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The German camera maker Leica revived the look of its classic model Leica M with the Leica M8, utilizing all the benefits of the analog model for a more sophisticated and creative digital photography. After much success, Leica decides to come up with another version of the M8. This time, it is painted in white.
White or not, you can still enjoy the greatness of the Leica camera, which incorporates the rangefinder system with its advantages of discreet and quiet operation, speed, and especially precision. The Leica M8 is also compatible with all M lenses, making its unique imaging performance work in digital photography as well.
Meanwhile, Leica’s high performance M lenses now come even better with the 6-bit coding. The low-noise CCD image sensor has up to 10.3 megapixels worth of resolution, specifically matched to the extreme requirements of high-res M lenses. The Leica M8 also comes with a new raw data converter called Capture One4, which can convert its raw data format (DNG) into various file types. It is the combination of high-quality individual components that ensures Leica M8 of the best image quality
Leica M8 is focused on the essentials and not on the controls, although it is still simple and intuitive. It deliberately dispenses with multifunction keys as well as nested menus. All the main settings are available in clearly structure menus shown on the bright 2.5-inch display.
- Camera name: “Leica M8”.
Product code: “#10701” (black) “#10702” (chrome)
- 10.3 MPixel Kodak KAF-10500 sensor
- 16/32-bit Analog Devices “Blackfin” DSP
- Not full-frame: 18mm x 27mm chip = 1.33x crop factor
- Offset micro-lenses at sensor corners to hardware compensate for vignetting and CA
- No anti-alias filter – Moiré software correction instead
- Firmware (currently v2.002) originally developed by Jenoptik AG
- A dedicated magnesium alloy M body, not a clip-on digital back
- Approx. same height & width dimensions as the Leica M7, although the M8 is @ 14% thicker
- Similar metal-blade shutter as the Leica R9 – manual: 4s to 1/8000th, AE: 32s to 1/8000th
- Ditto R9 maximum X-sync speed of 1/250th
- Shutter-speed dial has half-stop increments
- Built-in motor to cock shutter
- No film advance lever or rewind crank (!)
- Like the Leica M7, also has Aperture-Priority AE with a two-detent shutter button (AE lock then Release)
- Single-shot (“s”) and burst-rate (“c”) settings (2fps for 10 frames)
- No multi-sequence exposure auto-bracketing
- ISO range: 160 – 2500
- 0.68x Optical viewfinder with an “ERB” of 47.1mm (69.25mm X 0.68x)
- Mechanical VF frame-lines: 24+35mm; 28+90mm; 50+75mm
- VF display LEDs similar to M7 (shutter speed, exposure indicators etc.)
- Non-swivel 2.5 inch / 230 KPixel LCD, without live preview
- Same “tall plate” design as the Leica M6TTL and M7
- SD or SDHC memory cards & USB 2.0
- RAW images: DNG format, 8-bit, 3916 x 2634 pixels, 10.2 MBytes each
Perhaps its traditional styling is a testament to its ability to withstand the test of time. Its design aside, the advanced features of the M8 ensure that this camera should be around for a long time.
With an MSRP of $4,000 the M8 is built for those who take their photography seriously. If its predecessors are any indication, the M8 is built to last. And who knows, maybe its retro looks will one day be in style again.
If you are looking for a camera to make you stand out, you don’t have to look much further than the Leica M8. Its looks are certainly unique and are sure to draw a few second glances from your peers.
Combining unique, retro styling, the Leica M8 packs quite a bunch under its unassuming exterior. It has a style uniquely its own, just like you.