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New Leica M11, the future of fine art photography

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The new Leica M11 is the perfect synthesis of tradition and innovation. Outside, every line, shade of color and detail refers to the M series, claiming a direct kinship especially with its most recent and digital incarnations. Inside, on the other hand, innovations and technological solutions abound that project the new born into the future of author photography, merging the world of the rangefinder with the world of contemporary photography.

Starting from the new CMOS BSI full frame sensor, which for the first time is equipped with Triple Resolution Technology: thanks to it, Raw image files in Dng format and those in Jpeg format can be recorded at 60, 36 or 18 megapixels, resolutions which are obtained not with a simple “crop” of the sensor, but always using the entire area thanks to the technology called Pixel Binning (already seen in the smartphone world).

The result is almost like having three different cameras in one: shooting at 60 megapixels, you privilege the image quality and the high resolution of the details, while managing to squeeze the most recent (and beautiful) Leica Apo lenses for the system. M. When using the lower resolutions, the camera is faster, the bursts last longer, the image files are smaller and (especially in the case of 18 megapixel shots) with less noise.

In detail, with 60 megapixels, the M11 takes up to 15 photos in a row in Dng format and up to 13 in Dng + Jpg mode; with 36 megapixels, which is also the most recommended compromise option, the new Leica shoots up to 30 frames in DNG format and up to 20 in Dng + Jpg mode, which become “unlimited” in both cases if you go down at 16 megapixels. All three modes then provide the remarkable color depth of 14 bits.

The Leica M11 boasts sensitivities ranging from 64 to 50,000 ISO, and records images with 14-bit color depth and has a dynamic range of up to 15 stops. With its Maestro III processor, already seen on the top-of-the-range professional SL2-S, the latest incarnation of the M series guarantees smooth and fast operation even at maximum resolution and image quality. The optional electronic shutter, with shutter speeds up to 1/16000 of a second, allows you to shoot with the diaphragm open in bright light even without Nd filters, while the M11 makes its debut in multizone metering in rangefinder mode, which allows management more punctual than light, finally in line with more modern cameras. Among the many innovations proposed by Leica with a product that, on balance, represents a surprising leap forward for the German manufacturer, also include: the adoption of the menu already seen on the Leica SL2 and Q2, characterized by a very easy and intuitive and highly customizable commands; the new 2.3 million pixel high resolution touch screen and the adoption of a useful internal memory of 64 gigabytes (in addition to the classic SD slot); and then, again, the 1800 mAh battery, which now stores 64% more energy, significantly lengthening the shooting sessions.

A nice surprise is also the addition of a connection via Usb-C port, which allows you to charge the battery in the camera using most chargers, to power the camera while using it and to transfer data. Some new connectivity features of the Leica M11, aimed at streamlining workflows and improving the Fotos app, will only be made available in the second half of 2022 with the firmware update. Meanwhile, the Leica M11 is already an Apple-certified accessory “Made for iPhone and iPad” and, as such, offers advanced connectivity with a specific Leica Fotos cable supplied.

Solid and compact, the new camera is produced in two versions: one with a silver chrome finish and a classic brass top cover (640g), and the other with a black finish, with a high quality, scratch resistant aluminum top cover. thanks to which the total weight is reduced by about 100 grams. Among the accessories, the Visoflex 2 electronic viewfinder stands out with a resolution of 3.7 megapixels, which allows diopter adjustment from -4 to +3 diopters and can be tilted 90 degrees, to make the most of the Live View mode. The Leica M11 is available worldwide starting today. The sale price is € 8,490, VAT included.

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