Nearly eleven years after Leica stunned the photographic world with a series-production black and white rangefinder, the Monochrom, a second manufacturer has entered the monochrome market. However, instead of featuring a full-frame sensor, the newcomer features a 25.7 MP sensor specially designed for black-and-white photography.
New monochrome sensor, cosmetic updates
The Pentax K-3 III Monochrome is a DSLR based on the existing colour K-3 Mark III which is the flagship APSC camera in the range. Physically, the Monochrome is similar in design but incorporates cosmetic updates, including white backlight illumination for the screen and a black-and-white visual scheme as default. The word “Monochrome” is displayed above the screen.
Pentax summarises the benefits of a monochrome sensor: “A typical colour image sensor composes a black-and-white image by converting the colour data to monochrome. This new custom sensor does not have to convert any data because it can reflect the brightness obtained by each pixel in the image, thus producing extra-fine sharpness in images that only the monochrome-specific sensor can deliver.”
The camera includes three special customisable image modes for monochrome photography, including a “hard” mode for high-contrast images and a “soft” to record high-key but low-contrast pictures.
The Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome will arrive in Ricoh-authorised retailers later in April. The US price is set at $2,200 (before tax), €2,500 and £2,250 (both including tax).
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