In an era in which smartphones have eroded the market and reduced the use of professional cameras, it rarely happens that a new camera is the symbol of a revolution. Such is the case with the Leica M11-P, the latest version of the German company’s most iconic model, which in this case, however, stands out for a new concept. With the suffix P in its name indicating photojournalists as the product’s primary target, the camera is the first in the world to natively integrate content authentication according to the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) and the C2PA standard. What does this mean? Unlike other cameras, here, every shot is stored with its own metadata, with Leica Content Credentials guaranteeing maximum authenticity when taking the shot.
A free and open-source tool, Content Credentials work like a digital information label, associating each photograph with the author’s name, the date, the modifications made and the tools used to create the image. Regardless of where, how and when they are published or archived, these images retain their characteristic factors, ensuring the truthfulness of the photo and facilitating correct attribution, safeguarding copyright severely challenged by the endless digital reproduction and manipulations permitted by image retouching programmes and artificial intelligence.
A milestone for image authenticity
Content Credentials are an integral part of CAI, an initiative conceived in 2019 by Adobe to help combat the threat of fake news and help authors get proper recognition for their work. Four years on, the Content Authenticity Initiative has nearly 2,000 partners, including Leica, Associated Press, BBC, Getty Images, Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Microsoft, Axel Springer, Canon, Nikon, Nvidia and Qualcomm. The coming together of such large and influential companies allows for significant steps forward, such as the development of the Leica M11-P.
“This is a milestone for the future of photojournalism, which will usher in a powerful new way through which photojournalists and creatives can assert their digital rights, fight misinformation and bring authenticity to their work and consumers while promoting the widespread adoption of Content Credentials,” said Santiago Lyon, Head of Advocacy and Education – Content Authenticity Initiative.
The limitation of the Leica M11-P is that it will not be a very widespread camera, as the €9,100 required to purchase it makes it limited to professional photojournalists willing to invest that amount. The Content Credentials are activated in the camera’s menu after configuring them the first time they are used (the company specifies to do so only after installing the latest firmware). On a technical level, their presence is not the only element of difference from the past since the red stamp that has always been a symbol of Leica is missing here (the brand is engraved in italics on the upper part of the cap).
Leica M11-P: It must be the first step of a long journey
Made of magnesium alloy and equipped with a 60-megapixel, back-illuminated BSI CMOS sensor, capable via pixel-binning of shooting at 36MP and 18MP, the camera has an LCD monitor protected by sapphire glass, 256GB of expandable internal memory and UHS-II SD card slot, USB-C input and Maestro III processor for processing shots. In addition to transferring images via Bluetooth, the Leica app allows you to manage the camera and edit images directly in Capture One Pro, Adobe Lightroom or the Darkroom app. Two models are available: black with a metallic magnesium and aluminium outer body and faux leather upholstery, with the latter also available in a silver version with a magnesium and brass outer body. The Leica M11-P is a brand-new camera that could mark a turning point for photography and photographers, provided other manufacturers follow suit and spread the Content Credentials.