back to article Leica goes all out B&W for M-Monochrom camera

Leica unveiled several camera models today, including the world's first digital rangefinder camera with a dedicated black and white sensor for monochrome photography, as well as a compact with a 20x optical zoom. Leica M-Monochrom The Leica M-Monochrom looks like an M9, but replaces the innards with an 18Mp B&W CCD sensor …

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Mmmmmm - black and white

I'm deeply in love with the Leica M-Monochrom, however six grand is (a) way out of my range and (b) an awful lot of rolls of Ilford PanF+.

Come the lottery win I may have to change my mind though...

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Re: Mmmmmm - black and white

why would you use a lot of rolls of film?

I thought it was digital?

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Re: Mmmmmm - black and white

The Leica M-Monochrom is digital; the commenter said that he can't afford one. From his comment we can infer that he intends to continue using his film camera until such a time as his numbers come in the lottery.

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Anonymous Coward

I just get the feeling that modern Leica kit is like Ferrari, rich pillocks buy them to make a statement and those on tighter budgets buy them to make people think they are rich pillocks!

Now don't get me wrong, the old film kit is a joy to behold but their modern digital stuff just seems to be trading of the cachet their name carries.

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Hmmm, I can't quite work out which Panasonic Lumix TZ model the V-Lux 40 is a reworking of.

For a small superzoom camera, Lumix TZs consistantly score well in group tests... and for something designed to be taken lots of places (and so banged, dropped, and possibly lost) the Leica tweaks over the stock Lumix model might not be worth the higher price.

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Anonymous Coward

no idea, but it clearly is related. I wonder if its actually made by panasonic?

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Call me new fashioned

I just tell my camera to take b&w pictures when I feel the need. It even does sepia. I also don't give a damn about the supposed extra quality this overpriced junk will give. Nobody I know blows a picture up to admire the pixels, they look at the picture for what it is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Call me new fashioned

Over-priced: Yes. Junk: No.

Leica make fine pieces of kit, but you do pay a premium for them.

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Re: Call me new fashioned

and I bet you always use a flash, too.

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Pint

hmm

Every sensor is 'colour blind', what they've done isn't much really, it's the same sensor from M9 just with Bayer filter removed, so it's naked sensor. Oh, they also removed colour related items from menus. So what we have here is old product without colour filter array for more money. Go figure!

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Re: hmm

It costs more because it's sold in lower volumes.

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Re: hmm

Yeah I do get it but the casing, the sensor and everything is the same as M9. So there's really no need to pay extra as the components are the same if you see what I mean, so they don't pay extra on top to suppliers for lower volumes.

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Re: hmm

and forgot to add, the assembly is in Portugal so no, no German labour is involved here ;)

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Re: hmm

It's sold in lower volumes because it costs more .

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Pricing

The pricing will be based on what Leica think the market will bear. If you can afford a B&W only Leica, probably to supplement an M9, they'll be fairly wealthy so adding another £1K to the price tag probably won't suppress sales.

Of course removing the Bayer filter won't have cost much (although a bit of extra tweaking on the firmware will be required for a small run), but otherwise the costs of manufacturing aren't going to be significantly different to the M9.

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Re: hmm

The colour filter array is typically built in to the sensor so it isn't a simple case of "removing" it. And the processing of the raw data from the sensor is going to be quite different for monochrome so it isn't simply a case of removing menu items.

Go figure!

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Re: hmm

yeah, you need to deal with luminance values ;)

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Re: hmm

@some beggar

By "removing" I mean removing the effect of. Manufacturers are perfectly capable of delivering sensors without the bayer matrix - just use a neutral (ie transparent) filter material. The colour density of the bayer filters is something the manufacturers tweak for individual customers.

And who said the tweaking of the firmware was just removing menu items? However, it also isn't going to be a massive job either.

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Re: Paul Johnston

You assume that sales of colour and monochrome cameras would be equal if they were equally priced.

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Re: hmm

who said the tweaking of the firmware was just removing menu items?

The poster I was replying to.

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also, just seen the price of the new summicron, it's more expensive than summilux - that doesn't make much sense to me

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