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

Leica M9 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

Winner
Leica M9

53

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

43

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Leica M9

Great viewfinder
Viewfinder
Rangefinder
Great color depth
Color depth
22.5 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
11.7 EV
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
800 ms startup delay
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

Screen size
Large screen
3"
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

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Leica M9.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2.

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
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.7 EV vs 10.3 EV
Help
2.8 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
Startup delay
Less startup delay
800 ms vs 1000 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
350 shots vs 300 shots
Help
Around 20% more shots per battery charge
Leica M9 Learn more about
the Leica M9

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF2

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Screen size
Much larger screen
3" vs 2.5"
Help
More than 20% larger screen
Live view
Has live view
Yes vs No
Help
Preview your photos on the camera's screen before taking them
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Autofocus
Autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses
Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
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
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Lens availability
More lenses available
108 lenses vs 77 lenses
Help
More than 40% more lenses available
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$177.00 vs $5,144.54
Help
The best price we've seen is $4,968 cheaper (29.1x less)
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Longest exposure
Much longer exposures
60s vs 8s
Help
7.5x longer exposures
Weight
Significantly lighter
310 g vs 585 g
Help
Around 50% lighter
Size
Smaller
113×68×33 mm vs 139×80×37 mm
Help
Around 40% smaller
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Thickness
Slightly thinner
1.3" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF2
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Leica M9 Leica M9 53
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      Color
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        43 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
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          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              M9800 ms
              DMC-GF21000 ms
              Thickness Thin Help
              M91.5"
              DMC-GF21.3"
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
              Lacks boost light sensitivity
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              M9230k dots
              DMC-GF2460k dots
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Autofocus Lacks autofocus Help
              M9None
              DMC-GF2Contrast detection
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              M92 fps
              DMC-GF23.2 fps
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              M911.7 EV
              DMC-GF210.3 EV

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $698 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

              Leica M9 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Fujifilm X-Pro1

              Fujifilm X-Pro1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $740 - $799 body only

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a rangefinder viewfinder
              Leica M Typ 240

              Leica M Typ 240

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $7,250 - $16,280 body only

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Lowest price Significantly more expensive
              Weight Heavier
              Fujifilm FinePix X100T

              Fujifilm FinePix X100T

              Boutique

              $999 - $1,299

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Interchangeable lenses Built-in lens only
              Viewfinder Doesn't have a rangefinder viewfinder
              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
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,240 - $2,499 body only

              $2,800 - $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen size Much larger screen
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Size Much larger
              Thickness Much thicker

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $217 body only

              $630 with 14-45mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $160 body only

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

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

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $250 body only

              $494 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-GF6

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $390 body only

              $518 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $533 body only

              $623 - $648 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Size Larger

              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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