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Leica M9 18MP Digital Range Finder Camera (Black, Body Only)

Leica M9 18MP Digital Range Finder Camera (Black, Body Only)

The world’s smallest full frame digital camera. This 18 megapixels camera continues the legacy of the Leica M rangefinder with the most modern digital technology.Digital photography enters a new dimension: the Leica M9 is the world’s first digital rangefinder camera with a full-format 24 x 36 mm sensor. As the world’s most compact full-format system camera, the M9 extends the legendary heritage of the Leica rangefinder M System and unites over 50 years of continuous technical improvements to the system with the best in cutting-edge digital technology.

  • Smallest full frame digital camera in the world; first Rangefinder camera with a 24 x 36mm format sensor
  • 18-megapixel sensor allows the full 35mm format; custom-designed CCD sensor for optimal performance
  • Newly-developed cover glass to eliminate infrared light contamination, i.e. no IR filters needed
  • Simple Menus and easy handling
  • Body only, lenses sold separately; compatible with SD cards up to 2 GB, SDHC cards up to 32 GB (not included)

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What customers say about Leica M9 18MP Digital Range Finder Camera (Black, Body Only)?

  1. 96 of 100 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Among the world’s finest ways to make photographs, November 26, 2010
    Busy Executive (Long Island, NY) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Leica M9 18MP Digital Range Finder Camera (Black, Body Only) (Electronics)

    I assume that anyone spending $10-20K for an M9 system (camera and a few lenses) will do their own homework, so I won’t insult anyone with comments about the quality of this camera or the pictures it takes. All I’ll say is that in the right hands it is capable of producing stunning images. But at the same time, it isn’t for everyone.

    I have pretty much the full Nikon pro suite, but it’s not about one brand being better than the other – both take fine photographs. There are many things my D3 can do that the M9 can’t, and vice-versa. The M9 is a different tool, useful for different situations. Whether it’s the camera for you depends on whether you encounter those M9 “sweet spot” situations often enough to make it worthwhile.

    The M9 is best when you’re working in a slow and methodical way, carefully composing, adjusting every setting, leaving nothing to chance. If you’re the type of photographer who keeps his auto-focus lenses on “manual” most of the time, rarely letting the camera make important exposure decisions, then Leica might appeal to you. You probably also use your favorite prime lens more than any zoom.

    For me, the form factor is a big part of it. The M9 isn’t all that much bigger than (say) one of the bigger point-and-shoots – but this is no point and shoot in terms of picture quality. Carrying something around my neck that’s well under half the weight and bulk of a Nikon D3 with 24-70 lens, while not sacrificing an ounce of image quality, is important to me.

    If you’re on the fence, I’d encourage you to rent one for several days to experience the Leica mystique firsthand. You’ll either fall in love, or you’ll be unimpressed and save yourself several thousand dollars.

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  2. 102 of 118 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    The Patek Philippe of cameras…., September 21, 2010

    This review is from: Leica M9 18MP Digital Range Finder Camera (Black, Body Only) (Electronics)

    I am not an easy grader, and am a perfectionist. A perfectionist forced to compromise.
    I give Leica M9 a solid 8 out of 10; maybe 8.5 out of 10. Certainly not higher.
    Some dumb compromises in Leica M9: e.g. cheap screen. Why not sapphire screen like M8.2? Leica claims they wanted to meet a specific price target. Come on, the person who pays $7,000 for the body alone, will pay a couple of hundred dollars more for a better screen. Since I have no respect for such short comings, I prefer to rate Leica lower rather than higher. Now, bear in mind – i heart Leica tremendously.

    So far I have had a few leica M6 cameras, M7, R something, M8.2 and now M9. Multiple lenses. Oh, also the lovely D-Lux 4.
    M9 is by far the best leica camera I have had. In fact, the best digital camera I have owned. It has its quirks. But leica owners tend to be a quirky bunch too (and I mean that with utmost respect).

    First, i have to tell you that it took me roughly seven months to receive my leica. While I was waiting, and getting impatient, bought a Nikon D700, multiple lenses, and then a D3S. It is a bit embarrasing and difficult to travel with the Nikons. Too loud and draw too much attention to themselves, everyone thinking I am a professional photographer. I hate that as I am just a humble street photographer. It is the speed of D700 and D3S that I miss in my Leica M9.

    Leica M9 body feels great. Like a beautiful mechanical watch. I bought the grey one. Frankly the faux leather on it, feels a bit too ice-y cold, and a bit cheap. Maybe if i were to do it over, i would have gotten the black body. Maybe not….everyone has those!

    The battery life is short. You need an extra battery with you for a long day trip with lots of shooting.

    So easy to use the camera. Menu items down to bare essentials. The camera is light, easy to carry, does not draw any attention to itself or to you, unless people in the know see that and envy you.
    My biggest problem with Leica cameras and the M9 is that I like to take lots of candid street shots. Like on a recent trip to San Francisco I witnessed an arrest in the tenderloin area (what on earth was I doing in one of the worst streets in the country? well…they have amazing Thai restaurants there)…. I could have taken 20 nice pictures with my D3S. With Leica I did 20 shots, and one or two came fine but not great. Even my D-Lux 4 is better in that sense. Mainly because of the lack of auto-focus. Some swear by leica hyperfocal focusing. Well, they are ahead of me for sure.

    So if you have the time, and only care about taking pictures of not moving subjects, then Leica is great. So grandma shots should be fine. If you want to take pictures of your child or grand kid running at the speed of light or even an old tire-less VW, then pull out your iphone.

    Exaggeration aside, you will not regret buying Leica M9, unless they come with 9.2 immediately after your purchase. You will forget the high price tag. The colors are lively, the black and whites are gorgeous and you do not break your back by carrying a heavy camera.

    Leica is a great camera but is not enough as your only camera. You need a D-Lux 5 or a nikon/canon type as well….I am happy for you that you do not have to wait as long as I did to receive yours. Many camera shops seem to have them in stock now. A friend of mine bought his on Amazon and received it within one day from his order. Not bad.

    Best wishes to you whatever camera you go with.

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  3. 29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Worth every penny!, May 10, 2011

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Leica M9 18MP Digital Range Finder Camera (Black, Body Only) (Electronics)

    This camera is the ultimate cure for camera-envy. You know, the disease that always makes you wonder “what if?” and “is that better than mine?” It’s not about prestige or name-recognition (the first modification I made to my M9 was to stick silver duct tape over the famous red dot and the “M9” engraving). For me, camera envy equates to wanting the best tool available to capture moments that will never be repeated. And it’s not just about image quality or I’d be lugging around an 8×10 view camera every day (which I have done). It’s also about convenience, portability, simplicity, and the picture-taking experience.

    Enter the Leica M9.
    The pictures are good. So good. Just go ahead and check out people’s images on flickr. And then remind yourself that what you are seeing has been processed, possibly re-sized, and only you know how good your computer monitor is at color management. Let me just tell you that the images are amazing. I have owned many dSLRs over the years and you never get sharpness like this. Maybe it’s the lack of an AA filter on the sensor, maybe it’s the lenses. But it’s definitely something. Something good.

    If you’re coming from a Leica film camera, you’ll never believe how liberating it is to be able to shoot continuously for hundreds of frames before having to change out your roll (aka memory card). It’s a whole new world. I take more risks now because I don’t have to worry that I’ll run out of film. It feels just like getting my first digital camera. “Wait, you mean if I totally mess up a shot I can just delete and then shoot again?” Yes. Yes, you can. Or don’t even bother deleting because you can still take 400 more. You want to see what a shot will look like at every possible aperature setting? Just try it. It won’t cost you a penny. Anything goes. And unlike film, the MORE you shoot, the cheaper you can tell yourself photography is. Take 1000 frames and your new camera cost you $7 a shot. Take 70,000 frames and now it only cost $0.10 a shot. That’s $3.60 for 36 “exposures” – let’s see … how much does film cost again?

    If you’re coming from a dSLR you’ll love how low-profile the M9 is. When I had a Canon 5D Mark II, I had the thing not around my neck most of the time but in a bag (because it’s heavy). But then you know what it’s like, you pull out your elephant gun and while you might see a giant, red ring and think, “Oh, it’s an L lens,” other people nervously scoop up their children and duck for cover. The mirror sounds remind me of playing the arcade game Buckhunter. And also I feel ridiculous the whole day, especially as I walk by other people with their dSLRs. There’s just NO slick way to pull it off. None. With your Leica M9, you can get a beatup neck strap, stick it in an old case (or get a new case and beat it up yourself), and you look like you’re shooting with your dad’s old camera. No one runs. More often than not, people look right into my shot because they’re trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. Can’t I afford a new camera?

    One caveat. You have to know how to shoot. You can’t hide behind autofocus, programmed settings, nor even a zoom lens (I’m not counting the Tri-Elmar as a zoom ok?). You’ll have to actually stand where you need to stand to take the picture you want, you’ll have to decide what f/stop to use, and you’ll have to focus. Why can’t Leica develop autofocus? Why would you want it? Then you’d have to tell the camera which AF mode to use, scroll thru menu after menu, then check to make sure the camera did what you asked by zooming in using the LCD screen. I’d much rather just focus and go on to my next shot. I know it’s sharp because I focused it myself. And if you suck at it, you’ll be surprised at how fast you get better, especially since you can see the results right away if you want. By now I can pretty much guess the focus and have the camera ready to go by the time I bring it up to my eye. Some will say that it’s more work to shoot with a rangefinder. But you could also say that it’s easier to be in control and get the exact shot you want the first time around.

    It’s been said before but I’ll say it here too. This camera becomes an extension of you, of your eye. It’s so simple that you can really get to know exactly what it’ll do, you can trust it. The quality you get for the size and weight you’ll be carrying around is unmatched.

    In conclusion, at first glance I may look like I have the crappiest, oldest camera on the block – but rest assured, camera envy is GONE. For what I want – the M9 is the best, hands down, in every category. How often does that happen?

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