Today Leica announced two new cameras. The first, pictured above, is the Leica X2. Readers of this site are familiar with the X1, Leica's fixed-lens APS-C sensor camera featuring a 36mm equivalent (24mm actual focal length) Elmarit (f/2.8) lens. The X1 drew three primary criticism: 1) lack of an integrated eye level viewfinder; 2) average to below average autofocus speed; and 3) below average rear LCD. The X2 promises an improvement to the AF speed and adds an accessory port for use of an optional 1.44m dot EVF. It also features a new 16MP sensor. Unfortunately the rear LCD form the X1 has been retained.
In terms of both looks and specification, the new Leica EVF shown above resembles the Olympus VF2. List price for the X2 has been reported as $1,995.
The second and arguably more interesting (less interesting from a budget standpoint!) camera announced today is the M-Monochrom, which is essentially a black-and-white-only version of the Leica M9. By eliminating the color filter array, the new sensor will have improved light gathering and no need for demosaicing; as a result, the M-Monochrom will deliver significantly more per pixel detail and better high ISO performance than the M9.
At first glance, the image samples from DPReview are impressive. I'd love to see a black-and-white-only Micro Four Thirds camera.
Various sites are reporting an estimated price of $7,000-$8,000 for the M-Monochrom.
Update: Our friend Jono Slack had M-Monochrom during a recent trip to China: his writeup and wonderful photos can be found here: http://www.slack.co.uk/slack/Monochrom.html