$2,600 shades of gray: Modified Fujifilm designed to shoot better black and whites

1132082 autosave v1 dscf1816 03  small
This sample shot is from a modified Fujifilm camera from Maxmax. Maxmax
Would you pay more for a camera that only shoots black and white if those black and whites are higher quality? That was the original idea behind the Leica Monochrome digital cameras designed without a color filter array for enhanced image quality without the color, but now a third-party company is also modifying Fujifilm cameras to shoot only in black and white.

Maxmax, a company offering converted cameras for shooting in infrared and different light sources, recently announced two “new” products — a Fujifilm X-100S-M and Fujifilm X-Pro1-M, modified Fujifilms for shooting in black and white.

Fujifilm is known for their different film simulations, including a black and white conversion in-camera, but Maxmax says the converted cameras are comparable to the $7,450 Leica M Monochrome, though there’s still a size difference between those sensors since the Leica is full frame.

Why not just convert to black and white in-camera? The monochrome-only cameras remove a layer of the color filter array from the camera’s sensor so “all the pixels see the same light,” improving the quality over the original color sensor.

The idea that less sensor layers improve image quality isn’t a new one — several major camera manufacturers began moving the optical low pass filter a few years ago for enhanced detail, though risking the distortion in fine patterns known as moire.

The question is whether that change makes a big enough difference to pay more for a camera that can do less. For the many owners of the Leica monochrome cameras and the Maxmax customers that actually requested the conversions, that answer is yes, but the converted cameras are likely to have a more limited audience with a higher price tag.

Both cameras have also already been replaced with newer versions — the Fujifilm X-Pro2 was announced last year with an updated 24.3 megapixel sensor and the X100F, announced this year, with both a better sensor and an upgraded processor that Fujifilm says improves black and white photos. The converted Fujifilm X-Pro1-M costs $2,425 compared to the $1,700 for the updated X-Pro2; while the Fujifilm X100S-M costs $2,600 and the higher resolution X100T costs $1,300.

Photography

2018 was a terrific year for new cameras. Here are our favorites

This year, we saw the unveiling of several exciting new cameras. We look back at our favorite models -- each delivering something unique, yet all are powerful and feature-rich. Camera fans, rejoice!
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Mobile

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Photography

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.
Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Photography

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Photography

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.
Deals

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.
Photography

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.