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. 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.