3 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 3 reviews of the Leica M9. Experts rate Leica M9 7.5/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Leica M9 and Leica Digital cameras.
Review Summary: One of the few real rangefinders on the market, the Leica M9 is a little more challenging to shoot with than most other digital cameras. With a manual focus lens and a choice of Manual and Aperture-priority exposure modes, it's not for the point & shoot set. But if you take the time, the Leica M9 will challenge your photography and turn out unique, high-quality images. Pros: Excellent image quality; No-nonsense controls; Solid build; Good print quality. Cons: Difficult to focus in low light; High default contrast and saturation; Manual focus only; Lack of low-pass filter can leave moir and other artifacts. Price and Availability: Pricing for the Leica M9 is on the order of US$7,000, and the camera started shipping in September 2009, in black and steel grey. The Leica M9-P variant reviewed here was announced in June 2011, and is available in a classic silver chrome or black paint finish, for about US$8,000. The Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 Aspherical lens reviewed with the camera is available for around US$4,000. We've had a few requests over the years for a Leica digital camera review. Since we're pretty much always behind, and the volume of Leica purchases through our site is quite low, we've always put it off.
Leica's most recent release, the M9-P, builds on the success of its predecessor, the M9. The differences are purely cosmetic. The distinctive red Leica dot has been removed; the company name has been etched onto the top of the case; the case itself is more deeply textured; and the screen coating has been swapped out for scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.Under the hood, it's business as usual, producing identical results to the M9, which remains a key part of the digital Leica line-up. That's what we're looking at here.The camera isn't cheap, and will set you back around £5,000 -- more if you buy it in a combo with lenses. The M9 is the smallest full-frame digital currently available. Strip away the tough metal casing and you'd find an 18-megapixel sensor whose dimensions match a regular frame of 35mm film -- 24x36mm. End to end, the body is roughly the same as a mid-range Canon or Nikon dSLR, but from front to back it's only about two thirds the size. Despite this, it's a hefty beast, tipping the scales at 585g and weighing heavily on your neck if you sling it about on the narrow shoulder-strap. Its compact proportions make it very discreet, and it certainly doesn't look like it should cost the same as a small family car.
The Leica M9 is the camera that M-series photographers have been waiting a long time for. It's Leica's first digital rangefinder complete with a full-frame sensor, which allows mounted lenses to be used at their true focal length. Although it continues a range that's well into its fifth decade, digitally speaking the Leica M9 builds on the M8 and M8.2 models released over the past five years, and in many respects isn't far removed from those. Leica has, however, now managed to integrate a larger sensor into the same size body as before, and claims to have worked around the issues associated with doing so. It sounds impressive, but can something so small really deliver images to rival the best DSLRs?Marginally cheaper than Canon and Nikon's most senior full-frame DSLR offerings - the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Nikon D700 - the Leica M9 is the smallest full-frame digital camera available. Building on the digital M8 and M8.2, which each sported APS-H CCD-sized sensors, it incorporates a full-frame alternative that holds a respectable 18MP. The sensor uses a micro lens construction that offsets the lenses towards the peripheries.