Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Comparing resolution between the Leica M9 and Phase One P45+

I've been interested in the resolution of the M9 as it compares to my main landscape camera the Phase One P45+ digital back. I'm so interested in the white balance (WB) as I normally shoot the P45+ with a custom WB set to the scene and the M9 is normally shot on auto. The other differences are the following:

Phase One P45+

Image shot at: F/11 at 1/250 ISO 50
with 39mp and a CCD size (mm) of 49.1x36.8

Leica M9

Image shot at: f/9.5 at 1/250 ISO 160
with 18mp and a CCD size (mm) of 36x24

The P45+ was attached to a Cambo WRS1000 technical camera and used a Schneider 120mm short barrel lens which gives a rough 35mm equivalent of 74mm. The camera was also attached to a tripod.

The M9 image was shot using a Leica Summarit-M f/2.5 90mm lens. Handheld.

I purposely shot the M9 handheld as I wanted to see what it could do in the circumstances.

There's a total of 4-images; 1-each is the full size image while cropped to a 10x15. The other 2-images are 100% crops of the original images. All you need to do is click on the image to see a larger size.

I'll leave it to those of you to see which is better or which one you like more. As for me, I'm pleased with the overall results and until I see how the camera prints am pleased.

Thought I'd add the following regarding file sizes:

Canon 1DsII         average size: 16,531kb
Canon 1DsIII        average size: 24,202kb
Leica M9              average size: 35,580kb
Phase One P45+   average size: 42,554kb

P45+ full view

M9 full view

P45+ 100% crop

M9 100% crop

Please remember I don't do this sort of reviewing for a living so you get what you pay for. This is a very unscientific test done originally for more own purposes. The M9 image was taken on 02/25/10 at 16:06:14 and the P45+ image was taken at 16:08:16. Close enough for government work...

If anyone is interested in how the M9 how up to printing then check back as I'll be printing within the next couple days. My target print size is at least 24x30.


NOTE:  I'm testing a new layout and would like to hear feedback - good and bad.  It appears I'll be able to post larger images in this new format.     Don


  1. P45 closeup image is missing...

  2. Just checked and I see the 4 images I posted last night; 2 full and 2 100% crops. Let me know if there's a problem.


  3. Very different white balance on these two. Wonder what it would look like if you chose the same value for each.

  4. Good point – I’ve been using auto white balance on the M9 while I normally use a custom on the P45+.