In 2012, Leica created a stir in the photographic industry with the release of its Leica M Monochrom. Half of the Internet was up in arms about the ridiculousness of the concept (and, of course, the price tag), while the other half praised Leica for its bold move in the modern market of high-contrast, over-saturated camera phone images. With names like "poor man's Leica" and "the new Leica" being thrown around Fuji forums all over the Internet, the question was put to Fuji asking if they would consider a monochrome-only version of one of their cameras.
For a time, Fujifilm managers came back with an affirmative answer saying that they were looking at market demand. Then all went quiet – until camera conversion outfit Maxmax recently announced they made monochrome conversions of the X-Pro1 and X100s cameras.
A monochrome-only sensor can be achieved by removing (or never installing, as is the case with the Leica M Monochrom) the color sensor array from the surface of a digital sensor. This leaves you with a sensor that only records luminance, not color. The result of this is a sensor that is more light sensitive and doesn't require demosaicing in the raw process, increasing sharpness. This is the case with the Leica M Monochrom, and it will be interesting to see side-by-side comparisons of Maxmax's converted cameras with the original Fujifilm models.
If you've ever considered a Leica M Monochrom but were turned off by the price (the current Typ 246 model is $7450) or find that Fujifilm's black and white film simulations aren't good enough, these converted Fujifilm cameras may be for you. The X-Pro1-M costs $2425, and the X100S is $2600. Both are roughly one-third the price of the Leica offering. You can pick them up on Maxmax's store and see some sample images on the product page.