The Best Camera for Black and White Photography

For photographers who love working in black and white, there are certain cameras that are really suited for the task. This interesting comparison compares two dedicated Leica monochrome digital cameras to a Fuji camera using a black and white profile and a classic Leica film camera. 

Coming to you from Denae and Andrew, this fun comparison looks at the Leica M Monochrom Typ 240, Leica M Monochrom Typ 246, Leica M3, and Fuji X-T3 using its black and white film simulation. Leica's Monochrom cameras are designed specifically for black and white shooting, as they don't even have the capability to shoot in color. The M3 is a classic Leica film camera. And of course, the Fuji X-T3 is a more standard modern digital camera, but it comes with Fuji's much lauded film simulations, including the Acros film simulation. Of course, you might argue that buying a camera that can't even shoot in color is a silly extravagance, but for those that shoot exclusively in black and white and think purely in terms of tonality, the improvements can be worth it. Of course, using one of Fuji's generally beloved film simulations can also be a good middle choice. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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12 Comments

EL PIC's picture

I think versatility in photo is more important.. both color and BW ..
Therefore would not consider any camera that only does 1.

beeing colorblind (as 8% of male population), let me disagree with your comment

The Sigma Merrill have good reputation for monochrome.

Christian Lainesse's picture

I wish other camera companies would give Leica some black&white competition... I mean, if we still had to use just film, we would not shoot in color, scan then convert to black and white, right?

I prefer the Sigma Quattro with its monochrome Modus within the Raw Converter (SPP)...really black and white because the favourite foveon technics.....Ulli Redder Facebook

Ricoh gr iii should be at the top of this list

A Rolleiflex 6x6 with Schneider lenses will blow these tiny instruments away.

Lee Stirling's picture

Being primarily a film shooter these days, I would say the look of your B&W images can be as varied as the B&W film you choose, how you rate that film in your camera, your choice of developer, the techniques/process you use to perform the development, your scan settings, and whatever edits you add in post-processing software.

The grays on the Leica monochrome are UNBELIEVABLE. However, I saw a Daniel Morrison conversion of a Sony A7R2 which is pretty damn close: definitely worth it if you can’t justify the Leica price. If have a DP3 Merrill. It is likewise unbelievable B&W but is severely limited use wise. But check out images of Merrill Flicker group. This guy has AMAZING B&W macro flower images shot with DP3 Merrill. It’s important not to confuse gray scale subtlety and contrast with just the fact that something looks great in B&W itself. I think it’s ridiculous to compare to film. It is impossible for digital to ever touch what silver particles on paper do: the texture, depth, richness in B&W as well as color. Fuji simulations are simulations not the real thing. As we advance in technology we’re losing treasures, in photography as well as nature itself.

I shoot with the Leica Monochrom 246 and I love it. There is a subtelty to the gray scale rendition that is unique. When I show images to skeptical colleaugues, they get it. I have not yet figured out how to print to reproduce silver, but on screen I prefer my Leica to B&W to monochrome mode from my Fujifilm XT2 hands down. Not saying everyone needs it, but I love it.

Alex Cooke's picture

Share some images!

Four uploaded to my profile. All shot with TYP246 in Brescia Italy, 2016.