While loyal fans of the German-engineered camera manufacturer love the new flagship Leica M11 (opens in new tab) rangefinder camera, there will be some waiting in the wings to hear news of the new Momochrom camera.
Leica Monochrom cameras are designed to produce a monochrome or black and white (opens in new tab) only images, thank to the removal of the Bayer filter.
News of a new Momochrom camera has just seen the light of day in a recent leak post by Leica Rumors (opens in new tab), with information suggesting that the Leica M11 Monochrom is in development from a recent Leica FOTOS app update. We've been looking into the data from this recent app update, which you can see in the image below.
It's code name "Rene" has some significance; the meaning of Rene celebrates change and reinvention or being born again, which seems rather apt for this new monochrom camera.
When the M11 Monochrom is announced it will be the first 60 megapixel sensor dedicated to just black and white photography (opens in new tab) and with it, bring a whole new generation of processing power for super rich blacks, offering greater ISO control and sensitivity than that of the Leica M11.
What we want to see on the Leica M11 Monochrom
1. Better ISO sensitivity
It goes without saying that every Leica Monochrom that has been developed has had better ISO performance than its color counterpart. This should be no exception for the M11 Monochrom, but the M11 is the highest ever ISO M rangerfinder camera Leica has ever produced, with a top limit of 50,000 ISO.
I would expect the M11 Monochrom to deliver up to a least another stop in light gathering, topping out at 64,000 ISO. A stop might not sound much, but when shooting in Black and White only, this can help you to take an image in near-complete darkness.
This feature already exists on the Leica M11 and I would expect this feature to cross over for the M11 Monochrom. However, I expect it to deliver 16+ stops of dynamic range when shot in 36 megapixel mode, while delivering a consistent 15 stops when shot at full 60MP resolution.
3. Reporter colorway
This is more a personal touch for me, and other Leica users. The dark olive-like green the is used on the Reporter colorway or Safari as it was know in previous generations was first introduced to the Momochrom line-up with the Leica Q2 Reporter (opens in new tab) Monochrom, which saw this as a limited production run.
I would like to see this colorway added to the M11 Monochrom as a permanent colorway. That way users have the option to go for the traditional all-black aesthetic or choose the dark green color of the Reporter. OR, Leica could introduce the M11 Monochrom in colorways of Black and chrome, something that has never been used before in its Momochrom line-up. It could offer a unique, yet classic look to this new camera.
So far, that is all we know about the Leica M11 Monochrom, and until Leica confirms specs and colors, it is all a theory for now. But where there is smoke, there is often fire, and we expect this new monochrom to cause a heatwave when it is announced.