Leica has introduced an updated version of its black-and-white-only digital rangefinder. The M-Monochrom Typ 246 uses a full frame 24MP CMOS sensor that, like its predecessor, has no color filter array. The previous Monochrom used an 18MP CCD sensor, so the upgrade to a CMOS chip provides several improvements such as live view and video recording capabilities.
Essentially a monochrome version of the M Typ 240, the M Monochrom Typ 246 offers an increase in ISO range up to ISO 25,000 (up from a maximum of 10,000), a more modern 3″ 921k-dot monitor (as compared to the original M Monochrom’s dated LCD specs) and all of the benefits of live view shooting including focus peaking and 10x magnification. Full HD video recording is also offered.
Because no light is lost to color filtering (usually all the green and blue light would be blocked to give red pixels, red and blue light blocked for green, and so on), the camera is effectively more sensitive than the color-capable Typ 240. This sees the minimum native ISO jump from ISO 200 to 320. The top end sensitivity jumps from 6400 to 25,000, the larger, 2EV increase presumably being because the M Monochrom’s noise won’t have a chroma component, so is likely to be more visually pleasant.
The Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 will be available – for $7,450.