Leica has announced the new Leica M11 digital rangefinder camera. It features a new triple-resolution sensor capable of producing either 60-megapixel, 36-megapixel or 18-megapixel images in either DNG raw or JPG format. The new full-frame BSI CMOS sensor, Leica says, features a special IR+UV cut filter comprised of two extremely thin, cemented layers of glass and a new colour filter array for more natural colour reproduction.
The Leica M11 does look a lot like the Leica M10 – after all, they’re both Leica – but it does come with a couple of significant exterior changes. For a start, there’s no bottom plate. You can now directly access your battery and there’s also a new Type-C USB socket under there, too (an awfully inconvenient place if you ask me). The rear of the camera has also seen an overhaul and a 2.3 million pixel touchscreen LCD.
You can see in Kai’s video above that the M11 that while the outside has changed, the inside has changed even more significantly. Like, you can now do long exposures up to an hour long with the mechanical shutter (or up to 60 seconds with the electronic shutter). Your continuous frames per second does drop down a little from the M10’s 5fps to the M11’s 4.5fps, but given that it shoots 60MP images (and not 24MP), I think we can forgive this one.
|Leica M11||Leica M10|
|Sensor||Full-frame 35.8 x 23.9 mm BSI CMOS||Full-frame 36x24mm CMOS|
|Lens Mount||Leica M||Leica M|
|Max resolution||9528 x 6328 (60.3MP)||5976 x 3992 (24MP)|
|File format||DNG, JPG||DNG, JPG|
|Shutter speed||1/4000 to 60 minutes (mechanical shutter)|
1/4000 to 60 seconds (electronic shutter)
|1/4000 to 8 seconds (to 125 seconds in aperture priority), Bulb mode|
|ISO||Auto, 64 to 50000||Auto, 100 to 50000|
|Flash Sync||1/180 sec||1/180 sec|
|Continuous shooting||4.5fps||Up to 5fps|
|Focus type||Manual focus only||Manual focus only|
|Viewfinder||Optical (0.73x)||Optical (0.73x)|
|LCD||3" 2,332,800 dot fixed touchscreen LCD||3" 1,036,800 dot fixed touchscreen LCD|
|Connectivity||WiFi, Bluetooth, Type-C USB||WiFi|
|Dimensions||139 x 80 x 38.5mm||139 x 80 x 38.5mm|
|Weight||530g (Black with battery) / 640g (Silver with battery)||680g|
The M11 also sees the SD card slot upgraded to a UHS-II slot so you can save out those l larger files more quickly and you’re not standing there waiting for the buffer to save out for as long. The ISO range of the Leica M11 hasn’t seen a massive change over its predecessor, offering no high ISO increase, but the low ISO limit drops from ISO100 to ISO64, which will be handy on those longer exposures.
The back, as mentioned, has seen a bit of a redesign around a new 2.3 million pixel touchscreen LCD. You can see that the top of the LCD now also matches up perfectly to the lines of the camera, which will definitely help to satisfy those with OCD tendencies. The bottom plate, one of the signatures of Leica has been removed. This provides direct access to both the battery (watch how Kai swaps it out at x:xx in the video) and the Type-C USB socket.
The Leica marketing images show the camera lying on its back while it’s plugged into a smartphone, although I’m not sure I’d want to rest my camera down on its LCD regularly. That’s a sure fire way to get it scratched to heck in no time flat. So, maybe get a small silicone pad or something to put down underneath it if you need to set it down to use the USB port when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.
From the front, not much has changed at all, really. A button has disappeared but that’s pretty much it, really. It still has that same Leica look, although as Kai points out, Leica seems to have made an odd decision here. The camera comes in two colours – Black and silver. The silver version, however, weighs a whole 110g (that’s over 20%) more than the black version. Why is this? Well, it seems the silver version is constructed of brass while the black version is made with aluminium.
As to why this decision has been made is unknown, although, despite the black version being made with a cheaper metal, that potential cost saving is not passed along to the customer. Both colours are the same price. That being said, if you’re the type of person for whom saving as much weight as possible is important, then that benefit alone will be worth going for the black.
The Leica M11 is available to pre-order now for $8,995 in either Black or Silver and begins shipping very soon.
So, for all you people saying “Hey, I don’t care about video, give me a camera that just shoots photos!”, here’s one you can spend $9K on