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What has changed in M9 compared to M8 (upgraded)


lovelyleica

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After a few days of M9 usage here are my findings :

 

Release button:

= Soft release, but not softer than upgraded M8.

 

Shutter:

= Not the same sound, but not louder and not quieter.

 

Exposure:

+ more on the saturated side, with a little tendency to underexposure.

 

On/off selector:

+ Much better, now is harder to turn to from C to Self timer position. (you can anyway deactivate self timer, which in this case acts as a normal S shutter).

 

Speed dial:

- Too smooth, easy to turn accidentally, same as before.

 

Flash grip:

+ More precisely adjusted and with more friction. Better for finders which won't slip out accidentally.

 

LCD screen:

+ More contrasty and more saturated.

- Slow as usual to zoom in a captured picture. This is BAD ! but could maybe be corrected in a future firmware (M9 product manager Stephan Daniel dixit)

 

Rear wheel:

+ Feels better than M8, smoother to turn (because it's new maybe).

 

Rear buttons:

+ ISO change button is a +++ addition. you can even forget Auto ISO, as it is so easy to change it manually.

+ INFO button is OK, but Red + Green bar is too much, Green color alone (or white) would be enough and easier to read.

 

Battery:

- Discharging quicker than with M8, be careful ! Spare battery is more than welcome.

+ Same battery as M8.

 

Rangefinder:

+ Very well adjusted, better than M8, on par with MP. Vertical alignment at infinity stays aligned at 0.7m. Absolutely no misalignment here which is not the case with the M8 which slightly vertically misaligns at short distance. This has no incidence on focusing precision anyway.

+ Focusing precision is excellent with all lenses.

= Bright lines are precise and the fullframe at 1m size is excellent in practice.

 

Sensor:

18 Mpix is a killer, especially because of exceptionally good Leica lenses bokey and resolution power. Definition has gone to new higher standards for such a compact fullframe camera.

 

Body:

+ Retro look leatherette is better to my taste. It feels better in the hand. Maybe because it feels like an MP, except body's thickness ?

+ Left cut edge looks strange at first but I could get very well used to it, and makes a less massive left side.

- Red Leica front badge. I definitely prefer the black one.

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Mostly the same as my experience (after one day). Of particular note:

 

The LCD is REALLY contrasty - do not try and gauge dynamic range from the screen image, it has about 4 stops less than the actual dng (at least). But it changes less with viewing angle - a +.

 

Framelines: At minimum focus with my 75 Summilux, there are severe risks of cutting things off as it is - so I'm glad they went with 1m instead of 2m for the framelines. A good compromise. Better than M8.1 at infinity.

 

Focus: getting some front-focus with my 75, but I suspect the lens at this point, and a 75 f/1.4 is a bear in any circumstances wide-open.

 

Battery - yes, about 400 exposures per charge (YMMV). Actually I was about 1/3rd down after 80 exposures today, but it was the first chargeup for the battery, so may not be "seasoned" yet.

 

The release, set for "soft + discreet" still sounds loud to the photographer, but I handed the camera to others to shoot with 3 feet away, and could barely hear it. The metallic sounds especially attenuate very fast with distance.

 

The LCD review process is different from my M8s - On the M8s the hi-res would load while I was in full-frame mode, causing a little "jump" in the images after a second or so. On the M9 the hi-res doesn't load until I start to actually zoom, so the "jump" only occurs then (and takes longer).

 

Exposure - yes, a part of an EV darker than the M8.

 

Hot shoe - yep, tight, although that may just be "newness" - I recall at least one of my M8s was tight when new (30 months ago).

 

I discovered something cool with the INFO screen - the meter is live for several seconds, allowing manual metering of general light without having to point the camera at a subject obviously at eye level. Got a couple of surreptitious shots today by metering Zone 5 sidewalk while appearing to chimp.

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