Leica M9

Released September, 2009
  • 18.1 MP
  • Full frame 36 x 24 mm CCD
  • 2.5" LCD
Fortunately, Leica uses Adobe's DNG RAW format, which is instantly compatible with Adobe Camera Raw, and, fittingly, a copy of Lightroom is supplied with the camera as standard.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2011)
8.9 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Leica M9

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Leica M9
8.7
EOS 6D
9.8
Nikon DF
9.9
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Leica M9
n.d.
EOS 6D
n.d.
Nikon DF
n.d.
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Leica M9
10.0
EOS 6D
10.0
Nikon DF
10.0
continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

Leica M9
8.7
EOS 6D
9.3
Nikon DF
9.1
Reviews from techradar.com, mirrorlessrumors.com, 43rumors.com and dpreview.com

8.9

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Leica M9
8.9
EOS 6D
9.5
Nikon DF
9.5

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Leica M9

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Leica M9
854 ISO
Nikon DF
3,279 ISO
EOS 6D
2,340 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Leica M9
2,200 LPH
EOS 6D
2,800 LPH
M-Monochrom
2,800 LPH

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Leica M9
125 ms
Alpha A6000
22 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Leica M9
800 ms
Lunar
1,200 ms
EOS 6D
500 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Leica M9
2 fps
Alpha A6000
11 fps

Battery life How many photos per battery charge (CIPA)

Leica M9
350 photos
Nikon DF
1,400 photos
EOS 6D
980 photos

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Leica M9


6.0
The simplicity of its operation makes it an enjoyable camera to use, while the sensor is capable of resolving plenty of details.

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Lens

Combined with high-quality optics - generally a given with Leica - it really can produce remarkable images.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2011)
The sensor uses a micro lens construction that offsets the lenses towards the peripheries.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2011)
As these only work up to a minimum focal length of 28mm, external hot shoe-mounted viewfinders are available for shorter focal lengths, from 18mm up to 28mm.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2011)

Sensor

Because image sensors are sensitive to light outside the visible spectrum, manufacturers need to use filters over the sensor to remove infrared and ultra-violet light in order to maintain correct color.
by DPReview
Note: Some of the images in the gallery were shot with pre-production firmware, DNG's converted using a beta copy of Adobe Camera RAW 5.5 (no calibration data was available for the M9).
by DPReview
Many photographers will no doubt be more interested in processing the camera's RAW files instead, and these provide a detailed and clean starting point for further processing, particularly at lower sensitivities.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2011)

Photography

But if you’re serious about photography and you get the chance, even if you’d never considered it before, you really should try it.
by DPReview
On our recent trip to Solms I was introduced to the Match Technical 'Thumbs Up CSEP-1', which is a simple grip that slides onto the flash hot-shoe and helps to balance the camera when held in the landscape orientation (last two pictures below) - a personal recommendation for any M owner.
by DPReview
Obviously M series ownership isn’t for everyone, nor is rangefinder photography.
by DPReview

Viewfinder

The M9's viewfinder has bright-line frames which appear in the viewfinder depending on the lens used.
by DPReview
The largest field of view you can see through the viewfinder is just over 28 mm.
by DPReview
Diopter correction is possible to help with this, although only through a supplementary lens attached over the viewfinder, available in -3 to +3 diopter strengths, which needs to be bought separately.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2011)

Type

During the review process (and thanks to input from those who had used rangefinders before) I gradually began to ‘get’ the advantages, being better ‘connected’ to the subject thanks to the huge bright viewfinder, and being forced to focus manually, alwys select the aperture, and think more about the shot.
by DPReview
It marked the beginning of a legendary series of cameras and lenses, the latest of which (the M7) is one of the few 35 mm rangefinder cameras still in production.
by DPReview
Everything is clearly designed and built to last for years of service, right down to the powerful spring that releases the rangefinder's battery.
by TechRadar (Aug, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CCD
Megapixels 18.1 MP
Resolution 5212 x 3472
Size Full frame
Area 36 x 24 mm
Crop factor 1.0x
Pixel size 47.7 microns
Light sensitivity 160 ISO to 2,500 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor No
Tested vertical resolution 2,200 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,200 LPH

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Rangefinder

shutter

Min 8 s
Max 1/4000 s

performance

Max continuous shooting 2 fps
Battery life 350 photos
Continuous shooting 2 fps, JPEG
Shutter lag 125 ms
Startup delay 800 ms

video

Video None

display

Type LCD
Size 2.5"
Resolution 230 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view No

form factor

Size 139 x 80 x 37 mm
Thickness 37 mm
Weight 585 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization None
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