Leica M9 Hands-on preview
The M9 brings only one subtle physical design change over the M8, that is the small cut-out portion of the top-panel which helps to reinforce the sculpted box of the rangefinder and gives the illusion of a slightly smaller top panel. This makes the camera look more like a film M (and arguably rather prettier) but comes at the cost of the small top-plate info display, which showed shots remaining and battery status on the M8 (this is now on the rear LCD). Another fairly significant cosmetic difference is that the M9 isn't available in Silver, instead Leica have gone for this almost Titanium colored 'Steel Gray' option (as well as Black). The other small (but welcome) change is on the rear; the central button to the left of the LCD panel has been re-appropriated for ISO, hold it and turn the rear dial to select the sensitivity (now in 1/3 EV steps). The PROTECT function that lived here on the M8 (and hardly used in reality, I imagine) has been transferred to the SET button.
From the front it would be difficult to tell that this is a digital M, it has the same proportions as the M7 with the now classic Leica rectangular proportions and almost dead-center lens mount. Above this are the distance meter viewing window, bright line illumination window and the large viewfinder window. Around the back is a straightforward and logical layout, the large 2.5" LCD monitor flanked by five buttons on the left and the menu, control dial and direction buttons on the right. On the top of the camera (not shown here) is the main power / drive mode switch, shutter release and shutter speed dial.
Materials and build quality
Just like the M8 the main body is made from a two-piece magnesium alloy cast (shown below). The top plate which contains the viewfinder chamber and controls is milled from a single block of brass, likewise the removable base (which covers the battery and SD compartment) is also made of brass. To say that the M9 is well built and robust is perhaps an understatement, the M series of cameras have a reputation for their longevity.
Side by side
Below you can see the M9 compared to the M8.2. Other than color differences, the subtly modified top plate design and the new metering stripes on the shutter blades are the most obvious differences from the front, and at the back only the ISO button has changed.
Below you can see the M9 beside the Olympus E-P1 (whose sensor is a quarter of the size). While the designers of the E-P1 were going for the retro-look to echo Olympus camera's of old, the M9 is a classic example of form defined by function, using an 'optimal' design and layout for a full-frame rangefinder that has been refined over generations.
In your hand
Comfortable semi-circular sides are the trademark of the M series design, and they really do work, surprisingly easy and comfortable to hold, despite the camera's weight and lack of a molded grip. On our recent trip to Solms I was introduced to the Match Technical 'Thumbs Up CSEP-1', which is a simple grip that slides onto the flash hot-shoe and helps to balance the camera when held in the landscape orientation (last two pictures below) - a personal recommendation for any M owner.
The M9 features a 2.5" 230,000 pixel (320 x 240 x RGB) TFT LCD monitor with a perspex protective window and a slight anti-reflective coating. Compared to the M8 the M9's screen is noticeably brighter and easier to use outdoors. As with the M8 there are a total of five brightness levels to choose from. We have to say we were just a little disappointed that Leica weren't able to implement a higher resolution LCD this time.
The M9 is a rangefinder camera, this means that instead of looking through the lens as you would in an SLR you look through a dedicated optical viewfinder which indicates the image area using frame lines. Focusing is carried out using the rangefinder field, a super-imposed image of which appears in the center of the frame.
The M9's viewfinder view is huge, bigger than you're used to seeing even if you use a full-frame SLR, it literally fills your vision (switching back to an SLR is like looking into a tunnel). It's also very bright with 'bright line' frames which appear as light overlays on the frame and the rangefinder 'metering field' (a rectangular area in the center of the frame) provides accurate manual focusing.
Bright-line frame view
The M9's viewfinder has bright-line frames which appear in the viewfinder depending on the lens used. They are displayed in pairs of 25 & 135 mm, 28 & 90 mm and 50 & 75 mm. This means that if you are using a 50 mm lens you see two frames, one for 50 mm and one for 75 mm, this may seem odd but is fairly easy to learn. You can also manually move the frame selector lever to see if the scene would be better suited to a different lens. The frames (and metering field) also move depending on the lens focal length to compensate for parallax error (because the viewfinder axis is offset from the lens axis). The largest field of view you can see through the viewfinder is just over 28 mm.
Because the angle of view of all lenses changes on focusing to a greater or lesser extent, the size of the framelines has to be chosen to give accurate framing at one specific distance. More distant subjects will end up with a slightly 'loose' composition, closer ones may potentially be cropped. The M9's framelines have been optimized for subjects at 1m - this is different from both the M8 and M8.2, at 0.7m and 2m respectively.
|35 & 135 mm frames||28 & 90 mm frames|
|50 & 75 mm frames|
(background image in diagrams above deliberately darkened for clarity)
Viewfinder LED display
Along the bottom of the viewfinder view is the status line which includes four LED digits, with two dots, a light balance indicator (two triangles with a dot at the center) and the flash ready indicator. The digits are used to indicate shutter speed, exposure compensation (when being altered), a countdown for long exposures (those longer than 2 seconds), under- or over-exposure warning and buffer full message. The smaller dots between the first and second digit indicate exposure lock (top) and exposure compensation warning (bottom).
The two arrows pointing inwards towards the circle are the light balance indicators which are used during manual exposure (manual shutter speed selection) to indicate under- or over-exposure (or correct exposure). The LED display adjusts its brightness depending on ambient light.
Distance metering / focusing
The M9 uses a rangefinder metering field which provides a bright superimposed image in the center of the frame. Very simply you adjust the focus manually until the double image becomes one, this then means that the part of the frame covered by the rangefinder metering field will be in focus.
|Distance meter area shows a double-image, this part of the frame is not in focus||After adjusting focus we have a single image which indicates a good focus here|
How it works
There are three windows on the front of the camera:
- Distance meter viewing window - provides the image for the bright rangefinder metering field (above).
- Bright line illumination window - gathers ambient light to produce the bright lines frames in the viewfinder view.
- Viewfinder window - provides the main image for the viewfinder, this image is combined with the bright line frames, rangefinder metering field and LED indicators.
Dec 6, 2011
Oct 9, 2011
Sep 9, 2009
Oct 11, 2011
|Autumn by valenttin|
from Harvest Festivals
|Cardinal, Male by paul katinas|
from A Big Year - birds
|.. by Amar Vignesh|
from Unintentional Blur
|Sir Mick Jagger by HetFotoAtelier|
from - Concerts : When The Lights Come On -
Adobe's experimental Project 'Deep Fill' is an incredibly powerful and impressive, AI-powered version of Content Aware Fill. Watch the demo to see this amazing tool in action.
LEE has released a new series of Reverse ND filters that are most opaque in the middle and become progressively clearer towards the top. This makes them ideal for capturing scenes where the sun is close to the horizon.
A former New York Times photographer is suing both the newspaper and its photography director Michele McNally for over $500,000 for age discrimination and unfair classification as a freelancer for nearly a decade.
"CPS Platinum members will now enjoy next-day service, with equipment serviced and shipped the business day after an estimate is approved. For repairs that will take longer, Canon will offer next-day loaner equipment."
Irix is introducing a new filter system called the Irix Edge 100. The ultra-light, ultra-thin system is build specifically for wide angle lenses like Irix's own 15mm F2.4.
After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.
The Pixentu jackets keep you and your gear warm and dry, offering useful features like lens and tripod pockets, in addition to some quirky ones like an extended hood to protect your camera from the rain.
Adobe gave the audience at MAX a sneak peek at some exciting new technology its developing. It's called Adobe Cloak: a highly capable Content Aware Fill-like feature for video editors.
Earlier today, Flickr moved its photo book printing service over to a third party services, and stopped offering any wall art options entirely.
The patent details a flipping rear LCD screen so large, Canon has had to hide the rear dial and several buttons underneath.
We've added a selection of extra images to our Nikon D850 gallery. As part of the process of rounding off the review we made sure a number of us had shot the camera in a variety of situations, we've added those shots to the gallery to give a broad cross section of how the camera performs.
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!
Lightroom is hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX, but Photoshop CC got some substantial improvements as well. Find out what's new in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
The aptly-named 'Nude' app automatically detects NSFW images on your iPhone, moves them to a protected vault and deletes the original files in the camera roll and on iCloud.
The Zeiss Milvus family of manual-focus full-frame lenses just gained a new member. Meet the Zeiss Milvus 24mm F1.4: a fast, rugged new lens designed primarily for landscape and architecture photography.
Lightroom has built a brand new Lightroom CC from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, and cloud-based. The application formerly known as Lightroom CC will continue to exist, and will go by "Lightroom Classic CC."
Google Research did a deep dive on the Pixel 2 smartphone's background-blurring portrait mode that uses neural networking and dual-pixel technology instead of a dual-camera setup.
With the arrival of the PowerShot G1 X III, there are now seven Canon cameras built around the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. We take a look at the differences and what might prompt you to choose one over the others.
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.
PDN sat down with Ahmed Fakhr, director of photography at RollingStone.com, to talk about how the famed publication is adapting to the changing photo and video needs of the modern era and how he 'evaluates the skills of potential contributors.'