Leica M9 camera with Black and White sensor?


Latest rumors from our friend at Leicarumors are suggesting that on May 10th Leica will announce a sort of special camera with black and white sensor. It will have same M9 design but there are also extreme rumors saying that it will not have an LCD screen at all! Damn, how should we check the pictures we take? :)

The sensor has a very clean/noise free high-ISO capabilities and wild rumors say that this is actually a Sony made sensor.

Let’s see what’s coming on May 10th!

  • Vivek

    What are “extreme” and “wild” rumors? :)

  • darrask

    Well of course the pictures will be noise-free, I mean, at least chroma noise-free.

  • bananacam

    Leica probably ran out of crappy low res lcds, otherwise this sounds like their most ass-backward idea yet.
    Checking your pics through the lcd is a bad habit but how would you:
    1. set ISO, limits
    2. configure 3rd party lenses (I imagine you’d need a way to enter focal length at least)

    • Vivek

      EVF? 😉

  • Charlie

    … because we hunger to go backwards with technology. 😐

  • Camaman

    How does low noise and B&w go together? Noise ads more to the character of the B&W pictures than anything else IMO

    • Sergio

      One reason I still shoot BW film. Sometimes monochrome digital conversions are just too sterile looking. You can apply grain filters but I have the legacy gear and its a good reason to use it plus it’s fun shooting old mechanical cameras. YMMV.

    • Tom

      Personally, I’d be happier capturing noise free images and applying grain presets/filters. I agree that clean B&W can be a bit dull but a digital sensor doesn’t have uniform grain/noise so I would definitely be happier applying filters.

  • Roan

    LOL! You are better off buying a full frame Canon/Nikon camera and NIK software!

    • Cass

      If you only want to shoot B&W, you’re probably better off with a sensor that doesn’t filter out specific wavelengths at each photosite. No color filter = more photons actually captured per photosite = more signal to less noise.

  • Clayton

    Sony made sensor 4 all!!!
    Olympus OMD

    And Sony also :-)

    • Tom

      Olympus E-M5, really? It’s a Live-MOS sensor so I’d be betting a Panasonic foundry.

  • Kylberg

    A camera I definately would like to have, but probably out of reach wallet-wise.

  • Gabriel

    back to the root. bw, no lcd, 100, 400, grainy 1600 iso, raw only, sell with a bw crt monitor :-)

    • SonyFanBoi

      They better calibrate that TV otherwise I would not buy it! Joking aside, if it actually has an EVF, I might consider this.

  • Jens Arnspang

    While a student, I had a Hasselblad and a Leicaflex (Students have more money than family fathers for foto gear). With the Hassy I did nothing but B/W (did Kodachrome slides with the Leicaflex), because of the upgrade in quality (subjectively/objectively) going from 24*36 to 56*56. The difference in the B/W print, coming from those two formats, was absolutely an argument for using the large format, as you of course know, however may disagree in being reason enough for buying a Hassy, when you have a Leicaflex. – Now, if Lecia deliver a B/W sensor, say M9 based, which will deliver a similar upgrade in B/W, as compared to a color sensor, say M9 based, and then converted to B/W; if there is a similar upgrade in quality in the resulting B/W picture, here in the digital case, as there was in the analog case, going from 24*36 to 56*56; then I’ll stand in line for a Leica with a B/W sensor. Absolutely. (Only, now I’m a family father and have less money for foto gear, than when I was a student).

  • broddi

    …and the body will be made of extra special black titanium covered with leather from (almost extinct) panda leather, specially engraved with the name and an image of the Titanic, available in a limited production of 5,000 copies for $60,000. Ooohh, can’t wait.

  • Michael Whyte

    This is ridiculous (if true)….a digital sensor that only captures black and white…no way to check your image at all….why bother going digital at all then…get yourself a film camera and go 100% retro…

  • Kevin

    leica releases B&W sensor and skimps on the LCD – leica fans, ‘best digital camera ever made’

    Fuji X100, enable B&W simulation mode and smash the LCD screen – general public, ‘piece of junk – will not sell for $100 on ebay’

  • Gekopaca

    Leica wants to produce its own R-D1 :-)

  • CL

    We did it before digital and some still shoot film (with no LCD). Hmmmmm. Love the thought of a b&w sensor, but do like the LCD screen. Maybe it will be affordable? NOT! 😉

  • pete

    If Leica’s B/W sensor is anything like Phase One’s Achromatic+ sensor, I could see why someone would want to fork over the money. You wouldn’t have the issues associated with Bayer Interpolation, and as a result you’d end up capturing an awful lot more info to play around with. You could say it’s quibbling, but the devil’s in the details.

  • Sevventh

    Without the bayer filter you could take 3 shots in quick secession with a red, green, and blue filter and then stack them as channels in Photoshop. This is exactly how turn of the century photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) did it, of course he used a projector instead of Photoshop.

  • Ben Y

    I know i’m in the minority in saying this but I would like a camera with no screen. No ability to check, no temptation, forces the photographer to focus on shooting and getting it right in your head. Like shooting a film camera.

  • Rajeev


  • Nate

    I’m keen! Sign me up, Leica!

  • Moore

    Cool. In a word. I work mostly in b&w so a greyscale sensor make sense to me. The first Nikon-Kodak digital cameras were b&w only, cost the same as a small provincial flat and yet found a market so it’s not such a crazy idea. ISO can be set with a dial. There’s no need for white balance adjustment. If the cemera just records RAW images (no JPEGS) then there’s no need for any other image adjustments. So no need for menus. And no need for a screen or an EVF. The only thing that would need to be set is the clock for EXIF data. That could be done with a small LCD watch display and a single button (which could be beneath the bottom plate for aesthetics) or set using the frame counter LCD display or the LED viewfinder display even. Or perhaps set automatically using one of the radio time services. In short there are many options. I’d certainly consider buying one if the price was right.

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