This is a exactingly-prepared Guide to Leica piece for the express purpose of helping readers decide whether the Leica M Monochrom is the right choice as compared with a DSLR. At present, the best image quality on the market from a DSLR is from the Nikon D800/D800E.
Can a 36-megapixel Nikon D800E compete favorably with the Leica MM when converted to black and white and scaled to the same resolution?
The Nikon D800E is 36 megapixels; the Leica M Monochrom is 18 megapixels. As a guideline, the two resolutions are comparable in terms of resolved image detail due to the differences in a color Bayer-matrix sensor versus a pure monochrome sensor, though my own feeling is that monochrome yields more like 50% greater per-pixel resolution.