The dream of many Leica photographers has come true: the Leica M system is now open for professional digital photography. Breaking completely new ground, the LEICA M8 doesn't only look like an M - it utilizes all the benefits of the analog Leica M system for sophisticated and creative digital photography. It is the only digital camera for professionals to incorporate the rangefinder system with its advantages of discreet and quiet operation, speed and precision. And the no-compromise quality criteria of the M system continue to apply to the M8. Full compatibility with nearly all M lenses means that their unique imaging performance is now available for digital photography, too. The low-noise CCD image sensor with a resolution of 10.3 megapixels has been specifically matched to the compact lens design to guarantee superlative photographic quality. The controls and functions of the digital M still concentrate on the essentials. The proven M concept is complemented by the intelligent extra functions that digital technology has to offer. The LEICA M8 is the first timeless digital camera "Made in Germany". Fascinatingly new and yet still a real Leica M.
Exceptional performance in every detail
For Leica, image quality is not only a catchword, but a value attainable by optimizing all the links in the performance chain: Leica's M high performance lenses, now performing even better in the digital system with the new 6-bit coding. The low-noise CCD sensor which is specifically matched to the extreme requirements of the high-resolution M lenses. The future-guaranteed raw data format (DNG) and the raw data converter Capture One LE, acknowledged as the best. This combination of high-quality individual components ensures maximum image quality.
Concentration on the exposure. Not on the controls.
A lot of care, many years of experience and extensive knowledge about how professional photographers work have gone into the operation concept of the M8. Due to the concentration on the essentials, operation is simple and intuitive. The LEICA M8 deliberately dispenses with multifunction keys and nested menus. All the main settings are made in clearly structured menus on the bright 2.5" display. For detailed quality control "on location", RGB histogram and clipping warning can be used on even the finest details of the subject.
New creativity: Flash photography with the M8
The modern metal-blade slotted shutter enables extremely fast flash synchronization times down to 1/250 second. The new M-TTL flash technology ensures natural flash illumination through the activation of a metering pre-flash. The auto slow sync. function now allows available light exposures without camera shake in aperture priority mode combined with a natural fill-in flash.
|Camera Type||Compact digital viewfinder/rangefinder system camera for professional usage with Leica M lenses. Micro-processor controlled metal-blade slotted shutter.|
|Image sensor||Low-noise CCD sensor specially tailored to the requirements of the M lens system. Pixels: 10.3 million. Dimensions: 18 mm x 27 mm. Extension factor: 1.33 x. Aspect ratio 3:2. Moire-Filter no, full utilization of lens performance. Moire detection and elimination in digital signal processing.|
|Sensor sensitivity range||From ISO 160/23° to ISO 2500/35°|
|Viewfinder||Viewfinder principle Large light bright line frame viewfinder/rangefinder with automatic parallax compensation. Viewfinder lens optimal visibility of all bright line frames whatever the lighting situation. Eyepiece Coordinated to -0.5 dpt. Correction lenses available from -3 to +3 dpt. Image field limiter By activating two bright lines each: for 24 and 35 mm/28 and 90 mm/50 and 75 mm. Automatic Automatic activation when lens is screwed in.|
|Lenses||Lens connection Leica M bayonet with additional optical scanning device for the identification of all 6 bit-coded lenses. Lens system Current 6 bit-coded Leica M lenses with a focal length of 16-90 mm. Almost all Leica M lenses with a focal length of 21-90 mm manufactured from 1954 can also be used without 6 bit-coding. 6 bit-retrofitting possible for virtually all lenses. 6 bit-functions Lens-dependent reduction of system-specific vignetting.|
|Exposure control||Automatic mode (Auto) Automatic determination of correct shutter speed with manual aperture preselection with relevant viewfinder display. Manual exposure Independent selection of shutter speed and aperture - camera exposure check visible via LED light balance shown in the viewfinder.|
|Picture-taking modes||S Single frame picture-taking, for one shutter release whenever shutter is pressed C Continuous shooting with 2 pictures per second and 10 picture in series. Automatic release mode Selectable with either 2 s and 12 s visualization of delay time via one of the LEDs visible from front of camera in viewfinder window.|
|Controls / display elements||Front of housing Lens release ; image field selector Top of housing Main switch and shutter release ; shutter speed setting dial, status LCD display : indication of number of frames remaining and residual battery capacity. Rear of housing 2.5" color monitor, setting ring for navigation in menu and magnifier function in 4 levels ; 4 x direction buttons for navigation in menu and in image details, Menu button, Play button, Delete button, Protect button, Info button|
|Color monitor||2.5" bright LC display with a resolution of approx. 230,000 pixels for image reproduction and menu selection. Brightness control in 5 levels. Control options after picture-taking : General quality evaluation of exposure control via RGB tone value histogram with identification of light image details without detailing (can also be used with zoom-in), control of sharpness of focus, display of quality parameters selected and display of lens focal length used (with current 6 bit-coded lenses).|
|Picture parameters menu / Main menu||Pressing the Set button allows the following parameters relevant to the picture to be changed and selected : User profile, Sensor sensitivity, Manual exposure compensation, White balance, data format, picture resolution. Main menu Pressing the Menu button allows settings such as color monitor contrast or selection of color space to be made in the Main menu. Menu languages German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese.|
|Picture resolution||DNG : 3916 x 2634 pixels (10.31 MP), JPG : 3936 x 2630 pixels (10.35 MP), 2952 x 1972 pixels (5.8 MP), 1968 x 1315 Pixel (2.6 MP), 1312 x 876 Pixel (1.15 MP).|
|Data formats||DNG (Digital Negative Format not specific to any camera manufacturer), 2 different highly compressed JPEG levels. DNG file information 16 bit-color resolution, 10.2 Mbyte file size per picture|
|Storage medium||SD cards up to 4 GB,|
|White balance||Automatic, 6 presettings, manual white balance, color temperature input from 2,000 K to 13,100 K.|
|Color spaces||Adobe©RGB, sRGB, ECI RGB.|
|Viewfinder display||LED symbol for flash status, four-digit seven-segment LED display with dots above and below (display brightness always adjusted to ambient brightness) for : display of automatically determined exposure time with automatic mode, indication of use of metered value storage, warning of exposure compensation, warning that metering range is overshot or undershot with automatic mode and display for counting down exposure times longer than 2 s, warning about capacity when SD card is full.|
|Metering||TTL metering heavily center-weighted with preset working aperture. Measurement principle Measured by light reflected by a white blade in the middle of the metal-blade slotted shutter. Metering range EV 0 to EV 20 at room temperature 20° C, aperture 1.0 and ISO 160/23°. Measurement cell Silicon photo diode with collection lens, positioned at center lower edge, on bottom of camera.|
|Flash exposure metering and control||Principle of M-TTL Flash technology
An extremely short metering preflash activated immediately before the picture is taken is used to measure the output light required for the exposure.
M-TTL Guide Number Control with metering preflash via accessory shoe SCA 3502 (from version M4) or with flash LEICA SF24 D
|Shutter and shutter release||Shutter
Micro-processor controlled metal-blade slotted shutter with vertical movement.
In automatic mode (A) steplessly from 32 s to 1/8000 s. Using manual setting 4 s to 1/8000 s in half steps. B for long exposures of any duration.
|Activation of shutter||Shutter action optimized for minimum noise. Driven by an electric motor with friction gear in first speed-increasing gear stage and a cam for homogeneous torque during entire activation process.|
|Release||Three-stage activation depending on pressure level : 1. Switch-on of camera electronics and activation of metering, 2. Metered value storage (with automatic mode), 3. Shutter release (standard thread for cable release included).|
|Power supply||Lithium-ion rechargeable battery with 3.7 V and 1900 mAh.|
|Computer interface||5-pin standardized mini USB port for fast USB 2.0 data transfer to computer on left side of housing. With LEICA DIGITAL CAPTURE camera can be software-controlled via USB 2.0 connection.|
|Camera housing||Material Closed solid metal housing made of a highly stable magnesium alloy for long-lasting professional usage. Black synthetic leather covering. Cover plate and base cover milled from solid brass and silver or black chrome-plated. Tripod bushing DIN4503 - A1/4 (1/4") at center of base cover.|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||approx.139 x 80 x 37 mm|
|Weight without battery||approx. 545 g|