Leica M9 review

The 18MP digital camera with a full-frame sensor proves doubters wrong

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We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using the DXO Analyzer software.

Signal to noise ratio

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

Leica m9 snr
Leica m9 snr

JPEG images from the Leica M9 show less noise throughout the sensitivity range than the Sony Alpha 900. Despite the M9 producing a similar signal to noise ratio as the Nikon D700 at ISO 3200, at all other values the D700, and Canon EOS 5D MK II both show better handling of noise.

Dynamic range

Leica m9 dynamic range
Leica m9 dynamic range

This chart indicates that the Leica M9's JPEGs have a at least a 1.5EV lower dynamic range than the comparison cameras JPEG files across the sensitivity range.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Effective Camera Resolution18 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyM
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
ColourSteel Grey
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameLeica
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size6.4 cm (2.5")
Viewfinder TypeOptical
Weight (Approximate)585 g
Image Sensor Size23.90 mm x 35.80 mm
Maximum Image Resolution5212 x 3472
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height80 mm
Width139 mm
Depth37 mm
Product SeriesM
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
Focus ModesManual
ManufacturerLeica Microsystems GmbH
Product ModelM9
Product NameM9 Mirrorless Camera
Exposure Control
  • Auto
  • Aperture Priority
  • Manual
Manufacturer Part Number10705
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.leica-camera.com
Marketing Information

As the world's most compact full-format digital camera system, the Leica M9 sets a new benchmark for modern M photography. It boasts outstanding performance and consummate technical prowess - attributes that it shares with Yaniel Merino, the promising up-and-coming boxer from Cuba. The M9 followed him for a day in his home city of Havana, where he trains under fairly basic conditions and dreams of winning the Olympics. His dream has been captured authentically and vibrantly by the M9. Discrete, compact and precise, the M9 is as superb a performer as Yaniel himself and like him, also claims to be among the best in the world.