Leica M9 Digital
The M8 finally done right
- 18 MPixel Full-Frame (correct)
- IR-filters no longer needed (correct)
- 16-bit RAW (almost — it is actually 14-bit padded to 16-bit)
- Lens-type selection via camera menu (correct)
- Multiple frame auto-bracketing (correct)
- Easy to set ISO button (correct)
- Reduced high ISO noise (1-stop improvement)
- Image Quality (slightly lower sharpness than the M8)
- Movies (no)
- Shake reduction (no)
- 24 fps (no)
- Electronic fame-lines and zooming viewfinder (no)
- Smiling cat detection (no — go to hell)
- Same size and form-factor as the M8 (correct)
- World's smallest full-frame professional-quality camera (correct)
After an impressive sequence of on-line leaks, the Leica M9 was officially released on September 9th, 2009. The much maligned Leica M8(.2) was retired on the same day.
Price and Availability
€ 5500 or $USD 7000 — I agree that even by inflated Leica standards this is a rip-off.
It is a moot point however, as you cannot buy the camera anywhere. Maybe 200x units were sold when the M9 was released in September 2009, but since then they have practically vanished — for every happy M9 owner are maybe 50 others on a waiting list. Best realistic estimate for general "walk-in-store" camera availability is mid-2010 (see discussion at L-camera-forum.com: #113088).
According to fanboys however this isn't a problem. "Sie müssen geduldig sein."
- SensorVu Cleaner "Adidt AC-01" to clean the M9 CCD Sensor: (purchase via Microtools)
- Zagg "Invisible Shield" LCD protector screens: (purchase online)
- Giottos Aegis 8250 12-layer glass LCD protector screen: (see Giottos website)
- Wide Angle bright-line finders: (see separate FAQ topic)
- CornerFix de-vignetting software: (see Sourceforge page)
- Bracketeer Exposure Processing Software: (purchase via Pangeasoft)
- And of course — Delivery Tracking Software to figure out your place on various camera-dealer waiting lists…