Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera

B&H # LEMMCB MFR # 10930
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Product Highlights

  • 24MP Full-Frame B&W CMOS Sensor
  • No Color Array or Low Pass Filter
  • Leica Maestro Image Processor
  • Rangefinder with Image Field Selector
  • 0.68x Optical Viewfinder Magnification
  • 3.0" 921.6k-Dot LCD with Sapphire Glass
  • Full HD 1080p Video at 24/25 fps
  • ISO 320-25000, 3 fps with 2GB Buffer
  • Magnesium-Alloy Body Construction
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Download
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Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Overview

  • 1Description

Consistent with Leica's passion for classic designs mixed with contemporary functionality, the M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera is a unique digital camera dedicated to producing black and white imagery. Lacking a color filter array, as well as an optical low pass filter, the M Monochrom's full-frame 24MP CMOS sensor records solely in luminance values, forgoing the need for color interpolation, in order to gain the utmost in sharpness, clarity, and resolution. Complementing the imaging capabilities, the Leica Maestro image processor also affords a sensitivity range from ISO 320-25000 as well as a 3 fps shooting rate with a 2GB buffer for recording up to 30 frames in a sequence. Full HD 1080p video recording is also possible in either 24 or 25 fps frame rates. Unique among digital cameras, the Typ 246 maintains Leica's preference for a rangefinder design and incorporates a 0.68x optical viewfinder with split and superimposed manual focusing, automatic parallax correction, and manual image field selection. Conversely, the camera also features a 3.0" 921.6k-dot LCD with sapphire glass covering to maintain the overall durability of the magnesium alloy and brass body.

As with past M-series cameras, the M Monochrom retains the ability to utilize the vast network of M-mount lenses from 16mm to 135mm. When working in live view, and since focusing operation is entirely manual, focus peaking and 10x live view zoom can be utilized to ensure critical focus. An ergonomic body design places all of the necessary camera controls within reach during shooting, including top shutter speed and drive mode dials, as well as rear menu navigation buttons and selection dial located atop the thumb rest.

The DNG files created by the M Monochrom (Typ 246) are not currently compatible with Apple's Photos and Aperture applications in Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.3 and 10.10.4) and should not be imported into your Photos or Aperture libraries.

Distinct from most digital camera, the M Monochrom (Typ 246) is a high-resolution camera dedicated solely to recording black and white imagery. By omitting a color filter array, as well as an optical low pass filter, this camera records imagery only in luminance values in order to gain higher sharpness, as well as increased clarity, depth, and resolution. Additionally, this design also contributes to reduce noise values when shooting at higher sensitivities, up to ISO 25000.
24 MP CMOS Sensor and Maestro Processor
Featuring a full-frame 24 MP B&W CMOS sensor and Maestro processor, this camera is also characterized by its improved shooting speed and versatility. A continuous shooting rate of 3 fps is possible and a 2GB buffer permits recording up to 30 DNG and/or JPEG files in a sequence with instant review possible.

The sensor and processor combination also affords full HD 1080p video recording, in either 24 or 25 fps frame rates. An on-board monaural microphone can be used for audio recording, in auto, manual, or "Concert" modulation settings, or an optional external stereo microphone can be used when paired with a microphone adapter set.
Optical Viewfinder and Rangefinder
The optical viewfinder is a large, bright-line 0.68x-magnification rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation and LED-illuminated frame lines, which are set to match the image sensor size at a focusing distance of 6.6'. On the front of the camera, a viewfinder frame selector can also be used to manually change the apparent image field to help visualize the scene with varying focal lengths.

The rangefinder mechanism displays split or superimposed bright field images within the center of the viewfinder to benefit accurate manual focusing control. The effective rangefinder metering basis is 47.1mm (mechanical metering basis 69.25 mm x viewfinder magnification of 0.68x).
3.0" LCD Monitor and Sapphire Crystal Cover
Complementing the optical viewfinder is a 3.0" 921.6k-dot LCD monitor, which is fitted with a scratch-resistant protective cover made from sapphire crystal glass for added durability. In addition to image review and menu navigation, this monitor also permits live view monitoring with the ability to utilize focus peaking and 10x zoom features to better ensure critical sharpness. Focus peaking highlights bright edges of contrast when they are in sharp focus, while the zoom control allows you to home in on fine details within the scene.
Body Design
Reminiscent of classic Leica designs, the M Monochrom features a black chrome-plated metal body design with a magnesium-alloy chassis, brass top and bottom plates, and a synthetic leather wrap. This minimalist and discreet appearance is further maintained by the unobtrusive Leica engraving on the rear of the body, with no front-facing or top plate logos.

Furthermore, the pared-down, ergonomic design allows direct access to necessary camera controls, including top shutter speed and drive mode dials and rear menu navigation controls.
Other Camera Features
  • Designed to accept all M-mount lenses, Leica R-mount lenses are also compatible through the use of an optional R to M adapter.
  • A download version of Adobe Lightroom is made available after purchase, and is ideally suited to processing of the M Monochrom's DNG RAW image files.
  • An electronic level display can be used to ensure consistently level horizons and plumb verticals.
  • After a JPEG is recorded, in-camera toning effects can be applied to imagery to simulate the look of film-based black and white processes.
  • Language support: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Russian, and Korean.
UPC: 799429109301
In the Box
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera
  • BP-SCL2 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 1800 mAh)
  • BC-SCL2 Battery Charger for BP-SCL2 Li-Ion Battery
  • European Mains Cable
  • Car Charging Cable
  • Carrying Strap
  • Body Cap
  • Accessory Shoe Cover
  • Limited 1-Year Leica Society Digital Membership
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Specs

    Lens Mount Leica M
    Camera Format Full-Frame
    Pixels 24 Megapixel
    Max Resolution 24 MP: 5976 x 3992
    Aspect Ratio 3:2
    Sensor Type / Size CMOS, 23.9 x 35.8 mm
    File Formats Still Images: DNG, JPEG
    Memory Card Type SD
    AV Recording
    Video Recording Yes, NTSC/PAL
    Aspect Ratio 16:9
    Audio Recording Built-In Mic: With Video (Mono)
    Optional External Mic: With Video (Stereo)
    Focus Type Manual Focus
    Viewfinder Type Optical
    Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.68x
    Display Screen 3" Rear Screen LCD (921,600)
    Screen Coverage 100%
    Exposure Control
    ISO Sensitivity Auto, 320 to 25000
    Shutter Type: Electronic & Mechanical
    Speed: 60 to 1/4000 Second in Aperture Priority Mode
    Type: Electronic & Mechanical
    Speed: 8 to 1/4000 Second in Manual Mode
    Type: Electronic & Mechanical
    Speed: 60 to 0 Second in Time Mode
    Metering Method Center-Weighted Average Metering
    Exposure Modes Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual
    Metering Range: EV 0.0 to EV 20.0
    Continuous Shooting Up to 3 fps at 24 MP for up to 30 Exposures (JPEG Format)
    Flash Modes First-Curtain Sync
    Second-Curtain Sync
    Built-in Flash No
    Max Sync Speed 1 / 180 Second
    Flash Compensation -3 EV to +1 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
    Dedicated Flash System TTL
    External Flash Connection Hot Shoe
    Self Timer 2, 12 Seconds
    Software System Requirements
    Mac: OS X 10.5 or Later
    Battery 1 x BP-SCL2 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 7.4 VDC, 1800 mAh
    Operating Temperature 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 5.5 x 1.7 x 3.1" / 138.6 x 42.0 x 80.0 mm
    Weight 1.50 lb / 680 g with battery
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 5.9 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 8.8 x 8.5 x 6.6"

    Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Reviews

    M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 12.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from First days with Leica Monochrom (Typ 246) I owned the original Leica Monochrome for a couple of years and liked the images that it produced. The new camera takes pictures as good or better as the first generation (it does have about 25% more pixels). I do wish that Leica would equip these with a high resolution electronic viewfinder. I use a mirrorless full format camera with my Leica M lenses and manual focusing on that system is easier. However, if you want a true grayscale camera, this is the best option (the other being a very expensive medium format camera) to create these images. Sample image was taken through a widow on a dull, cloudy day.
    Date published: 2016-02-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you love B&W photography, buy one. I needed to count up the number of color images that I converted to B&W, to realize just how often I chose to see B&W. More than 50%; which surprised me. I decided that I would get much use out of a mono only camera. I'm very happy that I bought this camera. What you see as B&W is what you get. Exceptional range of tonal values in details and overall. Better than converting color? Yes! There is a lot more information captured, both in smooth areas and in detailed areas. You'll see it immediately. Take advantage of Leica's latest lenses to get the best and most from this camera's sensor.
    Date published: 2016-09-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made me fall in love with photography all over again. This was a big purchase, and one I didn't take lightly. Previous models, from what I read, had a few issues. I can report that whatever those might have been, slow processing, etc., this version is free of any troubles or limitations. This camera is a sublime tool that does its job with accuracy, precision, and ease. The controls are simple and intuitive. They are also fast. There are no branching sub-menus to search while a perfect moment slips away. This camera is ready in an instant, and hits its mark like you'd expect a Leica to do. After shooting for a night or day, I just sit and stare at the results on my computer and Epson printer like I used to stare at a drying print after a long session in a dark room. The images are arresting and sensitive, with a smooth depth I never expected to see in digital photos. This camera makes you see the world anew. I cannot imagine any trip or job I wouldn't reach for this camera first and last.
    Date published: 2017-03-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unlike anything else The camera isn't perfect, but it's close. No other camera can replicate this camera's defining features (dedicated B&W sensor, full frame, native M-mount, optical rangefinder). It feels refined and mature. Battery life is awesome. Simple menus and limited options. The no-logo aesthetic and black chrome finish is awesome. In my opinion it is the best look of any current digital M bodies. Silver chrome is too conspicuous and retro, black paint is too shiny and prone to showing dirt and smudges, and the red dot and/or white Leica script are too gaudy. While the screen resolution is acceptable, it's not sharp enough to reliably nail critical focus in live view. I especially notice the difference compared to the higher-res screen on the Sony A7II. I am still learning how to handle highlights. The trick is a combination of proper exposure and post-processing adjustments. But a black and white digital sensor does not handle highlights with the grace of negative film. I love the creative commitment to black and white. I never liked converting color RAW files because of the sense that the real image was lurking beneath the surface in color. This camera fully commits you both technically and creatively to seeing the world in tones, shadows, textures, and pure luminance values. I really like being able to shoot RAW and get a B&W-only file. Is this camera worth it? The dedicated B&W sensor really does offer a higher ISO ceiling and a meaningful improvement in sharpness. If you ignore the sharpness and ISO qualities, I would not say that the files are hugely better than converted color files. However, that's not the point. What I like the most about this camera is the absolute dedication to black and white in both letter and spirit. Separate from any technical benefits, this provides a creative limitation that both simplifies your perspective and expands your thinking.
    Date published: 2016-07-31
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very satisfying. Very Leica. The camera draws on many photographers' basic attachment to black and white photography. A M-camera loaded with Tri-X remains one of photography's most powerful picture-taking machines...and the digital Monochrom 246 maintains that tradition and improves upon it. True, the luminance-only files limit extensive tonal mapping, but so what? Every image out of the camera is a treat!
    Date published: 2017-07-06
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from 246 vs. original Mono I have owned both cameras and personally find the 246 files much easier to work with. Little if any post processing required. No complaints.
    Date published: 2015-10-21
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Alluring Experience But Not Without Reservation After owning a couple of Leica lenses for a couple of years now, as odd as it may seem, they have only been mounted on Sony A7 bodies. The performance of the Leica lenses on those A7 bodies is a bit of a mixed bag and I wanted to see what their full capability was. Overall, this camera was an alluring experience even though I never really got proficient at using the rangefinder. But here are some thoughts: PROS - As others have said, the grayscale gradation is impressive and buttery smooth. The mating of this camera with the 50mm APO is quite stellar. ISO performance was good as might be expected from the removal of the Bayer filter and more light getting through. Pixel noise was less annoying on this body than the A7II and A7RII at similar ISO levels, again driven by the Leica's higher native ISO. The camera is a small brick, solid construction as one would expect for this price. Menus were not so tough to navigate for a first-time Leica user. CONS - The smooth construction of the body made it difficult to grip, always thought I was going to drop it. Admittedly, the reason for checking out this version of the Monochrom versus the old one was the inclusion of the LiveView - it is passable, but a bit antiquated in terms of what so many other manufacturers have been doing for (5+) years. The LV's low refresh-rate makes focusing a challenge if you're handholding and occasionally, it will strobe with constant-source light-bulbs. The magnified focus-point can't be moved to a location other than center (sigh) - wishing they could fix this with a firmware update as the dial is already on the body to facilitate this. In summary, a unique camera, but not for everyone, certainly. The small size is compelling and if monochrome photos are something you live and breathe, it's worth a rent at the very least to see if it fits your needs. I have created a dedicated album on that flick site under fretspider with more shots. Peace and happy shooting everyone!
    Date published: 2016-08-02
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Is it better than the original Monochrom? I am a street photographer. I shoot digital and film, mostly in black and white. I've owned the original CCD sensor Leica M Monochrom since it was first released. And although it could not simulate B & W film, it actually came pretty close with the appropriate filters. It eventually became my favorite digital camera of all time and that's saying a lot since I also shoot with the Fuji X 100, the Sony RX1, and the Ricoh GR digital cameras. The big question was whether to get the new Monochrom typ 246 with the CMOS sensor or stick with the CCD sensor Monochrom. I eventually decided on the typ 246 because of the purported CCD corrosion problem, live view mode, better screen, better shutter, supposed better ISO performance, and other features that make the Leica M an improvement over the M9; not all will agree that these features are actually necessary in photography. After several days of debate and reading online reviews, I made the purchase through BH and was lucky enough to get a copy. With actually use, is it that much better than the original Monochrom? I don't think so. Except being slightly heavier than the original, I didn't feel that much difference in handling. I viewfinder is so good, I hardly ever used live view. The ISO IS better though I admit. Maybe it's just me but files from the CCD Monochrom looks just a bit crisper and sharper. It's a very subjective opinion. I do love the new Monochrom though and I do not regret the purchase. If the consumer is looking for the above improved features, then the typ 246 is a better choice with little price difference.
    Date published: 2015-06-10
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