“Monochrome is the new color” The world was introduced to color photography when Kodak introduced the revolutionary Kodachrome film in 1935. But fast forward to 2012, Leica decided that “monochrome is the new color”, and wants to turn back the clock with a digital rangefinder that shoots only black-and-white for $7,995. At this point, I can hear you screaming, “That’s the silliest way of spending eight grand!”
Leica’s new black & white rangefinder, the M Monochrom, eschews the standard color filter found in ordinary camera sensors in order to capture higher quality monochrome photographs. How much of a difference does this make compared to the standard practice of converting color images to B&W? David Farkas over at Red Dot Forum decided to find out by doing a head-to-head comparison of the camera with a Leica M9. He photographed the same scene at different ISOs, and then published the photos with a nifty slider that lets you easily compare the resulting images. Here’s a spoiler: the difference is quite noticeable.
ISO Test: Leica M Monochrom vs. Leica M9 [Red Dot Forum]
DPReview has published a gallery filled with sample photographs shot using the new Leica M Monochrom. The photographs are tack sharp and have a beautiful “film look” to them that is difficult to achieve by doing a conversion from color digital images. Watch out: looking at the gallery may be bad for your wallet.
Leica M Monochrom Preview Samples [DPReview]
Leica has officially announced its new monochrome digital rangefinder, the M Monochrom — the world’s first digital camera to do dedicated black and white photography. The camera features a newly designed 18-megapixel monochrome CCD sensor and “100% sharper imaging” due to the fact that raw data is processed directly without interpolation. The monochrome sensor allows the camera to achieve extremely low noise even upwards of ISO 10,000, and various programmed tones can be used to adjust the look and feel of the black and white photographs. It’ll cost $7,950 when it hits store shelves starting in late July 2012.