Updated (June, 2011): Compare the Leica M9 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Leica M9

Winner
Leica M9

52

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Reasons to buy the Leica M9

Sensor size
Large sensor
Full frame 36.0x24.0mm
Size
Really small
Mid size 139x80x37 mm
Interchangeable lenses
Interchangeable lenses
Many lenses to choose from
Thickness
Thin
1.5"
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Leica M9

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Viewfinder Has a viewfinder Rangefinder vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 69.0 vs 54.0
Help
Around 30% better image quality
Sensor size Much larger sensor Full frame 36.0x24.0mm vs Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
Help
Around 4x larger sensor
Dynamic range More dynamic range 11.7 EV vs 10.3 EV
Help
1.4 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth Better color depth 22.5 bits vs 21.2 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.3 more bits of color
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 884 ISO vs 506 ISO
Help
The M9 has a slight edge (0.8 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
True resolution Higher true resolution 18.1 MP vs 12 MP
Help
Capture more than 50% more detail in your photos
Battery life Longer battery life 350 shots vs 300 shots
Help
Around 20% more shots per battery charge
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 800 ms vs 1000 ms
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20% less delay when turning on
Leica M9 Learn more about
the Leica M9

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF2

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Autofocus Video autofocus Contrast detection vs None
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Automatically focuses shooting video
Live view Has live view Yes vs No
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Preview your photos on the camera's screen before taking them
Movie format Shoots movies 1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Screen size Significantly larger screen 3.0" vs 2.5"
Help
More than 20% larger screen
Autofocus Autofocus Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses
Lowest price Much cheaper $249.95 vs $6,999.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $6,750 cheaper (28x less)
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Touch screen Has a touch screen Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Screen resolution Higher resolution screen 460k dots vs 230k dots
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2x higher resolution screen
Sensor type Has a CMOS-family sensor CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor Yes vs No
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Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Weight Much lighter 310 g vs 585 g
Help
Around 50% lighter
Longest exposure Much longer exposures 60s vs 8s
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7.5x longer exposures
Size Smaller 113x68x33 mm vs 139x80x37 mm
Help
Around 40% smaller
Built-in flash Built-in flash Yes vs No
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A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Lens availability Slightly more lenses available 40 lenses vs 38 lenses
Help
Around 10% more lenses available
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 3.2 fps vs 2 fps
Help
More than 60% faster continuous shooting
Thickness Thinner 1.3" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF2
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recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent mirrorless cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Leica M9 Leica M9 52
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        41 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              M9:38 lenses
              DMC-GF2:40 lenses
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
              Lacks boost light sensitivity
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              M9:230k dots
              DMC-GF2:460k dots
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              M9:2 fps
              DMC-GF2:3.2 fps

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $448 body only

              $598 - $700 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger

              Leica M9 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Leica M Typ 240

              Leica M Typ 240

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $6,500 body only

              Live view Has live view
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Weight Heavier
              Size Slightly larger
              Fujifilm FinePix X100T

              Fujifilm FinePix X100T

              Boutique

              $1,299

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Interchangeable lenses Built-in lens only
              Sensor size Much smaller sensor
              Fujifilm X-Pro1

              Fujifilm X-Pro1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $843 - $1,000 body only

              $1,512 with 18mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Live view Has live view
              Sensor size Much smaller sensor
              Lens availability Much fewer lenses available
              Fujifilm FinePix X100s

              Fujifilm FinePix X100s

              Boutique

              $888 - $1,299

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Autofocus Autofocus
              Interchangeable lenses Built-in lens only
              Sensor size Much smaller sensor
              Leica M8

              Leica M8

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Fastest shutter speed Significantly faster max shutter speed
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $150 body only

              $300 with 14-42mm lens

              Battery life Slightly longer battery life
              Shutter lag Slightly less shutter lag
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $488 body only

              $570 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $584 body only

              $614 with 14-45mm lens

              Battery life Significantly longer battery life
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $550 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Color depth Better color depth
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $500 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen

              appearance

              Leica M9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Leica M9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Leica M9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              discussion

              Leica M9
              M9
              Leica

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              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Lumix DMC-GF2
              Panasonic

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