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Leica M9 vs Canon 800D

The Leica M9 and the Canon EOS 800D (labelled Canon T7i in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2009 and February 2017. The M9 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, while the 800D is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (M9) and an APS-C (800D) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 18.1 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Leica M9   Canon 800D
Leica M9 Canon 800D
Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
Leica M mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
18.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-2500 ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel touchscreen
2 shutter flaps per second 6 shutter flaps per second
139 x 80 x 37 mm, 585 g 131 x 100 x 76 mm, 532 g

Body comparison: Leica M9 vs Canon 800D

The physical size and weight of the Leica M9 and the Canon 800D 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The M9 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 800D is only available in black.

Compare Leica M9 and Canon 800D
Compare M9 versus 800D top
Compare M9 or 800D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 800D is notably larger (18 percent) than the Leica M9. However, the 800D is markedly lighter (9 percent) than the M9. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M9 nor the 800D 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 Leica M Lens Catalog (M9) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (800D).

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, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica M9» 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
 
Canon 800D« 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 18.8 oz 600 n Feb 2017 749 i i Canon 800D
 
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
 
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
 
Canon 200D« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
 
Canon 750D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
 
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
 
Canon T2i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
 
Leica M10-P« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
Leica T« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 800D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 91 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Leica M9 vs Canon 800D

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M9 features a full frame sensor and the Canon 800D an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the 800D is 62 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M9 and Canon 800D sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the 800D offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 18.1 MP of the 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 3.72μm versus 6.91μm for the M9). However, it should be noted that the 800D is much more recent (by 7 years and 5 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 the M9 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The 800D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

The Leica M9 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 2500 The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 800D are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200..

M9 versus 800D MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Leica M9» Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472-22.511.788469Leica M9
 
Canon 800D« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon 800D
 
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971Canon 2000D
 
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
 
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon 200D
 
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
 
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon T5i
 
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363Canon T1i
 
Leica M10-P« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-----Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386Leica M10
 
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32721080/30p23.412.7132078Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« » Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« » APS-H 10.4 3936 2630-21.111.366359Leica M8

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The 800D indeed provides for movie recording, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the 800D can use is 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica M9 vs Canon 800D

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M9 and the 800D 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 800D (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 0.51x), 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 Leica M9 and Canon 800D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Leica M9»optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.0 n n Leica M9
 
Canon 800D«optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 800D
 
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 2000D
 
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
 
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 200D
 
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
 
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon T5i
 
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n Canon T1i
 
Leica M10-P« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n Leica M10
 
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 2.0 n n Leica M8

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 800D has a touchscreen, while the M9 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The 800D has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the M9 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M9 and the 800D write their files to SDXC cards. The 800D supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while M9 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Leica M9 vs Canon 800D

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 Leica M9 and Canon EOS 800D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Leica M9»Y-----2.0---Leica M9
 
Canon 800D«YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 800D
 
Canon 2000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 2000D
 
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
 
Canon 200D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 200D
 
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
 
Canon T5i« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon T5i
 
Canon T2i« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon T1i
 
Leica M10-P« »Y------Y--Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« »Y------Y--Leica M10
 
Leica T« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« »Ystereomono---2.0Y--Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« »Y-----2.0---Leica M8

It is notable that the 800D offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the M9 does not offer wifi capability.

The 800D is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the M9 has been discontinued (but it 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, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Leica and Canon websites.


Review summary: Leica M9 vs Canon 800D

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica M9 and the Canon 800D? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of 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 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.68x vs 0.51x).
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 131x100mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2009).

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 800D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 18.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • 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 swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • 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 into a lower priced category (91 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 5 months of technical progress since the M9 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 800D is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

M9 06:17 800D

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M9 or the 800D 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.

Expert reviews: Leica M9 vs Canon 800D

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Leica M9»--4.5/54.5/5- Sep 2009 7,999- i Leica M9
 
Canon 800D«-80/1004.5/54/54/5 Feb 2017 749 i i Canon 800D
 
Canon 2000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
 
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
 
Canon 200D« »++78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
 
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
 
Canon 760D« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
 
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon T5i
 
Canon T2i« »++77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon T2i
 
Canon T1i« »++74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i Canon T1i
 
Leica M10-P« »----4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
 
Leica M10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
 
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i Leica T
 
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i Leica X Typ 113
 
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i Leica X Vario
 
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i Leica M Typ 240
 
Leica M8« »-++--- Sep 2006 5,499- i Leica M8
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.

Leica M9:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 800D:
Check Amazon price

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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Leica M9 vs Canon 800D

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Leica M9 Canon 800D
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2009 February 2017
    Launch Price USD 7999 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Leica M9 Canon 800D
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 22.3 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 18.1 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5212 x 3472 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.91 μm 3.72 μm
    Pixel Density 2.09 MP/cm2 7.22 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80-2500 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-51200 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 Leica M9 Canon 800D
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x 0.51x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Leica M9 Canon 800D
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 2 shutter flaps/s 6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Leica M9 Canon 800D
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Leica M9 Canon 800D
    Battery Type BLI-312 power pack LP-E17 power pack
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 37 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
    131 x 100 x 76 mm
    (5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 585 g (20.6 oz) 532 g (18.8 oz)

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