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Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Review

The M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera is a one-of-a-kind digital camera that is solely devoted to the production of black and white photographs. This is in keeping with Leica’s affinity for traditional designs that are updated to incorporate modern capabilities.

Because it does not have a color filter array or an optical low pass filter, the full-frame 24MP CMOS sensor found in the M Monochrom camera records only in luminance values. This eliminates the requirement for color interpolation, allowing the camera to achieve the highest possible level of sharpness, clarity, and resolution.

In addition to its photography capabilities, the Leica Maestro image processor enables a sensitivity range that extends from ISO 320 to 25000, a shooting rate of up to 3 frames per second, and a buffer that can hold up to 2 gigabytes of data and record up to 30 consecutive images. Recording video in Full HD 1080p resolution is also feasible at frame rates of either 24 or 25 frames per second.

The Leica Typ 246 digital camera is one of a kind among digital cameras because it 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. Additionally, the camera has automatic parallax correction.

On the other hand, the camera has a sapphire glass covering for the 3.0-inch, 921.6k-dot LCD screen, which helps to retain the overall longevity of the magnesium alloy and brass body.

The M Monochrom, like previous models in the M-series, maintains compatibility with an extensive array of M-mount lenses ranging in focal length from 16 to 135 millimeters. When working in live view, and because the focusing action is manual, focus peaking and a 10x live view zoom are useful tools for ensuring that critical focus is achieved.

During shooting, you will easily access all the essential camera controls thanks to the camera’s ergonomic body design. These controls include the top-mounted dials for the shutter speed and drive mode, as well as the rear menu navigation buttons and selection dial that is located atop the thumb rest.

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

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Monochrome

The M Monochrom (Typ 246) is a high-resolution camera that records black-and-white pictures, setting it apart from most digital cameras.

This camera captures the images solely in luminance values to achieve improved sharpness, as well as increased clarity, depth, and resolution. This is accomplished by eliminating a color filter array and an optical low pass filter from the recording process.

Additionally, the architecture helps to lower noise levels even while shooting at greater sensitivities, all the way up to ISO 25000.

CMOS Sensor with 24 Megapixels and a Maestro Processor

In addition to having a full-frame 24-megapixel black and white CMOS sensor and a Maestro CPU, this camera is distinguished by its increased speed of shooting as well as its increased adaptability. It is possible to shoot continuously at a rate of 3 frames per second, and a buffer of 2 gigabytes makes it feasible to record up to 30 DNG and/or JPEG files in sequence while still allowing for quick viewing.

The combination of the sensor and the CPU makes it possible to capture full-high-definition 1080p video at either 24 or 25 frames per second.

When it comes to audio recording, you have the choice of using either the on-board monaural microphone, which can be set to auto, manual, or “Concert” modulation or an optional external stereo microphone, which may be used in conjunction with a microphone adapter kit.

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Viewfinder and Rangefinder

At a focusing distance of 6.6 feet, the optical viewfinder is a big, bright-line 0.68x-magnification rangefinder with automated parallax adjustment and LED-illuminated frame lines. These features are designed to match the size of the image sensor.

A viewfinder frame selector is located on the front of the camera and may be used to modify the apparent picture field manually. This can assist the user in seeing the scene with different focal lengths.

To facilitate precise manual focusing adjustment, the rangefinder system presents split or stacked bright field pictures within the viewfinder’s central portion. The rangefinder’s effective metering base is 47.1 millimeters (mechanical metering basis 69.25 mm x viewfinder magnification of 0.68x).

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Screen

In addition to the optical viewfinder, there is also a 3.0″ 921.6k-dot LCD panel that is included inside the camera. This monitor is protected by a protective cover constructed of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass for increased longevity.

This monitor not only allows for the evaluation of images and navigation of menus, but it also enables live view monitoring, complete with the capabilities of focus peaking and 10x zoom, which together help to guarantee better than vital sharpness is achieved.

Focus peaking lets you see whether parts of the image are in sharp focus by highlighting bright edges of contrast. The zoom control lets you zero in on specific tiny elements within the scene.
Design of the Body The M Monochrom has a body design that is reminiscent of classic Leica designs. It has a black chrome-plated metal body with a magnesium-alloy chassis, brass top and bottom plates, and a synthetic leather wrap.

Because there are no front-facing or top-plate logos, this camera has a very understated and unobtrusive engraving of the Leica brand on the back of the body. This contributes to the camera’s overall minimal and covert appearance.

In addition, the streamlined and ergonomic design enables quick access to the essential camera functions, such as the dials for the top shutter speed and drive mode, as well as the buttons for navigating the menu on the rear of the camera.

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Review Specs

Lens MountLeica M
Sensor ResolutionEffective: 24 Megapixel (5976 x 3992)
Image StabilizationNone

Exposure Control

Shutter SpeedElectronic Front Curtain Shutter
1/4000 to 60 Seconds in Aperture Priority Mode
1/4000 8 Seconds in Manual Mode
0 60 Seconds in Time Mode
Metering MethodCenter-Weighted Average
Exposure ModesAperture Priority, Manual
Metering Range0 to 20 EV
Continuous ShootingUp to 3 fps at 24 MP for up to 30 Frames (JPEG)
Self-Timer2/12-Second Delay
Aspect Ratio3:2
Image File FormatDNG, JPEG
Broadcast OutputNTSC/PAL

Interface

Media/Memory Card SlotSingle Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC

Monitor

Size3.0″
Resolution921,600 Dot
Display TypeFixed LCD

Viewfinder

TypeOptical
MagnificationApprox. 0.68x

Focus

Focus TypeManual Focus Only

Flash

Built-In FlashNo
Flash ModesFirst-Curtain Sync, Second-Curtain Sync
Maximum Sync Speed1/180 Second
Flash Compensation-3 to +1 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
Dedicated Flash SystemTTL
External Flash ConnectionHot Shoe

Environmental

Operating Temperature32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
Battery Type1 x BP-SCL2 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.4 VDC, 1800 mAh

Packaging Info

Package Weight5.695 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)9.05 x 9.05 x 6.8″

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