Leica M9 to use Canon sensor?


21.1 Megapixel Full-Frame CMOS Sensor

The Leica M9 may be using a version of the 5D Mark II sensor. The rumor is that Canon and Leica are in negotiations for a full frame sensor that will be used in the upcoming Leica M9.

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  • Maybe this is tied to the solution Leica is coming up with for a digital body for R lenses. A Canon body adapted to be what the R10 should have been before the decided to can it.

  • Highly possible but just as highly improbable. Not sure if M lenses are equipped for such a large sensor.

    But people have been mating R lenses on a 1Ds3 for the ultimate 35mm digital image way before Canon released the even better 5D2.

  • Visitor

    Canon has never sold their large sensors to other camera firms. If you sell the sensor then you need to sell the Digic processors for it. Why would Canon help Leica which in turn would reduce the sales of its 1DMK4 rangefinder? A Sony A900 variant with a different micro lens layer makes a lot more sense. Minolta and Leica worked together on a number of cameras, not so Canon and Leica. Just opinions being shared.

  • Vernon:
    M-lenses can certainly handle a full frame sensor – they were designed to illuminate a frame of film. The problem is the oblique angles that light will enter at the edges of the sensor. Microlenses were used on the current sensor, it’s possible that a similar arrangement can be done for the full-frame sensor.

  • ayham

    I am worried about two things:

    1- is the sensor going to have AA filter?

    2- using CMOS will render images with a plastic look, the thing that most leica users do not like.

  • Anonymous

    Leica has a partnership with Kodak and Kodak has already 16 MP (and more) 24×36 Fullframe Sensors for a M9. So why should Leica buy another sensor, learn who to use a second Sensor, and so on? Makes no sense.

  • Anon

    Come on… if this was true, how come they are not using the D700’s sensor. Much better performance at high ISO’s.

    Last time I heard, Leicas are awesome for available light.


  • frencheagle

    I wont buy a Leica M9 if I m getting the same sensor then the EOS 5 Mark II
    I want better than this for that price !

  • Where to start:

    Eric: Leica announced last month the discontinuation of the R system. There will be no R10.

    Visitor: 1DMK4 Digital Rangefinder from Canon. Rangefinder? Care to expand?

    Anon: What does “available light” have to do with anything…???? Statement makes no sense.

    Frencheagle: For WHAT price. There isn’t even a camera let alone a price. Maybe it’s not going to be an M. Maybe it IS going to be a replacement for the R system utilizing S lenses? So… in short, a S jr.

    Putting a full size sensor in the M is going to change a lot of the size and ergonomics of the M. I don’t think Leica users want a bigger M. In fact, they probably want a smaller one. They do express disappointment in the small sensor due to not maximizing the potential of M lenses just the same.


  • David Maroski

    I feel the present M8 sensor quality is what sets it apart from all others. The M lens line fully capitalizes on that quality and reveals photographs not able to be captured on any other digital camera (maybe S2 will be better). The full frame sensor will only be of benefit if pixel noise is reduced at higher ISO’s. That should be the first target. My original M8 is a pure pleasure next to my everyday working Nikon D3 and D700 even with Nikon’s state of the art glass in the 24-70. I love Leica, have not always had them, bought and sold them, but always come back to them. They are like jewels and inspire my creativity. Full frame will come just maybe not this cannon one. When is of little consequence. The tools are here now. Use them!

  • if they use canon cmos, does that means kodak’s ccd suck? because they have used kodak sensor in m8

  • frencheagle

    @ John

    Why would I use a leica @ 6000 usd min when I can get the same sensor on a EOS 5d for USD 3000, especially that the treatment chip might be the same, just the driver might be different and that we can mount Leica lenses on the Canon ? Simple question and easy answer

  • Nobody Special

    Not likely. Ya sure, okay.

  • Hi Carlos, I meant large sensor in terms of resolution, not full frame. 35mm film at full frame is about 10 megapixels. The resolving power of Leica lens can go slightly beyond that but not as high as 21mp, certainly not M lenses. Perhaps R because of the larger glass surface. It is for this reason that Canon are slowly revamping their lenses because the EF lenses were designed during the film era.

  • kem hansen

    most Leica lenses cover 6×7 format,so there is no concern that Leica can not have a full frame sensor

  • Enjott

    Get some basic knowledge please. 35mm film is not “about 10 megapixels”, far from it. Rather, it doesn’t end even at the pixel pitch of a 50D (100 lp/mm).
    The end result after magnification (1x generation loss through the enlarger, scanner or slide projector) is usually around this value, but this is “true” 10 MP like from a Foveon sensor so it’s nearly as good as a 5D2 shot. I have a 5D2 and indeed good scans are about equal.

    Also, lenses do not stop at some fixed resolution either but deliver several times more than any sensor or color film (200-300 lp/mm). They have to, a lens of the same resolution as the sensor would produce an end result at *half* that resolution.

    I’m wondering why such things have to be explained over and over again, even many large websites don’t get it right. When was it ever possible to produce an analog copy at full quality with equipment that just reaches this quality? That makes absolutely no sense already on first thought.

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