Leica has just announced the latest version of its classic M series compact rangefinder cameras, the M10 Monochrom. What makes this camera stand out is its 40-megapixel full-frame sensor that records only luminance data and doesn’t capture any color.
The advantage of this type of sensor is that it increases the tonal range that can be captured by the camera, producing what B&H Photo's black and white aficionado Allan Weitz regards as the best monochrome images he’s ever seen by a digital camera. In this video, he’s incredibly enthusiastic about the photographs produced by the M10 Monochrom, to say the least.
Leica has opted to couple the black and white photography with the understated stylings of the M10-P that has a matte finish and leaves off the classic Leica red dot.
Clearly, this is something of a niche product and also a significant investment, but for black and white enthusiasts, if the sensor is as good as Weitz says it is (read his wonderfully effusive review here), street photographers that otherwise would never dream of being able to justify the cost of a Leica might want to start saving up. However much we might rib Leica for its limited-edition snakeskin bodies and ostentatious “limited edition masterpieces” (to quote the Leica website), I’ve yet to encounter someone who’s bought an M-series camera and regretted it.
The truth will be in the raw files, but until you can track one down, you’ll have to settle for this selection of images published on the Leica website. Enjoy.
The Leica M10 Monochrom is available for pre-order for $8,295 and is expected to start shipping in the next week or two.
Will you be splashing out? Is color overrated? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.