Compared to the Leica M9, the Sony RX1R…

Inspiration, Q&A, Sony RX1R, Teaching point

…feels like a toy.

…is not an extension of my hands and eyes.

…is slower.

…is equipped with a Zeiss lens-CMOS sensor combination that produces files that are not as sharp (or microcontrast-y) as the M9 with top Leica glass  (the dpreview tests I posted last week were correct).

…is equipped with a Zeiss lens that cannot handle back-lighting as well as modern Leica lenses.

On the positive side, the RX1R:

…is lighter and smaller.

…produces nicer B&W conversions.

…has more dynamic range.

…is equipped with a Zeiss lens that produces smoother bokeh vs. the Leica 35mm Summicron (or Summilux FLE).

…is equipped with a Zeiss lens that focuses closer than the Leica lens equivalents.




These are my initial thoughts.


11 thoughts on “Compared to the Leica M9, the Sony RX1R…

  1. As always, I appreciate your insights! – I will repeat my comment from your previous RX1R post: I bought a RX1 about 6 months ago – my opinion of the camera is that it takes great pictures BUT it is a joyless camera to use. It feels like a giant point & shoot when I shoot with it, the menu system is rediculous and when you attach the EVF it becomes unwieldy. Once again the image quality is fantastic but I will stick with my M9 any day of the week

      1. Are you using the RX1R with the EVF? If so – what are your thoughts about it? I find that ANY camera with an external EVF that is marketed as “smaller than a Leica” is – in fact – “larger” in many ways with the EVF attached and I don’t find the experience pleasant.

        1. Yes, I’m using the EVF, which improves the shooting experience. No, I do not like it. It’s a dulled experience, vs. an OVF. The entire experience is somewhat like shooting in a “numbed” state.

          Part of it has to do with my shooting style, which is quick and fluid. For still life, landscapes, or posed shots, I could see this camera working for many people. The IQ, as has been stated repeatedly, is fantastic.

          But, for the record, I still prefer CCD sensor rendering…

  2. The proof for each individual is if you stop picking it up, or you go straight to it.

    With you Peter, given your attachment and enjoyment with the M9, at first you’ll force yourself I assume, to try it out (given you bought it :-)), but once the honeymoon period is over will be the real test….!!

  3. Having used Nikons for the last 30 years when I decided I had had enough. Trade in the whole lot, 2 cameras, 6 lenses, flash for a Leica. It was like a load off my shoulders, literally and figuratively speaking. Now I can just enjoy the simplicity and purity of taking photos for the sake of taking photos. I am not about to go back down the “Japanese” route again.

  4. Well Peter, you know I follow you for about 2 years now. After all the discussions I have read the last months/weeks on the web, my thoughts are that how little these camera’s are better or worse when pixel viewing, it’s not making the difference for me.
    For me personally, it’s your way of catching theses moments we see every day. Getting the mood and that special feeling. I don’t mind which camera you use 🙂

    At least, of course I am still veryyyyyyyyyy happy with my M9P ! It isn’t perfect in all conditions that I have to shoot, but I have learned to handle his weakness and how to compensate it.

    So, it’s the more the man behind the ‘tool’ that will or won’t deliver awesome pictures.
    You will never having problems with any brand you use 😉

    Best regards,
    Ernie (Belgium)

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