Leica has introduced an updated version of its 60MP full-frame rangefinder camera, in the shape of the new Leica M11-P. While in most respects it’s a fairly minor update to the existing Leica M11, the new camera is notable as being the first to employ secure metadata that can show when images have been modified, and describe the changes that have been made. It’s compliant with the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), an open-source standard originally developed by Adobe, and which lists a whole host of camera companies, image libraries and media organisations amongst its members.
Content Credentials is enabled by a special chipset that’s been newly added to the M11-P. This means it can’t be retro-fitted to older cameras such as the M11 via a firmware update. It’s set up using a new “Leica Content Credentials” menu item, which allows the secure attachment of Artist and Copyright information.
Elsewhere, the Leica M11-P is a relatively minor update to the M11. It gains 256GB of internal memory, compared to 64GB before, and a boasts tougher sapphire glass cover to the rear touchscreen. Cosmetically, Leica’s signature ‘red dot’ logo has been left off in favour of a top-plate engraving, which makes the camera appear more discreet from the front.
In other respects, key specifications are the same as the M11. It employs a 60MP full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor that provides an ISO range of 64-50,000. Both JPEG and DNG raw files can also be recorded at reduced 36MP or 18MP resolution. It can shoot at up to 4.5 frames per second, but video recording is not available.
Focusing is manual only, via an optical rangefinder in the direct-vision viewfinder. There are traditional top-plate dials for shutter speed and ISO that complement the mechanical aperture rings on Leica’s M-mount lenses. The control layout is notably pared-back and minimalist, with the aim being to allow the photographer to concentrate on the shooting process without unnecessary distractions.
Like the M11, the Leica M11-P is available in a choice of black or silver finishes. It costs £8000 body-only: a hefty price-tag for sure, but a relatively small premium of £200 over the M11.
New: Leica M11-P
The world’s first camera to create a seamless chain of authenticity, from capturing to publication with Content Credentials
26th October 2023. Unlike any other camera, the Leica M has represented authentic image making at the centre of important and historical moments since its launch in 1954. The intuitive, unique and unobtrusive style of Leica M photography is appreciated by photojournalists across the world. Since its launch, countless iconic pictures have been taken that document the history of the world. However, in today’s digital era content can be easily manipulated. Forged and artificially created images deprive consumers of their trust in the accuracy of digital content, making it difficult to prove the authenticity of images.
Leica Camera, once again, has pioneered to create another milestone in the history of photography by introducing the Leica M11-P – the world’s first camera to attach Content Credentials to images at the point of capture to protect the authenticity of digital images. Content Credentials are a digital label and the most widely adopted industry standard for content of all kinds, building a foundation of increased trust and transparency online. With the M11-P, Leica acknowledges the invaluable work of all photographers and ensures preservation of trust and transparency in digital content and its sources.
The M11-P pioneers the use of secure metadata in compliance with the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) open-source standard. This feature provides an additional layer of transparency when designing and modifying an image. It allows information such as names, dates, changes made to an image and tools used to be securely attached to the photograph, creating transparency of the file’s origin. With Content Credentials, each image captured on the Leica M11-P receives a digital signature backed by a CAI-compliant certificate. The authenticity of images can be easily verified at any time using a freely available, open-source CAI tool or by visiting https://contentcredentials.org/verify.
Leica ́s Content Credentials technology ensures a picture’s authenticity by means of special hardware in the camera. It includes a special chipset for storing digital certificates from the German Federal Printing Office. The state-of-the-art integration guarantees complete verifiability of a picture’s origin.
Leica is setting a new standard for the protection of digital content in cooperation with Adobe and a global community of nearly 2,000 members, including media and tech companies, NGOs, academics and many more, to promote adoption and implementation of Content Credentials.
Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG comments: “Leica cameras have always stood witness to iconic moments in world history. However, determining the authenticity of visual content has become increasingly difficult and important in the age of digital photography. Now with the ability to provide this proof, we are once again strengthening trust in digital content and re-establishing Leica cameras as authoritative tools in the documentation of world events.”
Santiago Lyon, Head of Advocacy & Education, Content Authenticity Initiative, Adobe comments: “We’re thrilled to see Leica pioneering the integration of Content Credentials into their flagship M11-P cameras. This is a significant milestone for the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) and the future of photojournalism: It will usher in a powerful new way for photojournalists and creatives to assert their digital rights, combat misinformation and bring authenticity to their work and consumers, while promoting widespread adoption of Content Credentials.”
When the “Leica Content Credentials” function is activated in the camera menu, the Content Credential logo is visible in the display and every image taken on the Leica M11-P is reliably signed using a special algorithm. The image therefore receives an unalterable and verifiable proof of camera model, manufacturer, copyright and image attributes. The authenticity of these certificates can be verified and examined by means of free CAI open-source tools at any time. They prove whether an image is available in the original or in an edited version and in the latter case, they provide insight into the history of the changes that have been made to the image. This allows photographers to demonstrate the authenticity of their pictures from the moment they are taken to the time they are published.
The distinguishing features of the Leica M11 are showcased in the M11-P; traditional, understated style with a focus on the essentials. The M11-P takes this one step further with the deliberate omission of the red Leica dot on the camera front, allowing for even more discreet photographing. Subtle Leica lettering is engraved on the top plate instead. The top plate and the bottom cover are milled from aluminium in the matte black Leica M11-P, and from brass blocks in the silver chrome camera version. Merged with the all-metal body made of a highly solid magnesium alloy, the interior of the camera is carefully protected. The LCD monitor, made of sapphire crystal glass with an anti-reflection protective coating, enables an optimal evaluation of the pictures in all lighting conditions. The Leica M11-P also includes a 60 MP BSI CMOS sensor, Triple Resolution Technology and the high-performance Maestro-III processor, combining state-of-the-art camera technology with maximum flexibility. The large internal memory of 256 GB ensures further flexibility and reliability when shooting.
There are two new black leather accessories for the M-System: The M-System case as well as a carrying strap that perfectly complements the clean lines in the design of the new Leica M11- P.
A black and a silver version of the Leica M11-P will be available globally at all Leica Stores, the Leica Online Store and authorised dealers starting now. The retail price will be £8,000 including VAT.