Leica’s M10 from three years ago serves as the base for their newest offering, a new M10 Monochrom that features the slim body and wireless connectivity of the M10 paired with a new 40-megapixel black-and-white sensor. As odd as it may sound to say that this is a digital camera that only shoots black and white, there is a purpose behind this camera that justifies its nearly $10,000 price tag. You can convert color photos to black and white, but the quality doesn’t compare to those shot by a dedicated black-and-white camera like the Monochrom, and it’s hard to deny the sense of drama and emotion that a good black-and-white photo can create.
This new Monochrom camera is special in that the first two Monochroms used modified color image sensors. For the new version, Leica purpose-built a new sensor that is specifically made for black-and-white photography. The sensor has an ISO sensitivity range of 160 to 100,000, giving it a greater range sensitivity than the previous model. It also has a 40-megapixel, full-frame chip that offers the highest resolution of any current M camera.
The camera itself comes with a matte paint finish that Leica calls “black chrome.” The body is thinner than previous Monochroms, and the chassis is made of magnesium alloy with the top and bottom plates being done in brass. It comes with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. You can use that connectivity to take advantage of wireless sharing and remote camera control via a linked mobile device using the Leica FOTOS app. The shutter is quieter as well, and it comes with a touch screen. There are no video features, however, so if you’re thinking of shooting a black-and-white movie, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Leica also abstained from adding any of its iconic red accents, including the red dot on the front.
You will pay close to $10,000 for the Leica M10 Monochrom Digital Rangefinder Camera–$8,295 to be exact—but if you love black-and-white photography, you won’t find a better, more purpose-built camera out there.