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Leica M11: Classic Values & Top Performance


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Leica Camera AG today unveils the Leica M11, the new flagship of the Leica M System.

Even though the classic design of the M system has been retained, a few things have changed compared to its predecessor, the Leica M10:

  • The image sensor has 60MP resolution - but this can be reduced to 36.5 MP or 18.4 MP already in DNG format
  • DNG images are recorded in 14 bit color depth
  • The basic sensor sensitivity is ISO 64
  • The dynamic range has up to 15 f-stops
  • The removable base plate typical of the Leica M system has been replaced
  • The bottom plate now provides access to the battery, SD card and USB-C port
  • The new battery has a significantly higher capacity: 700 shots according to CIPA standard, in the field some testers made over 1.700 shots without charging
  • Via USB-C, the Leica M11 can be charged and used for transferring data. The corresponding Leica FOTOS app has been revised.
  • The electronic shutter allows speeds of up to 1/16,000 sec.
  • 64 GB internal memory replaces a second SD card slot.
  • 3 GB recording buffer allows continuous shooting with up to 15 DNGs or more than 100 JPEG images
  • Exposure metering is now done exclusively via the sensor, resulting in more precise exposures
  • Accessories include the new Visoflex 2 electronic viewfinder with 3.7 MP resolution, which will also be offered for the Leica M10 family in the future

The Leica M11 is available as of now in silver and black versions in Leica Stores and will cost €8,350.

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  • The complete technical specifications of the Leica M11 can be found here, along with the official press release.
  • Jono Slack has tested the Leica M11 for several months, you can find his report here, further experiences here from Stefan and Elmar (German only).

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Leica M11 Design

The Leica M11 has the classic M design and almost identical dimensions as its predecessor, the Leica M10. It is offered in two surface finishes that differ in weight: While the top cap of the silver version is milled from brass, the black finish version has about 100g less weight due to an aluminum top cap.

There is one big change on the bottom of the camera: Since the 50s, the bottom plate was removable, now the Leica M11 breaks with this tradition. Instead, the bottom now features a USB-C port for data transfer and charging and a locked battery compartment that provides access to the battery and SD card.

The battery has a significantly larger capacity compared to the Leica M10. According to the CIPA standard, one charge is sufficient for 700 shots; testers report more than twice as many shots, which were possible even with intensive use.

User Interface

Some aspects of the user interface have been adapted to current models from the Leica product range (Leica Q2 / Leica SL2). Here you can see that Leica Camera is focusing on an bringing competencies such as user interface and firmware development back in-house.

Leica M11 sensor - 60MP Resolution (or less...)

In addition to its high resolution comparable to medium format cameras, the 60MP sensor has more features important for high image quality: Recording in DNG format is done in 14bit color depth, and the resolution can be reduced to about 36 or 18 MB. This has several advantages: In addition to the significantly reduced data volume, the camera works even faster, noise and dynamics are imrproved according to Leica.

Accessories for the Leica M11: Arca-Swiss compatible Handgrip and VISOFLEX 2 Viewfinder

The most important accessory for the Leica M11 is the new VISOFLEX 2 electronic viewfinder with a 3.7 MP OLED display. It is matched to the design of the Leica M11, can be tilted upwards by up to 90° and will also be available for the Leica M10 in the future.

The handgrip for the Leica M11 allows free access to the battery and SD card even when mounted. Important detail: The handle allows the Leica M11 to be mounted on tripod heads with Arca-Swiss standard without additional accessories. Conclusion Leica has managed the feat of integrating both the design and the values of the classic rangefinder system into a camera that is not only technically state-of-the-art, but also offers many practical solutions and features that are missing in other cameras.

Conclusion

Leica has managed to integrate both design and the values of the classic rangefinder system into a camera that is not only technically up to date, but also offers many practical solutions and features that are lacking in other cameras.

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