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M10R Owners: Is the M11 Worth the Upgrade?


John Smith
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I think a few of the beta testers of the M11 said that it provided only marginal difference from the M10R. I think one test showed that the M11 might have a 1/2 stop difference in noise. The M10R's sensor is unique and was Leica's best lowlight camera before the M11. And there is the 20 MP bump, but if you don't print big . . .  In any case, for those M10R owners who traded in for an M11 or have both cameras, what are your thoughts about upgrading and why?

Edited by John Smith
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After trying the camera, I’m skipping the M11.  I didn’t see the improvements to IQ as a major leap forward from the M10–R.   The workarounds such as using ND filters in bright light, exposure bracketing for contrasty scenes and the like are fine with me. The new evf has nice eye relief and feels more robust, it sits lower and should help fit mounted inside a case easier.  The menu system changed from all previous M’s. Are first glance it felt significantly more complex and cumbersome, perhaps not, just unfamiliar. Nonetheless, I couldn’t easily adapt like I could picking up an M8 through M10-R.  

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I’m an M10-R owner who will take possession M-11 today. I have loved the M10-R for the 18 months I’ve owned it like no other digital M - it’s a glorious camera. But here are the reasons this was an easy decision:

* the variable resolution sensor, enabling me to carry my M, not my SL, on hikes in the mountains, where I now can take landscapes which I can sell at larger print sizes, utilizing a 60mp sensor.

* the ability to shoot low-noise, 18mp images at high ISOs, which opens up urban nighttime shooting possibilities.

 * the fact that I will be selling/trading in a pristine 18-month old camera, which provided higher resale value. 
* an identical-size camera with the Maestro III processor and the new sensor, as well as the digital zoom capability, which I think will revolutionize my one-lens approach to street photography. 
 

in other words, I think that, as wonderful as the M10-R is, the M11 delivers sizable, monetizable advantages. If I had to name the single biggest feature, it’s what I listed first: being able to hike in the mountains with a light camera and the 35 APO, 50 APO, and 90 APO, without lugging the SL2 and it’s heavy lenses, and still come back with images I can print at large sizes and sell for more money. 

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My thoughts...

  • new M11 exposure metering is an advantage for shooting in difficult light or for landscapes
  • for people who use live view a lot - M11 is faster when shooting lieve view
  • shooting in classic mode it is a "wash", M10r and M11 are very close
  • new M11 battery much stronger (not so important for me, but for people who shoot a lot during a day)
  • Battery access is faster and easier
  • new EVF is a real improvement for my taste
  • sensor...I have not yet made up my mind; Color is different, I would say the M11 more "neutral", the M10r a little more "organic"; Also this might change a bit when we get new profiles for LR and C1 for the M11
  • 60MP...you can crop even more...for me 40MP are more than fine, for people who do print large 60MP might be an advantage
  • noise and DR...I believe both are very good
  • menue system; I like the new fast menue and the fact it is comparable to the SL and Q now

For me the exp metering and the new battery would be the most important improvements;

If I didnt have the M10r I would probably buy the M11; Owning a M10r, it is harder to decide if it is worth to switch; Not because the M11 would be great, indeed I find it to be a great camera. It is more that  the M10r has ben a great camera as well.  

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For me as a M10-R owner the upgrade would make sense if you need the ability to charge the camera/battery from a powerbank (when off the grid), if you need 60mpix and/or 2 lower resolutions, if you need the electronic shutter (there was no electronic shutter in a Leica M body for 100 years and everything was just fine) and if you need better DR & high ISO @ about a stop.
My non-expert judgement as a pro photographer would be that M11 is about 22.7% improvement from M10-R, just a few % short from my personal upgrade threshold which is 25%.
Check them both for cuteness side by side on my photo.

Edited by Al Brown
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Note, the latest release of Capture One includes support for the M11.

I am an early adopter rather than a beta tester, but my initial impressions are that I like the look of the files from the M11 more than those from the M10R, but I don’t see a huge difference so far. Lots more work for me to do here.

However, I would (and did) buy the M11 for all the other upgrades that Jono and the other reviewers have discussed in detail. The ones that are most important to me are (in order): 60MP (ability to crop to longer focal lengths); better metering; electronic shutter; better battery; internal storage; and USB charging and file transfer.

Hope this helps.

Edited by mon10a
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They are very similar in overall capabilities. It's a matter of whether or not the many incremental improvements and features are worth the extra ~$2,000 you would lose if you sold your (excellent condition, I assume) M10-R and bought an M11 instead.

For me, one of the nicer improvements I haven't seen discussed is my aging eyes find focusing and even just checking critical focus after capture using the new visoflex to be much easier than on the rear display, since the visoflex appears as a large, distant image and my (myopia-corrected) eyes have a harder time every year focusing up close.

Unless you have a black paint M10-R, which I don't think you should sell under any circumstance :)

Edited by onasj
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24 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

Sticking with M10–R (with M10 Monochrom and SL2).

Prints are big enough and fine enough. Don’t use EVF.  Exposures are fine.  Battery is fine. 
 

Jeff

And most important, GAS is under control :).

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While I'm 

1 hour ago, John Smith said:

for those M10R owners who traded in for an M11 or have both cameras, what are your thoughts about upgrading and why?

The question of 'to upgrade or not to upgrade' is impossible to rationally comment about at this point. Way too little experience with the new camera and none of it as yet in actual shooting scenarios. But, of course, everyone wants simple yes/no answers regardless of whether they're appropriate or not.  Lemme put it this way.  I'm not at all sure that the M11 was worth the added money. If it hadn't come along, would I be wringing my hands over being forced to continue shooting with a 10-R? Of course not.  But if I had to sell one or the other right now, even with as little as I know about the M11 after a couple of days, its already shown me enough that the 10-R is the body that would be shown the door. 

 

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3 minutes ago, SrMi said:

And most important, GAS is under control :).

I’d still prefer to have one or two cameras rather than three.  Still working on it.  Have also culled lenses. My photography is better when my options are simplified.  And I need to spend more time making pics and less on the forum…still working on that, too, but have more chance once travel and more normal life (I hope) returns.

Jeff

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If your first Leica is either M10-R or M11 (same price), I would get M11. If M11 is $1 more expensive, I would still get M11. If M11 is $100,000 more expensive than M10-R, I would get M10-R. Somewhere between $1 and $100,000 is a subjective point where upgrading does or does not make sense.

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vor einer Stunde schrieb Al Brown:

Check them both for cuteness side by side on my photo.

 

Now wait a minute, did you obtain permission from the Swedish army to engrave those 3 crowns onto the top plate of your M10? 😎

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7 minutes ago, SrMi said:

And most important, GAS is under control :).

I am finding myself with a similar but slightly different choice as I want to step into colour M.
 

I was waiting to see what the specs of the M11 were and yes, I appreciate the increase in shutter speed and more MP however there are some ‘Mint’ ‘Rs’ appearing which are so tempting….

(I know I can get round the ‘need’ for increased shutter speed when opening the aperture, by using my ND filters) 

(I think I can get round the ‘need’ for more MP, by repeatedly pointing out to myself the FACT that I don’t need 40 let alone 60MP)

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49 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

Sticking with M10–R (with M10 Monochrom and SL2).

Prints are big enough and fine enough. Don’t use EVF.  Exposures are fine.  Battery is fine. 
 

Jeff

Be careful.

I have exactly the same trio of cameras.

I wasn’t sure I wanted an M11. I surely don’t need one. The M10R really works well, and I find the EVF 020 also works really well—when I use it, which isn’t that often. I wouldn’t travel anywhere without the EVF. It’s my insurance policy if the rangefinder gets tweaked or for doing a precise focus with a wide open APO 75-M or the APO 35-M inside of .7m. (As an aside, do you know image magnification at MFD of the APO-75M is only slightly less than the APO-35M at MFD?)

But I put my name on the list after the M11 was released (instead of putting my self on the “rumor list”) That will give me at least a few months of cooling off before I get a call telling me they are ready for my payment info.

All signs point to pulling the trigger when the opportunity arises. That could be the GAS speaking. I came close to passing on the APO-35M when I finally got the call—but I didn’t…

 

Edited by SoarFM
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2 minutes ago, SoarFM said:

Be careful.

I have exactly the same trio of cameras.

I wasn’t sure I wanted an M11. I surely don’t need one. The M10R really works well, and I find the EVF 020 also works really well—when I use it, which isn’t that often. I wouldn’t travel anywhere without the EVF. It’s my insurance policy if the rangefinder gets tweaked or for doing a precise focus with a wide open APO 75-M or the APO 35-M inside of .7m. (As an aside, do you know image magnification at MFD of the APO-75M is only slightly less than the APO-35M at MFD?)

But I put my name on the list after the M11 was released (instead of putting my self on the “rumor list”) That will give me at least a few months of cooling off before I get a call telling me they are ready for my payment info.

All signs point to pulling the trigger when the opportunity arises.

 

Been using M bodies since the mid 80’s and have had an RF issue once.  Don’t own or need EVF, stick to 28/35/50 focal lengths, .7 MFD is sufficient, and shoot wide open only occasionally.  Film days were far more complicated, when I juggled 35mm, medium format and large format, along with all the required darkroom gear.  But it’s always been about the picture…and print.. results for me.  Digital PP flexibility and convenience significantly reduces my camera needs/decisions.

Jeff

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There is one very big advantage of the M11 over the M10R: there is no need anymore to use ND filters wide open.

For the rest am I having a love affair with the M10R. Thus no exchange.

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The conundrum here is that no one NEEDS a Leica, or any camera as capable as the M10-R or the M11.  If your goal is to take beautiful photos, you can do so much, much less expensively with a wide variety of other cameras and lenses out there.  In fact you can get more capable cameras and (gasp!) more capable lenses from other manufacturers for less money.

The fact that you are already in Leica's world means you assign some value to factors that make Leica's special, whether that's their styling, the rangefinder "experience", their small size, the brand's reputation, etc. If you try to boil down the upgrade to a strictly economic or practical one, you'll may conclude that upgrading doesn't make sense because purchasing a Leica rarely makes sense using those metrics.  Yet here we are :)

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