Leica M Monochrom Only Shoots in Black and White and That's AwesomeS

Leica's Latest addition to the M series of cameras is a bit different from the ones which came before it: the M Monochrom only shoots pictures in black and white. The $8000 full-frame camera is fully intended for enthusiasts and/or those with a bottomless bank account, and aims to explore the benefits of having a dedicated monochrome sensor (merely removing the color from a photo after the fact is hardly the same).

The M Monochrom is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, complete with an 18-megapixel, full-frame CCD sensor, ISO range up to 10,000, SD-based storage, and a 2.5-inch display. Many photo nerds argue that a dedicated B&W sensor will allow for shaper, more detailed imaging thanks to the lack of need for a color filter and ability to pickup more light. The camera itself is signature Leica design, with an all-black color scheme to go with the rounded edges of the body. A 50mm f2 Summicron lens also appeared alongside the M Monochrom today, which, at $7200, costs nearly as much as the camera itself. Those over on the rangefinderforum are in borderline disbelief, stating that it better be the greatest lens ever for that price.

Leica M Monochrom Only Shoots in Black and White and That's AwesomeS

But that's not the only announcement Leica had today. The Leica X2 is also here with a 16-megapixel APS-C sensor and 24mm f2.8 lens. The compact camera will shoot photos in 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratios, save to SD card, and display your shots on a 2.5-inch screen, in your choice of all black or black/silver, for $2000.

Also announced was the Leica V-Lux 40, which packs a 16-megapixel sensor, 24-480mm superzoom lens, GPS and 3-inch touchscreen into the body of a point-and-shoot. It's basically the same as the V-Lux 30, but with extra zoom (20x vs. 16x). All cameras are available for pre-order now and should be out later this year. [DP Review, 2, 3, 4]