Leica M9, M9-P and M-E Type 220 review – Ahead of the new Leica M we round up the DxOMark Scores of its predecessors

By Paul Carroll - Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Camera Review
Introduction | Leica M9 sensor performance | Leica M9 versus competition | Conclusion

Leica M-E Type 220 Vs Leica M9-P Vs Leica M9: Same 18Mp CCD Sensor, same Image Quality

Leica M9
Featuring the same 18-Megapixel 24x36mm CCD sensor the Leica M9, M9-P and M-E Type 220 achieve very similar results in the DxOMark Sensor Scores.

Since the M9, all digital Leica M cameras have utilized a similar 18Mp 24x36mm CCD sensor that have produced very similar results in the DxOMark Sensor Scores. With a DxOMark Overall Score of 69, the Leica M-E Type 220 ranks in a lowly 61st place overall for all sensors on the database, just ahead of the Leica M9-P in 64th place with 68 points.

For cameras featuring a large sensor, this is poor and places them virtually at the bottom of our database for full frame sensors – only ahead of the 10-year-old Canon EOS 1Ds with 63 points. Put it into further context of many current full-frame DSLRs scoring well over 80 points and recent Nikon offerings like the D800E boasting a massive 96 points, the M9-P and M-E Type 220 are well off the pace, with the D800E offering almost 2-Stops better image quality overall.

The trend continues in the Portrait (Color Depth) category, where scores of 22.7 bits for the M-E Type 220, and 22.5 bits for the M9-P, ranks them 75th and 77th overall and again second to last for full frame sensors.

Things slightly improve with Landscape (Dynamic Range) Scores, where 11.6Evs and 11.7Evs elevates them slightly to 71st and 73rd place overall, but it’s the Sports (Low-Light ISO) Score where the Leica’s CCD sensor is so disappointing. Scoring 854 ISO for the M9-P and 787 ISO for the M-E Type 220, the Sports Score results rank these Leica cameras the worst 2 full frame sensors on the DxOMark database. 

 
Leica M9
With a DxOMark Overall Score of 68 points, the Leica M9-P ranks in 64th place for all sensors and second to bottom for full frame sensors, only ahead of the 10-year-old Canon EOS 1Ds with 63 points.
Leica M9
In terms of image quality, 69 points sandwiches the Leica M-E Type 220 in between the consumer orientated Samsung NX200 and Sony NEX 5 Hybrid cameras that use a physically smaller APS-C Sensor.
Leica M9
The worst sensor scores from the Leica M9-P and M-E Type 220 rangefinder cameras are their Sports (Low-Light ISO) results, which with 854 ISO and 787 ISO respectively places them bottom for full frame sensors.
Leica M9
At base ISO 11.7Evs of Dynamic Range is recorded, but this drops off quickly and above ISO 400 Scores fall below the 10Evs threshold for good Dynamic Range, limiting the Leica’s use in low-light environments.
Leica M9
Color Sensitivity holds up slightly better on the M-E Type 220 and M9-P with good color up to ISO 800 offering around a ½ Stop improvement over the M9, although the latter is a tad better at ISO 3200.