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The Leica M Monochrom Typ 246 uses a monochrome sensor, delivering sharpness performance not involving the demosaicing process necessary for a Bayer-matrix color sensor.
The sharpness forte of monochrome is a major impediment to the best monochrome image, because tonal relationships between colors are baked in when the shot is made (whether or not a filter is used, there is only one mapping, period). A color camera offers an endless number of ways to control tonal relationships between colors in the resulting grayscale image, during and/or after raw conversion (or from JPEG).
At 24 megapixels, the MM246 can record a lot of detail, but can it stand up to the challenge of 50 megapixels from the Canon 5DS R?
Namely, if a color camera with more megapixels can match or beat a monochrome camera in resolving power and offer a far more powerful post-shot color-to-tone mapping flexibility, it’s game-over for the monochrome camera insofar as the final result is concerned (concerns like high ISO noise, form factor, size/weight, etc may come to bear but not as primaries for image quality and the visual impact of choosing color-to-tone mapping post-shot).
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Since 2009, Diglloyd Guide to Leica is the authoritative review and reference for Leica M lenses: Leica M, Zeiss ZM, Voigtlander, as well as Leica M digital bodies. Leica S is also included.
It includes hundreds of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples covering Leica M-System lenses and digital bodies with in-depth performance comparisons and analysis.