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Leica M9 Rangefinder Digital Camera Body (Black)

BH #LEM9B • MFR #10704
Leica
Leica M9 Rangefinder Digital Camera Body (Black)
Key Features
  • 18 Megapixels
  • Full-Frame 35mm CCD Sensor
  • 2.5" LCD
  • Classic Rangefinder Design
Compact and discrete, Leica rangefinders are world renown for their build, reliability, and handling. The Leica M9 represents the world's first full-frame, 35mm digital rangefinder camera. Built around a proprietary 18.0 megapixel CCD image sensor, the M9 delivers superb, high resolution imaging with exceptional color and contrast. Advanced microlens placement ensures precise light transmission with no discernable corner fall-off - even when using ultra wide optics.

"Messsucher", the "M" in the Leica M System, is a term describing the combination of rangefinder and viewfinder. True to the M legacy, the M9 maintains the classic form, control placement, and durability of its predecessors. Through a bright, oversized viewfinder the photographer can approach subjects with greater context and manual focusing flexibility. Without the finder blackout of traditional SLR cameras, shooting with the M9 allows users not only to capture the precise moment, but to truly experience it as well. Powerful yet highly portable, the Leica M9 is a precise photographic tool designed for discerning photographers and imaging professionals everywhere.

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Leica M9 Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Full-Frame 35mm Sensor
  • 3Bright and Clear Viewfinder
  • 4Quiet Shutter
  • 5Intuitive Controls
  • 6Classic Rangefinder Design
  • 7Advanced Software

Compact and discrete, Leica rangefinders are world renown for their build, reliability, and handling. The Leica M9 represents the world's first full-frame, 35mm digital rangefinder camera. Built around a proprietary 18.0 megapixel CCD image sensor, the M9 delivers superb, high resolution imaging with exceptional color and contrast. Advanced microlens placement ensures precise light transmission with no discernable corner fall-off - even when using ultra wide optics.

"Messsucher", the "M" in the Leica M System, is a term describing the combination of rangefinder and viewfinder. True to the M legacy, the M9 maintains the classic form, control placement, and durability of its predecessors. Through a bright, oversized viewfinder the photographer can approach subjects with greater context and manual focusing flexibility. Without the finder blackout of traditional SLR cameras, shooting with the M9 allows users not only to capture the precise moment, but to truly experience it as well. Powerful yet highly portable, the Leica M9 is a precise photographic tool designed for discerning photographers and imaging professionals everywhere.

Full-Frame 35mm Sensor

The proprietary CCD sensor in the LEICA M9 boasts 18 megapixel resolution and allows for full utilization of the 35mm format. Utilizing a newly developed cover glass to eliminate infrared light contamination, the sensor provides stellar performance with Leica M lenses. The use of external UV/IR filters is not required.

Bright and Clear Viewfinder

Unlike SLR cameras, where light transmission to the eye is limited by the lens, Leica rangefinders provide fast and precise focusing through a constantly bright, oversized viewfinder - regardless of which lens is attached.

Quiet Shutter

The shutter of the M9 is exceptionally quiet. In Discreet Mode, the shutter is recocked only after the photographer's finger is removed from the shutter release. When longer exposure times are required, Soft Release Mode limits vibration for all-around sharper photos.

Intuitive Controls

Concentrate on taking pictures, not the controls. Time exposure is easily selected from an analogue dial atop the body. Aperture is set on the lens. The M9's intuitive four-way controller and dial provide easy navigation of menus and custom functions. ISO, playback, and exposure information are all available at the touch of a button.

Classic Rangefinder Design

Born from the great lineage of Leica M System cameras, the M9 maintains the classic form, control placement, and durability of its predecessors. Crafted from a high-strength magnesium alloy, with a brass top deck and bottom plate, the body provides excellent protection for its internal components.

Advanced Software

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom professional digital workflow solution is available as a free online download for both Mac and Windows based systems.

Leica M9 Specs

Imaging
Sensor ResolutionEffective: 18 Megapixel
Exposure Control
Metering MethodCenter-Weighted Average
Bit Depth14-Bit
Focus
Focus ModeManual Focus (M)
Flash
External Flash ConnectionHot Shoe
Packaging Info
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)8.7 x 7.9 x 7.3"

Leica M9 Reviews

A great camera for some, but not all

By Lencap
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2012-10-24

For people who shoot rangefinders a Leica is the holy grail, an end of a long search and a camera that can be used for decades. At least that was true with film cameras, but digital technology may alter that in the future. If you've never used a rangefinder you can find a used film model for not very much money. Try it before you spend the money on a Leica. You'll know soon enough if the rangefinder way of shooting works for you.For me there are many reasons why I bought it, including the mystic of the brand. It is built to an exacting standard and feels like nothing else in the hand. If you like feel of quality goods you'll probably like the Leica.On the other hand if you shoot fast moving subjects, need crazy high ISO settings and need to get the shot Right Now, this isn't your camera. If you like to compose your shot, take your time and make each shot count, you may have found heaven with this camera.Keep in mind a new version will be out in 2013 - with capabilities very similar to DSLR cameras including the ability to shoot long lenses and zooms. Many will prefer the latest and greatest new Leica, but for me I bought this just recently with my eyes wide open. I want the traditional Leica experience, even if it is digital. This imager was made by Kodak, and matches the Kodak slide look. The new imager will likely have a different look, but knowing Leica it will probably be a fine instrument as well.Your choice, buy this camera today, or wait for the new model. If the M9 is for you, take a good look at the newly released M9-E. It's the same internal camera without a frame line adjustment or a USB connection to the camera. Both are minor features, but the new camera has a $1,000 lower price. That makes it a steal, at least in my opinion.Finally, the lenses are very expensive, and will start another round of Leica lovers versus non-lovers. Factor that into your purchase price before deciding. Some have suggested that the Fujifilm X-E1 is worth a close look. It's not released yet, but should be available by Thanksgiving. Take your time, this is a large investment and having buyer's remorse isn't a lot of fun.

M9

By Konrad
Rated 1 out of 5
Date: 2012-05-25

Used the unit for about a month and elected not to buy it. The M6 has been with me for decades by now, so due to owning interchangeable assets this was going to be a logical move. Unfortunately, and given technological advancements, the thickness of the M9 makes no sense and it is contrary to the concept. The screen is an embarrassment, specifically in this price range. Already needs a new sensor, increased low light capabilities, increased speed and other small tweaks. Perhaps the next version will incorporated some of the bone and more to be more up to date. However, given the leica philosophy it is doubtful for the M10 to be a vast improvement. Lenses are phenomenal, but also currently overpriced.

Great body no lenses

By Anonymous
Rated 2 out of 5
Date: 2012-05-09

I have had an MP for a number of years and purchased two lenses over that time period. I committed to the M9 as my digital camera simply because Leica produces such great lenses. For over two years now there is nothing available. I have been on the notify list at B&H for at least three lenses and have not gotten one notification that my desired lens was in stock. Most people I know who own a Leica do so because of the glass. That argument to spend this kind of money is quickly fading. The bodies are great but with no glass there just paperweights.

Best small camera that I know of.

By Surgeon Eddy
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2012-05-01

I went through about 8 different small cameras before finally hearing about this one from a co-worker. I have a growing family and I wanted to be able to get some good shots of our kids, but my wife was never satisfied with the blurry photos I kept getting in our backyard. I wasn't either. I was a little skeptical of this thing at first, but when I read that so many pro photographers like it, I decided to give it a shot. I'll just say this: the pros were right! At an airport the other day, I took a picture of an older propeller plane making its approach, and when I checked my photo the props were FROZEN in place!! This camera has such a fast shutter and the pictures are so crisp and clear. The manual focus is kind of funny, but it's just like using my Dad's old camera. I don't mind it, and I think it's made me better at taking pictures! This camera looks beautiful, and I love the green sheen on the lenses. It's so small and compact that I can take it anywhere. People are always really impressed when I tell them the price of this thing. Most of them only know about Canon, Nikon, or Panasonic, etc. My brother has one of those big cameras with the white lenses and he says my Leica M9 is certainly better. I'd say the folks at Leica did a pretty good job then!

3 Years Old and Still the best

By cbauer210
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2012-08-08

Yes the cost seems obscene especially when you factor in the price of a leica lens....but once you hold this camera in your hands, and fire a few frames through some classic Leica glass, it all makes sense. Simply put, this camera rocks. Yes the LCD stinks but you shouldn't be looking at it anyway. After three years on the market the M9 is still the ONLY digital rangefinder camera in its class. It's astonishing when you look at the life cycle of most other digital cameras. If you have the money, make the investment. You will not regret it.

lovely piece of craftmanship

By June
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2012-07-04

this camera is a piece of art. it is worht of money. love the brass and leather on its body. the manual focus smooth as a cream. rangefinder is actually more accurate than you think it really is. the only shortcoming is that the lcd screen is a bit too small and noisy, but since leica is primarily for analog photography users, i can handle it. full frame sensor (actually M9 is the smallest full frame digital camera in the market) performs wonderfully even in low light situation and bears great results. you wont need a viewfinder once you get a hang of it. the conclusion is Leica M9 is not just a camera, but a piece of art. LOVELY.

An Amazing camera

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2012-06-29

First off, I shoot professionally, fashion editorials to photo journalism and even weddings and events. I have used this camera for all of it. This is not a camera built for sports or fast action however, if you know what you are doing you can pull off a decent shot but if you are into sports, i recommend shooting with a nikon d3s/ D4 or canon 1dx. That being said... The Leica M9 is my 4th leica I have ever owned. I have owned the leica M4-2, Leica M6, Leica M8 and Leica M9. I have shot summicrons and elmarits and elmars even CV noktons through the camera. I have never been disappointed. even my less sharper images still have a soul about them. Iso range goes from pull 80 to 2500, personally i go up to 800 in color full on when im shooting in black & white. manual is the best way to get any shot. you are looking through a window and capturing what you see existing within that frame. so much different than an slr. I would recommend it, if I had the cash I would buy two more. I love it.

With Eyes Wide Open

By ttriolo
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2012-05-27

To me, the Leica M9's main purpose in life is to provide the platform for capturing stunning images via the amazingly sharp array of Leica lenses. The camera is not the most advanced, certainly not the fastest, and certainly no bargain price-wise. It has compactness going for it for sure and a wise choice for the travel photographer who shoots mainly street scenes and landscapes. For fast moving subjects, you'd better get an SLR. What a rangefinder offers is a much slower, more methodical approach to photography. If you like to shoot with long lenses, you'd better get a good DSLR. The longest lens offered for the Leica M-system is a 135 and it will try your patience to focus it sharply. Rangefinders and long lenses just don't play nice together - never have, never will. Where the M9 shines is with the wide to short-tele range of Leica lenses, and especially with the 28-50 range. As I stated earlier, you can certainly find much more technically advanced cameras out there. For the price of the M9, you can buy the top-of-the-line pro Canon or Nikon DSLR currently on the market. If you know what you are getting for your hard earned $ and are willing to sacrifice speed, automation, focal length, and low-light/low noise capability, to name a few, then by all means, get yourself one. I did, and I don't regret it one bit. It's another tool to call upon when the time is right. Would I take it to an important fast-paced commercial shoot - no. At those times, I'm going with the Canon DSLR, but for those weekends in the country or that European vacation, I'm going with the Leica - no question. I know its limits and I accept them. And there's one more thing - it has to do with owning a finely, hand-made and crafted machine with a rich history of producing some of the finest images in the history of photography.One word of warning though, the paint on the steel gray version is delicate and easily scratched. The black seems to hold up better, in my experience.

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