Sony go 14-bit, Leica go 12-bit – What!

Mount Stewart-4Apart from Leica’s first digital M, the M8 range, all of Leica’s professional cameras have been 14-bit, but it was with some surprise that the new Leica Monochrom (246) is just 12-bit.

As you can imagine the forums are not happy, so one of Leica’s top beta testers set out to prove Leica was wrong and that this decision from Leica would make the images worse.

Well it turns out that 12 bits for a single Channel image just using luminosity i.e a Black & White only sensor may not an issue.

Testing is showing up some issues when using very high ISO; areas of black are developing pattens when the image is rotated in Lightroom, but testers are saying this is a RAW convert issue and not a 12 vers 14-bit issue and that Adobe should be able to fix this.

I think for now the jury is still out, though I have to admit the output from the new Monochrom does look stunning.

A review of the new Monochrom can be read here.


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