Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera

Leica Logo

The Next Level of Black & White Photography

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera

Conosant with Leica's passion for time-honored designs mixed with contemporary abilities, the M Monochrom (Typ 246) Camera is an unusual digital camera dedicated to capturing black and white images. Lacking a color filter array, as along with an optical low pass filter, the full-frame M Monochrom's 24 megapixel CMOS sensor solely captures in luminance values, forsaking the need for color interpolation, as a way to acquire the utmost in sharpness, clarity, and resolution. Augmenting the imaging capabilities, the Leica Maestro processor also provides a sensitivity range from ISO 320 thru 25000 as well as a 3 frames per second shooting rate along with a 2GB buffer for acquiring up to 30 frames in a single sequence. Full 1080p HD video recording is also available in either a 24 or 25 frames per second rate. Unusual among digital cameras, the Typ 246 preserves Leica's inclination for a rangefinder design and integrates a 0.68x optical viewfinder with automatic parallax correction, split and superimposed manual focusing,, and manual image field selection. The camera also features a 921.6k-dot 3.0" LCD featuring sapphire glass covering to preserve the overall endurance of the magnesium alloy and brass body.

As with previous M-series cameras, the M Monochrom rangefinder retains the ability to make use of the vast network of M-mount lenses ranging from 16mm thru 135mm. When shooting using live view, and since focusing operation is strictly manual, 10x live view zoom and focus peaking can be used to ensure critical focus. An ergonomic body layout places all of the crucial camera controls within easy reach while shooting, including shutter speed and drive mode dials on the top, as well as rear menu navigation buttons and a selection dial situated atop the thumb rest.

The DNG files acquired by the M Monochrom (Typ 246) are not presently compatible with the Apple Photo and Aperture applications within Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10.3 and 10.10.4) and ought not be imported into Mac Photos or Aperture libraries.


Distinct from the majority of digital cameras, the M Monochrom (Typ 246) camera is a high-resolution device devoted solely to capturing black and white images. By foregoing a color filter array, along with an optical low pass filter, this camera records images only in luminance values as a way to gain increased sharpness, along with increased clarity, depth, and resolution. In addition, this design also serves to diminish noise values when photographing at higher sensitivities, up to ISO 25000.

24 MP CMOS Sensor and Maestro Processor

Featuring a full-frame 24 MP B&W CMOS sensor and Maestro processor, this camera is also characterized by its improved shooting speed and versatility. A continuous shooting rate of 3 fps is possible and a 2GB buffer permits recording up to 30 DNG and/or JPEG files in a sequence with instant review possible.

The sensor and processor combination also affords full HD 1080p video recording, in either 24 or 25 fps frame rates. An on-board monaural microphone can be used for audio recording, in auto, manual, or "Concert" modulation settings, or an optional external stereo microphone can be used when paired with a microphone adapter set. Optical Viewfinder and Rangefinder The optical viewfinder is a large, bright-line 0.68x-magnification rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation and LED-illuminated frame lines, which are set to match the image sensor size at a focusing distance of 6.6'. On the front of the camera, a viewfinder frame selector can also be used to manually change the apparent image field to help visualize the scene with varying focal lengths. The rangefinder mechanism displays split or superimposed bright field images within the center of the viewfinder to benefit accurate manual focusing control. The effective rangefinder metering basis is 47.1mm (mechanical metering basis 69.25 mm x viewfinder magnification of 0.68x). 3.0" LCD Monitor and Sapphire Crystal Cover Complementing the optical viewfinder is a 3.0" 921.6k-dot LCD monitor, which is fitted with a scratch-resistant protective cover made from sapphire crystal glass for added durability. In addition to image review and menu navigation, this monitor also permits live view monitoring with the ability to utilize focus peaking and 10x zoom features to better ensure critical sharpness. Focus peaking highlights bright edges of contrast when they are in sharp focus, while the zoom control allows you to home in on fine details within the scene. Body Design Reminiscent of classic Leica designs, the M Monochrom features a black chrome-plated metal body design with a magnesium-alloy chassis, brass top and bottom plates, and a synthetic leather wrap. This minimalist and discreet appearance is further maintained by the unobtrusive Leica engraving on the rear of the body, with no front-facing or top plate logos. Furthermore, the pared-down, ergonomic design allows direct access to necessary camera controls, including top shutter speed and drive mode dials and rear menu navigation controls. Other Camera Features Designed to accept all M-mount lenses, Leica R-mount lenses are also compatible through the use of an optional R to M adapter. A download version of Adobe Lightroom is made available after purchase, and is ideally suited to processing of the M Monochrom's DNG RAW image files. An electronic level display can be used to ensure consistently level horizons and plumb verticals. After a JPEG is recorded, in-camera toning effects can be applied to imagery to simulate the look of film-based black and white processes. Language support: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Russian, and Korean.

Other Leica 35mm Digital Cameras to Consider

Shop for the Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera at these locations
MSRP $7450
Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution 5952 x 3968
Other resolutions 4256 x 2832, 2976 x 1798, 1600 x 1072
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor type CMOS - Black & White
Processor Maestro
ISO Auto, 320-25000
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
Optics & Focus
Manual focus Yes
Lens mount Leica M
Focal length multiplier 1
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 921,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (rangefinder)
Viewfinder magnification 0.68
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes No
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Self-timer Yes
Metering modes
  • Center-weighted
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (25p, 24p)
Microphone None
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Remote control Yes
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description BP-SCL2 lithium-ion battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries) 680 g (1.50 lb / 23.99 oz)
Dimensions 139 x 42 x 80 mm (5.47 x 1.65 x 3.15)
Other features
GPS Optional
GPS notes via multifunctional handgrip



Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera


Click on a thumbnail to enlarge it, or hover over the large image and press the left or right arror keys or use the keyboard arrow keys. Mouse over the large image to stop the slideshow or click a button above.

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera left angle Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera right angle Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera front Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera left Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera right Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera back Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera back2 Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera top Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera bottom

Other Leica Gear

More Leica Cameras

Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Digital Rangefinder Camera Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 5