For some it is the cradle and essence of photography, for others an overpriced status symbol. Leica has just unveiled version 11 of what is probably its most important camera system, the Leica M. Key features of the new Leica M 11 include its full-frame "Triple Resolution" 60 MP BSI sensor, a new 64Gb internal memory, a much more powerful battery and the menu structure adopted from the Leica SL2.
Tripple Resolution is the term Leica uses to describe the three readout processes provided by the M11. Using pixel binning and newly developed algorithms, the CMOS sensor is read out in full format with either 60 MP, 36 MP or 18 MP resolution. If you don&t need the full 60MP resolution, you can benefit from better noise performance with the 36/18 MP resolution, according to Leica.
In addition to the SD card slot, the M11 for the first time has an internal memory of 64 gigabytes, allowing parallel storage of image data on two storage media.
With 1800mAh, the battery stores 64 per cent more energy than its predecessor and should thus enable noticeably longer work without changing the battery. In addition, the new USB-C port (at the bottom of the housing) also serves to charge the battery with most USB-C chargers.
And as with the predecessor model Leica M10, Leica once again does without a video function.
This means that the Leica M240 or M246 from 2015 was probably the last Leica M to be equipped with a (rather rudimentary) video function. The lack of a video function does not detract from the popularity of the Leica M on film sets - after all, as an "accessory" it embodies exclusive creativity both in front of and behind the camera. The list of actors and directors who photograph with the Leica M is correspondingly long - with Wim Wenders perhaps as the most prominent Leica advocate.
On the other hand, those who want to use Leicas as a tool for filmmaking will currently find what they are looking for in the Leica SL2 as well as the medium format Leica S3.
So is there a need for a film option on the Leica M?
Let us know in the comments.
Availability Leica M11: from 13 January 2022
RRP: 8,350 euros