Tuesday, 15 May 2012
I've been sent some information about a new and somewhat expensive camera. It's okay though, I'm not about to rush out and acquire one. It's the new Leica M9M. This is the third edition of their camera that supports a full size 35mm image digitally.
The other two are both still available, there's the least expensive one- the M9, which doesn't have special glass to protect the screen on the back. The middle priced one called M9P adds the scratch resistant glass and removes a red dot logo from the front for around an additional £400. Then there's the new and most expensive one, which strips away all of the logos and provides a Monochrome only capability. Yes - no colour.
It's set my mind whirring a little bit. I can understand that 18 Megapixels dedicated to black and white pictures can probably increase the tonal range of the pictures.
I also understand that there's a different way to take monochrome pictures, to get to the essence of the scene. I'm also very familiar with only having a black and white film (usually Ilford) in my camera.
The difference is that the film camera can be swapped between mono and colour for the price of the film and its processing. This Leica camera is around £6k plus lenses and only shoots mono. For some reason, the adverts for it are in colour too.
Now I've mused about the advantages of simple camera controls in the past, instead of the increasing layers of computer software and menus we routinely get. I still mostly stand by that ability to return to simple ways to take the pictures. I also enjoy the ability to flip my little Lumix camera into mono mode and snap away in that mode for street photography.
So this Leica idea seems to me to be at a somewhat rarified level and I wonder how it will catch on?