M9 v X100. output quality

Discussion in 'Fuji' started by petemasty, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. petemasty

    petemasty Regular

    May 24, 2011
    wiltshire, UK
    I noticed there are some who have these two cameras in their 'arsenal'. i posted a 'picture quality' thread recently on another forum, but it would seem most people just wanted to talk about the cameras themselves, rather than the pictures the camera gives. Not being an M9 owner I was wondering what owners of both cameras thought about the like-for-like picture quality. Have they done any tests? At 7-8 times the cost of the X100, does the M9 produce the requisite quality that justifies this? (yes I am aware that the price has more to do with material and workmanship quality, so please, no debate about this). but the ned result has to be its output.

    i know people aspire to own an M9, but is this aspiration purely based on the principle of perceived high price = high quality. afterall, it's only a box with which to take an image. ( i am also aware that its the person behind the lens that make a difference to the picture quality too, no please, no debate on this either).

    PS: Wouldnt an interchangebale lens X100 be wonderful.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. ajramirez

    ajramirez Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
  3. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    The M9 has the Kodak sensor

    Kodak Talks About Leica M9 Sensor | PhotographyBLOG

    X100 is Fuji

    I'm a (blind) Leica M8 fan, (M9 when I go mad one day!), so I won't believe any Leica negatives that you bring up and would not even want to start a comparison debate
  4. Bugleone

    Bugleone Regular

    Jun 1, 2011
    I can't afford a M9 and would'nt buy an x100 on principle........

    ............However, what you are really asking is; 'can an APS-C sensor camera ever equal a full frame sensor one?'

    Personally, I don't think that ANY small(er) sensor can equal ANY large(r) sensor,...it's not simply about pixel numbers, resolution or acutance etc., but a sum total of all these and other factors.

    I have been delighted with my NEX 3 which performs better than I hoped it would,...but when a full frame sensor camera apears that is within my grasp I will try to get it. I'm aware of the many places on the web where various pundits attempt to argue that APS is just as good or even better but I always look at the image files and have NEVER seen any that invalidate the main truth which goes back to my youth with 35mm, medium format and large format film cameras;

    ........Bigger is ALWAYS better when image quality is up for comaprison,....Note I said "image quality", not various other factors that may make a decision final. I sometimes make big prints and always want to see them even larger,...there is nothing worse than trying to print at a certain size only to find that the image quality is lacking. Once one tries to do this the defects are seen easily in much smaller prints, and thus the chase for image quality starts. There's a reason for very expensive med. format digital backs.......
  5. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Top Veteran

    Jul 6, 2010
    I've owned and used both. Just to say first off that the M9 (at current prices) is about 5 times more than an X100. (A bargain then!!)

    First two things are, the M9 is full frame and has an 18MP sensor and the X100 is an APS-C and 12MP sensor. It may seem obvious but you are getting more information from the Kodak sensor. The M9 also has no AA filter, though it does have an IR filter. This allows the quality of the lens to shine through. Its also an interchangeable lens camera. With the X100, you have to make any assessment on the basis of ts one fixed lens. The M9 has much better build quality and the rangefinder focusing is very fast (within certain limits - i.e. telephoto lenses are difficult and you can forget any idea about close-up work)

    In terms of image sharpness, I've never used anything (or seen samples of anything) that beats the M9. That includes D3X, SD1 etc. I've never used MF digital, so I can't comment on that. However the M9 still exhibits some moire on certain images (they still haven't cured that) and its dynamic range is pretty mediocre. Its actually not that much better than m4/3 cameras. Its better than the M8 at high ISO's, though I find 1600 to be the upper limit. It doesn't go much beyond that anyway. The X100 betters it comprehensively for that, having a really impressive high ISO performance up to ISO 6400.

    The X100 produces sharp results and I was very impressed with them until that is I used the new Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 on a Panasonic G3. Obviously no competitor to the X100 in terms of high ISO, but at the lower end of the scale, the closest I've come to what the Leica M9 produces, in terms of sharpness, in any camera/lens combination I've used.

    There is no doubt that the X100 produces superb images. I had issues with its operation, and the re-occurance of an eye problem meant I had difficulty using it, but if that wasn't the case I would still have it.

    If you want what I would suggest is the best image quality, this side of medium format, I would have no hesitation in saying that you get that from the Leica. I also love the colour it produces, but thats a personal thing. The Fuji has no problems on that score.

    To a certain extent the M9's performance is influenced by the lens that is used, though the sensor does manage to make virtually any m-mount lens shine.

    Ken Rockwell has some M9 raw files you can download here.LEICA M9 Sample Images and DNG files and that will probably give you a better idea of what it can do, than anything I write.

    • Like Like x 3
  6. petemasty

    petemasty Regular

    May 24, 2011
    wiltshire, UK
    Thanks for such a comprehensive answer Soundimage!. Very interesting to hear your little comment about the Panasonic 25mm