Leica's M10 Monochrom is devoted to black-and-white photography

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Leica

Leica is giving its Monochrom cameras a much-needed upgrade, and it's good news if you're a big fan of black-and-white photography... provided you're willing to pay the price. The company has introduced an M10 Monochrom that's superficially based on the M10-P rangefinder, but switches to a new 40-megapixel sensor that, thanks in part to the absence of a color filter, produces a more "analog" black-and-white picture than applying a software effect to a regular image. To call the sensor an upgrade would be an understatement. In addition to a big jump in resolution over its 24MP predecessor, the M10 Monochrom has a considerably wider ISO 160 to ISO 100,000 range that should help capture moody night scenes.

The new model also represents Leica dragging the design into the modern era. It's the first Monochrom camera that can share photos directly to your phone over WiFi -- if you want the most ridiculously specialized Instagram camera on Earth, you've got it. The M10-P roots also give the camera touchscreen controls, an extra-quiet mechanical shutter and a dedicated ISO dial.

You can buy the M10 Monochrom now, although you'll want to think carefully about it when the new camera costs $8,295 before factoring in the M-series lenses you'll likely be eyeing at the same time. This is meant either for pros who regularly work in black-and-white (but still need a reasonably compact camera) or well-heeled enthusiasts who'll spare no expense to produce that vintage look.