Today, Leica Camera has announced the new Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246), successor to the hugely popular Leica M Monochrom. The camera contains an essentially identical feature set to the recently released Leica M-P (Typ 240) but with the color filter array removed from the CMOS sensor for true, high-quality black & white imaging. Priced at $7,450, the M Monochrom (Typ 246) is expected to be available mid-May 2015. At the same time, Leica has also released a line of colored lens filters in both E39 and E46 sizes (available in July). The filters come in orange, yellow, and green and can be seen online here: New Leica M Color Filters.
A full review of the new camera is now live on Red Dot Forum with numerous sample images and analysis by David Farkas. The review can be seen here: M Monochrom (Typ 246) Review.
The official press release, from Leica:
The new Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) is the first and only digital camera that captures a real black and white image, still or moving. Reduced to the essentials for true, authentic and direct black and white photography, the Leica M Monochrom offers unparalleled image performance, outstanding low light capabilities and rich details.
Black and white photography is the essence of photography. Leica produced the first first digital monochrome camera in the 35 mm format and the new Leica M Monochrom is a step into the next generation.
The Leica M Monochrom has a 24-megapixel resolution on a monochrom CMOS sensor similar to the Leica M. As the M Monochrom has no need for color filters, it needs no interpolation for the calculation of luminance values. This results in brilliant images which have 100% more details and contrast than what is possible in color photography.
Up to ISO 25,000
The new Leica M Monochrom opens up new dimensions for available-light photography with its combination of low noise up to ISO 25,000, a bright viewfinder, a low-vibration shutter release and fast lenses.
Full Visual Control with Live View
The high-resolution 3” monitor with 921,600 pixels ensures that photographers have complete control of composition, exposure, focusing and depth of field. The Live View also offers two additional focusing methods. The up to 10x magnification in Live View Zoom mode enables full control of the sharpness of details in the image on the monitor or the closest focusing distance. In Live View Focus Peaking mode, sharply focused edges in the image are highlighted by colored lines.
Full HD Video in Black and White
The new Leica M Monochrom captures high-quality, full-HD video in black and white. With the optional Leica microphone adapter set, one can be assured of perfect sound.
2 GB Buffer Memory
With it’s high-capacity 2GB buffer memory and Leica Maestro processor, the camera captures sequences 3 times faster than its predecessor. In addition, the new processor enables extremely fast display of the captured images in review mode.
Sapphire Crystal Glass
The LC display is made of scratch-resistant and almost unbreakable sapphire crystal which has been treated with an anti-reflective protective coating that ensures that photographers can check their images in any lighting situation.
All current M accessories for the Leica M (Typ 240) can be used with the Leica M Monochrom. These accessories include finger loops, electronic view finder, ever-ready cases, flash and straps. In addition, R-lenses can be used on the Leica M Monochrom with the Leica M-Adapter-R.