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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon November 26, 2010
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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