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Fujifilm X-Pro1 versus Leica M9

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the Leica M9 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2012 and September 2009. The X-Pro1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the M9 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-Pro1) and a full frame sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixel, whereas the Leica provides 18.1 MP.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the Leica M9. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the X-Pro1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs Leica M9 front
X-Pro1 versus M9 top view
X-Pro1 and M9 rear side
Body view (X-Pro1 on the left)

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 smaller (3 percent) than the Fujifilm X-Pro1. However, the M9 is markedly heavier (30 percent) than the X-Pro1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-Pro1 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 find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-Pro1) 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, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ rgt) 140 mm 82 mm 43 mm 450 g 300 no 2012 1,699discont. check
Leica M9 (⇒ lft) 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 585 g .. no 2009 7,999discont. check
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 no 2010 699discont. check
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 no 2009 799discont. check
Fujifilm X-E2S (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 no 2016 699discont. check
Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 141 mm 83 mm 46 mm 495 g 350 YES 2016 1,699 latest check
Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 381 g 350 no 2015 799discont. check
Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 67 mm 40 mm 350 g 410 no 2015 399discont. check
Fujifilm X-T1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 90 mm 47 mm 440 g 350 YES 2014 1,699discont. check
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 74 mm 54 mm 445 g 330 no 2013 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 75 mm 37 mm 350 g 350 no 2013 999discont. check
Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 no 2013 699 latest check
Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 67 mm 39 mm 330 g 350 no 2013 399discont. check
Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 75 mm 38 mm 350 g 350 no 2012 999discont. check
Leica M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 no 2017 6,595 latest check
Leica M Typ 240 (⇒ lft | rgt) 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. YES 2012 6,950discont. check
Leica M8 (⇒ lft | rgt) 139 mm 80 mm 37 mm 591 g .. no 2006 5,499discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-Pro1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 79 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-Pro1 features an APS-C sensor and the Leica M9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M9 is 135 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 and Leica M9 sensor measures
Sensor size

With 18.1MP, the M9 offers a higher resolution than the X-Pro1 (16MP), but the M9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.91μm versus 4.80μm for the X-Pro1) due to its larger sensor. However, the X-Pro1 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 4 months) than the M9, and its sensor will 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

X-Pro1 versus M9 MP
Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/24p - - - -
Leica M9 (⇒ lft) Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472 no 22.5 11.7 884 69
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.5 784 66
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 15.1 4752 3168 1080/20p 21.7 11.5 663 63
Fujifilm X-E2S (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Fujifilm X-T1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/60p - - - -
Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/30p - - - -
Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4896 3264 1080/24p - - - -
Leica M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992 no 24.4 13.2 2133 86
Leica M Typ 240 (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976 1080/25p 24.0 13.3 1860 84
Leica M8 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-H 10.4 3936 2630 no 21.1 11.3 663 59

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The X-Pro1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the X-Pro1 can use is 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-Pro1 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), while the M9 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and Leica M9 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1230 fixed no 4000 6.0 no no
Leica M9 (⇒ lft) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 2.0 no no
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed no 4000 3.7 YES no
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.4 YES no
Fujifilm X-E2S (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 fixed no 4000 7.0 7 no
Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1620 fixed no 8000 8.0 no no
Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 8.0 5 no
Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 5.6 7 no
Fujifilm X-T1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 tilting no 4000 8.0 no no
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 6.0 9 no
Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 fixed no 4000 7.0 7 no
Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 5.6 7 no
Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 5.6 7 no
Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 2.8 460 fixed no 4000 6.0 YES no
Leica M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1037 fixed no 4000 5.0 no no
Leica M Typ 240 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.0 no no
Leica M8 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 8000 2.0 no no

Both the X-Pro1 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 X-Pro1 was followed by the Fujifilm X-Pro2.

Summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X-Pro1 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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Advantages of the Fujifilm X-Pro1:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/24p movies.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • 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 (1230k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 135g or 23 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (79 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 4 months of technical progress since the M9 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Leica M9:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (18.1 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • 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 individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-Pro1 emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 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.

X-Pro1 08:05 M9

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-Pro1 or the M9 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ rgt) HiRec 79/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2012 1,699discont. check
Leica M9 (⇒ lft) - - 4.5/5 4.5/5 - 2009 7,999discont. check
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 77/100 Gold 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2010 699discont. check
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 74/100 HiRec 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2009 799discont. check
Fujifilm X-E2S (⇒ lft | rgt) - 77/100 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2016 699discont. check
Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 83/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2016 1,699 latest check
Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 80/100 Silver 5/5 4/5 5/5 2015 799discont. check
Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 399discont. check
Fujifilm X-T1 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 84/100 Gold 5/5 4/5 5/5 2014 1,699discont. check
Fujifilm X100S (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 81/100 Gold 4.5/5 4/5 5/5 2013 1,299discont. check
Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 Gold 4.5/5 - 5/5 2013 999discont. check
Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Gold 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2013 699 latest check
Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2013 399discont. check
Fujifilm X-E1 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 79/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 999discont. check
Leica M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4/5 - 4.5/5 2017 6,595 latest check
Leica M Typ 240 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4/5 - - 2012 6,950discont. check
Leica M8 (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - - - 2006 5,499discont. check

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Other comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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