Leica M9 vs Panasonic TZ100
The Leica M9 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 (labelled Panasonic ZS100 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2009 and January 2016. The M9 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, while the TZ100 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a full frame (M9) and an one-inch (TZ100) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 18.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 20 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||Panasonic TZ100|
|Rangefinder camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Leica M mount lenses||25-250mm f/2.8-5.9|
|18.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 80-2500||ISO 125-12800 (80-25600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)|
|2.5" LCD, 230k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed touchscreen|
|2 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|No shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|139 x 80 x 37 mm, 585 g||111 x 65 x 44 mm, 312 g|
Body comparison: Leica M9 vs Panasonic TZ100
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica M9 and the Panasonic TZ100 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 measures 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 – the M9 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic TZ100 is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Leica M9. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M9 nor the TZ100 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the TZ100 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 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|
|Panasonic TZ100«||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jan 2016||699||-||Panasonic TZ100|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M3« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|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|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic LX15« »||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||10.9 oz||260||n||Sep 2016||699||Panasonic LX15|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
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 TZ100 was launched at a lower price than the M9, despite having a lens built in. 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.
Sensor comparison: Leica M9 vs Panasonic TZ100
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 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 Panasonic TZ100 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the TZ100 is 87 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 2.75. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the TZ100 offers a higher resolution of 20 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 2.41μm versus 6.91μm for the M9). However, it should be noted that the TZ100 is much more recent (by 6 years and 3 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 Leica M9 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 2500 The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600..
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Leica M9»||Full Frame||18.1||5212||3472||-||22.5||11.7||884||69||Leica M9|
|Panasonic TZ100«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||559||70||Panasonic TZ100|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72||Canon M3|
|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|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic LX15« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic LX15|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The TZ100 indeed provides for movie recording, while the M9 does not. The highest resolution format that the TZ100 can use is 4K/30p.
Feature comparison: Leica M9 vs Panasonic TZ100
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the TZ100 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k 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 Panasonic TZ100 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Leica M9»||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||2.0||n||n||Leica M9|
|Panasonic TZ100«||1166||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ100|
|Canon G5 X« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M3« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n||Canon M3|
|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|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic LX15« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic LX15|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The TZ100 has a touchscreen, while the M9 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the TZ100 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M9 and the TZ100 write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Leica M9 vs Panasonic TZ100
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica M9»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica M9|
|Panasonic TZ100«||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TZ100|
|Canon G5 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M3|
|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|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic LX15« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic LX15|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
It is notable that the M9 has a hotshoe, while the TZ100 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the M9 and the TZ100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M9 was replaced by the Leica M Typ 240, while the TZ100 was followed by the Panasonic TZ200.
Review summary: Leica M9 vs Panasonic TZ100
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Leica M9 better than the Panasonic TZ100 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Leica M9:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 18.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 5%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- 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 4K/30p 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).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the M9 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x65mm vs 139x80mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the M9).
- 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 at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 3 months of technical progress since the M9 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TZ100 is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 8 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M9 or the TZ100 handle or perform in practice. 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 Panasonic TZ100
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 full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Leica M9»||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||-||Sep 2009||7,999||-||Leica M9|
|Panasonic TZ100«||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||-||Panasonic TZ100|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||Canon G5 X|
|Canon M3« »||rev||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|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|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799||Panasonic TZ200|
|Panasonic LX15« »||HiRec||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699||Panasonic LX15|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1300D vs Nikon D700
- Canon 800D vs Canon 500D
- Canon R vs Olympus TG-5
- Fujifilm X-A10 vs Canon 1300D
- Leica CL vs Fujifilm X-A2
- Leica D-LUX 7 vs Canon M100
- Nikon D7100 vs Nikon D850
- Nikon D7200 vs Leica S Typ 007
- Nikon Z6 vs Canon G1 X Mark III
- Panasonic FZ2000 vs Panasonic FZ1000
- Panasonic GX8 vs Canon M50
- Panasonic GX8 vs Olympus E-M10 III
Specifications: Leica M9 vs Panasonic TZ100
|Camera Model||Leica M9||Panasonic TZ100|
|Camera Type||Rangefinder camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica M mount lenses||25-250mm f/2.8-5.9|
|Launch Date||September 2009||January 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 7999||USD 699|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0 mm||13.2 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||864 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.3 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||18.1 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5212 x 3472 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.91 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.09 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80-2500 ISO||125-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80-25600 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||n/a||1166k dots|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||No shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|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||DMW-BLG10 power pack|
139 x 80 x 37 mm
(5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in)
111 x 65 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||585 g (20.6 oz)||312 g (11.0 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.