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Best Leica Digital Camera On the Market

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best lecica digital camera on the market Leica m9

In the world of photography, the Leica name needs little introduction. A pioneer in its field, Leica manages even today to surprise amateur and pro photographers with its incredible range of high-quality products. When it comes to Leica, people usually have a close relationship with the cameras. Some may have inherited such device (or, at least, a set of lenses) from their predecessors; others may have used one and fallen in love with it. In any case, Leica is a legendary trademark in the world of photography. Today we are going to take a closer look at the best Leica digital camera offers on the market. If you want quality, durability, and performance as a photographer, then Leica may be the choice for you.

best leica digital camera on the market, Leica m9
Best Leica Digital Camera: Leica M9

What Is the Best Leica Digital Camera on the Market?

The German manufacturer offered photographers worldwide plenty of models to choose from. To narrow down the vast possibilities one has when it comes to using Leica cameras, we will focus on this post on some of the best and most acclaimed Leica M cameras. We are going to review in short some of the best Leica M models emphasizing on their usability, tech specs and user experience. So here are our top picks and recommendations for Leica M digital cameras which can make your next best shooting tool or the best gift for a close one.

The Leica M3 Digital Classic Camera

It all started back in 1954 when Leica introduced the 35mm rangefinder camera and rewrote the history of photography. This camera was the first ever to combine a viewfinder with a rangefinder in the same window. Fast forward modern times and we find the Digital Classic Camera Leica M3, a replica of the old M3 with state-of-the-art technological upgrades.

Mostly dedicated to the nostalgic crowd, the M3 series is known as a miniature camera with a body made of metal and covered in leatherette. The Leica M3 cameras are small and light, but they don’t lack some of the most important tech specs a digital camera should have.

General Specs:

Digital Classic Camera Leica M3 2.1 (or 3.0)

  • Lens: 1:2.8/9.6mm (5 elements, glass lenses plus infrared filter)
  • Sensor: 2.1-megapixel CMOS (1600×1200 pixels), ISO 100
  • Weight: 95 g without CR2 battery

Digital Classic Camera Leica M3 1.3

  • Lens: 1:3.0/10.3mm (5 elements, glass lenses plus infrared filter)
  • Sensor: 1.3-megapixel CMOS (1280 x 960 pixels)
  • Weight: 95 g without CR2 battery

Digital Classic Camera Leica M3 4.0

  • Lens: 1:2.8/9.6mm (5 elements, glass lenses plus infrared filter)
  • Sensor: 3.2-megapixel CMOS (2048 x 1536 pixels)
  • Weight: 95 g without CR2 battery

Digital Classic Camera Leica M3 5.0

In comparison to the other cameras in the M series, this one is the first to feature a LCD screen and a SD card. With a 5.0 megapixels CMOS (2.060 x 1.920 pixels) sensor, this model is indeed a work of art.

As we said, these cameras are dedicated to collectors mostly. You can find such vintage camera for sale starting at $700.

Leica m6
Leica M6

The Leica M6 Classic Rangefinder Camera

The Leica M6 is a perfect camera for professional photographers, but for their personal use. Specialists agree that the M6 series prove their value best when used in some special contexts: documentary, journalism, professional events shootings (weddings for instance). These cameras are usually used when the photographer doesn’t have the time to manually set things up and switch between several types of settings. It is great for shooting movement in a non-intrusive matter. The M6 cameras are almost completely silent; this is why they are usually preferred when shooting up events, corporate meetings, and stage performances.

General Specs:

  • Viewfinder: 0.58X, 0.72X and 0.85X
  • Framelines: 0.58X (28-90, 35, 50-75), 0.72X (28-90, 35-135, 50-75), 0.85X (35-135, 50-75, 90)
  • Shutter speeds: 1 sec., 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, [detent at 1/50 for flash synch], 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, B
  • Film speed: 6–6400 ISO

While the original Leica M6 Classic is out of production today, the M6 passionate soon found that its replacement, the M6 TTL, was just as a great camera as its predecessor. The M6 TTL series is available in 0.58, 0.72 and 0.85 viewfinder and its price ranges around $1,545.00.

The Leica M9 Digital Camera

This digital full-frame rangefinder camera was introduced in 2009 and is famous for its razor sharp images and its high-quality building. One interesting fact about the Leica M9 is that it lacks several of the usual controls we can find on other cameras, challenging the photographer to use true photography skills and not rely solely on hi-tech, software and controls. Many specialists appreciate the M9 because it takes the shooter back to the true basics of photography, where the process of taking a picture is more important that setting the camera controls.

Dedicated mostly to professionals, the Leica M9 also comes with a set of tech specs that are most impressive:

General Specs:

  • Sensor: Full Frame 24x36mm CCD
  • Lens System: Prime Lenses from 16-135mm
  • Focus Type: Manual
  • Sensitivity: ISO 80-2500
  • Shutter Speeds: 1/4000 – 8 sec
  • Exposure Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual
  • Display 5″ Sapphire Crystal screen with 230,000-pixel resolution

Leica M9 Digital Camera Recommended Uses

  • Taking pictures of people (portraits and movement)
  • Taking night pictures – capturing movement and lights
  • Street Photography
  • Architecture
  • Documentation of events, stage performances, documentary, journalism

What the Leica M9 has in comparison with other digital cameras is the level of detail, the sharp colors and excellent shooting of motion. What you should also know about the camera is that the manufacturer upgraded it in 2012, adding improvements to the SD card compatibility.

Price: $7,995

The Leica M9 series also comprises the Leica M9 Titanium version, the Leica M9-P and the The Leica M-E models. There are slight differences between these models, but they all feature the best qualities of the Leica M9.

We can’t end this summary reviewing post without mentioning the Leica T series, a critically acclaimed model which won the TIPA Awards 2015 in the Best Design Category. One of the best mirrorless cameras ever made, the Leica T is a trademark of both photography quality and tech specs. We have discussed in detail this model and we recommend you read our extended Leica T review.



Don Phillips

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