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The flagship Leica M11 rangefinder launched earlier this year boasting a host of upgrades, most notably, a higher-resolution sensor and a more powerful processor. And yet, the camera sports the same basic design as its ancestors, dating back to the 1950s. But it’s precisely this combination of new and old that makes a Leica, well, a Leica.

We’ve had the pleasure of shooting around with the new camera for a little while now. And with a complete review on the horizon, we wanted to share some initial samples and impressions to get you pumped. All of these photos were captured with the Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH lens. Exposure information and edits are noted in the captions.

Related: Leica redesigns one of its most popular lenses (and makes it more affordable)

Leica M11 sample photos

With its state-of-the-art, custom-made 60-megapixel sensor and updated “Maestro III” image processor, one has high expectations about the M11’s image quality, and gosh does it deliver. From color to sharpness (due mainly to the quality of Leica’s lenses) to dynamic range, the M11 does not disappoint.

A colorful sunset
Out-of-camera JPEG (36MP) | ISO 64 | 1/80 sec | f/6.8.

Many cameras don’t capture the color of amazing sunsets like this one, usually being too flat. (Smartphones, on the other hand, are over-the-top.) Here, the exposure is well-balanced. And if you want to brighten up the foreground a bit, the M11 is fully capable.

A lush green mountain looking up.
Converted from DNG, exposure adjusted | ISO 64 | 1/320 sec | f/4.8. Jeff Keller

It may look like the foreground couldn’t possibly be so lush and green but that’s how the M11 rendered it in this converted DNG file (with no color adjustments applied). If for some reason, you wanted this scene to be even punchier, there’s a “vivid” color profile in the menu. The detail on the mountain is also impressive: you can easily make out the edge of the glaciers.

Blue and green flowers.
Out-of-camera JPEG (36MP) | ISO 640 | 1/160 sec | f/3.4. Jeff Keller

Again you can see the vibrant color in the flowers and foliage, this time in an out-of-camera JPEG.

Seattle Space Needle with blue building in foreground.
Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 64 | 1/640 sec | f/4. Jeff Keller

Details, details. At full resolution, you can see the individual cables on the elevator as well as every piece of the platform at the top of the Needle. There isn’t any moiré on the platform, which is nice to see, given that the camera doesn’t have an “optical low pass filter.”

Sunset scene with noticeable vingetting
Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 64 | 1/640 sec | f/2.8. Jeff Keller

The Summicron-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH lens has quite a bit of vignetting when wide-open (or close, in this case). While the camera doesn’t offer the ability to correct this automatically, popping the DNG file into your favorite Raw processor will allow you to reduce or eliminate it.

Indoor arches with light coming through windows
Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 200 | 1/160 sec | f/5.6. Jeff Keller

In this photo, there’s a balanced exposure with no blown highlights from the windows. Note the lack of distortion, as well.

Bright orange flowers.
Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 80 | 1/160 sec | f/16. Jeff Keller

Color again impresses, and there’s a nice smooth transition from the sharp foreground to the blurred background.

A hazy bay scene
Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 64 | 1/1500 sec | f/4. Jeff Keller

You can easily make out individual pieces of grass on this somewhat hazy day.

Looking up at Mount Rainier.
Converted from DNG, exposure and black levels adjusted | ISO 640 | 1/500 sec | f/5.6. Jeff Keller

The original image was a little “warm” and the foreground was darker than I would’ve liked. But two easy adjustments to the DNG file in Adobe Camera Raw produced a more realistic image.

Colorful sunset with shadows on the right in the foreground.
Out-of-camera JPEG (36MP) | ISO 250 | 1/80 sec | f/3.4. Jeff Keller

The M11 again captured the reds, oranges, and yellows of a beautiful sunset.

Lampost at UW.
Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 64 | 1/400 sec | f/4.8. Jeff Keller

The Summicron-M 35mm f/1.4 lens struts its stuff in this photo, with excellent sharpness on the lamp and a smooth roll off to the wall and sign in the background.

A white iron fence.
Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 64 | 1/1500 sec | f/2.8. Jeff Keller

It’s easy to find the peeling and bubbling paint in the foreground of this photo.

Houses overlooking water.
Converted from DNG, vignetting reduced | ISO 64 | 1/500 sec | f/8. Jeff Keller

The original version of this photo had some mild vignetting, which was easy to fix in Adobe Camera Raw. You can see each individual leave on the shrubs both near and far away.

A stream coming down a mountain.
Converted from DNG, exposure, shadows, highlights, contrast adjusted | ISO 64 | 1/200 sec | f/4.8. Jeff Keller

In the original version of this photo, the highlights on the mountain were blown out, dramatically reducing detail. By editing the DNG file I was able to dial back the highlights while boosting the shadows to closely match what I saw with my eyes.

College door.
Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 64 | 1/180 sec | f/6.8. Jeff Keller

Lastly, the carvings on and above the arch look almost too real in this photo. While it looks like there is some moiré distortion to the left of the doors, it is just the pattern in the concrete.

That’s all for now, stay tuned for our full Leica M11 review, coming soon!