Leica Monochrome M Rangefinder May Arrive on May 10th

Remember that monochrome Leica M camera rumor that we reported on last month? The latest rumor pegs May 10th as the announcement date. The new camera won’t be a successor to the M9 — the M10 will likely be announced in September at Photokina — but will instead be a M9-styled rangefinder with a sensor that can only capture black and white. It is also said to have fantastic high-ISO quality and may ditch the LCD screen entirely.

(via Leica Rumors via Mirrorless Rumors)

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  • Ndt

    This is about as hardcore as you can get as a photographer.
    B&W only
    No LCD
    All respect.

    But you know, you have to ask the inevitable question If this camera is for you, why not just shoot film?

  • Richard Ford

    Exactly.  You can’t replicate film, so quit with all this special editions in disguise craps..

  • Miguelangel

    Some of us, film lovers, just don’t have time for film and all that it takes to do it correctly: develop yourself (labs give you back dirty negs always), scan, correct, clean…..

    I have 2 jobs and lots of things to do during the week and when I have some time for myself, I like to SHOOT pictures, I have no time to invest in film, even preferring its look. 
    So the best compromise for me are Digital M Leicas (best lenses in the world)+SilverFx. You’ll be amazed on how close you can get to the b&w film doing things correctly.www.framed.esA B&W film lover.

  • Michael

    I agree with Miguel, I love shooting in film but working four jobs it has its limits.  However I’ll be keep shooting film and digital as well but I don’t think I’ll be investing in this Leica for the sake of collection.  Then again who knows it may be truly awesomeness that blows everyone’s expectation, I can’t wait to see it come out and at least play around with it.

  • koolaid

    is there any advantages of having an only b&w capable sensor? because if there is please tell me so, if there isnt im seeing this as a very stupid concept, for these reasons.
    1.just shoot film, dont try to imitate it 
    2 if you dont have time to process film or any place to process it then shoot digital and convert it to grey scale.
    3. if you want to feel like you dont have an lcd screen just turn image review off,

  • koolaid

    lol nvm about above post
    “A black and white digital sensor would remove the color filter array.  The huge benefit of this is a sharp increase in sensitivity to light, because the color filter array necessarily blocks 2/3 or more of the incoming light information to each photosensor (pixel).  Each pixel would be devoted to one task, recording light intensity, and the effective resolution could go up by as much as four times because the sensor wouldn’t need four pixels to extract one bit of color data.  Therefore a black and white only camera would have both higher effective resolution and much better low light/high ISO performance. “

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  • Markus Busch

    That would be so cool. Hope this is no rumor.

  • Steve

    I’d like a B&W only digital camera.  Used to use film but can’t go back to that.  I wouldn’t buy one without the LCD screen, unless it had an EVF to quickly review the photos.

    It just isn’t the same converting from colour, I would like B&W raw files with a B&W optimised camera. I wouldn’t buy a Leica though, it’s just too much for the name.  Hopefully cheaper manufacturers will do this one day.

  • Kuyler McComas

    Most of me hopes this is just an April Fools joke gone on too long…

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    I honestly don’t understand why no manufacturer thought about it earlier. Considering their target market, it’s really a smart move from Leica.

  • Guest

    It has been done before. There are digital backs that are black&white only for medium format. Considering it’s a pretty niche product I think Leica might be the only company that can do something like this for a consumer-ish market. I suspect this camera will very much be a case of “less for more” when it comes to price.

  • Mark Maio

    Another advantage of a monochrome sensor is image sharpness. With a monochrome sensor, each pixel records its own value/part of the image rather than taking three pixels (R,G,B) and using interpolation to accomplish the same thing. I have been working with a US based commercial digital imaging company for the past twelve years and have a prototype 645 monochrome 39MP sensor and the comparison tests we have done against a color sensor clearly show the monochrome to render more sharp detail. The downside to the monochrome of course is that with a RGB file we can adjust “color”  while in greyscale to give us more control over the final image. The irony to all this is back in 2000 we met with Leica and proposed this exact camera and they weren’t interested. As someone who has interacted with German camera companies over the past thirty-five years, a new idea is never good until they come up with it.    

  • Roni

     It would be something if you could shoot only 36 photos at a time…

  • Afrorissian

    New Leica.
    Missing things like color and an LCD… for the low low price of 10 thousand dollars. Lenses and memory card not included.

  • Alan Dove

     It’s a neat idea for exactly the reasons you outlined, but I suspect the sharpness difference will only be noticed by fine art photographers who want to make huge enlargements – and those folks would probably be better served by something like your medium-format sensor. The rest of us B&W fans will either shoot with regular color sensors and post-processing, or just load another roll of Tri-X into a classic.

  • Garybraid

    buy a 512Mb sd card ?

  • Karlspinks1988

    Will it have a meter is an important question? No lcd and no meter would make this too much hassle for me. But if it has a built in meter i will be buying one. 

  • JoshuaL

    sir, you’re missing not only colour and LCD. you’re missing the whole point of this wonderful cam. (if it isnt only a rumour