Thursday, 10 May 2012

New Leica Monochrom

So, it turns out that Leica have announced a monochrome only Leica M. At least its kept the essential ingredients of a M camera.
Its going to be more of a niche product than the current M9, but I don't suppose this matters when your mainly known for a niche product anyway.
Using the entire sensor for B+W should, in theory at least, produce stunning images.

Ultimately it all looks a little bit desperate to me. A cynic might say an attempt to milk the existing Leica user base. Certainly the announcement of the Hermes editions looks that way, a bit like Leica did just before it was sold off.

Three things immediately came to mind:
  • The base ISO of 320 together with the large apertures Leica users like to use could lead to problems with a max shutter speed of 4000th/sec in bright conditions leading to a higher risk of blown highlights.
  • LR4 uses the different levels recorded by the RGB channels in the Recovery process, as often not all three channels blow the highlights. With, essentially only a single channel, this will not be possible.
  • The inclusion of LR4 and Nik Silver EFX Pro with the M is also odd as both applications use the colour channels to make their B+W images.
I'm not sure Leica have the technology to progress their cameras much further on their own and the cooperation of Panasonic only goes so far, hence no  technological advancements in the revelations today.

I suspect that it won't be long before the offer is made to "upgrade" your existing M9/9P to M-M spec. For a price of course.

As a closing remark I have to say I think the omission of the red dot from the new M makes it look like a Russian copy.

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