Leica’s M11-P is a disinformation-resistant camera built for wealthy photojournalists

Nowadays, we are getting to the point where we can’t even trust our own eyes with the amount of digital hoaxes, trolling, misinformation and misinformation that dominates social media. Heck, even big-name tech companies are selling us solutions to reimagine historical events. But not Leica! The revered camera company officially announced the long-awaited M11-P on Thursday, its first camera to incorporate the Content Credential secure metadata system.

Content credentials are the result of the efforts of the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), “a group of creators, technologists, journalists and activists leading the global effort to address digital misinformation and content authenticity,” and the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), “a formal coalition dedicated exclusively to writing standards and technical specifications as a basis for universal content provenance.” These intertwined industry advocacy groups created the Content Credentials system in response to the growing abuse and misuse of generative AI systems in the creation and spread of misinformation online.

“The launch of the Leica M11-P will further CAI’s goal of enabling photographers around the world to attach content credentials to their photographs at the time of capture,” said Santiago Lyon, CAI’s director of advocacy and education. in a press release, “creating a chain of authenticity from camera to cloud and allowing photographers to maintain a degree of control over their art, story and context.”

“This is the realization of a vision that CAI and our members first established four years ago, transforming the principles of trust and provenance into consumer-ready technology,” he continued.

Leica

Content Credentials work by capturing specific metadata about the photo (the camera used to take it, as well as the location, time, and other details about the shot) and locking it into a secure “manifest” that is included with the image itself using a cryptographic key. (the process is to opt for photography). Those credentials can easily be verified online or in the Leica PHOTOS app. Each time someone subsequently edits that photo, the changes are recorded in an updated manifest, regrouped with the image, and updated in the Content Credentials database each time it is shared on social media. Users who find these images online can click on the CR icon in the corner of the images to also access all of this manifest historical information, providing a clear chain of providence, presumably, back to the original photographer. The CAI describes Content Credentials as a “nutritional label” for photographs.

The M11-P itself is exactly what you’d expect from a company that has been at the top of the camera market since the middle of the last century. It offers a 60 MP BSI CMOS sensor on a Maestro-III processor with 256 GB of internal storage. The M11-P is on sale now, but it also retails for $9,480, so sorry, self-employed.

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