Like a New Year’s pledge you can stick to, camera resolutions are tricky to pick. Go for a big pixel count and you’ll get the best detail, but at the expense of performance. Sacrifice some clarity and you’ll enjoy a speedier experience.
Can’t decide on the ideal image size? Neither can Leica – which is why its latest full-frame camera offers a trio of resolutions to suit every scenario. Not a clever cropping trick, the M11 gives indecisive snappers the choice of 60MP, 36MP or 18MP resolutions – each of which use the full-frame CMOS sensor’s entire area. So you can shoot the sharpest shots at 60MP, before switching to 18MP when rapid recording is required.
Powered by Leica’s Maestro III processor, maximum shutter speeds of 1/16,000s and an extended ISO range of 64 to 50,000 mean the M11 should be ready for any scene. A new colour filter promises natural hues, while the availability of multi-field metering in rangefinder mode unlocks new options for experimenting with exposure.
Like the M10 before it, the minimalist M11 apes the rangefinder styling of Leica’s analogue M series models – but with a few ergonomic adjustments. Its limited physical buttons are neatly arranged around a new 2.3m-dot LCD touchscreen, which benefits from a user interface borrowed from the SL2 and Q2.
Shipped in black and silver variants, a scratch-resistant aluminium top makes the former 20% lighter than its chromed cousin (530g vs 640g). Neither model features a traditional base plate, opting instead for direct access to the SD card and 1800mAh battery, which Leica reckons stores some 64% more energy than before. And in a win for fans of one-cable kit, it charges via USB-C.
Enhanced connectivity features will be unlocked by a firmware update later in the year. The price for all this modernity in an old-school shell? A cool £1750 for the body only. And photographers keen to complete the classic look can splash more cash by pairing the M11 with Leica’s new Visoflex 2 electronic viewfinder (£600) and sculpted handgrip (£325). So there might be a perfect porridge – if you can afford it.