Leica has announced the Leica M11-P, the world’s first camera to create a seamless chain of authenticity from capture to publication.
Since its debut in 1954, the Leica M series has been vital to photojournalists worldwide. In the digital age, there has been significant concern about the provenance, transparency, and integrity of digital images.
Leica Embraces Content Authenticity
In October 2022, Leica announced plans to implement image provenance technology into the Leica M11 as part of the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI). The newly announced Leica M11-P takes that idea further by being the first commercially available camera to embody Content Credentials.
The M11-P is also the first camera to store metadata by attaching Content Credentials at the time of capture. “Content Credentials are the digital nutrition label and most widely adopted industry standard for content of all kinds, and the foundation for increased trust and transparency online. With the M11-P championing for content transparency, Leica underscores its focus on the essentials and the photographers who choose to see and capture moments in the most authentic way possible,” Leica explains.
The new camera includes digital provenance information in its metadata and secures the metadata in compliance with the Content Authenticity Initiative’s open-source standard, delivering an additional layer of protection and transparency concerning any modifications made to an image.
Information such as names, dates, and any changes made are securely attached to a file. Using Content Credentials, every image captured by the Leica M11-P has a digital signature backed by a CAI-compliant certificate. The authenticity of photographs can be verified at any time by anyone using the free, open-source CAI tool.
This is not simply a software update, as Leica’s Content Credentials technology requires special hardware inside the camera itself. The M11-P sports a distinct chipset that stores digital certificates of the German Federal Printing Office. The company says the “state-of-the-art integration guarantees complete verifiability of a picture’s origin.”
“Leica cameras have always stood witness to iconic moments in world history. However, determining the authenticity of visual content has become increasingly difficult and important in the age of digital photography. Now with the ability to provide this proof, we are once again strengthening trust in digital content and re-establishing Leica cameras as authoritative tools in the documentation of world events,” says Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG.
Santiago Lyon, Head of Advocacy and Education at the Content Authenticity Initiative at Adobe, adds, “We’re thrilled to see Leica pioneering the integration of Content Credentials into their flagship M11-P cameras. This is a significant milestone for the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) and the future of photojournalism: It will usher in a powerful new way for photojournalists and creatives to assert their digital rights, combat misinformation and bring authenticity to their work and consumers, while promoting widespread adoption of Content Credentials.”
It is worth noting that the Leica Content Credentials function is not mandatory to use the camera — it can be disabled. However, when the function is activated, a Content Credential logo is available in the display, and every image captured will receive an unalterable and verifiable proof of camera model, manufacturer, and image attributes. It is trivial for anyone to check an image and see whether it has been modified and, if so, how and when.
M11-P Has the Heart and Brain of the Leica M11
Aside from the new hardware inside the M11-P, it is very similar to the existing Leica M11 in terms of form and function. However, one aesthetic change is that the M11-P omits Leica’s famous red dot logo, electing instead for a subtle, discreet Leica lettering. Depending on the colorway, the top and bottom plates are either aluminum in the case of the matte black M11-P or brass in the silver chrome version. The body itself is made of magnesium alloy.
On the inside, the M11-P has the same 60-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor as the standard M11, complete with the camera’s impressive Triple Resolution Technology and powerful Maestro-III processor.
Pricing and Availability
Image credits: Leica