Finally. It seems like there have been a dozen leaks about the Leica M9 and X1 the last couple of weeks, but they are finally announced. It’s too bad that the leaks killed all the fun and announced everything already though.
The new M9, which should be available this week, features a very similar body as the M8, but now rocks a 18MP full frame CCD sensor along new button placement for quick access to important settings. Plus, it has new micro lens that should help with performance at the edges of the frame and further justify the £4,850 inc VAT ($8,000 USD) price.
The new X1 is like the M9′s little brother. It’s still very capable, but not nearly as experienced as the M9. It’s a pocket camera for professionals or trust fund babies with a 12MP CMOS sensor, a fixed F2.8 24 mm lens and a DNG RAW shooting mode. The top panel sports three analog dials for power/zoom, shutter speed, and aperture control while the back has a large 2.7-inch screen. In all, it looks to be a quality shooter when it launches in January 2010 at an unannounced price.
DPReview has extensive hands-ons posted for both of these cameras with tons of pictures, along with a tour of the factory. Spend a few minutes and geek out over there. You’ll be thankful you did once the Applepalooza starts.