Leica M9

Leica M9 front

Leica M9 overview

Leica M9 is Leica's Pro Mirrorless digital camera first announced on September of 2009. The camera includes a 18MP, CCD Full frame sized sensor and has a peak resolution of 5212 x 3472.

Leica brought out the updated Leica M9-P (Read Full Comparison) in order to upgrade this model.

The M9 is scored #68 out of 70 in Pro Mirrorless cameras and all round #448 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. You can check out our Advanced camera filter to find camera results based on your custom requirements.

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Here is a chart of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Leica M9 history

The Leica M9 comes with a history of related cameras. Listed below, you can view all earlier and new models as well as important features.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Leica-M11 front thumbnailLeica M11
M9 vs M11
60MPFull frame4.5 fps2022
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Leica-M10 front thumbnailLeica M10
M9 vs M10
24MPFull frame5.0 fps2017
Leica-M-Typ-262 front thumbnailLeica M Typ 262
M9 vs M Typ 262
24MPFull frame3.0 fps2015
Leica-M-Edition-60 front thumbnailLeica M Edition 60
M9 vs M Edition 60
24MPFull frame3.0 fps2014
Leica-M-E-Typ-220 front thumbnailLeica M-E Typ 220
M9 vs M-E Typ 220
18MPFull frame2.0 fps2012
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Leica-M-Typ-240 front thumbnailLeica M Typ 240
M9 vs M Typ 240
24MPFull frame3.0 fps2012
Leica-M-Monochrom front thumbnailLeica M-Monochrom
M9 vs M-Monochrom
18MPFull frame2.0 fps2012
Leica-M9-P front thumbnailLeica M9-P
M9 vs M9-P
18MPFull frame2.0 fps2011
Leica-M9 front thumbnailLeica M918MPFull frame2.0 fps2009

Leica M9 Pros and Cons

Below is a list of benefits and drawbacks of the Leica M9 based on things which are often seen as useful in a digital camera.

exports RAW files
great min ISO (80)
no low pass filter
sensor resolution is decent (18 megapixels)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
swap lenses (Leica M mount)
you can focus manually
can't record video
lack of shutter priority mode
missing external mic support
missing HDMI out
missing headphone support
missing Time Lapse recording
no image stabilization
no liveview
no phase detect AF
pixelated screen (230 thousand dots)
screen is fixed
screen isn't selfie friendly
slow frames per second (2.0 frames/s)
terrible battery power (350 shots)
tiny screen (2.5 inch)
Photography Glossary

Leica M9 Sensor info

The measurement of the sensor in the Leica M9 is 36mm x 24mm (Full frame). The 864 mm² sensor can resolve 5212 x 3472 pixels at aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CCD sensor boasts 18 megapixels and features a standard ISO range of 80 - 2500. RAW format is supported therefore the user has wider room to maneuver in post.

Leica chose to skip the low pass filter in the Leica M9. This will result in more sharp images but may cause moire in certain situations.

The picture underneath shows the M9's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The M9 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1 and is presented in green.

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To get an idea of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Leica M9 dimensions

Leica M9 has a weight of 1.29 lbs (585 gr / 20.64 ounces) and features outside proportions of 139mm x 80mm x 37mm (5.5" x 3.1" x 1.5"). The weight of general Pro Mirrorless camera is 722 gr so the Leica M9 is lighter compared with various rivals.

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Here is a shot of the Leica M9 next to a soft drink to help you to have a sense of its scale.

Leica M9 dimensions scale

The top view under will show the button design on the M9.

Leica M9 topview buttons dials

Leica M9 Lens info

The M9 uses the Leica M mount and has 62 lenses that you can purchase. Below is some of the lenses we have in our collection which will work with the M9.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Leica-Summilux-M-24mm-f1.4-ASPH lensLeica Summilux-M 24mm f1.4 ASPH24mmf/1.4 500g
Carl-Zeiss-Distagon-T2.8-15-ZM-Leica-M lensCarl Zeiss Distagon T 2,815 ZM15mmf/2.8 550g
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Voigtlander-75mm-F1.8-Heliar-Classic-Leica-M lensVoigtlander 75mm F1.8 Heliar Classic75mmf/1.8 427g
Leica-APO-Telyt-M-135mm-f3.4-ASPH lensLeica APO-Telyt-M 135mm f3.4 ASPH135mmf/3.4 450g
Carl-Zeiss-Sonnar-T2-85-ZM-Leica-M lensCarl Zeiss Sonnar T 285 ZM85mmf/2.0 500g
Voigtlander-15mm-F4.5-Super-Wide-Heliar-Leica-M lensVoigtlander 15mm F4.5 Super Wide Heliar15mmf/4.5 156g
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Leica-Summilux-M-21mm-f1.4-Asph lensLeica Summilux-M 21mm f1.4 Asph21mmf/1.4 580g
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Leica M9 Connectivity

The M9 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Cameras that consist of NFC and Bluetooth compatibility can easily be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You will be able to copy files and at times adjust camera settings without the hassle of connecting straight to the camera.

Certain applications even provide a Liveview and press the shutter whenever you aren't near the camera. If the camera provides a HDMI out, it could be connected to an external screen. Nearly all cameras enable you to recharge the battery through the USB port.

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Leica M9 Video info

Leica M9 does not record video. In case you are shopping for a digital camera to take only pictures, this might not be a problem.

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Leica M9 Weather Sealing

Leica M9 doesn't include weather sealing so damp conditions may ruin the camera.

Leica M9 Screen and Viewfinder

The Leica M9 includes a 2.5 inch fixed screen boasting a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Please note that the screen offers no touch support.

Leica M9 screen and viewfinder Sora from OpenAI releases its first ever music video

The ViewFinder details regarding Leica M9 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (rangefinder)
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.68x

Viewfinders can be very helpful during sunny outdoor conditions which may make the camera screen washed out and very difficult to view.

Leica M9 Shutter info

Leica M9 continuous shooting rate is 2.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

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Leica M9 Flash and Hot shoe info

Leica M9 has got external flash ability but is lacking inbuilt flash. The maximum flash sync is 1/180 seconds.

Leica M9 Autofocusing info

Leica M9 has not got Auto focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more faster & precise compared with Contrast Detect focusing.

Leica M9 boasts manual focus when needed during low light situations or you need to have more exact focus control.

Photography Glossary

Leica M9 Battery life

The battery power in the Leica M9 is made to last for 350 images according to the CIPA requirements making it lesser as compared with its rivals. The typical Pro Mirrorless camera battery life is 460. Olympus E-M1X has got the highest (870) battery life within this type of cameras.

Listed below is a number of Pro Mirrorless cameras with the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
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Canon-EOS-R3 front thumbnailCanon R3
M9 vs R3
760 yesnoyes
Nikon-Z9 front thumbnailNikon Z9
M9 vs Z9
740 yesnoyes
Leica-M11 front thumbnailLeica M11
M9 vs M11
700 yesnono

Leica M9 for various kinds of photography

The following bar chart presents a analysis of the Leica M9 for various kinds of photography. To read more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.

Leica M9 Portrait photography details

The Leica M9 gets a points tally of 69 which is very good, meaning that it is a very decent fit for portraits. Taking portrait photos leans heavily to sensor specs, RAW support together with the option to use off-camera lighting.

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focusing manually
good megapixels (18 megapixels)
sensor size is great (Full frame)
exports RAW formats
does not have liveview

Street photography with Leica M9

Coming in at a nice points total of 65, the Leica M9 is a respectable pick for street photography. A decent street photography camera has a perfect balance of image quality plus portability.

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large sensor size (Full frame)
exports RAW files
no moving screen
does not have image stabilization

Sports photography with Leica M9

A dreadful sports photography rating of 44 indicates the Leica M9 is not really suitable for photographing sports. A camera needs fantastic tracking plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

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decent megapixels (18MP)
big sensor size (Full frame)
no liveview feature
continuous shooting slow (2.0 fps)
no shutter priority
no image stabilization
terrible battery life (350 CIPA)
doesn't have phase detect AF

Leica M9 Travel photography info

Portability is very important when buying a travel camera. Over-all, the Leica M9 gets a modest 54 as a travel camera which is reasonably suited to take on your travels.

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MP count good (18MP)
does not have Time Lapse recording
not so great battery power (350 CIPA)
doesn't have a selfie friendly display

Leica M9 Landscape photography information

If you are planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape photography, the most essential factor is going to be image quality. The Leica M9 with it's moderate score of 60 as a landscape camera is fairly suitable among it's competition.

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you can focus manually
swap lenses (Leica M mount)
decent sensor resolution (18MP)
big sensor size (Full frame)
doesnt have low pass filter
exports RAW formats
small screen (2.5")
doesn't have liveview
no image stabilization
not so great battery power (350 CIPA)
doesn't have Timelapse recording

Leica M9 Vlogging features

A vlogging camera ought to offer a moving display, mic input and ideally image stabilization. Considering all the details, the Leica M9 is not really suitable for vlogging as it gets a dreadful rating of 9.

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lack of video recording

Leica M9 Alternatives

If you are looking for alternatives to the M9, below is a number of the top placed cameras that fall in to the category of Pro Mirrorless.

The chart below will give you a summary of the M9 versus it's highest ranking rivals suggested previously.

These are some more cameras you may view as alternatives. To review a comprehensive comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Leica M9
Pro Mirrorless
Physical type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Full frame
Sensor dimensions
36 x 24mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Full resolution
5212 x 3472
RAW photos
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Touch to focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Lens mounting type
Leica M
Amount of lenses
Crop factor
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
2.5 inch
Resolution of screen
230 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Screen technology
TFT color LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (rangefinder)
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Lowest shutter speed
Highest shutter speed
Continuous shooting rate
2.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash synchronize
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Max video resolution
Mic support
Headphone support
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
585 grams (1.29 lbs)
139 x 80 x 37mm (5.5" x 3.1" x 1.5")
Battery life
350 photos
Battery style
Battery Pack
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
SD/SDHC card
Card slots
Cost at launch