September 10, 2009: Leica has released details of two new cameras, the M9, which features a 35mm-sized sensor and the compact X1, which has an APS-C sized sensor.
Claimed as the first digital system camera of its size to be built with a full-frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor, the M9 offers an effective resolution of 18 megapixels. The CCD imager chip has been developed specifically for the new camera, which features Leica’s traditional rangefinder design. The new camera boasts a full-metal housing, crafted from a high-strength magnesium alloy. Its top deck and bottom plate are machined from large blocks of brass. The shutter assembly has also been produced with endurance in mind.
Front view of the Leica M9. (Source: Leica.)
Rear view of the Leica M9. (Source: Leica.)
Top view of the Leica M9. (Source: Leica.)
The main control interface is a four-way switch and dial combination, which is used in conjunction with the 2.5-inch LCD monitor on the rear panel. A dedicated button is provided for ISO settings, while other functions accessible via the set button include: white balance, image-data compression, resolution, exposure correction, exposure bracketing and programmable user profiles. The user profiles can be programmed with any combination of camera and shooting settings, stored under an assigned name, and accessed quickly whenever required for a particular situation.
A view of the M9’s menu system. (Source: Leica.)
The new Leica X1 features a professional APS-C sized CMOS image sensor with an effective resolution of 12.9 megapixels. It comes with a Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH lens and offers both automatic functions for point-and-press users and manual individual settings for serious photographers. The X1 claims fast autofocusing with a choice of one or 11 AF points plus a face recognition AF mode.
Front view of the Leica X1. (Source: Leica.)
Rear view of the Leica X1. (Source: Leica.)
Top view of the Leica X1. (Source: Leica.)
Both models support raw file capture, using the ‘universal’ Adobe Digital Negative (DNG) format. Both models are designed for SD/SDHC memory cards. Bundled with both cameras is a license for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, a professional digital workflow solution available for both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The software is a free download for M9 purchasers, to guarantee that the most current version is always available.
The Leica M9 in black and steel-grey will be available to order from all Leica “M” Dealers from 9 September 2009 at RRP $11,499.00 (Body only). The Leica X1 will be available from authorised Leica “DSC” dealers from January 2010 at RRP $2,799.00. Optional accessories for the new camera will be available after the market-launch of the camera. For more information, contact Adeal by phoning 1300 723 001 or visit www.leica-camera.com.