ad stars
ad Bestseller
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
PW

Canon XTi vs Leica M9

The Canon EOS Rebel XTi (called Canon 400D in some regions) and the Leica M9 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2006 and September 2009. The XTi is a DSLR, while the M9 is a rangefinder-focusing mirrorless camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (XTi) and a full frame (M9) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 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 XTi
versus
Leica M9
Canon XTi   Leica M9
Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 18.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 80-2,500
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2 shutter flaps per second
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 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 Rebel XTi 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 physical size and weight of the Canon XTi and the Leica M9 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

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

Size Canon XTi vs Leica M9
Compare XTi versus M9 top
Comparison XTi 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 somewhat larger (4 percent) than the Canon XTi. Moreover, the M9 is markedly heavier (5 percent) than the XTi. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XTi nor the M9 are weather-sealed.

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 (XTi) 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

scroll hint
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 XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
2.
 
Leica M9 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. n Sep 2009 7,999i
3.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
12.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
14.
 
Leica X Vario 133 mm 73 mm 95 mm 680 g 450 n Jun 2013 2,850i
15.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
16.
 
Leica M8 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. n Sep 2006 5,499i
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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The XTi was launched at a markedly lower price (by 90 percent) than the M9, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. 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. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon XTi features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M9 is 163 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 XTi and Leica M9 sensor measures

With 18.1MP, the M9 offers a higher resolution than the XTi (10.1MP), but the M9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.91μm versus 5.71μm for the XTi) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the M9 is a much more recent model (by 3 years) than the XTi, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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 resolution advantage of the Leica M9 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 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. The corresponding values for the Canon XTi are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel XTi has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M9 are ISO 80 to ISO 2500 (no boost).

XTi versus M9 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the M9 has a markedly higher DXO score than the XTi (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
2.
 
Leica M9 Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472none22.511.788469
3.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
4.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
5.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
6.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
7.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
8.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
9.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
10.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
11.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
12.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
13.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
14.
 
Leica X Vario APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078
15.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
16.
 
Leica M8 APS-H 10.4 3936 2630none21.111.366359
Neither the XTi nor the M9 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The XTi 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 XTi (95%), 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 0.49x), 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 XTi and Leica M9 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

scroll hint
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 XTioptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Leica M9optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.0 n n
3.
 
Canon T6ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6soptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T4ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T3optical n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T2ioptical n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
8.
 
Canon T1ioptical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
9.
 
Canon XSioptical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
10.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Leica M10optical n3.0 / 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
14.
 
Leica X Variooptional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
16.
 
Leica M8optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 2.0 n n

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

The XTi writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the M9 uses 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 Rebel XTi and Leica M9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
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 XTiY- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Leica M9Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T6iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T6sYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T4iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon T3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T2iYstereo / -Y-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T1iYmono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon XSiY- / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Leica M10Y- / -----Y--
14.
 
Leica X VarioYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereo / mono---2.0---
16.
 
Leica M8Y- / ----2.0---

Both the XTi and the M9 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XTi was replaced by the Canon Xsi, while the M9 was followed 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.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XTi and the Leica M9? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (90 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Leica M9:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (18.1 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 34%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.49x).
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the XTi launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M9 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 5 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.

XTi 05:09 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 XTi or the M9. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

scroll hint
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 XTi..+ +..+ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799i
2.
 
Leica M9........4.5/5.. Sep 2009 7,999i
3.
 
Canon T6i5/5....75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
4.
 
Canon T6s5/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
5.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
6.
 
Canon T3..80/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
7.
 
Canon T2i..+ +..77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
8.
 
Canon T1i..+ +..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
9.
 
Canon XSi..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
10.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
11.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
12.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899i
13.
 
Leica M104.5/5......4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
14.
 
Leica X Vario3/5......4/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850i
15.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5......4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950i
16.
 
Leica M8......+ +.... Sep 2006 5,499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon XTi:
Check Ebay offers
Leica M9:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Canon XTi 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 XTi Leica M9
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Rangefinder camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Leica M mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 7,999
    Sensor Specs Canon XTi Leica M9
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 36.0 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 864 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 43.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 18.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 5212 x 3472 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 6.91 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 MP/cm2 2.09 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 80 - 2,500 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 69
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 22.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 884
    Screen Specs Canon XTi Leica M9
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.68x
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XTi Leica M9
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Manual Focus
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon XTi Leica M9
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon XTi Leica M9
    Battery Type NB-2LH BLI-312
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 585 g (20.6 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Canon XTi vs Leica M9

    Thanks for your vote!

    You rated this page 4 out of 5.


    Rating

    Any additional comment or suggestion for improvement would be welcome.


    If you like it, make sure you share it:

    • Mention this page to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Bookmark it in your browser for future reference.
    • Create a hyperlink by copying the text below into your web-project or discussion forum entry.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. I appreciate it.