Customer Review

116 of 138 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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Comments

Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 11-20 of 25 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 14, 2011 1:53:22 PM PST
Genobambino says:
Manora Thai and the M9. Great combo! http://www.flickr.com/photos/genefama/4916361097/

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2011 9:53:39 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 22, 2011 12:24:13 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2011 10:20:49 AM PST
Harry says:
Mehran,
Are you kidding. There is some good stuff here. I love the "French Cafe" night scene! I am going to friend you on FB to view them once in a while.
Thanks,
Harry

Posted on Jan 21, 2011 1:27:21 PM PST
PStan says:
I sold all my (film) Canon EOS stuff, L lenses, etc. some years ago and went back to Leica, having previously owned an M4P. I purchased an M7 and foolishly sold it when the digital craze started to produce cameras that really did render something akin to photographs. I want to thank all of you who have written so well about Leica's digital offerings - going back will be much easier to do.
(Note to Leica M owners: Keep them. Do not trade them in, sell them, or in any other way part with them. You'll be sorry if you do.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 21, 2011 7:35:42 PM PST
Hi Stanton, absolutely agree with you re. not trading M series leicas.....to convince myself to get more and more of different cameras, i trades a lightly used M7 towards my first M8.2, and two new M6 titaniums towards my Nikon D3s. I regret both. Even if you do not use leica M6 or M7 film cameras, they are a delight to have, and hold...an art...and inevitably one will use them....anyways, i still have a limited edition M6J with collapsible lens, and a limited edition black paint millenium which i love...saving them for my 8 year old son.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2011 10:13:12 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 22, 2011 1:03:07 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2011 10:16:16 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 22, 2011 12:23:41 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2011 12:52:54 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 24, 2011 8:38:10 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2011 9:04:35 PM PST
Dear Guy, no worries. Thanks for your kind note. As i wrote in my earlier posting in response to Stanton, I regret having sold the two titaniums in particular. It was really more a matter of the process of convincing myself to purchase the D3s. and it was a mistake. My D700 took as good of pictures as D3s. But like most leica folks, we want the best and don't like to compromise. Anyways, it is a pleasure knowing you, share your interest in cameras, and mechanical watches ...have a good week.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2011 3:22:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 29, 2011 3:29:51 AM PDT
Panglos says:
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