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Thread: Black and White Only Digital Camera

  1. #1
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Black and White Only Digital Camera

    I started a thread a while back, Black and White ONLY Digital Camera, asking if it would make any sense to have a black and white only digital camera. Would this have advantages over a regular digital camera?

    Well, apparently Leica thinks so. I recently saw information about the new Leica M Moncrome. You can own one for $7,950 - body only. Mmmm, seems a bit pricey to me. Check it out at http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05...no-Rangefinder.

  2. #2
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Black and White Only Digital Camera

    The principle is very appealing and the idea that 'every pixel counts' is kind of Foveon like without the triple layers.

    BUT

    * I would want to see a file from that 18mp sensor up against a D800e file that has been down sampled from 36mp as I've a feeling their wont be any gain from the mono only approach.
    * 8k is A LOT of money for any camera regardless of the badge.
    * It drives me insane that Leica are so arrogant that they think a grotty 230k pixel screen is acceptable on any camera never mind something that is so expensive.
    * They haven't said (that I've been able to find) whether the colour sensitives have been levelled meaning the sensor will react correctly to B&W filters on the lens. If they have simply removed the colour filters from a standard sensor this won't be the case.
    * Back to that screen - it should be a Mono one of which there are some amazing examples and as such would have been much more desirable.
    * I costs 8k........which even a few lines and a few taps of the iPad later is still a HUGE amount of money.

    All that said, if money were no object I'd have one as a second camera for days when I wanted to just play.

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    Mahn England's Avatar
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    Re: Black and White Only Digital Camera

    I've been following this for a little while and there is an interesting article on the Leica here:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...onochrom.shtml

    The "debate" on TOP has been interesting as well:

    http://theonlinephotographer.typepad....html#comments

    Personally I like the idea, just as I like the idea of restricting oneself to a single prime lens for a period of time. It trains the brain to think creatively within the constraints of the medium/technology....in the case of a monochrome camera the brain starts to interpret visual world in luminosity terms before the fact (shot) rather than after (post processing).

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Black and White Only Digital Camera

    I really don't need to limit my equipment to "make" me think creatively (or "make" me "think" any other way).

    If one would want to shoot monochrome only - most (if not all) SLR cameras can shoot in monochrome. I personally cannot see the reason for doing so but, it has been available in canon DSLR cameras for years.

    As far as Leica cameras in general, I really didn't like them when I was shooting with the M-2 models and absolutely hated the previous IIIF and IIIG cameras. IMO, a contemporary camera to the M-series Leica, the Nikon S-series (especially the wonderful Nikon SP), beat the pants off the Leica in just about every way. The Nikon F-series 35mm SLR cameras also (IMO) were superior to the Leicaflex SLR cameras.

    I certainly wouldn't pay seven thousand dollars for the Monochrom Leica.

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    Re: Black and White Only Digital Camera

    Robin - yes the 230k screen puzzles me. If I'm spending THAT sort of money I want the best I can get not something state of the art 5 years ago. But then it's a Leica 230k screen so no doubt it has magical qualities us mortals can't appreciate.

    Mahn - the TOP articles are an interesting - both are good websites. I must say using a singe prime is very different than when you have a travel zoom! as I know from experience

    The x2 puzzles me for the price. I can get a Gx1 with a 14 f2.5, 25 f1.4 (or the 20f1.7 and have change!) and 45 f1.8. Any advantages of the bigger sensor is offset by faster lenses. Still it wouldn't have that red dot

    Then again when (!) I win the Lottery I might be tempted by a Leica M

  6. #6
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Black and White Only Digital Camera

    Don't get me started on the X2.

    I've a good friend who shoots exclusively with a X1 and he loves it. He has been reading every Leica rumour waiting to see what the new version will bring and to say he's unhappy would be an understatement.

    The new AF is good, the AF on the X1 is dire with a capital D, I, R and E. But that's it, that's all you get. Yes it has four million extra pixels but I've just read a (brilliant) review and the writer has noticed the lens is no longer good enough wide open and diffraction is starting to be an issue. Essentially to get the very best - it's a Leica so why would you want less - you need to stop it down to f4 and can't go beyond f8.
    It seems a lot of money for a camera that has a fixed lens with three good apertures and no real shallow DoF. And, and it has the same crappy 230k dot screen which you have to use as they haven't put a viewfinder in, like say a X100, so you have to rely on it for everything......or pay extra for an external EVF.
    Very poor form of you ask me and not worth an upgrade.

  7. #7
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Black and White Only Digital Camera

    Richard other digital cameras can shoot monochrome but they still use some form of coloured pixels and the resulting image has to be demosaiced meaning you're not really getting the true resolution of the sensor. In the Leica there is no Bayer Pattern Filter so what you get is 18 million real pixels.

    The problem is that brilliant sensor is in a M9 which is madly expensive and has issues inherent in its design. In honesty I'm never going to buy one but if Fuji made a Mono X100 I just might.

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    Re: Black and White Only Digital Camera

    Hi Robin,

    Leica has always had a cult following and then there are those among us who have never like the products that they put out.

    I certainly consider them over priced for what they deliver.

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    Re: Black and White Only Digital Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Hi Robin,

    Leica has always had a cult following and then there are those among us who have never like the products that they put out.

    I certainly consider them over priced for what they deliver.
    As a Leica owner for over 30 years, I would beg to differ. I had to learn how to handle modern DSLRs as they are so much easier to break than the Leicas. My Canon and Nikon gear has spent more time in the shop in the last 4 years than my Leicas did in 30.

    They build beautiful machines and I find that my 30 year old lenses are quite competitive with my modern Nikons. I am not seriously looking at any of their products right now, but would not hesitate to pick up one of their digital cameras just to continue using those fabulous lenses.

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    Scott Stephen's Avatar
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    Re: Black and White Only Digital Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    As a Leica owner for over 30 years, I would beg to differ. I had to learn how to handle modern DSLRs as they are so much easier to break than the Leicas. My Canon and Nikon gear has spent more time in the shop in the last 4 years than my Leicas did in 30.

    They build beautiful machines and I find that my 30 year old lenses are quite competitive with my modern Nikons. I am not seriously looking at any of their products right now, but would not hesitate to pick up one of their digital cameras just to continue using those fabulous lenses.
    Fortunately then that one can pick up 6 or 7 copies of a comparable Canon or Nikon for the same price as the comparable Leica, in case several break on you.

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