Why I love the Leica M9 by Andy Donnan

To Leica or not to Leica? That has been a question rolling around in the back of my creative brain for years. At least for business purposes this camera makes no sense. They are expensive and lack a lot of features that other cameras include for much less money. Clients could care less what camera I’m using as long as their images are great, so there goes that excuse! But I knew I just needed to try one out and get it out of my system. So I did. This camera is not for the feint of heart, but for me it makes perfect sense. Check out the images in this gallery and click on them to reveal a 1600px size.

The most important part though is that I have been using the camera almost daily since buying it two weeks ago (rent one first from lensrentals.com if you’re feeling curious). Check out my most recent engagement session shot entire with the Leica M9 and 50mm f/2 Summicron. It is such a pleasure to carry just a tiny camera and one lens for an entire shoot. There are plenty of reviews online for this camera you can read, but for me the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I’ve put a pro/con list at the bottom of this post.


  • It’s roughly 1/2 to 1/3 the size of a simliar DSLR and prime lens
  • Doesn’t attract attention
  • Crazy beautiful straight out of camera files
  • Leica’s lenses are super sharp and can easily fit lenses even from the 60’s
  • Produces the classic look I love
  • The viewfinder lets you see what’s in and out of the frame
  • No viewfinder blackout while taking the picture
  • Viewfinder is on the far left vs. center
  • Ability to hand-hold very slow shutter speeds
  • The more I use it, the more I want to bring it with me


  • It’s expensive (and does not escape the digital rot of depreciation)
  • Lenses are expensive (on the other hand lenses appreciate in value over time)
  • Most people think it’s retro (time to go sip a latte in my skinny jeans)
  • The LCD is junk (so know your craft)
  • Noisy/Grainy (I love black and white high iso grain)
  • Battery life is a joke (but spares are easy to carry and are tiny)
  • Only SD cards (may be a pro for some, but a con for me)
  • A whopping two FPS (if you spray and pray stay away from this one)
  • Macro shots? Good luck

2 responses to “the tiny camera”

  1. I’ve never understood why Leica put junk LCD’s on their cameras. They have a good relationship with Panasonic. What’s up with that?

    Great images BTW. They are gorgeous cameras. But yeah… typical BMW driver. Has to get the Leica. Hahaha! 🙂


    • No wonder the M9 LCD reminds me of Canon’s 1ds mark II. It has the same resolution and only 1/2 an inch larger LCD. And that camera came out in 2005. So yeah. It’s that bad.

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