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Leica M9

alaTest has collected and analyzed 99 reviews from magazines and websites. Opinions about the lens and usability are on the whole positive. The design and portability also get good feedback. Reviews are divided on the performance, while the storage and battery get less positive reviews.

image quality, portability, design, usability, lens

value for money, screen, responsiveness, battery, storage

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Leica M9 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 89/100 = Very good quality.

Review analysis

(Based on 99 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 39 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 39 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (51)

Consumer review by:

not so amazing


Leica clings to retro too much in this M9. The M9 is not up to the build quality of the M3. Yes, I like the controls, which do not interfere with shooting. But, there are too many other negatives that do interfere. The viewfinder retains the lines and at best shows only 2/3 of the area. For this price, I want a large zooming viewfinder, and no lines! The grip can be much improved, and the fake leather replaced by something hitech. The camera takes forever to process a shot, and freezes in burst mode - so you lose photos. Shutter lag can be improved. You still need to remove the entire bottom plate to access the card and battery. Yes, the images are very good, but credit for this goes to Kodak not Leica. But starting at 12x18inch prints, you will see quality drops off considerably as you print larger sizes. For 8x10 and smaller, I can see no difference in prints between Leica and many other manufacturers. Actually, the camera that impresses me is the Fuji X100. For 1/10 the price, the X100 does more than what the M9 can do, and the images are at least as good.

Good Image Quality

Lag / Shutter Delay, Noisy At High ISO, Small LCD Screen, Poor in low light, Poor image stabilization, Short battery life

Expert review by:

Leica M9-P


The Leica M9-P is a camera from another time, wrapped up in a digital package. This absurdly priced rangefinder won't appeal to most buyers, but the small percentage of takers can expect top-notch design, superb images, and good low-light performance.

Superb image quality. Good high ISO performance. Full frame image sensor. Bright optical viewfinder. Compact form factor. Includes Adobe Lightroom software

Sky-high price. Low-res rear LCD. Slow to write files to card. No video support

The Leica M9-P ($7,995 list, body only) is a beautiful camera with an absurdly high sticker price. Its lack of bells and whistles will confound casual snapshooters, but its an appealing choice for seasoned photographers who fell in love with...

Expert review by:

PDN Product Review: Leica M9-P


Leica subtly (perhaps too subtly) updates a modern-day classic.

Beautiful, understated camera body with a rock solid look and feel; excellent image quality in daylight and mixed lighting conditions with superior dynamic range; when paired with an a high-quality Leica lens, there's nothing sweeter

High ISO images noisier than even those from entry-level DSLRs; 2.5-inch LCD screen too low resolution to judge image quality in playback; not enough upgrades to justify the higher price tag from the previous mode

I'm on the fence. In terms of usability for street photography, it takes much practice with a camera like an M9-P and its manual focus lenses to make the process subtle, seamless and fast. On the first day of testing, I accidentally bumped the shutter...


Expert review by:

Hands-On Review: Leica M9-P


Is This the Best Leica Digital Yet?

Expert review by:

Field test: Leica M9


Few electronic devices are as lusted over as Leica's cameras. Leica is one of a very small number of companies that has been able to get old-world, handmade craftsmanship and move that over to the digital age. Their eye-popping price tags entice as...

Expert review by:

The Leica M9; A “Full-Frame” Digital Leica M


The first digital Leica M with a full-frame, 24x36mm sensor (active area 23.9x35.8mm), the M9 offers 18-megapixel capture and unrestricted coverage with nearly the entire range of Leica lenses past and present, including extreme wide angles

Another upgrade on the M9 is a 1⁄4000 sec top shutter speed, allowing you to shoot at wider apertures in bright light. The native speed of the CCD for maximum image quality is ISO 160, the lowest ISO setting is Pull 80, and the settings proceed in...

Expert review by:

Leica M9 Digital Camera Review: Field Test Report


Jack Neubart takes a step back in time to test this century's classic manual-focusing, full-frame 18 MP CCD interchangeable-lens camera for the ages (along with the Summilux-M 21 mm f/1.4 ASPH).It has been a very long time since I last worked with a...

Expert review by:

Camera Test: Leica M9


Leica had a hard time switching to digital. Focus issues delayed the digital back for R-series SLRs, the infrared filter in the M8 rangefinder had to be augmented with special filters for lenses, and Leicaphiles had to wait years for an M-series camera...

Expert review by:

Leica M9


Since the announcement of the Leica M9, there has been much interest in the powerful but little camera. The main reason for this is the full frame sensor in such a small body. I had the pleasure and opportunity to finally fondle the Leica M9. I...

Consumer review by:

A classic camera that is very capable


I have a Nikon D700 and some of the lenses for that camera weigh more than my entire Leica M9 kit. Yet the M9 often generates better quality photos. The M9 does not do auto focus. It must be focused manually with the split image rangefinder. This can...

The M9 has very high resolution with 18 megapixels. The menu's are minimalist and easy compared to typical Japanese cameras. Low light performance is good but not as good as as the best full frame digital cameras. Compact compared to SLR's

The body costs $7,000 and then each lens may cost $2000, much more. The lenses are hard to get but 30 year old used lenses work very well. This camera is not economical

Consumer review by:

Leica M9


After two months and a lot of picturetaking I find this camera simply a most remarkable piece of equipment - the only thing I would recommend buying is the Thumbs-Up making it even more secure to hold.

None so far

Product Specifications


Autofocus: No
Built-in Flash: Yes
Changeable Lens: Yes
Image Stabiliser: No
Integrated GPS Module: No
Touchscreen: No
View Finder Type:Optical / Electronic Viewfinder / Optical / Electronic Viewfinder + LCD


Bluetooth: No
HDMI Interface: No
PictBridge: No
WiFi Connectivity: No

General Features

3D: No
Bridge Camera: No
Chip Type:CCD
Product Type:Compact Camera
Sensor Size:36.0 x 24.0 mm
SLR / Compact:Compact Camera


Longest Shutter Speed in s:32
Shortest Shutter Speed in s:1/4000


Compact Flash Card: No
Memory Stick / Memory Stick Pro: No
Memory Stick Duo / Duo Pro: No
Memory Type:External
Micro Drive: No
Multimedia Card: No
SDXC Card: No
Secure Digital Card: Yes
Secure Digital High Capacity Card: Yes
XD Card: No


Aperture Priority: Yes
Face Detection Mode: No
Movie / Voice Recording: No
RAW Format: Yes
Serial Shot Mode: Yes
Shutter Priority: No