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The M11's 60MP full-frame CMOS sensor features a back-illuminated (BSI) design that offers improved noise performance and faster readout speeds. The higher resolution suits more detail-oriented applications, like landscape and architectural subjects, and the noise-reduction benefits of the BSI design improves clarity and color accuracy when working in low-light conditions with higher ISOs.
The sensor's physical design also includes an updated ultra-thin dual-layer filter glass, which absorbs UV and IR wavelengths for greater clarity and more accurate rendering from the M lenses.
• Read more: Leica M11 review
Besides the 60MP resolution and BSI design, another first for M cameras is Triple Resolution Technology. This unique pixel binning process allows photographers to select 60MP, 36MP, or 18MP output, with each resolution making use of the full sensor area and providing rich 14-bit color. By pixel binning, rather than cropping, the lower resolutions have improved dynamic range and noise levels:
The new Maestro III processor contributes to the faster processing and Triple Resolution Technology of the M11, as well as helps achieve a wider sensitivity range than in past M cameras. An ISO 64-50000 range is now available for greater detail, quality, and natural color rendering at lower ISO settings. The Maestro III also enables continuous shooting at up to 4.5 fps and facilitates fast file saving for an intuitive shooting experience.
The M11 is still a photo-only camera that prioritizes manual operation, but a variety of improvements and functional updates have been made to make the M11 the most contemporary M camera yet, an electronic shutter function now permits shooting at shutter speeds up to 1/16,000 sec, which is perfect for working with faster f/0.95 lenses without the need for ND filters, mechanical shutter still offers shutter speed support up to 1/4000 sec and flash sync at 1/180 sec.
Two digital zoom steps can now simulate working with longer focal length lenses by cropping into the image slightly, at 1.3x (39MP) and 1.8x (18MP) levels. These are reversible crops when recording a DNG or permanent crops if shooting straight to JPG. Another new feature is Multi-field exposure metering, in addition to spot and center-weighted average, which helps reduce the need to meter and then re-compose before shooting.
The M11 also features for the first time a built-in 64GB memory, meaning you can forgo using a memory card altogether, or use the internal memory in conjunction with an SD card to simulate having dual card slots for splitting file types or for overflow storage. Image files can also be transferred from the internal memory to the SD card for easy backup. Also files can be transferred from camera direct to your iPhone from the USB type-C port via Fotos cable, which allows direct attachment to an Apple iPhone via the Leica Fotos app for easy file management and sharing, or if you're an Android user you can transfer images over WiFi or Bluetooth via the Leica Fotos app.