes toward the materials needed to build the camera and how much goes toward for the buyer's need to feel special.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 16, 2012)

raw material isnt the only cost to manufacture. not that i think it cost anything like 8 grand to manufacture just sayin

2 upvotes
Heru Anggono
By Heru Anggono (May 15, 2012)

Black & White only camera might sounds crazy in this digital era where most people only concern about Megapixel and colour saturation. Anyway, I think this is a grand maneuver by Leica to create a niche market, and squeeze more money from enthusiasts. I kind of admire Leica puritanical approach to photography.

Some people might turn up their nose and think this is another rich enthusiasts toy but let's come to see it as a way to preserve the simple joy of making picture, even simpler in monochrome. Well, if you can afford one. 8-)

0 upvotes
SDS102
By SDS102 (Jul 5, 2012)

What a great post, I've waited for a purely monochrome. Colour can be a distraction. It's not just a 'rich man's toy' it's also a bit of an anachronism (I think). Returning some of us to the act of pure image makers without the distraction of colour. Hopefully it will enable some of to watch and record events without being obvious!

It sounds like some have a bit of camera envy. I agree with you it's a return to the joy of image making! Back in the film days you knew if you'd a good image, the screen gives you a hint. You can only tell in your electronic 'darkroom'. If you need more functions, there are hundreds of other cameras!

Sample images look great, have you checked them?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
uuronl
By uuronl (May 14, 2012)

Does anyone but me remember the Kodak DCS 760m? It was from 2002, a 6Mpxl -monochrome- Nikon mount DSLR.

Some of the best samples done by a fine art photographer can be found at

http://www.petemyers.com

He also has beta samples for the Leica Monochrome. I guess they noticed his work...

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 14, 2012)

I honestly dont know why anyone defends leica. there two latest inventions are an $8000 dollar camera body that can only take black and white pictures with lacklustre technology and 50mm f/2 prime lens that also cost $8000. You can buy them both for the cost the finest camera in the world and a selection of the finest lenses that would make most pros jealous and most any other photographic tools you could want and you could still probably throw in a reliable used car. Of course then you wouldnt have a camera that only took black and white pictures and 1 50mm prime lens.

the absolutely maddening thing is a bunch of people are gonna respond with how crappy traditional dslrs are and how it is absolutely worth it to forgo that dreamlist of gear in order to have this

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (May 14, 2012)

"I honestly dont know why anyone defends leica"

Kodachrome200, I honestly don't know why anyone feels the need to criticize them. You seem to be projecting in your missive especially with your " the absolutely maddening thing is a bunch of people are gonna respond with how crappy traditional dslrs...."

What I honestly don't understand are people like yourself who give such a rat's rear end what others like, buy or can afford. Maybe it is time for YOU not to be so concerned about others and go on with your life as you choose.

There is a place, right now, where everyone made each other's business the other persons. I think that place is named Greece. How is that working out for you??

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

"there two latest inventions are..."

Says the man who uses a Kodak product for his name. While some may argue that Kodak sort of wrote the book on invention, they never really finished it. The first ten chapters were great, but they sort of got stuck in chapter 11.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 14, 2012)

hey i am not a big kodak man i just miss kodachrome. it was a pleasing film . i also like hp5 fp4 velvia provia and other things

lets be clear kodak is a company that went bankrupt because of there failure to redefine themselves to the digital age. I would not defend kodak recent activity.

also they took my kodachrome away :-(

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 14, 2012)

priaptor I am not making moral judgements on people who buy them i just think the company that makes them is crazy and makes a bad product

1 upvote
jagge
By jagge (May 14, 2012)

you are so right. You just have to smile. They life of nostalgia and the fact that there always will be someone who will buy a Leica BECAUSE its expensive....

Yeah the optics are great, but other brands have fantastic optics at a fraction of a price.

You are right, this one takes the price, come on black and white can be done in post and with todays sensors CRAZY pixel amount the added detail is just a matter of getting a higher MP sensor. Its all rather embarresing.

Jakob

3 upvotes
camillako
By camillako (May 15, 2012)

"I honestly dont know why anyone defends leica."

not necessarily, I defend CHOICE

0 upvotes
WylyQuimby
By WylyQuimby (May 17, 2012)

Very high quality monochrome CCD cameras are very common in scientific instruments. Our Apogee U4000 was $13000 when we bought it and is still around $5000 new. This is for a 4 MP sensor. I won't say that this Leica has a scientific quality CCD, but it is not unbelievable that a monochrome camera could cost $8000.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 17, 2012)

the censor isnt a particularly expensive censor sorry that is nonsense

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 18, 2012)

Well, I hate to be a "censor", Mr. Kodachrome, but it is you that is delivering the nonsense.

The "sensor" is probably the most expensive FF "sensor" on the market. It's produced by a sensor operation that never learned how to supply large sensors to anyone other than aerospace customers.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 20, 2012)

the sensor aint it they priced it the same as the m9. that means the sensor had zero impact on the price

0 upvotes
JoaCHIP
By JoaCHIP (May 14, 2012)

A surprising and interesting camera. - I'm sure someone must have thought of taking color photos of non-moving things by putting different color filters in front of this camera. By choosing filters with different spectral properties, many different color renditions must be possible. I hope someone who can afford this camera will make an example website of such images.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 14, 2012)

that is how people made color pictures like 130 years ago. Leave it to leica to make a camera that requires that technique to have color

2 upvotes
Boris F
By Boris F (May 14, 2012)

Great idea!

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

The amazing thing isn't the number of people posting rude and ignorant comments. That happens with any piece of equipment that actually requires a bit of thought to appreciate.

The thing I find the most curious is that so many of these people are unfamiliar to me. It seems that the bulk of the really crude comments come from people who haven't ever posted positive, useful, and noteworthy things to the forums. So, what about this camera draws such people?

0 upvotes
choushin
By choushin (May 14, 2012)

Take it easy Mr.Joseph. Exactly you pointed out that lots of people commenting here actually care for Leica, the very brand photographers loved for a century. Also exactly for this reason, people who love photography are let down by Leica's current incompetitiveness and especially their approach of targeting the customers who are rich but probably don't care much about photography itself. In some sense, in this digital age, Leica really does not live up to its reputation anymore.

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

Agreed. I'd love to see a little more Volkswagen in Leica.

Unfortunately, it's going to take them a while to recover from that "boutique branding" thing they did, and that's assuming that they even want to recover. I see at least some improvement from the "Hermes days". That's got to be the lowest they can go, so everything must be "up" from there.

I hope.

In any case, I'm not really referring to the people who love Leica, but are disappointed or confused by the current direction. I was talking about the people who posted with raw hatred and bigotry.

Have a look at the Francis Carver post (if it hasn't been deleted by the time you read this) for an example of what I mean.

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 14, 2012)

"I see at least some improvement from the 'Hermes days'. That's got to be the lowest they can go"

Hey Joseph, sorry to say this, but they still are there, deep down in that hole, did you miss leica's newest invention, you can find it right here in this same News section:" Leica creates M9-P Hermès 18MP rangefinder special editions"

"The Leica M9-P “Edition Hermès – Série Limitée Jean-Louis Dumas” is a celebration of the friendship and collaboration between Jean-Louis Dumas, the former president of Hermès

1 upvote
TimR-Niagara
By TimR-Niagara (May 13, 2012)

waste of 8 grand... have you seen the samples from this camera? some photos blacken some white people's faces..

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/05/11/my-one-hour-with-the-new-leica-monochrome-by-steve-huff/

2 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (May 13, 2012)

Tim,

I really like Steve Huff's reviews and while he, like the rest of us, are scratching our heads over prices, I don't think he or most who have had their hands on the camera question it's abilities. So I thank you for the link, but don't necessarily share your views regarding the camera's capabilities-apparently neither does Huff.

Of course, price wise who can argue. As an old time lover of B&W, I don't get it.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

It's a fact of black and white photography that "some photos blacken some white people's faces."

This has been known for nearly 200 years. Photographs taken with a blue filter or a blue sensitive film darken faces, photos with an orange or red filter lighten them, and with a green filter, you pretty much preserve the tonal relationships seen by the eye.

Same rules apply to B&W conversions from a color digital camera, too.

It looks like it's time for old rules to be rediscovered by people who either never learned them or forgot about them. ;)

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 14, 2012)

it seems to me this is why you would want to take color pictures and convert them

3 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (May 12, 2012)

I wonder what will come next... True Grain model? Fixel ISO Limited Edition?

OK, OK, just kidding... I still own (through no longer shoot) several film rangefinders. Just couldn't resist, sorry.

It's important to understand what this camera really is. Leicas are Rolexes of the photography world. This particular one is a Rolex with only one hand. So what? Still gives you lots of tactile pleasure...

(Anyone who thinks that he/she can distinguish a color image turned into grayscale using proper RGB luminosity weights from a "narive" grayscale image need to... well, think again)

2 upvotes
Ariston
By Ariston (May 13, 2012)

not really. between a Leica and a Rolex, the Leica is disposable.

2 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (May 13, 2012)

My take: any Leica on film will do "better" BW. Film grain will always be... different (crystals...). In my opinion the fault of the concept is here: so you want the "core" of the BW photography, but that's difficult to get with digital.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

"need to... well, think again"

And if you believe that you can't, you need to start thinking, for the first time.

Seriously. A color camera has the filter passbands at two fixed wavelengths, and very shallow slopes to the color filters. With a monochrome sensor, you can use filters with steeper slopes, and have a choice of about 30 cutoff wavelengths. There's a radical difference between the look of monochrom with the steep slope and low cutoff of an R25 or R29 filter and the higher cutoff and shallower slope of a color camera's red channel filter.

And that's just one example.

0 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (May 14, 2012)

> With a monochrome sensor, you can use filters with steeper
> slopes, and have a choice of about 30 cutoff wavelengths.

Can you please elaborate what filters and cutoff wavelengths you're talking about?

0 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (May 17, 2012)

<ahem..> Joseph?

0 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (May 19, 2012)

Well, in case you drop by: if you were talking about color filters mounted on lens: nothing prevents you from using them on a color sensor camera, nothing at all. And it then it boils down to that same proper interpretation of the luminance by software.

0 upvotes
Kofi the Creamy Bokeh Boy
By Kofi the Creamy Bokeh Boy (May 12, 2012)

Leica will prove (once again), that they can bring out whatever they want and their 'boutique' market will lap it up.

Black and White photography is about to explode in Shanghai.

0 upvotes
RAPyke
By RAPyke (May 12, 2012)

It is a beautiful camera and I too would buy one in a flash if I had the cash, but, why isn't it weather sealed? If it really is intended for photojournalists, wouldn't this make sense? For $8,000.00 it certainly makes sense.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 13, 2012)

You don't need to weather-seal a thing intended to be kept in a mahogany box.

2 upvotes
jkr1185
By jkr1185 (May 12, 2012)

I'm so tired of hearing about the 230,000 pixel LCD. Anyone who finds this a major turn-off and detriment to this or the M9's performance is clearly missing the point and should thus stop worrying about it and go out and shoot. I hope to God that when the M10 comes out in September they put at least a 1MP LCD on the rear, if anything to finally shut all of the chimpers up.

1 upvote
Tee1up
By Tee1up (May 13, 2012)

230k viewfinder is not a detriment to using the camera. It is Leica laughing their butts off that they can sell a camera for this much money with cropped features and performance. I love their lenses and would buy them if I could, but there is nothing about a Leica MM body that warrants a price tag of $8,000. This isn't a camera introduction, it's an intelligence test and if you own one of these....nuff said.

4 upvotes
jkr1185
By jkr1185 (May 13, 2012)

I own an M9, thanks for the apparently well substantiated insult to my intelligence; although I guess the same could be said about the intelligence about people who judge others based on what photo equipment they choose to use for their specific needs, without knowing what those are. I don't think they're laughing their butts off that they can screw people on a 230k sensor; I'm also fairly confident that there is nearly no substantial cost savings from using a 230k vs whatever higher resolution screen. This monochrome camera is an evolution of the M9 which is itself now a 4 year old design, thus it doesn't make sense from any standpoint to replace something like the screen (which many use simply for menu settings) for which new software and hardware would have to be optimized, when the M9's replacement is just on the horizon which will have a completely different sensor/hardware package from the start; and where it makes much more sense to integrate the all-important >230k screen.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Zigadiboom
By Zigadiboom (May 12, 2012)

This camera's images is like a Porsche 911 doing 0-60mph in 11.49 seconds.

This camera's 230,000 dot LCD screen is like a BMW 7 series with wind up windows.

Ansell Adams used large format cameras despite their size, weight, setup time and film cost because of the high resolution and sharpness he was able to gain from his images. Hence if he was alive today I'm pretty sure he'd be using the latest and best photographic tool money can buy.

This camera is certainly not one of them.

2 upvotes
jkr1185
By jkr1185 (May 12, 2012)

I don't think that Ansell Adams would care about if his camera had a 230,000 dot LCD, or for that matter if it even had one at all (oh wait, view cameras don't have high pixel LCD screens???). I also don't think he would make an analysis and judgement on what a camera certainly is or isn't based on sample images on DP review, taken with a camera with a firmware version 0.012.

1 upvote
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (May 12, 2012)

@jkr1185 but you know what a ground glass is don't you ? :)
but i agree, who gives a s about the lcd resolution on rangefinder ?

0 upvotes
jkr1185
By jkr1185 (May 13, 2012)

I do, as I used to use a Technikardan on occasion for architectural work; I also know that it's used for image framing and focusing, and not making menu settings or reviewing pictures :)

I guess if the camera had live view, the analogy to a view camera would make a little more sense, and then of course a higher res. screen would be better. But yeah on a range finder who cares about the resolution? If they do, look elsewhere or go out and take some pictures and stop complaining about it on an internet forum!

Cheers

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (May 15, 2012)

The point isn't the practical usefulness of the LCD. It is that putting such a cheap, low res one in a an $8000 camera in what could only have been a cheesy cost cutting move to make even more money is offensive. Unless of course Leica's profit margins are so thin they have to.

Then it isn't offensive it is sad. They have serious cost management issues if they can't even make enough money to put in a higher res LCD while selling the M9 cameras for 7-8 grand.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
NikonScavenger
By NikonScavenger (May 12, 2012)

I've seen black and white photos taken with the old monochrome Kodak DSLR and Black and White modified Canon 30D's--both of which look superior to b&w photos taken with a traditional color sensor camera.

What puzzles me is that the Monochrome Leica's photos look like b&w photos taken with a color sensor DSLR...

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

Excellent observation.

I put it down to the reviewer's inexperience with monochrome "the old fashioned way". I look at all the dpReview sample pictures, and I can see in my mind's eye exactly which filter I'd have used on each of them.

There was enough variety of shooting situations in the preview that I also got a pretty good feel for the camera's spectral response. Too blue-green sensitive, it needs to be tamed with filters.

0 upvotes
backayonder
By backayonder (May 12, 2012)

Well if I had a spare $8000 I'd buy one in a flash.
It's a beautiful thing, to the naysayers stop whinging because you can't afford it, neither can I.

0 upvotes
kewlguy
By kewlguy (May 12, 2012)

DPR is by far the most civilized site. There's even someone saying "...toy for stupid people..." wow!

0 upvotes
NDT0001
By NDT0001 (May 12, 2012)

So many hateful comments by anonymous fools who think their opinion is the only only one that counts in their tiny world. Trashing a specialist/niche camera is akin to saying a ferrari is just a car, a rolex is just a watch and therefore, way to expensive!!!

Believe it or not, some people actually see the intrinsic value in such a specialty piece of equipment, be it due to form, function or merely concept, and if you cant or dont want to afford it, well guess what? YOUR NOT THE TARGET MARKET.

Not being able to personally justify the expense is no excuse to rubbish a specialty high-end product. Been to a big city lately? Designer/luxury brand stores are THRIVING.

Some people actually think differently to you.

7 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (May 13, 2012)

While I agree with some of your points, the auto analogies just won't get you anywhere. If Ferrari were to release a new model centered around the choice of a non-synchronized gearbox, it would get panned. And most of the people doing the panning would not be able to afford it. But their point would still be valid.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Noah Stephens
By Noah Stephens (May 16, 2012)

Well said

0 upvotes
MarceloSalup
By MarceloSalup (May 12, 2012)

Most stupid idea so far. Beats the X-1 in stupidity.

0 upvotes
MartinaB
By MartinaB (May 11, 2012)

Some comments have indicated that this camera will provide BW images equal to of better than BW film. Likely they will be better.

But with film cameras we could always change the film type, switching between color and BW as needed.

Now we need two cameras to shoot color and BW?
Just seems a little odd in this day and age. Especially when such great BW images can be had from present digital cameras.

1 upvote
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (May 12, 2012)

i want the next leica M basically a body where you can slide in a film module or a digital module. like with the digital back, but fully integrated.

it should look like a Leica M8 with the back of an M7, so the LCD goes where the door in the film leicas is and everything slides in from the bottom.

0 upvotes
Lenny L
By Lenny L (May 11, 2012)

I searched but did not see it - was there any comparison done between this and a B/W conversion done on a photo shot on the vanilla M9? I know the preview listed a bunch of advantages, but it would be good to see examples of real life scenes.

2 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (May 12, 2012)

Agree +1

0 upvotes
manalyzo
By manalyzo (May 11, 2012)

If you like the idea of shooting pure B&W but Leica is not for you, then foveon is the way to go as it also lacks the CFA and AA filters. The stacked layers also give the potential for better DR - if the top layer is blown, there is often detail in the lower layers.

You can develop the raws using DCRAW in document mode to get the pure greyscale image from each layer separately, then blend them together like an HDR image.

Foveon does not do colour well at high ISOs, but it does do sensational B&W.

2 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (May 11, 2012)

FINALLY !! Now I just want this in an enthusiast $600 DSLR body.
The only thing that concern me though is the Dynamic Range.

But yeah, this is more sensitive, more resolution, no low pass filter, etc

Would be nice also to see it in a P&S where the extra sensitivity is more needed.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (May 12, 2012)

How would not having a CFA and OLF affect DR? The sensor doesn't need to be different in any other way that would affect DR.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

@shaocaholica, imagine, if you will, an interesting part of a scene is mostly green. So, on a color camera, the green sensors pick up a lot of light. They can blow easy, but the extra light gives them a lot of extra shadow detail. Now the red sensors are not picking up as much signal, so they lack shadow detail, but they won't suffer from blown highlights. Put that red and green signal together with a modern Bayer demosaic algorithm, and you've preserved the tonal range of the whole scene. The end result is a wider tonal range than you'd get with a pure monochrome sensor.

0 upvotes
mauro paillex
By mauro paillex (May 11, 2012)

Another toy for stupid people. Serious photographers don't need this kinda product!

0 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (May 12, 2012)

Hush... Hush... leave the home, look at some photography.... Hush...

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

"Another toy for stupid people."

So, you already have one on order, right? Looking forward to your review.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (May 11, 2012)

Well they did it. Now I would love to see a monochrome Nikon FF with the 3DS sensor + 2 years of improvements.

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (May 11, 2012)

sick world
$ 8,000 is peanuts
and only in black and white

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Klank
By Klank (May 11, 2012)

All this is, is this. Perceived value. If the camera costs an exorbitant amount of money, it must be awesome. I totally agree with a previous comment. Leica seems to be narrowing down their niche market. The sensor is nothing special. In fact it's probably missing the three color filters. While this will probably increase the usual resolution, I can't imagine its even close to worth it. Unless you're a camera snob. I bet the software in the camera is basic as well.

0 upvotes
Peter KT Lim
By Peter KT Lim (May 11, 2012)

Who need a Rolex to tell the time ? Same thing happen here, the Leica owners like to show off their toys ! Leica sell camera to those can afford .

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (May 11, 2012)

I can't wait to buy two of these and shoot tons of images so I can process them with my Lomo/Holga filter effects! Yahoo!

1 upvote
Peter KT Lim
By Peter KT Lim (May 11, 2012)

Fully agree with you, I will buy six of these to shoot millions of images !

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (May 11, 2012)

I'll by three, put color filters on them, mount them side by side on a bar and shoot COLOR pictures with them! That will be AWSOME!

1 upvote
cxsparc
By cxsparc (May 11, 2012)

For me this camera together with the announcements of painful special-edition "Gucci" :-) versions is an alarming sign for Leicas future.

If they continue going even further in extreme niche markets with evenl lower potential sales figures, but fail to produce an updated version of the M9 so it is at least on the level of the competion, Leica as body manufacturer will go bust.

That they waste precious development costs on such a camera instead of that updated M9+ is as incredible as using a 230k resolution LCD for that "new" X2 at a 2000 $ sales price.

So they either are unable to do that development and instead rebadge their old technology or reuse other manufacturers tech like that Olympus VF-2. Or they are not willing to, thinking that their Leica fanclub will continue to buy just abount anything they put on the market.

In both cases, I see a gloomy future ahead. You can milk your customers based on brand value, but only for so long. Like e.g. Nokia

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Peter KT Lim
By Peter KT Lim (May 11, 2012)

No...Leica think they are Rolex....

0 upvotes
jto555
By jto555 (May 11, 2012)

"Leica announces M-Monochrom black-and-white 18MP rangefinder"

Why?

1 upvote
Peter KT Lim
By Peter KT Lim (May 11, 2012)

Because this camera is special design for 'rich' market, today's Leica no difference than the Swiss handmade watches !

0 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (May 11, 2012)

A digital Leica is something like a Rolls Royce with a Volkswagen beetle engine. You can have the best lenses, the best body, but to what does it serves with a crappy sensor. And, do not forget the price. Well, I had a Rolex Sea Dweller for more than 20 years, never broke, but had to re-adjust the time every 2 weeks. Never was in time, and, the price !!! So what ?
A Leica with a D700 or a Nex-7 sensor would fit me, and for sure at a price the common mortal is willed to pay for it. A Nex-7 is not a cheap camera, but it makes as much pleasure to play with it as with a Leica, and, it does things a Leica can't when ever you wanna escape to something different. Well, you will say that one who can afford a Leica has enough change left to buy a Nex-7. I agree with that statement. Just ask myself if he will still use the Leica then. A film Leica was a tool for life, a digital Leica is a consumers Item, just like any digital, and, not the best one after all.

2 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (May 11, 2012)

A Sony sensor in a Leica? I wouldn't spend a Dollar for it. The sensor is exactly one of the main reason people buy Leicas. The one and only Kodak CCD. If I want high ISO and a lot of fps, I take out my D4.

1 upvote
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (May 11, 2012)

@Lea5 - presumably you spent a little more than a dollar for your D4, the sensor in which was manufactured by Sony.

2 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 11, 2012)

The D700 sensor may be produced by Sony, but it is designed by Nikon.

http://nikonrumors.com/2011/01/26/the-sensors-of-the-d3-d3s-d700-and-d3100-are-made-by-nikon.aspx/

0 upvotes
Miwok
By Miwok (May 11, 2012)

Funny how some people hate so much Sony camera. Wake up guys, take a look on the Dyxum weekly exhibition, and you will see than Sony can produce image as good as any other Canikon.

1 upvote
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 11, 2012)

It is funny that every time someone talks about Leica someone will mention that boring Henri Cartier Bresson. And still, Henry made pretty interesting pictures compared to all these wannabe Henries running around the streets with their leicas, disturbing the pedestrians with their foolish hasty moves. :)

2 upvotes
dmanthree
By dmanthree (May 11, 2012)

HCB was an artist, very few of us are. He shot with a Leica and a 50mm lens, and that's it. Now really, now many of us could live with those restrictions? Birders? Astrophotographers? Sports shooters? This is another attempt by Leica to capture a niche market, which is all they have left. And based on the images posted, it's nothing special and actually presents some disadvantages when compared to a color camera with images converted to B&W.

8 upvotes
jto555
By jto555 (May 11, 2012)

Couldn't agree more!

2 upvotes
John 3
By John 3 (May 11, 2012)

A cheap way for leica to improve the quality of their crap sensor. A bit.

1 upvote
Biowizard
By Biowizard (May 11, 2012)

I have long beein waiting for a decent camera to be produced with a bare, monochrome sensor. For B&W work, especially when using deep filters (eg red to darken blue skies and accentuate clouds, or blue to do the opposite), such a camera will produce images of 4 times the resolution of images produced by a Bayer-filter camera. Plus, when shooting with pale or no filters at all, such a sensor will be between 3-8 times as sensitive to incoming light.

For those who prefer monochrome work, a camera like this is long overdue. Those hereabout who are sneering at the concept, are simply showing complete ignorance about how their "colour" megapixels are actually generated: by blurring, mixing and and interpolating. Not by recording.

Shame I can't affort the asking price ... but maybe Olympus will come out with something similar now that the precedent has been set.

Brian

5 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (May 11, 2012)

Just wondering - does the Leica have a built-in IR blocking filter? If not, it would be brilliant for IR phtography.

0 upvotes
Bevardis
By Bevardis (May 11, 2012)

Well, let's wait and see how it performs in real life, though I sure hope you are right. More than 90% of pictures I take end up as B/W :)

1 upvote
Ivan Glisin
By Ivan Glisin (May 11, 2012)

And another plus: technically, fabricating monochromatic sensors should be cheaper, as well as cheaper to install and integrate into a camera system. Also, slower/simpler processors are required since data processing is very basic. In fact, the most expensive part in Leica M Monochrom is the Leica logo!

2 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (May 11, 2012)

Sadly I agree with your point about the Leica logo, Ivan - though the other reason for the expense is that this is unlikely to be a mass market camera, even inasmuch as the standard M9 is, and the smaller production run (or maybe even build-to-order) costs more!

Brian

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 11, 2012)

@Biowizard, you overestimate the sensitivity increase. It's more like twice, not 3-8 times. Oh, and resolution is proportional to the square of pixel count, so it doubles on a deep red filter shot, not quadruples.

@Ivan, the cost advantage only happens when the sensors are fabricated in equal volumes. Reduce the volume, and suddenly a second line, new test plan, etc. drives the price up higher. Look at PhaseOne, they charge an extra $10,000 for their monochrome medium format.

@Biowizard, again. An IR filter is necessary for most photography, otherwise, you get grays on a lot of things that should be black, weird views of veins in skin and "blotches" from dilated capillaries, extra flare because anti-reflection coatings aren't effective for IR, and resolution loss due to CA. So, either build one in the camera or use one with all lenses.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (May 11, 2012)

Shouldn't the logo have been white letters on a gray emblem in this case? Anyway, Leica's pricing is consistent with its cost structure and the customer affluence. Meanwhile, paupers like me will squander $8k by other means.

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (May 11, 2012)

I'm not so sure you're right, Joseph. My standard "25A" red Hoya filter has a filter factor of 8 (3 stops); my light green "X0" filter has a factor of 4 (2 stops). My guess is that normal bayer mosaics must be at least as dense as these filters in order to do their job properly, hence my guestimate of 3-8, with 8 being at the high end (25A) and 3 being near my green (X0).

As for resolution, taking 3 out of every 4 photosites out of an image converts (say) a 16MP colour image into a 4Mp B/W one. Yes, this is half the linear resolution, but only a quarter of the number of pixels. In other words, with perfect glass, in perfect conditions, this Leica should be able to record just over twice as many pixels in a red-filtered mono shot, than the Nikon D800E.

As for IR, didn't Leica have an issue with their first "M" digital cameras, that let in too much infrared, and required use of supplementary high-pass filters on all lenses?

Brian

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
cxsparc
By cxsparc (May 11, 2012)

Even if it has double the resolution, a 24 MPX Nex7 already has more resolution than 99% of the users need.

I always found this bw-obsession persistent in Leica-cirlces a little strange and hard to understand. Maybe it is a consequence of the difficult whitebalance of digital Leicas, which can be avoided by just shooting or postprocessing to BW?

Or is it an effort to link up with those great photographers of the past who HAD to shoot bw because there was no alternative?

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (May 11, 2012)

Sooner and later we will have proper comparisons of D800 B&W. PS tweaked and not, and this monochrome Leica. Then we will see what the truth about the resolution and sensitivity is. At the moment I do not believe Leica is the winner in resolution, and we already know it, and may others win the high ISO contest. So what else do we have for the Leica: pay $8000 and loose the possibility to adjust color filtering in post.

0 upvotes
Ivan Glisin
By Ivan Glisin (May 11, 2012)

@Biowizard, @Joseph: completely true, I have not taken into account how volume relates to price. However, once this camera proves it's advantages (and I am expecting it will) other manufacturers will likely jump in and develop cheaper sensors. Also, thanks to sensitivity advantage these sensors could be even smaller retaining great performance. Monochromatic versions with filter threads of Nikon 1, Canon S/G series, Fuji X10, Panasonic LX5, Olympus XZ-1 (or the likes) anyone?

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 11, 2012)

@Biowizard, the Bayer filters are not as sharp as an R25, there's significant overlap in the RGB responses. That's why an R25 on the M9m would produce more of a high contrast sky effect than using the red channel on a Bayer sensor. So, no, they're nowhere near the 3 stop filter factor of an R25.

And, that 3 stops is only right on film, and not on all films, at that (because light meter calibration is based on photopic green). Think of a silicon sensor as a red-sensitive film, like Tech Pan. Silicon sensors are the opposite of film, sensitivity rises in the red, instead of falls.

Judging by the posted examples, there's a blue-green filter in the camera to compensate a bit, to keep faces from looking too "chalky" due to the red sensitivity.

On the other hand, using software to separate colors gives you the advantage that all the pixels on the Bayer pattern are contributing to resolution.

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (May 12, 2012)

This is all very interesting. Re. @Joseph's comments about density, if it is true that the Bayer primaries are LESS dense/saturated than (say) my R25 and X0 filters of old, I find it hard to see how any modern camera could produce a "true" deep red, green or blue image. Wishy-washy R/G/B filters could only render wish-washy colour in the final image, and we al know that most DSLRs (especially Canon) can give Hockneyesque over-saturated results unless curtailed.

Must do some more research ...

Brian

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (May 12, 2012)

(@Joseph ... "On the other hand, using software to separate colors gives you the advantage that all the pixels on the Bayer pattern are contributing to resolution.")

Only if those (physical) pixels can "see" the image, because it has the right spectral content!

Brian

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

There is very little in a typical scene that is so spectrally pure that it doesn't stimulate all three channels of the sensor.

Oh, and the filters have shallow slopes because the sensor makers try to emulate the spectral curves of the eye. That is how you make the colors ""true", or as we say in color science, "colorimetric".

0 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (May 11, 2012)

Ehm Leica, 1935 just called and wants this piece of overpriced junk back...

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (May 12, 2012)

Sadly missing the point ...

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 14, 2012)

We're arranging the shipping container to send the "piece of junk back" right now.

How much do you way, and how tall and wide are you?

0 upvotes
choushin
By choushin (May 11, 2012)

I am not too much impressed with the sample images... some portraits are nice though.

As it was a dilemma for photographer whether to go 'digital' not many years ago, few people are still sticking to the 35mm films except for those guys who has the time and lust to shoot BW. Leica is probably targeting those customers.
However... by simply taking out the color filters in front of the ccd does NOT solve the dilemma.

BW film beats color films in resolution, contrast/dynamic range by a wide margin. Does this new M beat any 7 grand machines in the market in these respect? My answer is definitely a NO...

3 upvotes
arigato_12
By arigato_12 (May 11, 2012)

It sure is a brilliant camera but Tri-X at 2,50 bucks a roll means that $8,000 buys me a lot of Tri-X. rolls, yep.-:)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 55 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 11, 2012)

Figure developing costs (and if you're doing it yourself, figure your time as a "cost").

0 upvotes
nawknai
By nawknai (May 11, 2012)

I always wondered why another camera-maker didn't think of doing this earlier.

No colour filter array means:

1. Images with far better detail and resolution.
2. Much greater light sensitivity, and consequently, far lower noise, and higher ISO capabilities.

3. I may be wrong, but an AA filter wouldn't be necessary to reduce moire, because moire would be minimal, or non-existent.

It was such a simple idea, but I guess it took Leica to release it.

1 upvote
Biowizard
By Biowizard (May 11, 2012)

It's an idea I've been talking about to my photographic friends for years. For anyone principally working in monochrome, this is a camera that is long overdue. Now I just hope Olympus follows suit with a $800 "Pen/Mono" camera for the rest of us.

Brian

3 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 11, 2012)

OK, first, you talk about what it "means", but you use a lot of hyperbole and exaggeration, so that's not what it "means", at all.

Resolution and detail aren't "far better", sensitivity isn't "much greater" and noise isn't "far lower". That probably explains this:

Other camera makers did do it earlier, and it always flopped.

Kodak did it 15 years ago, with several monochrome models in their DCS-400 and 600 series. They're chapter 11 and out of the camera business.

Megavision did in a series of medium format backs. They're out of business.

Jenoptik did it in a series of Sinar medium format backs. Sinar is bankrupt, Jenoptik is out of the camera business.

Phase One is still doing it with one medium format back. Sales are unimpressive, and virtually no one has heard of them.

Mad Max did a monochrome conversion on two Canon models. Although they're still on his website, they're such old models that I can't imagine sales are brisk.

So, overall, it's not a success recipe.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (May 11, 2012)

What a brilliant camera to come out for a long time!

Wow!

Can't wait for my images to be plastered on the glass plates model to follow next year!

.

2 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (May 11, 2012)

Now that the camera is on the market, all we need is Henri Cartier Bresson reborn. The pharmaceutical industry (genomics) is working on it.

0 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (May 11, 2012)

H ha what a stupid overpriced idea - oh yes, it's a Leica so no surprise

8 upvotes
noiretblanc-dpreview
By noiretblanc-dpreview (May 11, 2012)

I just hope there will be a b/w digital back for my 40-year-old M4.

0 upvotes
athst
By athst (May 11, 2012)

Amazing... it's like they read my mind and created the most perfect camera I could ever imagine.

2 upvotes
scott_mcleod
By scott_mcleod (May 11, 2012)

"World's first"?

How about the Kodak DSC Pro 14n from way back in 2003? 24x36mm, 4,500 x 3,000 pixels, and also available as a monochrome version?

I am sure the M-M will be a very nice camera and it's also a relief to see the price has not blasted off into the stratosphere like the new APO-Summicron. But I would really like to see one of the mainstream mfrs to bring out a dedicated monochrome DSLR. Like Canon, for example, who already have the 60Da... wouldn't it be nice to have a "60Dm" for under $2k?

6 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 11, 2012)

They said "the world’s first digital camera exclusively for full-frame, 35 mm black-and-white photography."

We call those "weasel words". There have been B&W APS cameras like the DCS-630m (there was never a monochrome 14n, sorry) and monochrome medium format backs (Megavision, Sinar, Kodak, and Phase One. Phase One still makes one, if you've got $33,000). So, they can say "first full-frame" but it doesn't have much impact once you defang the weasels...

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 11, 2012)

"wouldn't it be nice to have a "60Dm" for under $2k?"

Nice, but untenable. By the time you set up a sensor run without the Bayer masks, add a different QA procedure, different main board runs, etc. you'll triple the price of the camera. It's an electronic part, so you also have to rerun EMC testing.

The current Da is just a matter of an optical component substitution, no new sensors, no new testing. So, it's cheap.

0 upvotes
Rylee Isitt
By Rylee Isitt (May 11, 2012)

This camera is too pricey for me, and I'm already committed to Canon lenses, but I don't understand the hate it's getting.

A monochrome camera is extremely useful for many different types of photography, especially if it lacks an IR/UV block filter (or if this is removable - which they usually are if you're willing to void the warranty). Astrophotography and certain types of microscopy use monochrome cameras because their sensitivity, sharpness, and ability to capture a wide range of wavelengths (selectable by the use of filters) makes them good instruments for scientific work.

This body would also be very nice for landscape photography, even color landscape photography where an RGB filter wheel could be used.

Finally, monochrome photography is a viable art, and any tool which gives superior results is to be encouraged.

I think there's a market for this. I hope Leica sets a precedent here and encourages competitors to follow suit.

5 upvotes
Michele Kappa
By Michele Kappa (May 11, 2012)

Usually one hates what one cannot have.

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (May 11, 2012)

No, the B&W grapes may be sweet, but some graytone foxes are candid enough to admit they simply can't jump so high or fear hyperglycemia.

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (May 11, 2012)

So beautiful.... both the image quality and the camera.

3 upvotes
Kofi the Creamy Bokeh Boy
By Kofi the Creamy Bokeh Boy (May 11, 2012)

It's a camera buddy. Not a Woman.

1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (May 11, 2012)

I guess I've missed it somewhere: what's the actual sensor?
What model / type / manufacturer / more info about it?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 11, 2012)

The same ancient Kodak's CCD.

2 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (May 11, 2012)

It's a Kodak CCD! Thank God for it.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 11, 2012)

Technically, it's not Kodak, any more. Kodak sold the sensor division to Platinum Equity, who renamed it "Truesense Imaging, Inc."

1 upvote
Total comments: 224
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