Leica M9 Review

The Leica M9 camera is one of the cutting edge rangefinder cameras that will change your shooting and photography career entirely. This camera holds the badge for being the smallest, lightest and the best quality camera that has been crafted so far. This article provides you with the Leica M9 review.This camera succeeds the M8 which was deemed the first digital m camera that had some eye-catching features. In case you are planning a debut into photography then this camera is perfect for you, especially for street photography. With its DSLR features, your photography is going to be a walk in the park.

leica m9 camera and cap

General Specifications

Does the camera outdo its DSLR competitor cameras in the market? We are going to find that out based on these specifications from this detailed Leica M9 review. While its predecessor m8 was focused on the improvement on the format imaging sensor to 1.3x APS-H, the new version M9 has been tailored to improve the ergonomics, design and aesthetic features of the camera.

Type: Leica M9 DSLR with viewfinder

Resolution: 18.0 megapixels
Native ISO: 80-2500
Extended ISO: 160-2500
Shutter speed: 30-1/4000sec
Continuous shooting range: 2 frames per second
Size: 139×80×37 mm
Weight: 589 grams without the card or battery
Media storage: SD and SDHC Memory cards
Pricing options:

New on Amazon amazon button
Used on Amazon $500 (Body only)
Refurbished $2774.39

Key Features

The M9 brags of a full-frame 24*36mm capture. This feature in addition to the very high-resolution sensor allows the camera to provide high-quality digital pictures. It is equipped with a proprietary CCD sensor which houses eighteen million pixels hence providing the room for the utilization of the entire 35mm format.

The addition of a newly crafted cover glass bars all the infrared light contamination. It allows the addition of the Leica M lens while maintaining the quality of the image. The camera also brags of a sensitivity of ISO 80 to 2500. It was majorly built with the rangefinder technology that allows its small size. Another feature is the 2 FPS continuous shooting as well as the flagship Leica M Mount that comes with it.

Image Quality and Performance

This camera produces images of 18 megapixels in the JPG and DNG formats. This implies that it utilizes 145.6 pixels for every millimeter of the image to provide high-quality digital pictures. The M9 camera supports the rotation sensor feature. In the noise reduction for images, the camera applies dark-frame subtraction with exposures exceeding two seconds.

It implies that after a shot, you will have to wait for some time as the sensor creates a similar time exposure with the lens closed. The white balance option of the camera includes auto mode, seven pre-sets, Kelvin and grey-card manual. The Kelvin which ranges from two thousand to twelve thousand eight hundred kelvins is very applicable in conditions of low or dim light.

The M9 is so good that it lets you tweak your images in three ways. These include the saturation which contains five levels as well as the black and white or vintage, the contrast of up to 5 levels and the sharpening of four stages or the off state.

Design and Controls

The camera comes in a sleek design that perfectly fits in your hand during photography. Its 592.55-gram weight gives you an easy time when shooting. The interior and frame of the camera are made of a die-cast magnesium alloy and fake leather covering for grip. The top and bottom covers are hand-made from solid brass. The strap lugs are made of stainless steel. All these features put together enables it to withstand harsh conditions such as pressure and temperature ranges from 32 to 104 degrees F.

Unlike the previous versions, the M9 has a small cut-out portion of the top panel that plays a role in reinforcing the sculpted box for the rangefinder. Another difference is the re-appropriation of the central button on the rear on the left side of the LCD. It is now used to change the sensitivity, ISO by turning the knob to the left. The PROTECT button that was in the previous M8 which most people didn’t find useful has been moved to the SET button. The 2.5-inch display on the back is well placed and to its left is a column of five utility buttons. To its right are the menu, control dial, and the direction buttons.

The M9 is a viewfinder camera. This means that instead of the contemporary shooting with the eyes pointed to the lens, you view through a dedicated optical viewfinder that shows the object through image lines. The rangefinder works with the principle of superimposition in its field. The shooting experience with it parts from other SLRs big time.


• It is lighter than the M9-p by 15 grams.
• It has a higher dynamic range of 11.7.
• The low light ISO is also superior, 884 ISO
• It is also cheaper than the M9-P. It goes for $3,300 while the other goes for $7,995.
• The 35mm 1.4 Summilux has a depth-of-field scale integrated on the lens for better shooting.
• It has the best zone focusing capability than its competitor, thanks to its sharp and immaculate lenses.
• The camera is robust and durable with excellent aesthetics. It is also smaller than most DSLRs and rangefinders.
• It has a very lovely color palette for a camera of its kind.
• Upon turn on the camera is ready to shoot almost immediately, with no delays.
• The shutter sound is also silent enough.
• The CCD rendering on this camera is fantastic. In addition to that, it provides a user-friendly interface at the menu


• The LCD on the M9 is rather weak. The 2000,000 plus pixel LCD has been its main let-down from production in 2009.
• It has a little battery life of three hundred to four hundred shots. As much as its sensitivity is great, it has a limitation on its ISO that comes from the CCD sensor. Hence you can only take a decent shot with the 640; the 800 ISO shot would appear noisy.
• Some people have complained of freeze ups during continuous shooting with the M9.


This camera is good, especially for outdoor shooting. It can withstand varied conditions and remain operational. All in all, M9 is a fantastic camera for enthusiast photographers eager to capture instantaneous moments. However, the camera is not a good bet for videographers.


The Leica M9 is great. Its small nature and sleek design provides photographers with a smooth shooting experience. However, it doesn’t differ much from the previous M8 which is quite cheaper and has the same functionality.

Therefore, you can opt for the M9 only if you have an experience in using the viewfinder since it is the major strong suit of this digital camera. If you have been using the M9, we would love to get your thought and experiences with the camera based on our Leica M9 review.

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