Fujifilm X10 vs Leica M9
The Fujifilm X10 and the Leica M9 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2011 and September 2009. The X10 is a fixed lens compact, while the M9 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a 2/3 (X10) and a full frame (M9) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X10 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X10 and the Leica M9. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).
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 larger (36 percent) than the Fujifilm X10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X10 nor the M9 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the X10 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 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.
|1.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|2.||Leica M9||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||585 g||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|5.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|6.||Canon T2i||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||530 g||440||n||Feb 2010||699|
|7.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|9.||Leica M10||139 mm||80 mm||39 mm||660 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||6,595|
|10.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Sep 2012||699|
|12.||Leica M Typ 240||139 mm||80 mm||42 mm||680 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950|
|13.||Leica M8||139 mm||80 mm||37 mm||591 g||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499|
|14.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|15.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|16.||Panasonic GF2||113 mm||68 mm||33 mm||310 g||300||n||Nov 2010||549|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The X10 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.
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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X10 features a 2/3 sensor and the Leica M9 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the M9 is 1390 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 1.0. The sensor in the X10 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the M9 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 18.1MP, the M9 offers a higher resolution than the X10 (12MP), but the M9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.91μm versus 2.20μm for the X10) due to its larger sensor. However, the X10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the 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 Fujifilm X10 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Fujifilm X10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica M9 are ISO 80 to ISO 2500 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the M9 offers substantially better image quality than the X10 (overall score 19 points higher). The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|2.||Leica M9||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||none||22.5||11.7||884||69|
|9.||Leica M10||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||none||24.4||13.2||2133||86|
|10.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Leica M Typ 240||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84|
|15.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|16.||Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The X10 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the X10 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The X10 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X10, the Leica M9, and comparable cameras.
|10.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Leica M Typ 240||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The X10 has one, while the M9 does not. While the built-in flash of the X10 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X10 and the M9 write their files to SDXC cards.
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 Fujifilm X10 and Leica M9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|10.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Leica M Typ 240||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the X10 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 X10 was followed by the Fujifilm X20. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Leica websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Fujifilm X10 better than the Leica M9 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X10:
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.8" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the M9 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x70mm 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).
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 11 months after the M9).
Reasons to prefer the Leica M9:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18.1 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (19 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.9 stops ISO advantage).
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with different optics.
- 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 relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X10 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
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 X10 or the M9. 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 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], 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.
|1.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|2.||Leica M9||..||..||..||4.5/5||..||Sep 2009||7,999|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|5.||Canon G12||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|6.||Canon T2i||..||+ +||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699|
|7.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|9.||Leica M10||4.5/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595|
|10.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|11.||Leica D-LUX 6||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2012||699|
|12.||Leica M Typ 240||4/5||..||..||4/5||..||Sep 2012||6,950|
|13.||Leica M8||..||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2006||5,499|
|14.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|15.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|16.||Panasonic GF2||3/5||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? 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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Fujifilm X10 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 Model||Fujifilm X10||Leica M9|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Rangefinder camera|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/2.0-2.8||Leica M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2011||September 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 7,999|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X10||Leica M9|
|Sensor Format||Two Thirds Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||8.8 x 6.6 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||58.08 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||11 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||18.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||5212 x 3472 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.20 μm||6.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||20.66 MP/cm2||2.09 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 2,500 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||50||69|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.5||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||11.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||245||884|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X10||Leica M9|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||85%||100%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.8inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X10||Leica M9|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Manual Focus|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||2 shutter flaps/s|
|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||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X10||Leica M9|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X10||Leica M9|
117 x 70 x 57 mm
(4.6 x 2.8 x 2.2 in)
139 x 80 x 37 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||350 g (12.3 oz)||585 g (20.6 oz)|
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