My Camera of the Year for 2016.

Inspiration, Leica M8 (CCD Lives!), Leica M9(P)/M-E (CCD Lives!), Q&A, Teaching point

Prosophos - Leica M9 Black

My 35mm digital camera of the year for 2016 is:

Leica M9/M-E


After experimenting with the Nikon D810 (and other cameras) for more than seven months, I continue to prefer the Leica M9/M-E for image quality, at base ISO.

It is clear to me that the D810 has the better performing sensor by all objective metrics and has more malleable files, but somehow the M9 images look better.

(The runner up camera is once again the Leica M8.)

But, am I being premature with my selection?  What will the second half of 2016 bring?

Leica may finally improve on the disappointing M240 with the release of a new M in the fall, but realistically most of us won’t be able to get a hold of it until 2017.

Either way, don’t expect it to be a CCD camera like many of us have asked for in My Open a Letter to Leica.

I’ll be interested in it anyway, if the image quality is better than the M240.


Previous Camera of the Year Winners:


2015: Leica M9/M-E

2014: Leica M9/M-E

2013: Leica M9/M-E

2012: Leica M9/M-E

2011: Leica M9

2010: Leica M9

2009: Leica M9

2008: Leica M8/Nikon D3

2007: Leica M8/Nikon D3

2006: Leica M8

16 thoughts on “My Camera of the Year for 2016.

  1. As much as love my Leica M-E and the beautiful color I capture with it, I have to say there is one 35mm format camera that vastly exceeds it in image quality, if not versatility, and is the Leica M Monochrom (CCD). In addition to everything that makes M9 files so beautiful, it has tones every bit as magnificent as the M9’s color, and it practically sees in the dark with outstanding image quality even at high ISO.

    I’d put the M-E in a solid runner up position though.

  2. Lol. I’m with you 100% Peter. I’m going to buy another M-E one day soon in fact. Of all the cameras I could choose, I can’t be any happier with a camera than I already am. I have a Sony A7ii. I’m going to grab another long Leica lens for it as I sold my 90 Elmarit last year (mistake). So I like that camera for its focusing ease with longer lenses… but… come on. Nothing compares to the M-E for me. I only tout the M-E over the M9 because I like the covering better. I do wish it wasn’t battleship gray. But I can’t ever fault the camera under the paint. It has been flawless. Also mine is in absolutely mint condition after all these years of use. Okay, no, pain coming off menu list on the back. But that’s not an issue unless I start to forget what button to press. Okay it’s a problem. ;-). I’m with you, Peter. Outstanding camera. Best digital camera experience I’ve ever had.

      1. I haven’t either. I guess we missed our chance at a new one but I bet occasionally one will pop up somewhere unopened. Someone grabbed up some of the last. They were abundant and then suddenly they were gone. So… I think there are new ones out there somewhere. And thanks!

      2. Tamarkin still has them listed…whether they have stock is another issue, but I can’t recommend Dan enough. (Of note, other shops are listing them as “No Longer Available” so they may, in fact, be discontinued)

  3. Thank you Peter for testing all the gear over the years, for struggling, that we are witness of your inner fighting and the unique wonderful result of you blog!
    Andreas..M9 is not a splendid queen, but a true maiden!

  4. I was beginning to worry about you Peter with all these Nikon 810 photographs but I do realize there are certain “tools” required to do different jobs that other “tools” can’t. When it comes to fast action and being a distance away from the action the rangefinder does not always work. So I’m glad to see today’s latest tech hasn’t changed your opinion on the use of the “legendary” M9 w/CCD sensor. My M-E keeps me happy especially since it has the new updated sensor. Yes the white paint on the letters on the back are starting to wear but that goes along with the brass showing through the anthracite gray on the edges of the camera. In other words, the camera doesn’t sit on the shelf.

  5. long time M9 user, working on my second sensor & more careful with it
    I love my Nikon cameras D3X & D7100, both of which are rugged & excel for work outside a rangefinder’s range
    I view them as complementary & still favor the M9 for most my photography
    within its range, it is hard to beat
    I even love the challenge of using it at high ISO, liking the way it renders at high ISO & particularly color

  6. Thank goodness! You had me stalking a D810. I may still go there at some point, but I really enjoy using the M9 as much as I like the photos.

  7. I bought my M9 when it first appeared on the market, I like many others have more digital cameras and if I had the choice of only having one it would be my M9, it’s not perfect of course and long in the tooth now but when it comes to image quality it’s beats my other camera, my old Nikon D300 produces good files but the M9 had a definite edge and now I’ve had the corrupt sensor replaced it good, they Leica also adjusted the rangefinder and had a good look at it and replaced the cover at their suggestion so the camera is almost new now apart from some paint comming off to reveal the brass but I like that.

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