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Leica M11 Monochrom Sample Photos & Hands-On Review

Take a look at sample photos captured with the new Leica M11 Monochrom along with images of the new monochrome digital rangefinder.

| Mirrorless Cameras

Leica M11 Monochrom Sample Photos & Hands-On Review: Leica M11 Monochrom

The Leica M Monochrom series is now 11 years old and in this 11th year of Monochrom history, Leica has introduced the Leica M11 Monochrom digital rangefinder camera. This is the fourth generation of Leica digital rangefinders featuring a black-and-white sensor and we've been taking a closer look at the new rangefinder which puts emphasis on light and shadow. 

Leica fans who can't wait to get their hands on the Lecia M11 Monochrom won't have to wait very long as it's available from today priced at £8,300. There's also a new lens: Leica Summilux-M 50 f/1.4 ASPH.


Leica M11 Monochrom Features

Leica M11 Monochrom Sample Photos & Hands-On Review: Leica M11 Monochrom

Inside the distinctively Leica-style camera body, you find a monochrome multi-resolution full-format BSI CMOS sensor exclusively developed for the new M generation (9528x6328 pixels) and a Leica Maestro series (Maestro III) processor.

With a monochrome sensor, you can get true black-and-white photographs, and the sensor allows for sharper, more detailed results in comparison to a Bayer colour sensor (see our guide to sensor technology). There are other benefits from shooting with a monochrome sensor, including the “automatic” reduction in chromatic aberration and purple fringing. The sensor receives more light, as there is no colour filter in the way, and any noise is rendered in black and white, giving a grain-like look. You don't need to worry about moire either. Of course, a camera that only shoots in black and white won't be for everyone but for monochrome purists, this could be a dream camera to own. 

You can capture RAW files in DNG format or choose to shoot JPEGs at 60, 36 or 18 megapixels (both DNG and JPEG).

ISO range has been extended now covering ISO125-200000 and 256GB of internal memory is available. The viewfinder is large and bright and when you want to shoot from the hip' there's a 2.95" touch control LCD.

There are no video options as stills photography is still the focus of the Monochrom range.


Leica M11 Key Features

  • 60.3MP Monochrome BSI CMOS sensor 
  • Leica Maestro series (Maestro III)
  • 2.95inch touch-screen
  • 0.73x magnification optical viewfinder
  • 4.5fps continuous shooting
  • ISO range: ISO125-ISO200000
  • JPEG and DNG shooting
  • Colour toning options (JPEG)
  • SD card slot
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • No video recording


Leica M11 Handling

Leica M11 Monochrom Sample Photos & Hands-On Review: Leica M11 Monochrom

There's something really special about Leica cameras that make you just want one when you put your hands on them. They scream quality and most certainly have a timeless quality to them, with solid and hefty build quality giving the camera a serious presence. It’s the kind of camera that feels strong enough to survive being dropped onto a hard floor (but please do not try this at home!). 

Size and weight aren't that different to the Leica M10 Monochrom and the design is very similar, too, with black buttons, grey writing on mode dials and there's no "Red dot" on the front of the camera. 


Leica M11 Monochrom Sample Photos & Hands-On Review: Leica M11 Monochrom

If you’ve ever picked up a Leica M camera, digital or analogue, then the feeling is the same with the new M11 Monochrom. It's contained in an all-metal body featuring a top plate made from aluminium, a sapphire glass display and a leather covering. Black, scratch-resistant paint finished the classic 'Leica look'. 

The Leica M11 Monochrom weighs 542g but that's to be expected with its quality construction and as mentioned, it's not far off what other Leica M series cameras weigh. Some would say it's not that compact in its shape but we think it's actually a great size and will easily fit in a day bag as well as a specifically designed camera bag. 

The controls on the camera remain simple and direct so you instantly get that analogue and immersive feel rather than having to mess around too much in menu systems changing settings. You'll find a shutter speed dial, and ISO speed dial on top of the camera, and the aperture is set using the ring on the lens.


Leica M11 Monochrom Sample Photos & Hands-On Review: Leica M11 Monochrom


When you do want to access the menu options and settings, these are neatly laid out. You can't use the touch-screen to select and set menu options, instead, the 4-way control is used.

Leica M11 Monochrom Sample Photos & Hands-On Review: 20208 Leica M11 Monochrom Bottom LoRes RGB |

The baseplate contains the release lever for the battery and this has a failsafe that prevents the battery from just falling straight out. The switch is operated and then the battery is given a light push to release it fully. It is necessary to remove the battery to gain access to the single SD card slot.


Leica M11 Monochrom Sample Photos & Hands-On Review: Leica M11 Monochrom

Leica M11 Monochrom Sample Photos


Leica M11 Monochrom Initial Verdict

If you have the budget for it, and it suits your photography and shooting style, then the Leica M11 Monochrom is likely to reward you with exceptional quality, black and white images for many years to come. If you're not used to the manual focus method, it may take some getting grips with but perseverance and practice are well worth it as results can be sublime. It's a brilliant camera for street photography or for fans of reportage, perhaps even travel. Yes, it is expensive, but as it's so well-made, it's expected. 

While we get the Leica M11 Monochrom in for a full review, have a read of our opinion on the Leica M11

Visit our Equipment Database to see more images of the Leica M11 Monochrom along with specs. 

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HDPro 8
14 Apr 2023 12:46AM
For this prize I am not impressed, at least not with this samples.
IMO the Sigma Merrill is the best Sensor for BW photography, with even more possibilities than a monochrome sensor and I would bet the 20 times cheaper DP2 Merrill would stand its ground against the Leica M11.
FabioKeiner 10 111 1 Austria
14 Apr 2023 8:48AM
it's a bulgy beast and the quality of these sample photos far below average what you could achieve with all and any other compact cam now - even iphone cams make more detailed photos!
leica once was setting standards (long time ago: 30 years or moreSmile
nowadays, those cams are simply scam for snobs & bobos.
17 Apr 2023 4:36PM
"...these sample photos far below average..."

These sample images are indeed very poor quality, but this is entirely the photographer to blame. I'm not sure what he/she was focusing on, but it sure wasn't in the frame. Add to that the compression the web publishing tool applies (even on the high res) and there's no way, that you can do justice to a camera with these images. Unfortunately, this photographer isn't alone. Many viewers try to judge the image quality of a camera or lens, based on images on web pages or (worse) Youtube videos. You simply can't... You need the raw file, some time in post and a large print or very good screen.

I'm a professional photographer in the fashion and beauty industry. Over the past 35 years I've used many different cameras and lenses and I'm very discerning. Nevertheless, when I borrowed a Q2 Monochrome from a friend, I was blown away by the images. The tonality and high-ISO performance wasn't anything like I'd seen before. Nowadays I'm using the SL2 professionally and the Q2M and M10-R for personal work. M-cameras and lenses are still at the pinnacle of image quality, but you need to know how to use them.
pablophotographer 11 2.2k 444
23 Apr 2023 2:31AM
I know there are "die-hard" fans of black and white photography. Thankfully Leica is not the sole player in the game. I hear Pentax has its Monochrome K-3 III DSLR rolling out now and that it is sold out in the Japanese market. 😲

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