Leica M11 Monochrom review

Leica’s iconic black and white camera is back, and better than ever

Leica M11 Monochrom digital camera
(Image: © Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Leica M11 Monochrom is one of the world’s most niche consumer cameras; a black and white, manual focus only rangefinder camera, which cannot shoot video, and also costs a cool $9000. These supposed shortcomings are actually its biggest strength, forcing you to carefully consider every shot you take. It harks back to the glory days of film photography and is one of the most enjoyable photography experiences I have had in a while. This is not a camera for the masses, Leica knows exactly who this camera's specific audience is, and exactly how to please them, and for those select few, there is some good news, it is probably the best version of this camera to date.


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    60-megapixel image quality

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    30/18 megapixels with increased dynamic range

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    Exceptional Leica build quality and styling

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    Lighter than previous generations

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    Enjoyable photography experience


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    Black and white only

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    No video

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    Manual focus only

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Sometimes this role isn’t easy, how do you objectively compare a highly specialized camera aimed at the upper echelons of photography connoisseurs to the all bells-and-whistles best mirrorless cameras? Cameras like the Sony A7R V or Canon EOS R3 are technical marvels, the Leica M11 Monochrom is a rangefinder design, manual focus only, black and white sensor camera, that doesn’t shoot video, and costs nearly the same as those two aforementioned cameras combined, on paper, it should be laughed out of the room. 

But this is Leica, a company renowned for its prestige design and build that attract only the most well-heeled photography enthusiasts, who don’t come seeking groundbreaking technology, but the image quality and the sheer joy of photography that Leica cameras provide. Leica cameras require you to be a "proper photographer" in the traditional sense more than any other camera on the market, this is the closest you can get to a film-like experience in digital, and all the frustrations and triumphs that come with that.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.