Best Memory Cards for the Leica M11

You may not need the most expensive card for your Leica M11, or maybe you need more memory than you thought. All the info you need to know is here
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Memory cards can be complicated to get right, how many photos will this SD card write? Can I record video to the Leica M11? This article will cut through the fog and show you which are the best memory cards for the Leica M11.

Leica have actually given their own personal recommendation for which SD card is best for the Leica M11, and that is the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-II V90 SD card.

Sale
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
  • Tap into pro performance designed for professional and advanced photographers and videographers.
  • Super-fast write speeds of up to 260MB/s help rapidly clear buffer time to support continuous burst mode shooting and cinema-quality video recording(2). Requires compatible devices capable of reaching such speeds.

Last update on 2022-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

However I have found that another good alternative card is the Sony Tough range.

Last update on 2022-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now Leica has recommended the SanDisk card as the best all-around memory card for the Leica M11. But everyone will have different uses for the M11, so while these recommended cards will suit most, for some cases you may not need 128GB, and in some other cases you may need more.

Sale
Leica M11 Digital Rangefinder Camera (Black)
  • High-performing Processor: A full-frame BSI CMOS sensor with Triple Resolution Technology lies at the heart of the M11. DNG and JPEG raw picture files can be captured at 60, 36, or 18 megapixels, always using the entire sensor area
  • New Features: A special IR + UV cut filter comprised of two extremely thin, cemented layers of glass, achieves an especially effective correction of even the most oblique rays of incident light

Last update on 2022-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Leica M11 is a photography camera only. There are no video functions available on the camera. For video on a Leica camera you will have to look to the Leica SL2.

So let’s go into more depth to work out which are the best memory cards for the Leica M11 for all budgets, and yours.

What Memory Card Does the Leica M11 Use?

The Leica M11 has one memory card slot that supports UHS-II, UHS-I, SD / SDHC / SDXC memory cards. In the Leica M11 documentation Leica recommends using UHS-II cards, which are the newer SD card format.

The Leica M11 will only support cards up to a maximum of 2TB, which is only possible with UHS-II cards, however there are no 2TB cards available as far as I know.

While there is not an additional SD card for redundancy concerns, the Leica M11 does have a alternative solution which in some ways trumps a SD card. The Leica M11 has 64GB of internal memory.

While this could possibly be too small for video requirements, as a photography camera 64GB is quite adequate for most photography needs. We shall work out the capacities further into the article.

Internal Storage

The advantage of having the internal storage over a second SD card slot are a fair few.

With internal storage there should be less of a chance of data loss due to damaged storage.

As a professional photographer there will always be that one time you forget to bring an SD card. Internal storage solves this and becomes one less thing you have to worry about.

The internal storage on the M11 can be configured in a variety of ways. It can be configured to be used as a regular storage solution, the primary storage for writing images.

You can also set it up to write duplicate copies of each image which is what I always choose when it’s an option. This is data redundancy and is very important for many professionals. A corrupt card losing all your images for a paid gig is nowadays not something professionals need to experience.

The third option is as an overflow. Once the primary storage solution has filled up, the second designated storage has images written to it until it has filled up as well.

How Many Images Can the Leica m11 Write?

The Leica M11 is a 60MP beast, which when you write using the full 60MP is a lot of data. Having said that, there are other options to give you more from your SD card’s capacity. Leica have provided all the info in their documentation:

Leica also kindly provided the images sizes so we can work out the capacities. The 64GB card option in the table can be substituted for the 64GB of internal storage:

Leica's Recommendation
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
My Recommendation
Sony TOUGH-G series SDXC UHS-II Card 64GB, V90, CL10, U3, Max R300MB/S, W299MB/S (SF-G64T/T1), Black
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
Sony TOUGH-G series SDXC UHS-II Card 64GB, V90, CL10, U3, Max R300MB/S, W299MB/S (SF-G64T/T1), Black
Image File Type: DNG (L-DNG, approx: 70-120MB)
1066 Images
533 Images
Image File Type: DNG (M-DNG, approx: 40-70MB)
1828 Images
914 Images
Image File Type: DNG (S-DNG, approx: 20-40MB)
3200 Images
1600 Images
Image File Type: JPG (L-JPG, approx: 15-30MB)
4266 Images
2133 Images
Image File Type: JPG (M-JPG, approx: 9-18MB)
7111 Images
3555 Images
Image File Type: JPG (S-JPG, approx: 5-9MB)
14,222 Images
7111 Images
-
Leica's Recommendation
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
Image File Type: DNG (L-DNG, approx: 70-120MB)
1066 Images
Image File Type: DNG (M-DNG, approx: 40-70MB)
1828 Images
Image File Type: DNG (S-DNG, approx: 20-40MB)
3200 Images
Image File Type: JPG (L-JPG, approx: 15-30MB)
4266 Images
Image File Type: JPG (M-JPG, approx: 9-18MB)
7111 Images
Image File Type: JPG (S-JPG, approx: 5-9MB)
14,222 Images
My Recommendation
Sony TOUGH-G series SDXC UHS-II Card 64GB, V90, CL10, U3, Max R300MB/S, W299MB/S (SF-G64T/T1), Black
Sony TOUGH-G series SDXC UHS-II Card 64GB, V90, CL10, U3, Max R300MB/S, W299MB/S (SF-G64T/T1), Black
Image File Type: DNG (L-DNG, approx: 70-120MB)
533 Images
Image File Type: DNG (M-DNG, approx: 40-70MB)
914 Images
Image File Type: DNG (S-DNG, approx: 20-40MB)
1600 Images
Image File Type: JPG (L-JPG, approx: 15-30MB)
2133 Images
Image File Type: JPG (M-JPG, approx: 9-18MB)
3555 Images
Image File Type: JPG (S-JPG, approx: 5-9MB)
7111 Images
-

Last update on 2022-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do bear in mind that these numbers are approximates. The real world number of images can actually be out by a number of images. This can be due to inconsistencies in the build as one example.

The Other Best Memory Cards for the Leica M11

The SanDisk Extreme Pro range is one of my preferred brands for SD cards and they have yet to fail me in my (just over) 10 years as a professional wedding photographer.

But there are alternative brands who produce SD cards that are just as good, if not better.

Sony for example and their Tough series are cards that should last multiple years of use.

The build quality is of particular note, built with what looks like one plastic case as opposed to two. The design looks like it will help it to take a good bit of use.

Below is a (automatically updated) list of the bestselling UHS-II cards on Amazon for your consideration:

SaleBestseller No. 1
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II Memory Card - C10, U3, V90, 8K, 4K, Full HD Video, SD Card - SDSDXDK-128G-GN4IN
  • Tap into pro performance designed for professional and advanced photographers and videographers.
  • Super-fast write speeds of up to 260MB/s help rapidly clear buffer time to support continuous burst mode shooting and cinema-quality video recording(2). Requires compatible devices capable of reaching such speeds.
Bestseller No. 2
Lexar Professional 1667x 128GB (2-Pack) SDXC UHS-II Cards, Up To 250MB/s Read, for Professional Photographer, Videographer, Enthusiast (LSD128CBNA16672)
  • Get high-speed performance with UHS-II technology (U3) for a read transfer speed up to 250MB/s
  • Captures high-quality images and extended lengths of stunning 1080p Full-HD, 3D, and 4K video with a DSLR camera, cinema-quality video cameras, or 3D camera
SaleBestseller No. 3
Sony TOUGH-M series SDXC UHS-II Card 128GB, V60, CL10, U3, Max R277MB/S, W150MB/S (SF-M128T/T1)
  • Waterproof (IPX8)/ Dustproof (ipx6)3
  • Up to 277MB/s read speed and 150MB/s write speed
SaleBestseller No. 4
Lexar Professional 2000x 128GB SDXC UHS-II Card, Up To 300MB/s Read, for DSLR, Cinema-Quality Video Cameras (LSD2000128G-BNNNU)
  • High-speed performance—leverages UHS-II technology (U3) for a read transfer speed up to 300MB/s (2000x)
  • Captures high-quality images and extended lengths of Full-HD and cinema-quality 4K video
Bestseller No. 5
PNY 256GB EliteX-PRO60 UHS-II SDXC Memory Card - 280MB/s Read, U3, V60, 4K UHD, Full HD, UHS-II for Professional Photographers & Content Creators, DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras &Advanced Video Cameras
  • Extreme performance for professional photographers and videographers with read speeds up to 280MB/s & write speeds up to 180MB/s for seamless content capture
  • Class 10, U3 Rated with V60 Video Speed to enhance performance and capture ultra high resolution imagery and extended lengths of 4K Ultra HD and Full HD video

Last update on 2022-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Finally

No Leica M11 user should have to get the wrong memory card when all the information is in this article; either by purchasing more than is needed on too large a capacity memory card, or even just as bad, getting a card that’s too small for your needs.

Making the mistake of getting too small capacity cards means having to make workarounds for the inevitable bottlenecks you will encounter. Too large capacity SD cards for your needs means extra money spent that could be spent on other more gear that you need.

Get the right memory card the first time.

When you have picked the right card for your needs you will then need an SD card reader to get your data off quickly and efficiently:

Anker 2-in-1 USB 3.0 SD Card Reader for SDXC, SDHC, SD, MMC, RS-MMC, Micro SDXC, Micro SD, Micro SDHC Card and UHS-I Cards
  • Simultaneously read and write on two cards to save yourself the effort of constant unplugging and re-plugging.
  • USB 3.0 enables data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps for faster Sync times, backward compatible with USB 2.0/ 1.1.

Last update on 2022-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re using the Leica M11 to build a business, then you need to check out my comprehensive guide on How to Start a Creative Business. All the information you need to know about starting to build a business is there; linking out to even more related articles, that go into further detail.

Also don’t forget to check me out on YouTube for even more content.