Leica announces M11-P with Content Authenticity Initiative metadata recording: Digital Photography Review

The Leica M11-P loses its red dot logo, gains ‘dark chrome’ coating on its viewfinder, a sapphire screen on its LCD and additional internal memory, compared with the standard M11.

Image: Leica

Leica has launched the M11-P, the low-key version of its 60MP M11 rangefinder, nominally modified for photojournalism. As usual the ‘P’ version loses the red dot from the front, gains a sapphire glass rear screen cover and rather prominent Leica script across the top.

Significantly, the M11-P also becomes the first camera to reach the market that can digitally sign its files and add ‘Content Credentials’ metadata using the system developed by the Content Authenticity Initiative. This secure metadata is saved in parallel with the conventional EXIF data and can be used to confirm who created the image and whether edits and additions have been made, to provide a provable history for applications such as reportage, where provenance is critical.

Buy now:

Content Authenticity Initiative

The Content Authenticity Initiative is a collaborative attempt to include secure, trustworthy authorship and editing metadata into files, so that its provenance can be checked.

CAI was started by Adobe but has been developed by the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity, an industry group that includes Intel, the BBC, Microsoft and chip-designer Arm. Members of the coalition now include not just Leica but also Canon and Nikon on the hardware side, while media members include The Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Somewhat working against the ‘stealth’ appearance from the front, the word Leica is etched in white on the camera’s top plate.

Image: Leica

There have been attempts to provide proof-of-origin metadata before, with Canon and Nikon having their own proprietary systems, both of which were subsequently cracked. CAI has the advantages of support from chip makers, allowing the files to be digitally signed at a hardware level, and an open-source ethos, that means anyone can develop tools to read the authorship and edit history of a file with CAI data.

In a time where generative AI imagery is become more convincing, the need to prove that news images in particular have a dependable paper trail showing who took the photo and what changes have been made to it, is only likely to become more valuable. The next key step will be to see whether the Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras most widely used by the press start to incorporate this capability. Nikon has demonstrated a CAI-compliant Z9, whereas Sony appears to have adopted its own system.

The silver version of the M11-P has a brass top plate, taking its weight to 640g (22.6oz), 20% heavier than the black version.

Image: Leica

Beyond the ability to write and sign CAI data to both JPEGs and DNGs, the M11-P contains the usual ‘P’ version upgrades: 256Gb of internal storage, up from 64 in the standard M, a more scratch-resistant sapphire glass panel on the rear LCD, ‘dark chrome’ coating on the viewfinder window and the Leica script across the top plate, rather than a red dot on the front of the camera.

As with the M11, the silver and black version of the camera has a brass top plate, adding 110g (3.9 oz) over the weight of the all-aluminium black version. Both versions will sell around a recommended retail price of $9195, a $200 premium over the standard version.

New: Leica M11-P

Teaneck, October 26th, 2023. Since its debut in 1954, the Leica M has committed to the art of the essentials, framing moments without distraction, genuine to the photographer’s perspective. Esteemed by photojournalists bearing witness to the stories of our world, the Leica M transcends conventional photography, delivering the most authentic and unobtrusive experience in the art of capturing time.

In today’s digital age where content sparks ideas and informs decisions, transparency to the integrity of an image yields informed perspectives. Leica Camera, with its unwavering pioneering spirit and commitment to authenticity in art of making a photograph, unveils the Leica M11-P, the first commercially available camera in the world to embody Content Credentials.

It is the world’s first camera to store metadata by attaching Content Credentials at the point of capture to protect the authenticity of digital images. 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.

The Leica M11-P pioneers the use of secure metadata in compliance with the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) open-source standard. This feature provides an additional layer of transparency when designing and modifying an image. It allows information such as names, dates, changes made and tools used to be securely attached, creating awareness of the file’s origin. With Content Credentials, each Leica M11-P image captured receives a digital signature backed by a CAI-compliant certificate. The authenticity of images can be easily verified at any time using a freely available, open- source CAI tool or by visiting https://contentcredentials.org/verify.

Leica´s Content Credentials technology ensures the picture’s authenticity by means of special hardware in the camera. It includes a special chipset for storing digital certificates of the German Federal Printing Office. The state-of-the-art integration guarantees complete verifiability of a picture’s origin. Thus, Leica is setting a new standard for the protection of digital content in cooperation with Adobe and the global community of nearly 2,000 members, including media and tech companies, NGOs, academics, and more to promote adoption and implementation of Content Credentials.

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG: “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.”

Santiago Lyon, Head of Advocacy & Education, Content Authenticity Initiative, Adobe: “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.”

When the “Leica Content Credentials” function is activated in the camera menu, the Content Credential logo is visible in the display and every image taken by the Leica M11-P is reliably signed using a special algorithm. The image thus receives an unalterable and verifiable proof of camera model, manufacturer, and image attributes. The authenticity of these certificates can be verified and examined by means of free CAI open-source tools at any time. They prove whether an image is available in the original or in an edited version and in the latter case, they provide insight into the history of the content changes. So photographers can demonstrate the authenticity of their pictures from the moment they are taken to the time they are published.

Further distinguishing features of the Leica M11 perfect the traditional M understatement and expand the range of applications of the Leica M11-P even further. The deliberate omission of the red Leica dot on the camera front, for example, allows for even more discreet photographing. Instead, a subtle Leica lettering is engraved on the top plate. This plate and the bottom cover are milled from aluminum in the matte black Leica M11-P and from brass blocks in the silver chrome camera version. Merged with the all-metal body made of a highly solid magnesium alloy, the interior of the camera is carefully protected. The LCD monitor made of sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflection protective coating enables an optimal evaluation of the pictures in all lighting conditions.

The Leica M11-P, with its 60 MP BSI CMOS sensor and Triple Resolution Technology as well as the high-performance Maestro-III processor, combines state-of-the-art camera technology with a maximum of flexibility. Finally, the large internal memory with 256 GB makes the camera a reliable and functional precision tool “Made in Germany” that is always ready for use. There are also two new black leather accessories for the M- System: The M-System case as well as the carrying strap once again emphasize the clean lines in the design of the new Leica M11-P.

A black and a silver version of the Leica M11-P will be available globally at all Leica Stores, the Leica Online Store and Leica authorized dealers starting now. The US retail price will be $9,195.

About Content Credentials & Content Authenticity Initiative Adobe co-founded the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) in 2019 to help combat the threat of misinformation and ensure proper attribution for creators. Today the CAI is a coalition of nearly 2,000 members, including AFP, the Associated Press, the BBC, Getty Images, Leica Camera, Microsoft, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and more, all working together to add a verifiable layer of transparency and trust to content online – via secure metadata called Content Credentials. Between the tremendous momentum in attracting new members and the growing adoption of Content Credentials by leaders spanning multiple industries, the CAI is ensuring that technological innovations are built on ethical foundations.

Please visit the Content Authenticity Blog: https://contentauthenticity.org/blog/leica- launches-worlds-first-camera-with-content-credentials

Buy now:

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart