A Hands-On Review With the Leica M10 Monochrom

The polarizing camera brand have released a black-and-white only camera, which means the comments of this article are likely a treat.

Leica are one of those brand that fragment the community, not just into two distinct camps, but to many different ones. The spread of impassioned reactions to their cameras are a good sign in my eyes; someone more intelligent once said words to the effect of "if you're not being criticized, you're not doing anything worthwhile" and it's true here.

Leica does have a cult following, and despite their price point and market positioning, they deserve it for their history if nothing else. Many of the people who tear apart their cameras in comments of videos and reviews I suspect haven't held and used many of their bodies and lenses; it's hard to have vitriol towards them if you have. Yes, there's an air of wealthy hipster around them, but I've used their cameras and lenses and it is fun and has personality to it.

This Leica M10 Monochrom is exactly the same as the M10 but with a different sensor. A sensor that is now 40 megapixels but with even more detail than that. It honestly looks like a lot of fun to use for me and appears to be designed for street photography and low-key portraiture. Would I pay over $8,000 for it though? I'd have try it myself, but it does seem unlikely.

What are your thoughts on this new Leica?

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Mark Wyatt's picture

Leica fragements "the community" with basic rangefinder digitals and Monochrom, plus were one of the last to offer new film cameras. Fujifilm fragments by emphasizing film simulations and SOOC jpeg potential, plus not offering a full frame option, but offering a more reasonable medium format. Olympus/Panasonic fragment with the 4/3 concept (I think Leica did one also). It is good to have competition.

Mark Wyatt's picture

His point about using filters is important. There are drawbacks to using RGB sensors for B&W, but I use color adjustment A LOT when post processing Fujifilm XT-2 images to B&W. With the Monochrm, you would have to use color filters- just like when shooting B&W film.

Zack Schindler's picture

The filter issue is one of the great things about the Fuji X100 series and other Fuji X cameras. There are a lot of B&W film simulations and there are red, green and yellow filter simulations to go along with each of those film simulations too. I shoot a lot in B&W with my X100F and use the red filter for a lot of landscape work.

Mark Wyatt's picture

Me too (Acros mainly). I use the Yellow filter also.

Zack Schindler's picture

This camera and the Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH would be my desert island combo if I were rich. However that pair would cost $14200.00 USD so in other words it's not going to happen. Would be sweet to have though and I can see the appeal of owning one.

I would love one of these or any of the Leica digital cameras, for that matter, with any one or combination of their lenses... if someone were to give them to me, or if they were 75% off. The value proposition of Leica is just not there. What they offer is not 4X better than anything else on the market. Cut the prices by 75% they would fly off the shelves because they are really good and relatively small, quality cameras. But otherwise if you like well made, pretty, solid performing cameras and have tens of thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket... Go for it.