This is a non Canon post, if you don't like reading about other camera brands, please skip this small article. Thanks!
From the minds of Leica
No other camera manufacturer is more polarizing than Leica. So I had to post todays announcement, because it's going to bring about a lot of debate, intrigue and questions about what they're doing in Solms.
A lot of you will know I do shoot with a Leica M9, and enjoy the camera as well as the M lenses I own. However, I do have a hard time answering “yes” to the inevitable question I get from people… “Is it worth the money?” So when I see them announcing a new segment of 35mm digital camera for $8000, and still retaining things like the 5 year old technology 230,000 pixel LCD displays, I'm not sure what to tell people about getting into Leica.
Why does this matter to the Canon user?
I have always said I think there's a market for a full frame “mirrorless” camera, and the first one to do it for half the price of Leica, will have a big winner on their hands. Today Leica threw a curveball with a B&W sensored camera, as well as a staggering technical marvel with their new 50mm lens.
Leica M Monochrom
Today in Berlin, the Leica M Monochrom was announced. It is an 18mp black & white only digital rangefinder.
“It has a sensor designed exclusively for black and white photography. It has no color filter,” said Leica Chairman Dr. Andreas Kauffman. “This allows twice the amount of light to reach the sensor. So we combined this special sensor with our rangefinder system and we present you the M Monochrome with the maximized image quality available with Leica lenses.”
- 18MP CCD monochrome sensor (24 x 36mm)
- No anti-aliasing filter
- No color filter array
- ISO 320-10,000 (with a ‘Pull 160*' option)
- 2.5″ 230,000 dot rear LCD
- Supplied with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro 2
Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 f/2 ASPH Lens
A $7200 50 f/2 lens? That's exactly what Leica announced today. I find it intriguing, because it's going to set lens testers and lens geeks into a tizzy waiting to get their hands on one. There are some bold claims about the performance of this lens.
This lens is a new milestone in the history of optical design that achieves previously unattainable values in all technical performance characteristics. For instance, there is practically no fall-off at the edges – even at full aperture – in the MTF curves for image sharpness. Even the finest details are rendered with more than 50% contrast – a previously unheard of value that confirms the exceptional properties of this lens.
The camera is an intriguing step, but hard to stomach the $8000 price tag without having addressed some of the biggest issues with the M9, the LCD screen being one and lack of focus confirmation for the optically challenged. We'll have to wait and see if it's more responsive than the M9.
The lens may be the greatest thing ever created by man, I am looking forward to the comparisons between it and the Noctilux and Summilux variants. Can lenses be made much better than they already are?
Neither is scheduled to ship until August 2012.
That begs another question, if this camera isn't out until August 2012, how can an M10 be coming a month later?
Now's the time Canon, lets see the worlds first full frame autofocus mirrorless camera! Consider it preordered.