Leica has just released the third generation of their black and white rangefinder cameras, the Leica M10 monochrom
. It features a 40mp CMOS monochrom sensor, which is a 70% jump on the 24mp of the previous model. By removing colour from the equation, Leica is ensuring that every pixel on the new model is dedicated to capturing the light in unparalleled detail. This camera represents an entirely new game and it could be said that Leica are grabbing black and white photography by the balls. The base ISO is 160 and you can go all the way up to ISO 100000 making it great in low light conditions. A silent shutter makes it great for wedding and street photography.
The design of the M10 Monochom is typical Leica. Minimalist and functional. Although there is no Leica red logo on the front, it is engraved on the top plate. This underlines the black and white nature of this camera.
The audience for this type of camera is very niche. Leicas are not cheap (to say the least) and if you combine that with the lack of ability to shoot in colour, then the market for the M10 is very small. That is not something that will worry Leica though. They have never had the mass market in mind and build cameras that make no compromises.
The original M monochrom was released back in 2012 and is based on the M9 body and a Kodak CCD sensor, with the colour sensors array removed. In 2015 they released a follow up with a 24mp CMOS sensor. The new cameras sensor has been designed from the ground up to be a monochrome sensor, rather that a bastardisation of a already designed sensor.
At $Au 12,500
just for the camera body, you have to have some seriously deep pockets to afford this camera. However, if you are one of those that want the best, no matter what the cost, then you could look at this as a wise investment. As my pockets are not that deep, and until I win the lottery, I will be sticking with my expensive, but not eye watering expensive, camera system.