After reading several reviews of the new Leica Monochrom, it seems that this camera is an incredible improvement for those of us who regularly take B&W images. The resolving power is much better than simple B&W conversions of color images (one review estimated the equivalent resolution is about 2x greater than an equivalent color version, or about 36MB for the Monochrom version). One of the best reviews is at ReidReviews (paid), esp as he discusses the effects of various filters used in traditional B&W photography. J. Slack at http://www (dot)slack.co.uk/slack/Monochrom.html also has a good overview and various links.
After reading these, it seems that Fuji is in a position to capitalize on rangefinder-style digital B&W photography. They too could remove the color Bayer filter (and possibly replace with a yellow to yellow-orange filter to provide a more linear B&W response---although this would limit IR response), keeping everything else the same (well, focus peaking would be useful). Such a body, together with their new X-lenses and M-lens adapter, could cover a wider user base. If the present XP-1 B&W conversions look good (but Sean Reid suggests that the Monochrom provides a better response than B&W converted XP-1 images), then an XP-BW could create images like a 32MB body. Further, Adobe and Leica have established a mono-DNG standard, so processing in PS/LR is already functional if Fuji were to have an option to save RAW as a DNG.
|Douaumont Ossuary by Eric 54-BNF|
from Armistice Day
|Silhouette at sunset by Jill Hancock|
from Portrait Lens (around 80mm or equivalent - please check the full rules)