Leica unveils new $9,000 M11 rangefinder camera featuring a 60MP BSI CMOS sensor and new Triple Resolution Technology


posted Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 5:15 PM EDT


Earlier today, Leica unveil their next M rangefinder camera, the M11. Following the M10 model from 2017, the new Leica M11 features a not-at-all surprisingly similar exterior design -- it is a Leica M after all -- but it does, however, feature several new and exciting technical upgrades under the hood. And, to be fair, there are some notable, albeit minor new features about the camera's exterior design compared to its predecessor. 

And of course, as with all things Leica, the new M11 does not come cheap. Its body-only price is a whopping US$8,995, which is quite a bit higher than the US$6,600 launch price of the M10 a few years ago.


As for the exterior, being a classic M-series rangefinder, the new Leica M11 looks and feels much like its predecessor. The physical dimensions are essentially the same as the M10, though both colors are slightly lighter than the predecessor. I say both colors, as the silver and black M11 versions have slightly different weights. The silver version has a heavier brass top plate and weighs 640g with a battery, whereas the black model has a lighter aluminum top plate, which shaves a 110g, bringing the weight down to 530g with the battery. 

And speaking of battery, the M11 also uses a higher-capacity rechargeable battery than the M10, which Leica says should provide a CIPA-rated battery life of 700 shots -- although in Leica's own testing, they managed around 1700 shots per charge. The M11 also now features a USB Type-C port, which supports in-camera battery charging. Further, the baseplate of the M11 is changed from the style used on the M10 - users can now quickly access the battery and SD card slot without having to fully remove the bottom of the camera.


Other new design features include the return of a Function button to the top of the camera, and touch functionality has been added to the rear display.

Under the hood, the Leica M11 has an all-new full-frame sensor with a significant increase in imaging resolution compared to previous M-series models. The M11 packs a new 60-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that uses a backside-illuminated design (another first for a Leica M camera) and a dual-layer anti-reflective filter structure on the front. The 60MP sensor serves a significant increase in resolving power over the 24MP M10 and 40MP M10-R, the latter of which just debuted back in 2020.


The M11 also incorporates a clever multi-resolution shooting feature that lets you have several different image resolutions, yet all utilize the full-width of the image sensor -- they aren't crop-resolution modes (although you also have crop modes in-camera, too). The new "Triple Resolution Technology" as Leica calls it, lets you shoot at either 60MP, 36MP or 18MP using the full-width of the sensor. The two smaller-res modes use pixel binning to downsize the images, while also allowing for greater dynamic range potential. The Triple Resolution Technology works for both RAW and JPEG files, and you even have the option of selecting different resolutions separately for RAWs and JPEGs.

Shot with a Leica M11 pre-production camera and Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens at f/11, 1/250 second, ISO 250. Photo © Dan Havlik

Although we've not had hands-on time with the new Leica M11 yet, our colleague Dan Havik from our sister publication Digital Photo Pro had an opportunity to spend some time out in the field with a pre-production model. Much like other Leica M rangefinder cameras, using the M11 is a unique experience. If you come from the world of autofocusing cameras, the user experience of a full-manual-focus camera with a rangefinder focusing system can take a period of adjustment.

"There's nothing quite like shooting with a Leica M rangefinder," Havlik says. "There are some who will enjoy the experience of the Leica M11's unique manual focus system, its classic feel, impressive image quality and the precision of Leica’s vaunted lenses."

Shot with a Leica M11 pre-production camera and Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens at f/3.4, 1/200 second, ISO 100. Photo © Dan Havlik

"It took me a few days to get comfortable with shooting with a rangefinder again...but I eventually rediscovered its charms through the M11, which is Leica’s most user-friendly M-series camera yet," Havlik reports.

To read more of Dan's thoughts and initial impressions after going hands-on with the new Leica M11, check out his hands-on review over at Digital Photo Pro. And if you're eager to see the full specs and more info about the camera, read our Leica M11 Preview.