Review and Photo example of the LEICA M9/M9-P.

Table of contents



The Leica M9 is the first M-type digital camera to be equipped with a 35mm full-frame sensor, making it an epoch-making camera among digital M cameras.
The body size and operating parts are the same as the M8. The difference is that the number of shots counter on the shoulder has been omitted.
The image sensor is equipped with a KODAK 18 million pixel CCD sensor. The sensor pitch is the same as the M8, but due to the larger sensor area, the number of pixels has increased to 18 million pixels.

The M9-P loses the M9 logo and LEICA red badge on the front of the camera, changes the classic logo on the top cover that was used in the limited edition model, and changes to the sapphire glass on the LCD monitor, but there are no functional changes.

I acquired a used black model shortly after its release. After using it for several years, I experienced the glass in front of the sensor peeling off. Fortunately, it was still under warranty, so I sent it in for repair, but I remember that it took quite a while. At that time, I borrowed an M8 as a replacement.
I didn’t think it would be a problem that would lead to a recall, and I thought I was just unlucky, but it seems that the repair costs a lot of money, and after the peeling problem was discovered, the only free repair was during the warranty period, so I had to pay for it. The response ended in August 2020 due to parts shortage.

Currently, the market is in a chaotic situation, with products without countermeasures mixed with those with countermeasures.
There seems to be some way to tell the difference, but I feel that there is no foolproof method and that it is a dangerous camera to mess with.
Kits for replacing damaged or peeled glass are also sold, but it is unclear whether the work can be done by amateurs. There is also a distance meter interlocking mechanism near the sensor, so if you disassemble it in the wrong way, you may not be able to take it back.

I also had an M9-P for a while, but I sold it in good condition before I learned that the sensor had come off. I don’t know what would have happened if I had used it for a long time. It seems that the later model LEICA M-E was also sold without countermeasures, and I feel that the peeling problem of KODAK-CCD is a very troublesome problem, including LEICA S2 / S Typ006 / S-E.
As for the LEICA S series, I purchased two second-hand units and both suffered from sensor peeling.

The details are on a separate page.

The shutter mechanism of the LEICA M9 series seems to follow the M8.2 system, and although the sensor size is larger, I remember that the sound quality was the same.
Since the M9/M9-P supports SDHC cards, the availability of memory cards has improved. The M9’s raw (DNG file) data is approximately 18 megabytes when compressed, so if you shoot only raw data with a 32 gigabyte SDHC card, you can shoot about 1,600 images.

The number of shots counter that was installed on the shoulder of the camera on the M8/M8.2 has been abolished.
This counter could only display up to two digits, 99, so as mentioned above, the M9/M9-P supported large-capacity memory cards, making it possible to take over 1,000 shots, making the counter unnecessary.
Personally, I think that using a small-capacity SD card and taking pictures while worrying about the number of remaining shots is similar to a film camera, and has a unique sense of tension and fun. In the case of SD cards, there was a time when you could buy them at convenience stores, but in the 2024s they will no longer be on the shelves of convenience stores, and it will no longer be an environment where you can easily buy them in an emergency.

The 18 million pixels installed are sufficient, and it is understandable that it is still popular because it produces tasteful depictions, but due to the price hike due to camera shortages and the sensor problem mentioned earlier, it is probably a camera that is difficult to choose.
The battery, grip, and other options are the same as the M8, so it was a blessing to have continuity in the system.

The M9 was limited to 500 units and several limited versions were sold, including a titanium set with a titanium exterior and a special Summilux 35mm F1.4 attached.
The M9-P was sold in many limited editions, including a model with a hammerton exterior and a special Summicron 35mm F2 attached, which was limited to 100 units, as well as a Hermès version, white, and red leather.


Sensor efective pixels18.0-Megapixels
MountLEICA M mount with 6bit code
Sensor35mm-Full Size ( 35.8x 23.9mm)
Kodak KAF18500
Back LCD2.5inch LCD monitor230,000 pixels
Finder magnificationx 0.68
Max shutter speed1/4000
Recorded mediaSD/SDHC32GB SDHC card can be used
Battery Leica 14464Battery(Ads by rakuten)
Size(WxHxD)W x H x D 139x80x37mmExcluding protrusions
Weight545 (Body +Battery)

Model History

Model nameR-D1M8M8.2M9 /M9-P
Sensor efective pixels6.1-Megapixels10.3-Megapixels18.0-Megapixels
(Probably made by Sony)
Kodak KAF10500KAF-18500
Sensor sizeAPS-C
23.7 x 15.6mm
APS-H Size
27 x 18mm
35mm Fullsize
35.8 × 23.9 mm 
Back LCD2.02.5
normal glass
sapphire glass
normal glass
Finder magnification10.680.68
Max shutter speed1/20001/80001/40001/4000
BatteryEPALB1 Leica 14464
Recorded mediaSDSDSDSDHC
Release date2004.7.302006.112008.92011.6.30
Size(WxHxD)142.0 x 88.5 x 39.5139 x 80 x 37
Weight570g (Only body)545585
Body colorBlackBlack/Silver/WhiteBlack/Silver/SafariBlack/Grey(M9)/Silver(M9-P)/Titan


  • LEICA M8/M8.2/M9 Hand Grip (replace the entire bottom cover)
  • thumbs-up

Reference links

Update history

  • 2024.02.19
  • 2023.05.06

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