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Is the Leica M11-P Coming Soon? What can we expect?

Leica is rumoured to be announcing a new M11-P in the fourth quarter of 2023. It certainly seems due, looking at the more recent camera releases. But, I’m keen to get some discussion happening, what can we expect with a new Leica M11-P? Based on the previous P models of the Leica Ms, there are a few things to expect.

We are due a Leica M11-P

I think a new M11-P is coming based on Leica’s past history of digital releases:

  • Leica M9: September 9 2009 (M9 just sounds cool btw_
  • Leica M9-P: July 2011
  • Leica M240: September 2012
  • Leica M-P 240 /M240-P: August 2014
  • Leica M10: January 2017
  • Leica M10-P: August 2018
  • Leica M10M: January 2020
  • Leica M10R: July 2020
  • Leica M11: January 2022
  • Leica M11M: April 2023

M-P type digital Leica Ms have nothing to do with the fantastic Leica MPs, aka the best 35mm film camera ever made.

What can we expect with the M11-P?

Based on the history of all previous P models, the red dot on the front of the camera will go, and be replaced with a classic Leica logo engraved on the top plate.

Likely there will be more features. One thing that the Leica community reacted badly too in 2012 was the absence of the frame line lever on the M240, which the M-P 240 returned in 2014. Leica never made that mistake again, but my point is we will see Leica scope the M11 for general improvement and respond to feedback they’ve been given with the M11-P.  

A new shutter?

We saw this scope for general improvement with the M10-P. The M10 had a loud shutter which was surprising given it was released in 2017. The M10-P launched a nearly silent shutter, much better for street shooting.

The M10-P brought out a stronger, nearly scratch proof gorilla glass touch screen.

These improvements on the M10-P found their way into the M10-R, and later M11 line.

Will the Leica M11-P have a larger internal memory?

Almost certainly, yes, the M11-P will have a bigger internal memory. We’ve already seen it with the M11 Monochrom, with a 256Gb memory, vs the M11’s 64Gb. It stands to reason that given how storage costs keep dropping we will see a larger internal memory in the next M.

Fun fact, I remember working in camera retail selling a SanDisk 1Gb SD memory card for $169 in 2007. And it was the old blue label type. Now, a SanDisk 64Gb SD can be had for $19. Wowsers.

I’d like to see the M11-P have a new paint finish, like a gloss black, but I think I’m dreaming there. I just don’t like the matte black Leicas, I prefer the silver chrome or gloss black. It seems more real, or traditional to me.

Brass or Aluminium?

I hope Leica continues to offer the choice of brass or aluminium Leicas. I can see why some people want the lighter weight aluminium. I prefer the heavier, traditional brass cameras.

Will the M11-P have a higher resolution than the M11?

I don’t think so. Resolution upgrades have never been a part of P type M camera upgrades for Leica.

What does the ‘P’ Stand for in Leica M-P editions?

The ‘P’ stands for Professional. As a general rule, the P versions bring about some useful features to professionals. Enthusiasts want to show off cameras, so the red dot is on the standard Ms, but professionals want to hide it so the dot it removed. More practically though, the P range tends to have things like a larger buffer to allow for faster, and longer times with features like continuous shooting.

Street photographers highly value rangefinder cameras because, in contrast to the confined perspective of a DSLR, the rangefinder’s viewfinder provides a broader visual field beyond the frame lines of the intended shot. This unique characteristic enables photographers to precisely capture instances by triggering the shutter at the precise moment subjects come into view.

Furthermore, these cameras possess a compact form factor that minimizes the likelihood of intimidating potential subjects. They facilitate a manual shooting process devoid of autofocus assistance, offering a more hands-on experience. Although this can be demanding for those new to photography, it promises greater gratification once proficiency is achieved in manipulating focus rings and mastering zone focusing techniques.

Enthusiasts of the Leica M series are drawn to its uncomplicated and essential approach to photography. Consequently, the thoughts of the M11-P prompts curiosity about the incorporation of novel functionalities.

What do you think we can expect? What would make you buy it? If you already own a Leica M11, would you switch to the M11-P?

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