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How many Megapixels does the Leica M9 have?

The Leica M9 is equipped with a a full frame sensor that offers an image resolution of 18.1 megapixels (MP), or 18.1 million pixels. With its native aspect ratio of 3:2, the sensor has 5 212 horizontal pixels and 3 472 vertical pixels.

A 35mm film slide or negative contains 5-15 MP of useful detail, so that the Leica M9 can be considered to be a high-resolution camera that outresolves any 35mm film camera.

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A high megapixel count makes it possible to crop any captured image substantially or to make very large prints from the image file. On the downside, large megapixel files are slower to transfer and take up more storage space on the computer harddisk. Also, high-resolution imaging requires sharper, more expensive lenses than low-res picture taking.

How large can I print with 18.1 MP?

The maximum print size of the Leica M9 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 26.1 x 17.4 inches or 66.2 x 44.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 53 x 35.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.4 x 11.6 inches or 44.1 x 29.4 cm. Few people actually print their images that large on a regular basis, but it is nice to have the option to make very large prints of exceptional shots. Also, as mentioned earlier, a key advantage of high-MP cameras is that it is possible to crop an image ex-post and thereby, for example, change the composition of the capture or zoom in on some detail.

Sensor specs and performance

The table below compares the sensor specs of the Leica M9 to those of several similar cameras. In addition to sensor class and megapixel count, DXO values are reported as indicators of the sensor's imaging quality (higher is better). Three aspects are covered: color depth (DXO Portrait), dynamic range (DXO Landscape), and high-ISO noise (DXO Sports). Larger sensor cameras tend to outperform cameras of the same generation that are equipped with a smaller imager. On the other hand, larger sensors are more expensive and require bigger and heavier lenses than smaller light receptors.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
2.
 
Canon 700D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
3.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
4.
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
5.
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none25.114.1273993
6.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
7.
 
Leica T APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
8.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
9.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
10.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
11.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Further information on the sensor in the Leica M9 and the camera's operation can be found in the camera manual.

In the United States, the M9 was initially launched in September 2009 at a price of $7,999.

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Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Leica M9
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2009
    Launch Price USD 7 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CCD
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 18.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5 212 x 3 472 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.91 μm
    Pixel Density 2.09 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 2 500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 69
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 884
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Size 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Touch Input No touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Manual Focus
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 2 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BLI-312 power pack
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 585 g (20.6 oz)

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