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The Leica M Monochrom features a new 18MP, 35mm-sized CCD sensor that only captures black-and-white, but because there is no color Leica claims it will produce spectacular image quality at up to ISO 10,000; images are said to be 100 percent sharper than an image produced by an equivalent color sensor. This specialized camera is being marketed to street photographers and photojournalists who work exclusively in black-and-white. The advantage of a dedicated black-and-white camera is that real brightness values are available for each individual pixel, resulting in sharp, accurate black and white images without the need for post-processing.
The camera is packaged with a full versionof Silver Efex Pro 2 to let users recreate the looks of their favorite black-and-white films, and registered owners can take advantage of Whitewall, the Leica Monochrom print service that uses a traditional wet chemistry silver process.
The Key Features in Detail
Newly developed monochrome CCD sensor with a native resolution of 18 Million Pixel.
With its full, native resolution of 18 megapixels, the Leica M Monochrom delivers 100 % sharper images than with color sensors. The fact that its sensor does not "see" color means real brightness values are available for each individual pixel. That is to say, the sensor of the M Monochrom produces a "genuine" black-and-white image directly. In combination with the brilliant imaging performance of Leica lenses and the perfect matching of the sensor to the M system, this creates pictures of outstanding sharpness and natural brilliance, with no need to sharpen the image in post-processing. The result is incomparable picture quality, such as would normally only be expected of a medium-format camera. The impressively low noise level of the monochrome CCD sensor delivers an extremely fine-grained image, which is not perceived as disturbing even at the highest ISO settings.
Raw data histogram and parameter clipping warning
The Leica M Monochrom impresses discerning users and fine-art photographers with a raw data histogram for exact control of tonal values. In contrast to standard histograms, it depicts the actual raw data, unprocessed and uncorrupted. Especially in combination with the parameter clipping view, this enables exposures to be optimized with great precision in order to fully exploit the available dynamic range.
Whether sepia, cool or selenium with the M Monochrom images can be adjusted to the characteristic tones of analog black-and-white photography at the press of a button.
The classic, iconic Leica M camera design is embodied in the Leica M Monochrom. The mat black chrome-finish top cover imbues the camera with the look of a discrete, unassuming instrument.
Only an engraving on the black accessory shoe reveals the product's name. The camera features an extremely soft, tactile leatherette body covering which is perfectly in keeping with the discrete overall look.
The camera comes with a real-leather carrying strap made of high-grade cowhide. Additionally there is a new handgrip available, featured with the same black chrome finish and the same leather trim as the camera.
Silver Efex Pro included
A full version of the world's leading black-and-white image processing software, Silver Efex Pro 2, is supplied. Silver Efex Pro 2 incorporates a unique and powerful set of darkroom-inspired tools to produce top-quality black-and-white pictures. Silver Efex Pro 2 emulates over 20 different black and white film types to recreate the classic monochrome look of film. The emulation is based on detailed analysis of multiple rolls of each film type. This results in accurate reproductions of popular film from ISO 32 to ISO 3200.
Leica Monochrom prints
For passionate black-and-white photographers looking to retain the accustomed brilliance and quality of their images in print, Leica offers a unique service. In cooperation with the photo processing lab Whitewall, the Leica Monochrom Print Service enables M Monochrom customers to obtain superb black-and-white prints of their work. This involves developing the digital images from the Leica M Monochrom on genuine fiber barite photographic paper. Thanks to use of the classic wet-chemistry silver process, the developed prints are indistinguishable from hand-made prints of analog images. Customers looking to utilize this exclusive service can order prints directly from Whitewall after registering their M Monochrom. This service is initially only available to Leica M Monochrom customers.