PW

Leica M9 versus Fujifilm X-Pro2

The Leica M9 and the Fujifilm X-Pro2 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2009 and January 2016. The M9 is a fixed lens compact, while the X-Pro2 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a full frame (M9) and an APS-C (X-Pro2) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 18.1 megapixel, whereas the Fujifilm provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Leica M9 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica M9 and the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the M9 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Leica M9 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2
Compare M9 versus X-Pro2 top
Compare M9 and X-Pro2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is notably larger (5 percent) than the Leica M9. However, the X-Pro2 is markedly lighter (15 percent) than the M9. It is noteworthy in this context that the X-Pro2 is splash and dust-proof, while the M9 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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 Leica M Lens Catalog (M9) and the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-Pro2).

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 camera comparisons there.

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)
Leica M9» 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.6 oz .. n Sep 2009 7,999- i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« 5.6 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon T5i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i
Canon T2i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699- i
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i
Fujifilm X-E3« » 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.0 oz 410 n Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T2« » 5.2 in 3.6 in 1.9 in 17.9 oz 340 Y Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 n Jan 2012 1,699- i
Leica M10« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 23.3 oz 210 n Jan 2017 6,595 i i
Leica T« » 5.3 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 13.5 oz 400 n Apr 2014 1,850- i
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 Vario« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.7 in 24.0 oz 450 n Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Leica M Typ 240« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.7 in 24.0 oz .. Y Sep 2012 6,950- i
Leica M8« » 5.5 in 3.1 in 1.5 in 20.8 oz .. n Sep 2006 5,499- i
Panasonic GH2« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 1,499- i

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 X-Pro2 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: Leica M9 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2

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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M9 features a full frame sensor and the Fujifilm X-Pro2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-Pro2 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M9 and Fujifilm X-Pro2 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the X-Pro2 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixel, compared with 18.1 MP of the M9. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 6.91μm for the M9). However, it should be noted that the X-Pro2 is much more recent (by 6 years and 4 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.

M9 versus X-Pro2 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Leica M9» Full Frame 18.1 5212 3472-22.511.788469
Fujifilm X-Pro2« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
Canon T5i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161
Canon T2i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-A3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-T2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----
Leica M10« » Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992-24.413.2213386
Leica T« » APS-C 16.2 4944 32781080/30p23.012.7108275
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
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 2630-21.111.366359
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The X-Pro2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the X-Pro2 can use is 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Leica M9 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-Pro2 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica M9 and Fujifilm X-Pro2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. 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
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Leica M9»optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.0 n n
Fujifilm X-Pro2«2360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 8000 8.0 n n
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n
Canon T5i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon T2i« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 3.7 Y n
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 8000 14.0 n n
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »1440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 6.0 n n
Leica M10« »optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 4000 5.0 n n
Leica T« »- n 3.7 1300 fixed Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica X Vario« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica M Typ 240« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 n n
Leica M8« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 2.0 n n
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n

The X-Pro2 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. 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.

Review summary: Leica M9 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica M9 or the Fujifilm X-Pro2 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Leica M9:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • 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).

ilogo

Advantages of the Fujifilm X-Pro2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 18.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
  • 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 (1620k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 90g or 15 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (79 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 4 months of technical progress since the M9 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X-Pro2 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 3 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 03:11 X-Pro2

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 handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M9 or the X-Pro2. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Leica M9»--4.5/54.5/5- Sep 2009 7,999- i
Fujifilm X-Pro2«Rec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon T5i« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i
Canon T2i« »HiRec77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T2« »HiRec86/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699- i
Leica M10« »--4/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i i
Leica T« »--4/5-4/5 Apr 2014 1,850- i
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Leica X Vario« »--4/54/54/5 Jun 2013 2,850 i i
Leica M Typ 240« »--4/5-- Sep 2012 6,950- i
Leica M8« »-HiRec--- Sep 2006 5,499- i
Panasonic GH2« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, 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 the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

vs

    You are here  »   »