Bringing the new digital age of photography back to its roots, Leica has finally made it possible to capture authentic 'true' black and white digital photographs with the creation of the M Monochrom Digital Camera Body. For years Leica fans had sought such a combination of modern digital technology and traditional Leica black and white photography. Well, they will be happy to finally see a dedicated 35mm black and white digital camera released by the pioneering manufacturer. Its CCD sensor makes no compromises and ignores all color data whatsoever--every pixel records pure luminance values. As a result, it delivers authentic black-and-white images that do not need to be converted or processed in order to achieve sharp monochrome photographs.
In order to allow precise control of the monochromatic tonal values, the M Monochrom offers a raw data histogram, shown on its 2.5" display, which presents you with the original, unprocessed and unmodified RAW image data. This, when combined with the configurable clipping display, allows precise correction of your potential exposures in-camera, before you've even captured the image.
Once you've captured your genuine black and white image, at just the touch of a button they can be converted with characteristic toning effects from black-and-white film photography, including: sepia, cold, or selenium toning. All you need to do is save the image in JPEG format and select the desired effect. You can simply convert your images with no need for post-processing, another convenient in-camera feature that allows you to stay in the field shooting, rather than at the computer editing--and who wouldn't enjoy that?
Continuing to embody the classic themes of traditional black and white photography, the iconic design of Leica M-cameras is carried forward by the Leica M Monochrom. With a matte-black finish on the chromed top deck, it allows the camera to be an unobtrusive tool--so you can capture candid moments discreetly. Even the red Leica logo is missing, and only an engraved script on the accessory shoe reveals the product name at all. The camera features a particularly soft leather trim that provides an ideal grip, perfectly complementing the camera's understated character. The camera package also includes a genuine leather carrying strap in premium full-grain cowhide.
Although the camera offers plenty of in-camera adjustments and alterations, the M Monochrom is supplied complete with a professional digital workflow solution: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and a full-version of Silver Efex Pro 2, the world's leading black-and-white image processing software. This software bundle is available to customers as an online download after product registration with Leica. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom offers a wide range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images. For example, this software allows for the creation of simple print layouts, slide shows and photo books. Silver Efex Pro 2 offers an impressive collection of unique and powerful, darkroom-inspired tools for the creation of high quality black-and-white images.
Once your true black and white photographs have been captured and edited, Leica goes on to offer you a unique service, in collaboration with Whitewall, for the production of high-quality black-and-white prints. After registering their Leica M Monochrom online, customers can have their digital images from the M Monochrom printed on premium-quality baryte paper, ordered from Whitewall through a personal link. Thanks to development in the classical wet-chemical silver halide process, the prints are hardly distinguishable from their analogue counterparts printed from negatives.
Keeping in line with their renowned commitment to extreme system compatibility, almost all lenses of the Leica M range can still be used on the M Monochrom digital camera. From photojournalism and available light photography to discreet, artistically aesthetic, creative compositions, the Leica M Monochrom adapts to every application and enables the expression of your personal photographic style. The enormous potential performance of the current M-Lens portfolio, with focal lengths from 16 to 135mm, is also fully accessible.
The M Monochrom also utilizes the popular M system's intuitive and discreet handling. Its manual and aperture priority exposure modes are built-in to aid photographers and their creative freedom. In combination with the 2.5" monitor display on the back of the camera, rapid access to the entire range of camera functions is achieved via simple menu navigation, and everything is just a few clicks away. The camera's almost silent shutter, together with its compact construction, benefits discreet and unobtrusive photographers who seek to capture natural, candid moments without interfering. Photographers even have the option to select the appropriate moment for re-cocking the shutter. When longer exposure times require an extremely steady camera stance, a slight press on the shutter release button in 'soft release' mode is all that is required.
All functions of the Leica M Monochrom are constructed with durability and long life in mind. Its full-metal housing, constructed from a single piece of high-strength magnesium alloy, and the top deck and bottom plate machined from solid brass blanks, both combine to provide perfect protection for its precious inner mechanisms. The digital components and shutter assembly of the M Monochrom are similarly constructed for a lifetime of endurance. This provides you with solid reliability over decades of use.
Newly Developed Monochrome CCD Sensor
With its full, native resolution of 18 megapixels, the Leica M Monochrom delivers sharper images than is made by color sensors. The fact that its sensor does not "see" color means only real brightness values are available for each individual pixel, and they record a 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. The impressively low noise level of the monochrome CCD sensor also delivers an extremely fine-grained image, which is quite usable even at the highest ISO settings without disturbing noise levels.
Raw Data Histogram and Parameter Clipping Warning
For discerning users and fine-art photographers, a raw data histogram for exact control of tonal values is available on the digital LCD display. In contrast to standard histograms, it depicts the actual raw data, unprocessed or compressed. This, in combination with the parameter clipping view, enables exposures to be optimized with great precision in order to accurately utilize the available dynamic range.
In-Camera Tone Changes
With the M Monochrom images can be adjusted to the characteristic tones of analog black-and-white photography at the press of a button--whether sepia, cool or selenium.
Classic Leica Design
The classic, iconic Leica M camera design is carried through in the Leica M Monochrom. The matte black chrome-finish of the top cover leaves the camera discrete and unassuming, while an engraving on the black accessory shoe reveals the product name. The soft, tactile leatherette body covering also keeps with the overall discrete look. The camera also comes with a real-leather carrying strap made of high-grade cowhide, and additionally there is a new handgrip available, featured with the same black chrome finish and leather trim as the camera.
Silver Efex Pro and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
A full version of the world's leading black-and-white image processing software, Silver Efex Pro 2, is supplied as a free download along with a copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Silver Efex Pro 2 incorporates a unique and powerful set of darkroom-inspired tools to maximize the quality of monochrome prints produced by the M Monochrom. 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.