Another premium black-and-white camera: Leica M11 monochrome for over 9,000 euros

The Leica M11 Monochrom is now available. Leica did not announce the camera, which is only suitable for digital black and white photography, beforehand. The model is to be understood as a reaction to the announcement of the Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrom, which should not be delivered until the end of April 2023.

The two cameras are not directly comparable, because the Pentax is a single-lens reflex in APS-C format, while the Leica is a compact rangefinder camera. There are also clear differences in price: the body of the Pentax costs 2500 euros, the Leica without lens 9450 euros. In addition, the M11 Monochrom is already the third Leica camera with this concept; so far the Leicas M10 Monochrom was up to date.

(Image: Leica)

True to the name, Leica’s new black and white is based on the body of the Leica M11, and the 60-megapixel sensor also appears to be the same. It is a backlit CMOS device. As the manufacturer states in its technical data, only the color filter is missing, which increases the sensitivity by one f-stop. This results in a higher in-image contrast, especially when shooting only with grayscale.

Consequently, photographers can set the ISO value from 125 to 200,000. DPRreview contains the first example images with different sensitivities, which, as with the previous models, go far beyond what is possible with classic black-and-white films or the reduction of digital images to grayscale.

Remarkably, with the M11 Monochrom, Leica also goes beyond what the colored M11 has to offer. There is now an integrated memory that has been quadrupled to 256 GB in addition to the SD slot for UHS-II cards. The internal memory should be the fastest source for the new USB-C port with 10 GBit/s, even if there are no metrics yet. The other innovations are marginal: Instead of Gorilla Glass, there is sapphire glass over the display, and the lettering on the case does not use colors to match the theme.

The remaining data can already be found in full at Leica, where the M11 Monochrom can be ordered. If you want to spend the price of a good, used small car, you can see that Leica has prepared the launch of the camera well: The camera should be delivered in two to five working days.

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