Leica has just announced two new camera systems – the M9 and the X1. The M9 is the latest in the famous M series – it’s the same size and format as the M8 yet it’s chockfull of refinements. The M9 packs a 18.5 megapixel full frame sensor and has 3, 5 or 7 frame exposure bracketing for HDR. Its fit and finish are all Leica and its the smallest full frame digital camera on the market. It’s available in 2 weeks for $6995.


The new X1 (pictured above on the right) is a compact sized camera that uses an unusually large and high quality sensor for a camera of its size. It has a 12.2 APS megapixel sensor and comes with a fixed 35mm equivalent f 2.8 aspherical Elmarit lens. At 10 ounces, it offers the image quality of the M8 yet in a smaller format. It will ship by the holidays for $1995.


My favorite feature on the M9 is that it shows highlight clipping (in red) and shadow clipping (in blue) just like lightroom does. Yes!! (illustrated on the right) Workshop participants will note that I’ve been predicting this in-camera feature for years now. We’ll see how long it takes to trickle down to the other manufacturers.

Both cameras save DNG formatted RAW files and include a Lightroom license when registered. Leica followers, you know who you are.