The Leica M11 Non Review. It’s here and it’s NOT FOR ME!

The Leica M11 Is Here. Why it’s not for me. 

By Steve Huff

I will preface this by saying my all time favorite digital camera, even today, is the Leica SL2S (See my review HERE) (Video HERE). If I had to live with one camera for the next ten years, it would be the SL2S. Love it. It’s quality and the sensor is top notch. I feel it is Leica’s best implementation of what is said to be a Sony sensor.

Today the excitement is all about the new Leica M11 so I just wanted to share some thoughts about it and why it’s the first M I personally have zero interest in.

OH, and when I say Leica Sucks I do NOT mean what you think..see the video for my meaning to this!

See the video where I talk about the new M11 and how Leica Sucks…

I deleted the text here as I feel the video above does a better job portraying my thoughts. I was a little too harsh with my words here. ; )

Reviews of current model Leica Gear I LOVE

My SL2S Review

My SL2S Video Review (with Video Samples)

My Leica 24-70 Review 

Leica 24-70 Video Review

Leica 35 Summicron L Review

Leica 35 Summicron L Video Review 

22 Comments

  1. I agree with you Steve, this M isn’t for me. What I want to see is an M style body with EVF, IBIS and M mount….that would be my perfect camera to compliment my SL.

  2. Agree with you Steve, they got close to a good idea but not at all one that is practical.
    USB-C underneath the camera – useless
    Tethering but only for file downloads – they should have gone further and allowed remote control of the camera
    I wonder if the special “Lightning-USBc” cable is available separately.

  3. Hi Steve, and others, 10 KE for a camera! Lot of money in particular if you compare it to the amazing Voigtlander or Zeiss glass that you can get for pretty good prices. And you can use these for ages not so with a digital camera body. I like the Sigma fp (possibly the fp L if one likes high res) apart from this strange viewfinder attachment which looks strange and seems to be not too well fixed to the body to feel safe walking around with. If they would integrate the viewfinder it would be a great camera. I am still amazed there is not a company who jumps on a full frame ‘rangefinder’ style camera possibly with EVF (instead of rangefinder OVF) for M mount or L mount (with adapter to M) glass, which is ‘affordable’. Why is this so difficult… It would be an immediate buy for me. I have an M8 I love but the display died and I need to do the ‘button dance’ to change settings now, not very convenient.. The Pixii is very interesting but is not full frame and doesn’t go wider than 40 mm equivalent (with the rangefinder); however its lack of an lcd is nice, I actually don’t miss the chimping on my old M8! It was a fun video by the way, I was laughing! Have a nice day.

  4. Another in agreement with you here. There’s no point having a bling Summilux for its 1. aperture if you cant reliably get focus.

    I too was hoping Leica would have created a clever hybrid viewfinder capability that had a zoom in of the rangefinder patch or some enhancement of it to ensure you got the two images overlapping properly for real (ie live view that the sensor sees). Still use the manual focusing that we love, but with digital accuracy assistance. Now that I would have bought.

  5. You talk a lot about the 60 MP sensor and the baseplate, while ignoring the
    . Improved battery life
    . Optional lower MP resolution down to 18
    . Improved dynamic range
    . New Maestro III processor
    . Tethering
    . Build improvement, optional brass or alloy top with different weights.
    . USB-C charging
    . 64 GB Internal Memory
    and so on.

    I’ve followed and enjoyed your reviews for many years, but this has to be one of the worst and most disappointing you’ve ever done, topped off by “Leica sucks…” (and yes, I see where you went with that, and yes, it is click bait). Maybe it’s because you’ve never actually used this camera?! And no commentary on image quality, which is surely what is at the heart of photography? Very disappointing and below your own standards.

  6. Steve,
    Like you, I love my SL2-S above and beyond an M, including focusing of M Lenses!! If you could have only one lens for your SL2-S, what would it be? And you might choose 2 lenses, one AF (L Mount: Sigma 35mm f/2?) and one MF (M Mount: Voigtlander 50mm APO-M?). I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  7. Hi Steve,
    I have always been a fan your site and rewievs.
    Retrospective, what is best digital Leica M serie to buy in your opinion? From the M8 to M11?
    Best ragards
    Peter Skanstrom, Copenhagen, Denmark

    • Honest? My favorite M was and always has been the M240. I liked the battery (much better than M10), thicker body (the M10 and M11 to me is almost too thin and forces you to use a thumb grip for comfort). I also think the M10 is a fantastic M and is a better low light M vs the 240. There was sometime different about the 240 sensor that I enjoyed. Personal Pref.

    • Well, sure we can do that. But a Sony is nothing like a Leica. When we buy cameras, it is a very personal choice. Some buy for the design and ease of use, others buy for gimmicks, others buy for all out specs. A Sony feels like a toy compared to an SL2S, it really does. The M is a different camera altogether from any Sony, Nikon, Canon. Different style. approach, manual focus only, much smaller and slimmer, etc. If someone wants an M, a Sony would never be a replacement for one.

  8. Hi Steve. I’m almost always in complete agreement with your analysis, and really I feel every bit of your words here. Let me start by an immediate digression to my agreement with the SL2S analysis. Spot on. Period. It does everything a modern camera is supposed to do in the best possible way. No huge gloss – nothing over the top – except EVERYTHING. It is everything and more of what a modern mirrorless flagship “hybrid” should be. It just is. Are there other bells and whistles out there? Sure. But nothing is as pure and close to the single shot, and there never has been. Combined with the right M-glass, it is digital perfection. But to the M11… it needs to stay an “M” until Leica doesn’t make them. That means the RF true to form, the aloof indifference to an EVF. Bc that’s not M. Period. It can help as it does with an ugly lump. But rf shooters with even the most difficult and moody lenses will either learn how to shoot completely manually – or NOT. it’s not easy. It wasn’t meant to be. You are either an M-shooter or you aren’t. It takes practice and infinite patience as you know. Let it be. It can be an appreciation. It is a nod to our past. Yes. And yup, it’s goddam nostalgic if you want it to be. We’re all different and you are far more experienced and knowledgeable than I am. I defer to you here, just my humble input. I love my Ms for the manual knowledge it takes – yes and the courage to fail but learn along each shot. Nailing perfect focus and exposure is what the M will always be about. And loving every moment of that.

  9. Lol. They should make two versions. A classic version (M11S?). And a high mp stabilised EVF only model for (dare I say?) everyone else.

  10. I totally agree with your viewpoint Steve. I also sold my M10R and decided to use my M glass on an SL2 because it was more enjoyable due to the amazing EVF. I sold it as well and replaced it with an SL2-S which I think produces a much better picture. Both the Q2 and SL2 are very noisy and digital looking. I would have loved an M11 with a viewfinder similar to what the Fuji xpro has where you can toggle between optical and electronic viewfinder. Maybe the optical could have also been a rangefinder!

  11. Hi Steve, Thank for your frank article. You got the point and awake me, especially the rf focusing. To go digital EVF is the way to go. Analogue focusing can be out of calibration sometime. Lastly it comes a time to stop chasing for higher megapixel camera. Hence I am looking forward for Leica to come up with a M inbuilt EVF camera n continue with its superior M lenses. These are my thoughts n wishes.

  12. Seems Leica, like imaging overall, is at a crossroads. The question is how to stay relevant in a period of blistering change. Do you honor the legacy of the M-Series/rangefinder experience by keeping the U/X classically simple and limiting the number of megapixels so you don’t need IBIS or other bolt-ons to get sharp images? In other words, decide you are selling the experience, not the tech, to a limited market of solely brand loyal purists. Or do you jump headfirst into the most advanced technologies, knowing that the classic UX and form factor is going to have to change, radically in some cases, to accommodate the new capabilities? I haven’t seen the camera either, but with the M11, Leica seems to want it both ways. And based on your review, misses on both counts. Will be interesting to see how well it sells.

  13. Can’t agree more with you, exactly What I thought when It was announced.
    If only It can slow down the M10 prince 🙂

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