Leica M-Monochrom

Leica M-Monochrom front

Leica M-Monochrom overview

Leica M-Monochrom is Leica's Pro Mirrorless digital camera originally announced on May of 2012. It includes a 18 MegaPixel, CCD Full frame size sensor with a peak resolution of 5212 x 3472.

The M-Monochrom is placed #68 out of 69 in Pro Mirrorless cameras & all round #459 out of 1459 for cameras in our database. You can check our Advanced camera finder to see camera ratings based on your custom requirements.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Below is a diagram of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Leica M-Monochrom history

The Leica M-Monochrom has a history of related cameras. Underneath, you can find all earlier and most recent models alongside main specifications.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Leica-M11 front thumbnailLeica M11
M-Monochrom vs M11
60MPFull frame4.5 fps2022
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Leica-M10 front thumbnailLeica M10
M-Monochrom vs M10
24MPFull frame5.0 fps2017
Leica-M-Typ-262 front thumbnailLeica M Typ 262
M-Monochrom vs M Typ 262
24MPFull frame3.0 fps2015
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Leica-M-Typ-240 front thumbnailLeica M Typ 240
M-Monochrom vs M Typ 240
24MPFull frame3.0 fps2012
Leica-M-Monochrom front thumbnailLeica M-Monochrom18MPFull frame2.0 fps2012
Leica-M9-P front thumbnailLeica M9-P
M-Monochrom vs M9-P
18MPFull frame2.0 fps2011
Leica-M9 front thumbnailLeica M9
M-Monochrom vs M9
18MPFull frame2.0 fps2009

Leica M-Monochrom Pros and Cons

Here is a collection of upsides and downsides of the Leica M-Monochrom based on things which are oftentimes seen as important in a digital camera.

change lenses (Leica M mount)
exports RAW files
focusing manually
MP count decent (18 megapixels)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
can't record video
does not have liveview
fixed screen
lack of image stabilization
no HDMI port
no headphone port
no microphone port
no phase detect AF
no shutter priority
no Timelapse recording
screen has low resolution (230 k dot)
screen isn't selfie friendly
slow fps (2.0 frames per second)
terrible battery power (350 CIPA)
tiny screen (2.5 inch)
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

Leica M-Monochrom Sensor information

The specification of the sensor in the Leica M-Monochrom is 36mm x 24mm (Full frame). The 864 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 5212 x 3472 pixels using aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CCD sensor has 18 megapixels and features a standard ISO range of 160 - 10000. RAW format is saved so the user has more margin for error.

The picture underneath shows the M-Monochrom's sensor size when compared to other popular sizes. The M-Monochrom sensor has a crop factor of 1 and is outlined in green.

Leica M-Monochrom sensor size Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Leica M-Monochrom dimensions

Leica M-Monochrom weighs in at 1.32 lb (600 grams or 21.16 ounces) & the dimensions of the camera is 139mm x 80mm x 37mm (5.5" x 3.1" x 1.5"). The weight of general Pro Mirrorless camera is 719 grams so the Leica M-Monochrom is lighter as compared to various rivals.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Underneath is a shot of the Leica M-Monochrom alongside a soda to help you get a sense of its size.

Leica M-Monochrom dimensions scale

The top view just below will illustrate the button design on the M-Monochrom.

Leica M-Monochrom topview buttons dials

Leica M-Monochrom Lens information

The M-Monochrom uses the Leica M mount and has 62 lenses on sale. Here is a few of the lenses we have in our collection that will fit the M-Monochrom.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Carl-Zeiss-Biogon-T2.8-25-ZM-Leica-M lensCarl Zeiss Biogon T 2,825 ZM25mmf/2.8 260g
Leica-Elmarit-M-24mm-f2.8-ASPH lensLeica Elmarit-M 24mm f2.8 ASPH24mmf/2.8 290g
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
Carl-Zeiss-Distagon-T2.8-15-ZM-Leica-M lensCarl Zeiss Distagon T 2,815 ZM15mmf/2.8 550g
Leica-Thambar-M-90mm-F2.2 lensLeica Thambar-M 90mm F2.290mmf/2.2500g
Leica-Summaron-M-28mm-F5.6 lensLeica Summaron-M 28mm F5.628mmf/5.6165g
Voigtlander-21mm-F4-Color-Skopar-Pancake-II-Leica-M lensVoigtlander 21mm F4 Color Skopar Pancake II21mmf/4.0 136g
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Leica-Elmarit-S-30MM-F2.8-ASPH lensLeica Elmarit S 30MM F2.8 ASPH30mmf/2.8 1140g
Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Leica M-Monochrom Connectivity

The M-Monochrom has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Cameras that incorporate NFC and Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly by smartphones. You can transfer images and sometimes adjust settings without the hassle of connecting directly with the camera.

Several apps also allow a Liveview and press the shutter in case you aren't near the camera. If the camera has a HDMI port, it could be hooked up to an external monitor. Virtually all cameras enable you to recharge the battery with the USB port.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Leica M-Monochrom Video information

Leica M-Monochrom does not record video. In case you are looking for a digital camera to shoot just pictures, it might not be a concern.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Leica M-Monochrom Weather Sealing

Leica M-Monochrom doesn't have weather sealing so rainy conditions might ruin the camera.

Leica M-Monochrom Screen and Viewfinder

The Leica M-Monochrom includes a 2.5" fixed display having a resolution of 230k dots.

Please note that the display screen has no touch support.

Leica M-Monochrom screen and viewfinder 400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

The View Finder specifications for Leica M-Monochrom are below:

  • ViewFinder Optical (rangefinder)
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.68x

For sunny outdoor situations that make the camera screens washed out and challenging to see, viewfinders will be pretty helpful.

Leica M-Monochrom Shutter information

Leica M-Monochrom has the ability to shoot continuously at 2.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Leica M-Monochrom Flash and Hot shoe information

Leica M-Monochrom comes with external flash ability but comes without built-in flash. The max flash sync is 1/180 seconds.

Leica M-Monochrom Autofocus information

Leica M-Monochrom lacks Auto focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more quicker and accurate as compared to Contrast Detect focusing.

Leica M-Monochrom has the ability to use manual focus when needed in low light or you want more accurate focus control.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

Leica M-Monochrom Battery life

The battery power for the Leica M-Monochrom is built to last for 350 clicks according to the CIPA measurements which is lesser in comparison with it's competition. The typical Pro Mirrorless camera battery life is 462. Olympus E-M1X has the highest (870) battery life in this category of cameras.

Here is a list of Pro Mirrorless cameras that have the highest battery life:

Leica M-Monochrom for different forms of photography

The following chart presents a analysis of the Leica M-Monochrom for different forms of photography. To understand more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Portrait photography with Leica M-Monochrom

The Leica M-Monochrom receives a points tally of 71 which is above average, and means the camera is a respectable option to use for portrait photos. Photographing portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor dimension, support for RAW photos in addition to the flexibility to utilize off-camera flash.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
manual focus
megapixel count good (18MP)
big sensor size (Full frame)
supports RAW formats
doesn't have liveview

Leica M-Monochrom Street photography features

Having a above average score of 65, the Leica M-Monochrom is a very decent fit to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera gives a good balance of image quality plus portability.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
big sensor size (Full frame)
delivers RAW files
no articulating screen
lack of image stabilization

Leica M-Monochrom as a Sports photography camera

A horrible sports photography score of 45 indicates the Leica M-Monochrom is just not acceptable for photographing sports. A camera needs to have good focusing and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
good resolution (18 megapixels)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
does not have liveview
slow continuous shooting (2.0 frames per second)
no shutter priority mode
lack of image stabilization
terrible battery pack (350 CIPA)
does not have phase detect autofocus

Leica M-Monochrom Travel photography features

Size is really important in choosing a travel camera. All things considered, the Leica M-Monochrom gets a moderate 54 for a travel camera which makes it fairly acceptable to buy for your holidays.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
resolution is good (18 megapixels)
no Time Lapse mode
not so great battery power (350 per charge)
doesn't contain selfie friendly display

Leica M-Monochrom as a Landscape photography camera

If you are looking to choose a digital camera for landscape photographs, the most essential factor is going to be image quality. The Leica M-Monochrom and it's moderate score of 59 for a landscape camera is fairly appropriate in the current marketplace.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
focusing manually
swap lenses (Leica M mount)
decent MP (18 megapixels)
sensor size is big (Full frame)
delivers RAW formats
tiny screen (2.5 inches)
does not have liveview
does not have image stabilization
terrible battery life (350 CIPA)
does not have Timelapse recording

Leica M-Monochrom Vlogging info

A vlogging camera should come with a moving display screen, mic port and ideally IBIS. Taking everything into account, the Leica M-Monochrom is just not acceptable as a vlog camera as it comes to a horrible rating of 9.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
no video

Leica M-Monochrom Alternatives

If you are in the market for replacements to the M-Monochrom, here is a range of the top ranked cameras that fall under the category of Pro Mirrorless.

The diagram here gives you a summary of the M-Monochrom vs it's highest ranking competitors shown above.

Here are a handful of other cameras you may consider as alternatives. To check out a detailed comparison, visit the "compare" link.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100


General Information
Leica M-Monochrom
Pro Mirrorless
Body design
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor measurements
36 x 24mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
18 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Maximum resolution
5212 x 3472
RAW files
Maximum native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Focus manually
Touch focus
Continuous autofocus
Single autofocus
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Lens mounting type
Leica M
Available lenses
Crop factor
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
2.5 inch
Resolution of screen
230k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Screen tech
TFT color LCD with a sapphire glass LCD cover
Viewfinder Information
Optical (rangefinder)
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Lowest shutter speed
Highest shutter speed
Continuous shooting speed
2.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash modes
Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash sync
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Maximum video resolution
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
600 gr (1.32 lbs)
139 x 80 x 37mm (5.5" x 3.1" x 1.5")
Battery life
350 photos
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
SD/SDHC card
Storage slots
Pricing at launch