Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Review

May 27, 2015

Overall Rating:


Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246)


  • - Brilliant dynamic range
  • - Leica M-mount has a large range of superb lenses
  • - Basic and traditional photography controls similar to a film camera
  • - Good at High ISO sensitivities


  • - Viewfinder frame lines are only an approximation
  • - Limited to monochrome
  • - Prone to Highlight clipping



Price as Reviewed:

£5,750.00 (body only)

Leica’s M Monochrom (Typ 246) features a full-frame black & white-only sensor. See if it justifies its huge price tag in our Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) review. By Callum McInerney-Riley


Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Review – Build and Handling

Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 product shot 4

The Leica M Monochrom is solidly built, featuring a brass bottom plate

My first impression on picking up the new Leica M Monochrom is that it is a lot heavier than I expected, weighing a hefty 680g without a lens. The heavy weight is due to its construction, as the body is made from die-cast magnesium-alloy, with brass top and base plates. It is finished with black chrome, with a leatherette grip surrounding the camera’s front. Leica says the camera is designed to be discreet, and with an all-black matt finish – and no famous Leica red-dot branding – it is exactly that.

Like most Leica cameras, the control layout of the new M Monochrom is very simple. On the top-plate is the shutter-speed dial, the shutter button and an on/off switch that is used for drive modes, single continuous and self-timer. The shutter button goes from 8secs to 1/4000sec with automatic and bulb modes also included. Manual aperture control rings are featured on all Leica M-mount lenses.

Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 product shot 5

A series of buttons on the rear offer quick access to the camera’s controls

Next to the shutter button is a silver button marked M for movie record. Along the left side of the LCD are six buttons that cover live view on/off, play for reviewing photos and video, a delete button, ISO button, Menu and Set button used to confirm settings.

On the opposite side of the LCD is an ‘Info’ button and a four-way controller for navigating the menus, and a scroll wheel for adjusting settings. On the front of the camera is a switch that allows users to manually select frame lines inside the viewfinder, with three paired options of 28mm / 90mm, 35mm / 135mm and 50mm / 75mm available.

The Info button is a useful feature, as tapping it while shooting shows an onscreen information display including battery status and how much space is on the SD card. Also, when reviewing images, the button shows highlight/shadow clipping and setting details of each shot.

  • Sensor: 24MP, full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Output Size: 5952 x 3968 pixels
  • Lens Mount: Leica M Mount
  • Shutter Speed: 8 -1/4000 sec, Bulb
  • ISO Range: 320 - 25,600
  • Metering: Advanced, Classic
  • Exposure Compensation: +/- 3EV in 1/3-stop steps
  • Drive: Up to 4fps
  • Movie: Full HD @ 1920 x 1080, 24/25fps
  • LCD: 3in, 921,600-dot fixed LCD
  • Vewfinder: Rangefinder
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Power: 7.4V Li-ion battery, 1800 mAh
  • Dimensions: 138.6 x 80 x 42mm
  • Weight: 680g body only

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