Leica announces its Leica M- Monochrom, a version of the M9 with a black-and-white only sensor
The M-Monochrom achieves its monochrome images by eliminating the normal color filter array that is placed in front of the sensor on digital cameras. This substantially increases the number of points on the sensor sensitive to available light thereby increasing the effective resolution of the image, and allows it to operate with much less noise at much higher ISO.
The camera has an 18mp sensor. Because all of the sensor points are available to capture luminosity detail, the resolution results would be what we might expect from a 30-40mp camera. The base ISO range is 320-10,000 with a low switch of 160.
In addition to black and white, the images can be toned one of three colors with internal processing.
Leica cameras have always been associated with black and white photography, and this move shows that Leica intends to dominate that tradition.
The camera is expected to be available this summer at a cost of $7950. The complete kit includes Photoshop Lightroom and Silver Efex 2 software for monochrome post-processing of images.