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Canon 60D vs Leica M9

The Canon EOS 60D and the Leica M9 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2010 and September 2009. The 60D is a DSLR, while the M9 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (60D) and a full frame (M9) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Leica provides 18.1 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 60D
versus
Leica M9
Canon 60D   Leica M9
Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 18.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 80-2,500
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5.3 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodynot weather sealed
145 x 106 x 79 mm, 755 g 139 x 80 x 37 mm, 585 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 60D and the Leica M9? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 60D and the Leica M9. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M9 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 60D is only available in black.

Size Canon 60D vs Leica M9
Compare 60D versus M9 top
Comparison 60D or M9 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica M9 is notably smaller (28 percent) than the Canon 60D. Moreover, the M9 is markedly lighter (23 percent) than the 60D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 60D is splash and dust resistant, while the M9 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (60D) and the Leica M Lens Catalog (M9).

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399i
2.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
3.
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
4.
 
Canon G3 X 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 Y Jun 2015 999 i
5.
 
Canon 7D II 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i
6.
 
Canon 70D 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199i
7.
 
Canon 550D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IV 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1230 g 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999i
9.
 
Canon 7D 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699i
10.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299i
11.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
12.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
13.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
14.
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499i
15.
 
Nikon D7000 132 mm 105 mm 77 mm 780 g 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499i
16.
 
Sony RX10 II 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299i
17.
 
Sony RX10 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 420 Y Oct 2013 1,299i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 60D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the M9, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 60D features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M9 is 160 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 60D and Leica M9 sensor measures

With 18.1MP, the M9 offers a higher resolution than the 60D (17.9MP), but the M9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.91μm versus 4.31μm for the 60D) due to its larger sensor. However, the 60D is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the M9, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the M9 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Canon EOS 60D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M9 are ISO 80 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

60D versus M9 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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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.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
2.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
3.
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
4.
 
Canon G3 X 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.412.352163
5.
 
Canon 7D II APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270
6.
 
Canon 70D APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
7.
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IV APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074
9.
 
Canon 7D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466
10.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.469663
11.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
12.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
13.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
14.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359
15.
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/24p23.513.9116780
16.
 
Sony RX10 II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
17.
 
Sony RX10 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.912.647469

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 60D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the 60D can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 60D and the M9 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the M9 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 60D (96%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the M9 has a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.59x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 60D and Leica M9 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
2.
 
Leica M9optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
3.
 
Canon 80Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon G3 Xoptional n3.2 / 1620 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.9 Y Y
5.
 
Canon 7D IIoptical Y3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon 70Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon 550Doptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IVoptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 n n
9.
 
Canon 7Doptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
11.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
12.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
13.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
14.
 
Leica M8optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n
15.
 
Nikon D7000optical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
16.
 
Sony RX10 II2359 Y3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 14.0 Y Y
17.
 
Sony RX101440 Y3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The 60D has one, while the M9 does not. While the built-in flash of the 60D is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The 60D has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the M9 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 60D and the M9 write their files to SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 60D and Leica M9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 60DYmono / monoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Leica M9Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon 80DYstereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G3 XYstereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon 7D IIYstereo / monoYYmini3.0---
6.
 
Canon 70DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
7.
 
Canon 550DYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IVYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon 7DYmono / -Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 50DY- / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
12.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereo / mono---2.0---
14.
 
Leica M8Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D7000Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Sony RX10 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
17.
 
Sony RX10Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 60D (unlike the M9) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 60D and the M9 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M9 was replaced by the Leica M Typ 240, while the 60D was followed by the Canon 70D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Leica websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 60D or the Leica M9 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 60D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.3 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the M9).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Leica M9:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 96%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.59x).
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 145x106mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 170g or 23 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2009).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 60D is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

60D 14:07 M9

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 60D or the M9. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 60D5/5+..79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399i
2.
 
Leica M9........4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
3.
 
Canon 80D4/5+ +4.5/584/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
4.
 
Canon G3 X3.5/5+....4.5/54/5 Jun 2015 999 i
5.
 
Canon 7D II4.5/5+3.5/584/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i
6.
 
Canon 70D5/5+ +..83/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199i
7.
 
Canon 550D..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon 1D Mark IV5/5....89/100.... Oct 2009 4,999i
9.
 
Canon 7D5/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699i
10.
 
Canon 50D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
11.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
12.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
13.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5......4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950i
14.
 
Leica M8......+ +.... Sep 2006 5,499i
15.
 
Nikon D70004/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499i
16.
 
Sony RX10 II5/5+ +..82/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299i
17.
 
Sony RX105/5+..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,299i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 60D:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M9:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, 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: Canon 60D vs Leica M9

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 60D Leica M9
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2010 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 1,399 USD 7,999
    Sensor Specs Canon 60D Leica M9
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 18.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 5212 x 3472 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 6.91 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 2.09 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 2,500 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 69
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.2 22.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.5 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 813 884
    Screen Specs Canon 60D Leica M9
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 96% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.68x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 60D Leica M9
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 5.3 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 60D Leica M9
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 60D Leica M9
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodynot weather sealed
    Battery Type LP-E6 BLI-312
    Body Dimensions 145 x 106 x 79 mm
    (5.7 x 4.2 x 3.1 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 755 g (26.6 oz) 585 g (20.6 oz)

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