Leica M11 Rangefinder Hands On Updated timeless design

Leica announced today its latest camera in its historic M rangefinder series – the Leica M11. Almost 70 years after the first M camera Leica still offers many innovations in a body that looks very similar to the original 1954 M1 camera.

Leica M11 – A Modern timeless design

The M11 is still at its core a rangefinder-style camera with manual focus only and a side optical viewfinder and a relatively slim design and support for countless high-quality M lenses.

What is new are some external refinements such as USB-C connection (on the bottom of the camera) that can charge the battery and transfer images to a mobile device (iOS only for now using the Leica FOTOS app), a new battery door mechanism with a small leaver and a UHS-II SD card compartment next to the battery.

The battery itself is a new 1800mAh that promises 64% more power than on previous models and extracts when pressed like the Leica Q2 (you need to lever first of course).

The camera also has 64GB of internal storage so as this is a still only camera (the M11 does not support video) you can shoot a fair amount with just the internal storage (we would love to see more cameras come with fast internal storage).

There are a few buttons changes in the top and back with more customizable options. The Leica M11 has no base plate and is the first M camera with no plate.

The menu system is very simple and the camera has a 2.3 megapixel LCD on the back with touch capabilities (although Leica didn’t go all the way so not everything can be changed with touch).

The biggest changes in the M11 are internal. The main one is the new 60MP BSI sensor which has three stills modes – 60MP, 36MP, and 18MP which you can record in RAW. Interestingly you should get a better ISO and dynamic range with the smaller resolution files which is interesting.

Leica integrated into the camera a new thin IR+UV filter designed to provide more effective correction to oblique rays of light as well as a new color filter for more natural colors. The base ISO of the M11 is now 64 and ranges up to ISO 50,000 with a maximum of 15 stops of dynamic range according to Leica (in cropped mode).

Leica also introduced a new optional Visoflex 2 EVF with 3.7MP OLED panel and 100% frame coverage. It also has an upward tilting design with 0°, 45°, and 90° positioning steps and it should help when using with longer focal length lenses that are more difficult to focus with the optical viewfinder (it will work with the M10 as well but limited to 2.4MP).

Official Leica video on the M11 including an interview with Stefan Daniel and Andrea Pacella

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We had the privilege to interview Mr. Stephan Daniel (on the left in the interview), one of the top executives at Leica several times during Photokina

Pricing and availability

The Leica M11 will start selling in the second half of 2022 for just under $9000 (in silver or black with the black being about 100g lighter at 530g). The new optional Leica Visoflex 2 Electronic Viewfinder will sell for $740.

Hands-on from around the web

There are already several hands-on reviews of the Leica M11 on YouTube and we have a few links for you below.

Chris Nicholas from DPR with the Leica M11 

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Using the M11 for a month – MKBHD studio

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 The Art of Photography look at the Leica M11

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Adorama TV on the M11

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Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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