Today I will be comparing apples and oranges. The Leica M9 and Fuji X-Pro 1 are two completely different beasts. The only similarity is the way both cameras look. Well, actually there is more then that - both have optical viewfinders, similar megapixel counts (18MP vs. 16.3MP) and no anti-aliasing (AA) filter and that's about it. I am not going in details to discuss the features and functions, instead I will just compare few images taken with the Leica M9 and Fuji X-Pro 1 cameras. This is not an easy task because Lightroom 4 currently does not support RAF files form the X-Pro 1 and the Silkypix RAW file converter (included with the X-Pro1) doesn't support M9 DNG files. My only option at that point is to use JPG files taken directly from the X-Pro1. I may redo this test later with direct conversions from the RAW files. Obviously this is not a scientific comparison and it's prone to user's error. Click on images for larger view.
Wide open at f/1.4
Keep in mind that the M9 has a slightly higher resolution count. I took several shots with the M9 to make sure that the focus is correct - I would say the $600 Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 lens is a pretty good performer compared to the $4000 Summilux 50mm f/1.4:
To my eyes the Leica has a slightly more contrasty/saturated colors (ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/30):
The Leica M9 has a shallow depth of field compared to the Fuji X-Pro1 because of its full frame sensor:
In terms of high ISO performance, the Fuji X-Pro 1 is a clear winner and probably has one of the best performing APS-C sensors out there. The Leica M9 camera is almost three years old - I will revisit this comparison once the next M camera is released later this year.
Here are some more full size jpg samples taken in aperture priority with both cameras:
In my opinion both cameras have excellent and comparable image quality. The M9 is almost 3 years, the X-Pro1 is not full frame, manual vs. auto focus, price, functionality, simplicity of use, ergonomics, etc. should be driving factors if you are considering to purchase one of those cameras.