Leica M9 vs Olympus E-M10 II
The Leica M9 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2009 and August 2015. The M9 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-M10 II is a rangefinder-style mirrorless. The cameras are based on a full frame (M9) and a Four Thirds (E-M10 II) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 18.1 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 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.
|Leica M9||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Rangefinder camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Leica M mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|18.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor||15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 80-2500||ISO 200-25600|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|2.5" LCD, 230k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting touchscreen|
|2 shutter flaps per second||8 shutter flaps per second|
|No shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|139 x 80 x 37 mm, 585 g||120 x 83 x 47 mm, 390 g|
Body comparison: Leica M9 vs Olympus E-M10 II
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica M9 and the Olympus E-M10 II is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M10 II is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Leica M9. Moreover, the E-M10 II is markedly lighter (33 percent) than the M9. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M9 nor the E-M10 II 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 Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-M10 II).
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|Leica M9»||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.6 oz||..||n||Sep 2009||7,999||-||Leica M9|
|Olympus E-M10 II«||4.7 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.8 oz||320||n||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T2i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.7 oz||440||n||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.3 oz||400||n||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Leica M10-P« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||n||Aug 2018||7,995||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M10« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||23.3 oz||210||n||Jan 2017||6,595||Leica M10|
|Leica T« »||5.3 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.5 oz||400||n||Apr 2014||1,850||-||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.1 in||17.1 oz||350||n||Sep 2014||2,295||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||Leica X Vario|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.7 in||24.0 oz||..||Y||Sep 2012||6,950||-||Leica M Typ 240|
|Leica M8« »||5.5 in||3.1 in||1.5 in||20.8 oz||..||n||Sep 2006||5,499||-||Leica M8|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.0 in||14.5 oz||330||n||Aug 2017||649||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||16.5 oz||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||4.7 in||3.2 in||1.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||n||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Panasonic GX85« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||15.0 oz||290||n||Apr 2016||799||Panasonic GX85|
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 E-M10 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 90 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 Olympus E-M10 II
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. 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 Leica M9 features a full frame sensor and the Olympus E-M10 II a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-M10 II is 74 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 2.0. The sensor in the M9 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-M10 II offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 18.1MP, the M9 offers a higher resolution than the E-M10 II (15.9MP), but the M9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.91μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M10 II) due to its larger sensor. However, the E-M10 II is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 years and 11 months) than the M9, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 Leica M9 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 2500 The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600..
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the E-M10 II has a markedly higher DXO score than the M9 (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Leica M9»||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||-||22.5||11.7||884||69||Leica M9|
|Olympus E-M10 II«||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61||Canon T5i|
|Canon T2i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||1080/20p||21.7||11.5||663||63||Canon T1i|
|Leica M10-P« »||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||-||-||-||-||-||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M10« »||Full Frame||23.8||5952||3992||-||24.4||13.2||2133||86||Leica M10|
|Leica T« »||APS-C||16.2||4944||3278||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||1082||75||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X Vario« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78||Leica X Vario|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||Full Frame||23.7||5952||3976||1080/25p||24.0||13.3||1860||84||Leica M Typ 240|
|Leica M8« »||APS-H||10.4||3936||2630||-||21.1||11.3||663||59||Leica M8|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72||Olympus E-PL7|
|Panasonic GX85« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71||Panasonic GX85|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The E-M10 II indeed provides for movie recording, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the E-M10 II can use is 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Leica M9 vs Olympus E-M10 II
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M10 II 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica M9, the Olympus E-M10 II, and comparable cameras.
|Leica M9»||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||2.0||n||n||Leica M9|
|Olympus E-M10 II«||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 II|
|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|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.6||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||1440||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL7|
|Panasonic GX85« »||2765||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX85|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The E-M10 II has a touchscreen, while the M9 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M9 and the E-M10 II write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Leica M9 vs Olympus E-M10 II
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 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica M9»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M9|
|Olympus E-M10 II«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Canon T5i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T2i« »||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T1i|
|Leica M10-P« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M10« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||-||Y||-||-||Leica M10|
|Leica T« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X Vario« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Vario|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica M Typ 240|
|Leica M8« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M8|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Panasonic GX85« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GX85|
It is notable that the E-M10 II 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.
Both the M9 and the E-M10 II have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M9 was replaced by the Leica M Typ 240, while the E-M10 II was followed by the Olympus E-M10 III.
Review summary: Leica M9 vs Olympus E-M10 II
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica M9 and the Olympus E-M10 II? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Leica M9:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (18.1 vs 15.9MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
- 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).
Reasons to prefer the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- 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 (1040k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x83mm vs 139x80mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 195g or 33 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (90 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the M9 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M10 II is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M9 or the E-M10 II. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Leica M9 vs Olympus E-M10 II
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.
|Leica M9»||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||-||Sep 2009||7,999||-||Leica M9|
|Olympus E-M10 II«||HiRec||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-||Canon T5i|
|Canon T2i« »||HiRec||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon T2i|
|Canon T1i« »||HiRec||74/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||799||-||Canon T1i|
|Leica M10-P« »||-||-||-||-||4/5||Aug 2018||7,995||Leica M10-P|
|Leica M10« »||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||6,595||Leica M10|
|Leica T« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2014||1,850||-||Leica T|
|Leica X Typ 113« »||-||-||3.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2014||2,295||Leica X Typ 113|
|Leica X Vario« »||-||-||4/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850||Leica X Vario|
|Leica M Typ 240« »||-||-||4/5||-||-||Sep 2012||6,950||-||Leica M Typ 240|
|Leica M8« »||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2006||5,499||-||Leica M8|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2017||649||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-M5 II« »||HiRec||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||-||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Panasonic GX85« »||HiRec||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2016||799||Panasonic GX85|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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Specifications: Leica M9 vs Olympus E-M10 II
|Camera Model||Leica M9||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Camera Type||Rangefinder camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica M mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2009||August 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 7999||USD 799|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||17.3 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||18.1 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5212 x 3472 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.91 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.09 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80-2500 ISO||200-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-25600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||69||73|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.5||23.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||12.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||884||842|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||n/a||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||n/a||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||No shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||BLI-312 power pack||BLS-50 power pack|
139 x 80 x 37 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
120 x 83 x 47 mm
(4.7 x 3.3 x 1.9 in)
|Camera Weight||585 g (20.6 oz)||390 g (13.8 oz)|
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