Leica M11-P: A Modern Camera for Authentic Digital Storytelling

Leica M11-P: A Modern Camera for Authentic Digital Storytelling

Leica cameras have seen history in the making, and their pictures have told those stories to the world. The Leica M-series, in particular, has been the silent witness to countless iconic shots that have defined eras. Now, entering this illustrious lineage is the Leica M11-P. Marrying tradition with modern innovation, this newest addition promises not just to uphold Leica's esteemed reputation, but to set new standards with the introduction of technology from the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) that will help users regain trust in digital storytelling.

Leica M11-P
Leica M11-P

A Few “P” Upgrades

The legacy of the “P” series has been an unobtrusive design, optimal for professionals and photojournalists. The M11-P continues that tradition. It isn’t dramatically different from the base M11 since it uses many of the same materials and imaging tech—including that 60MP full-frame CMOS sensor with Triple-Resolution Technology—but there are some nice upgrades.

Upgrades for the M11-P include:

  • Removal of the red dot Leica logo on the front of the camera

  • Engraved Leica script on the top cover

  • Dark chrome viewfinder

  • Sapphire glass on the rear display for improved durability and scratch resistance

  • An upgrade to 256GB of internal storage (up from 64GB)

The core specs have remained unchanged from the standard M11.

  • Lightweight aluminum top cover for black and classic brass top cover for silver

  • 60MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor with Triple Resolution Technology

  • 0.73x optical viewfinder and 2.95" 2.3m-dot touchscreen LCD

  • Wi-Fi and USB-C along with dedicated Leica FOTOS app support

  • ISO 64-50000

  • Up to 4.5 fps shooting

Beyond these specs, there is a hardware change with the addition of a secure chip that unlocks the Content Authenticity Initiative technology mentioned earlier. Let’s take a closer look at the CAI and this new tech.

What is the Content Authenticity Initiative?

The Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) is a collaborative effort initiated by Adobe in partnership with various other organizations, including The New York Times and Leica, among others. Announced in late 2019, its primary goal is to develop a standard for digital content attribution. The rise in manipulated digital content, deep fakes, and misinformation has underlined the need for a more transparent system of content attribution, which the CAI seeks to address.

Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI)
Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI)

Here are the core elements and goals of the CAI.

  • Transparent Attribution: One of the main purposes of the CAI is to create a system in which content creators can securely and verifiably attach attribution data to their content. This data can include who created it, when it was created, and other potentially pertinent information about the content's origins.

  • Detecting Manipulations: By providing a history of changes or edits to a piece of content, the CAI seeks to make any alterations transparent. This is important in an age during which digital content can be easily manipulated to deceive viewers or readers.

  • Open Standard: The CAI aims to develop an open standard for content attribution, ensuring it can be adopted universally across various platforms and services.

  • User Control: Creators should have control over how much metadata they wish to share. The initiative understands the importance of privacy and seeks to create a system in which information is shared in a manner that respects individual choices.

  • Collaboration: The CAI is a collaborative initiative that brings together various stakeholders, including tech companies, content creators, media outlets, and academic institutions, to tackle the challenges of content authenticity and provenance.

The Content Authenticity Initiative is an important step in the fight against digital misinformation. By giving content a verifiable history, consumers can have more confidence in the digital media they consume, and creators can get appropriate credit for their work.

How it Works on the M11-P

Unlocking this function is a secure chipset—one that, as of now, is only available in the M11-P—that can store certificated data and be used to encrypt image metadata at point of capture using a C2PA-confirmed algorithm. Users will need to activate the “Content Credentials” function in the camera, and this will allow the camera to “sign” images with the CAI information as part of the metadata.

At launch, the camera will encrypt the following data with each capture:

  • Signed by Leica Camera AG

  • Produced by [User’s Entered Information]

  • Produced with [Leica M11-P]

  • EXIF Data (except date & time)

All this information will be recorded as Content Credentials for DNG and JPG images. This data is independently verifiable. Sites like the Content Credentials Verify page will allow you to upload and view the Content Credentials and see how an image has changed and been edited over time. There is even a nice icon that can tell you when the function is active and, on some websites, this will serve as an indicator that it is properly signed and the image provenance information has not been manipulated.

Adobe, being a major player in the CAI, has adopted beta support for Content Credentials in Creative Cloud. In Photoshop, if you activate this feature, you can open signed files, make edits, and then save new images that retain the history of the image from capture to export.

As we continue to struggle with verifying that what we see online is real―and even figuring out what a photograph is―with the advancement of digital editing tools, this is looking to be a promising solution to help bring trust back to digital imaging.

Also Updated: The Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH. Lens

There was certainly a lot to talk about with the M11-P’s authenticity technology, but we can’t forget about Leica’s other announcement: the Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH. Lens. This is almost another “P”-type update because the optics—which were already superb—have remained practically untouched, while the exterior design and usability have been enhanced..

Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH. Lens
Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH. Lens

This next-gen 2023 edition of the Summicron-M 28mm is more streamlined, with an extendable lens hood built into the lens. It also has updated design aesthetics more in line with Leica’s other recent M-series updates. One usability improvement is that shooters can now focus down to 1.3', beyond the rangefinder’s usual limit of 2.3', for added versatility when using live view. Leica even managed to shave a little bit of the weight off in this release.

It's a solid upgrade, if this lens has been on your wish list. What do you think about the M11-P and the Content Authenticity Initiative?

For more information about the new rangefinder camera and rangefinder lens, including additional features, specs, and highlights, be sure to check out the detailed product pages for the Leica M11-P and Summicron-M 28mm. Or drop us a line below, and we’ll do our best to reply to your comments and questions.

1 Comment

"that will help users regain trust in digital storytelling"

an ironic statement considering the fact the author of this article stole his entire opening from leica. here's the original quote from leica's website:

"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 strengtheing trust in digital content and reestablishing Leica cameras as authoritative tools in documentation of world events." - Dr. Andreas Kaufman, Leica

if you're going to plagiarize someone else's words and ideas, at least try to make it less obvious. 

what's even more embarrassing is the author stole a statemnt about "strengthening trust in digital content." nothing builds trust in content like taking someone else's words and passing them off as your own, huh?