Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Leica’s black and white digital returns as M11 Monochrom

Taking photos as an art form can occur with any camera, but Leica’s latest play for traditional black and white photos is back in the high-end M11 Monochrom.

Leica’s cameras are well known for their optical purity, delivering a level of camera quality not every lens or body maker has been known to achieve, all the while imparting a love of the art of making pictures to its gear.

In its latest body, that love is being pushed a little more, as Leica readies another monochrome-only camera, this time in its celebrated M-series.

For folks playing along at home who see the letters and don’t quite know how to put them together, Leica’s M-series is the optics company’s main rangefinder style, harnessing lenses made over the past seventy years or so.

You’ve been able to find Leica M-system lenses since the 50s, and those lenses are compatible with both film-based Leica M models, and indeed the more common digital Leica M bodies today, which this new one is. In fact, this new model is based on the M11, though arrives with a different sensor, and one that does away with all of its ability to capture colour.

Much like the Leica Q2 Monochrom we checked out in 2021, the Leica M11 Monochrom is a black and white-only camera sporting a full-frame black and white sensor capable of capturing up to 60 megapixels in full, or cropping down to 36 or 18 megapixels depending on if you want to get a little closer through your lens.

The new sensor offers a staggeringly large range of ISO 125 to 200,000, basically making it a black and white camera that can see in the dark, and allow you to pick up on details even when light is at a bare minimum.

Interestingly, there’s actually memory inside the camera already, wih 256GB inside, so you can just capture without needing to throw a card in, though you can also do that, with an SD card supported.

The M11 Monochrom will also support wireless connectivity, because sharing those photos is easier with a phone these days than waiting to get back to a computer, and the camera will work with either Bluetooth or USB Type C ports all the same.

It all comes in a camera typical of a Leica build, which means a metal body, leather covering, minimalist black design, and a sapphire glass back display. Basically, it’s as black and white as a camera gets.

It’s also not inexpensive, arriving with a price tag the likes of which could make many a wallet cry.

In Australia, the price of the Leica M11 Monochrom will see over the $10K mark, hitting $14,990 locally and without a lens. This will take M-lenses, and they’re not exactly inexpensive either, fetching into the thousands of dollars depending on the lens.

Ultimately, if you’re considering the M11 Monochrom for some artistic photography, you may want to factor in the heavy cost of body and lenses. And if not, there’s always the lovely Q2 Monochrom for less, or even just using your phone and hoping no one can tell the difference.

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