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Canon SX740 vs Leica M9

The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS and the Leica M9 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2018 and September 2009. The SX740 is a fixed lens compact, while the M9 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX740) and a full frame (M9) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 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 SX740 versus Leica M9
Canon SX740 Leica M9
Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 Leica M mount lenses
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 18.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 80-2,500
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
110 x 64 x 40 mm, 299 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 PowerShot SX740 HS 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 SX740 and the Leica M9. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Canon SX740 vs Leica M9
Compare SX740 versus M9 top
Comparison SX740 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 considerably larger (58 percent) than the Canon SX740. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX740 nor the M9 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX740 has a lens built in, whereas the M9 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the M9 and their specifications in the Leica M Lens Catalog.

The power pack in the SX740 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.

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
 
Canon SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Leica M9 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
 
Canon SX70 5.0 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 21.4 oz 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon T2i 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Leica M10 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica X Vario 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica M Typ 240 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Leica M8 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499i
 
Panasonic ZS80 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 11.5 oz 380 n Feb 2019 449 i
 
Panasonic TS7 4.6 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 11.3 oz 300 Y May 2018 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
Sony HX99 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i
 
Sony HX95 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
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 SX740 was launched at a lower price than the M9, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 SX740 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Leica M9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M9 is 2986 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.0. The sensor in the SX740 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M9 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX740 and Leica M9 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon SX740 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 18.1 MP of the Leica M9. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 6.91μm for the M9). However, it should be noted that the SX740 is much more recent (by 8 years and 10 months) than the M9, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M9 are ISO 80 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

SX740 versus M9 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359
 
Panasonic ZS80 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic TS7 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Sony HX99 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX95 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The SX740 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the SX740 can use is 4K/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the M9 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX740 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX740 and Leica M9 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(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
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Leica M9optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
 
Canon SX702360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Leica X Variooptional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
 
Leica M8optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n
 
Panasonic ZS802330 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic TS71170 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/1300s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX99638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX95638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The SX740 has one, while the M9 does not. While the built-in flash of the SX740 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The SX740 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.

The Canon SX740 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX740 and the M9 write their files to SDXC cards. The SX740 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the M9 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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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 PowerShot SX740 HS 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Leica M9Y-----2.0---
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
 
Leica X VarioYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
 
Leica M8Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic ZS80-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic TS7-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX99-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony HX95-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the SX740 offers wifi support, while the M9 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The SX740 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the M9 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M9 was succeeded by the Leica M Typ 240. 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon SX740 better than the Leica M9 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/30p movies.
  • 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 (922k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M9 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm vs 139x80mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the M9).
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 10 months of technical progress since the M9 launch.

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Advantages of the Leica M9:

  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2009).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SX740 is the clear winner of the match-up (18 : 10 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.

SX740 18:10 M9

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the SX740 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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Leica M9....4.5/54.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
 
Canon SX70+ +..3.5/5..3.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Canon T2i+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Leica M10....4/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
 
Leica X Vario....4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
 
Leica M Typ 240....4/5.... Sep 2012 6,950i
 
Leica M8..+ +...... Sep 2006 5,499i
 
Panasonic ZS80+ +..4.5/5.... Feb 2019 449 i
 
Panasonic TS7+......3.5/5 May 2018 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Sony HX99....4/5..4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i
 
Sony HX95.......... Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX740:
Check Amazon price
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 SX740 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 SX740 Leica M9
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2018 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 7,999
    Sensor Specs Canon SX740 Leica M9
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels 18.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 5212 x 3472 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 6.91 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 2.09 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 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 Canon SX740 Leica M9
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 922k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX740 Leica M9
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX740 Leica M9
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Canon SX740 Leica M9
    Battery Type NB-13L BLI-312
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 299 g (10.5 oz) 585 g (20.6 oz)

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