Throughout each modern iteration of the Leica M series of cameras, there comes a point when the P model arrives, and we may see it as soon as next month.
Almost as soon as the Leica M11 was released, rumors started to spread about the Leica M11-P. Several reports have indicated that the P model will be released this side of the new year, coming in Q4 of 2023. Now a new rumor, shared by Japanese site Asobinet, suggests that the camera could appear at the end of the month.
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This does align with the release dates of previous P models. The typical schedule from the M model to P is (very loosely) around the two-year mark, and as the M11 came out in Jan 2022 we are just entering that time frame.
So with the Leica M11-P due for release, the question is - how will it differ from the M11? Going by the traditions of Leica M to P upgrades, Leica will gather feedback from its M11 users, fixing any quality-of-life issues and adding features that will help the more professional photographers.
The upgrades of the Leica M10 to Leica M10-P included a quieter shutter, and a more stealth-like aesthetic, predominately to better please street photographers. So to gain an understanding of what specifications may be included in the M11-P, we would need to look at where the M11 fell short to the people that use it the most.
A stealthier and more discreet look to the camera is typical of the upgrade, enabling street photographers to work unnoticed among crowds. The signature Red Dot is usually an aspect that gets lost first, with the P usually opting for an engraved logo.
Aside from the need to be more stealthy, the most certain upgrade for the M11-P would be the internal memory. The Leica M11 has an integrated 64GB, which may sound like a lot, but as storage costs drop and technology improves, internal memory capabilities have as well. The Leica M11 Monochrom, released in April of this year, had an internal memory of 256GB – a vast improvement on the M11.
Other previous upgrades have included improvements to the buffer and shooting speed. More aspects that allow for more efficient photography in the streets are being able to react quickly to surroundings, as and when things happen. Although not a major concern in the M11, this may also be a factor here.
Resolution is more than likely to remain as-is, as the Leica M11's 60.3MP sensor is among the highest resolutions on a full-frame camera, and an upgrade would at this point be unnecessary. Leica has also never improved resolution from M to P before, usually saving that for a larger model upgrade.
I for one am excited to see what the Leica M11-P has in store, and how it can make the lives of street photographers easier.
Red Dot aficionados lovers might want to check out the best Leica M lenses and best Leica SL lenses, while those looking for more bank manager-friendly options should look at the best Leica Alternatives.