Leica M9 Digital Rangefinder Camera, Body Only (Steel Gray)

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Tried & Tested

Key Features

  • 18MP full frame CCD sensor
  • Leica M-mount (manual focus with support for 6-bit coded lenses)
  • ISO 160-2500
  • 2.5 inch LCD with 230,000 dots
  • Raw and Raw + JPEG shooting
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC

Product Description

The M9 was Leica's first 'full-frame' digital rangefinder, enabling the use of most Leica 'M' series lenses at the originally intended field-of-view. The 18MP CCD sensor is fitted with a filter that avoid the M8 and 8.2's need for lens-mounted UV and IR filters. It retains the classic M series look and build quality while promising a no-compromise approach consummate with its not-inconsiderable price-tag. While beautifully engineered and undeniably capable as a photographic tool, the M9 understandably lacks some of the digital sophistication offered by more mass-market products and its sensor isn't a match for the latest CMOS designs in low light. Its lack of anti-aliasing filter enables it to capture astonishing levels of detail at lower ISO settings though.

Specs

Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
Max resolution 5212 x 3472
Other resolutions 3840 x 2592, 2592 x 1728, 1728 x 1152, 1280 x 846
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 18 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 19 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor type CCD
Image
ISO Auto, Pull 80, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500
White balance presets 6
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, Standard
Optics & Focus
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Lens mount Leica M
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 2.5
Screen dots 230,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT color LCD
Live view No
Viewfinder type Optical (rangefinder)
Viewfinder magnification 0.68×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 4 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority No
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes No
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync
Continuous drive 2 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Center-weighted
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB Bracketing No
Videography features
Microphone None
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC card
Storage included None
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI No
Remote control No
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries) 585 g (1.29 lb / 20.64 oz)
Dimensions 139 x 80 x 37 mm (5.47 x 3.15 x 1.46)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None

Reviews

User Reviews

4.13229 out of 5 stars
  • Fernando Di Lonardo, Dec 20, 2012 GMT:
    Excelente cámara!!!

    No es una cámara para cualquiera, solo para quienes entiendan el funcionamiento de un rangefinder. No es comparable desde ningún punto de vista con una réflex. Da gusto tomar fotos con la M9 y los resultados son excelentes. Problems: LCD de baja resolución y baja calidad de la imagen utilizada para preview.

    Continue Reading

  • Edward Karaa, Sep 27, 2012 GMT:
    Beautiful camera with excellent low iso IQ

    Superb build quality, very nice IQ at low iso. Problems: LCD, slow processor, high iso noise, color shift with wide lenses.

    Continue Reading

  • Andres Santiago Mariño, Mar 27, 2012 GMT:
    Leica M9 es Leica

    Creo que es la cámara perfecta para disfrutar de la fotografía. Para mi es perfecta. Problems: La limpieza del sensor y sin ninguna duda el elevado precio de todo lo que la rodea.

    Continue Reading

  • Csaba Farkas, Feb 7, 2012 GMT:
    Almost there

    I love this baby. The genuine article, save for: - ON/OFF switch terribly sensitive, I hate how it flicks to self-timer easily. - Buffer overload is one thing but even worse is trying to chimp (review pix) while buffering, or push PLAY before the camera booted up: it may fry the card, makes it unreadable! Happened twice, once real bad: I had to have a superdooper pro SD card with one-off event shots rescued in Lexar headquarters (kudos to Lexar for customer service) because no rescue software ...

    Continue Reading

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

Leica M9 (second-hand) or Fuji XT1?

Hi all, I am choosing between a second-hand Leica M9 and seperately buying a 50mm/35mm lense OR a new Fuji XT1. I have been getting back into photography for some years now and have mostly used high-end consumer cameras but need a top quality camera for upcoming extended photographic projects that I intend to print to a fairly large size - art market based if there is such a thing rather than turning myself into a professional photographer.  A ´gentleman photographer´ if you will with time to invest :)  I need the following: Lightweight, discreet, easy-to-use manual focus override, robust.  I dislike the use of flash and avoid it as much as possible.  Black and white photos will predominate with forays into colour.  I dislike instensely bells and whistles and flashing lights of all kinds. Where my own background is concerned I learned photography 20 years ago on a Pentax K1000 (a great machine!) at the London college of Printing and now, with time and a budget of up to 3500-4000 ...

Pessoa1 asked
4 months ago

ANSWERS

The decision is at least partly down to lenses and handling. As these two cameras handle completely differently there's no direct comparison possible unless you get hands-on with them yourself. Personally I regard the Leica M9 as a bit of a dinosaur and over-priced. Unless you absolutely have to have a rangefinder it's hard to see any advantage for it. You can, for example, mount Leica M lenses on almost any MILC and get a better sensor and a smaller size. The sensor on the M9 is rather behind the curve. Do you have lenses you want to use ? Do you have specific lens requirements ? Also, while you don't like "bells and whistles", many of them will probably turn out to be useful to you in the longer term, perhaps sooner. You really need to approach your return to photography with a more open mind, as things have changed a great deal. Continue Reading

darklamp answered
4 months ago

While the X-t1 is crop frame ( and hence has the issue with narrower field of view that Albert mentions ), the Sony A7 is full frame and will not have any effect on field of view. There are also adapters called based on focal reducers, called "speedboosters", "lens turbo" and other names. These restore the full frame field of view of lenses on crop frame MILCs. As the OP mentioned "bells and whistles" not being of interest, I suppose it's worth explaining some of the very useful bells and whistles for manual lens users on MILCs. Using manual lenses on the Sony MILCs is relatively easy as well, with the combination of focus peaking and magnified AF views ( which some other MILCs also support ) making precise focus relatively easy. These aids are at least as effective as split focus screens on SLRs, IMO. Also note that the Sony MILCs ( and at least some, but not all other MILCs ) will meter a scene automatically with manual lenses. You can control aperture via the ring and shutter ... Continue Reading

darklamp answered
4 months ago

If you expect to do a  lot of wide angle photography get the Leica-the crop factor on the Fuji will limit you to Fuji brand wide angle lenses.  You can get reasonably priced M mount lenses from Voigtlander so don't let Leica prices scare you off. If you are going to be mostly using longer focal lengths or shooting macro get the Fuji.  Here the 1.5x crop factor is in your favor and you have access to lots of inexpensive (compared to Fuji X mount) manual longer focal lengths or macro lenses from the film world. Tedolph Continue Reading

tedolf answered
4 months ago

QUESTION

M9 White Balance

I have just taken possession of a very nice lightly used M9 So I am a newbie The only complaint I have so far is that the (auto or incandescent) white balance for indoor images is TERRIBLE Everything has a sickly yellow / green tinge I know I can correct this in Lightroom (or other app) But the fact that my Fuji X10 always gets it right in the same situations is disappointing Am I missing something obvious? Thanks for any advice! sgr

1 year ago

ANSWERS

Crickets? ;-) Continue Reading

jammerbirdi_1 answered
1 year ago

?????? is this a Leica joke?? pc Continue Reading

meagre offerings answered
1 year ago

No, The AWB on the M9 is terrible in low light indoor situations. My technique is to always shoot RAW, [Jpegs on the M9 are also useless], import into Lightroom and using the Auto Balance function. That usually gets you somewhere near. If you really need accuracy then us a 18% grey card and set the balance in-situ. AWB in evenly lit situations is normally ok. The M9 has quirks but it is a great camera once you get to know it. Enjoy it, Paul Continue Reading

Paul20 answered
1 year ago

QUESTION

Leica M9 and Fujifilm EF-X20 auto TTL?

Anybody tried the Fuji EF-X20 flash (gn20) unit on a Leica M?

vpetkov asked
9 months ago

ANSWERS

Would be interesting to know if it works Continue Reading

Gunston Gun answered
9 months ago

m9+EX-20 It sure would look great though wouldn't it?! Continue Reading

plainwhite answered
9 months ago
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