Fifty-two years after releasing its first M Series camera, Leica launched the first of its digital M series, the M8, in 2006 (Askey). Leica cameras are renowned for their superior lens quality and sharp picture results. The camera is said to have better black and white results as compared to other cameras and is used by numerous renowned photographers (Birkey).
Designed for durability, the M8 is enclosed in an all-metal body of highly stable magnesium alloy with a synthetic leather coating in black. The top and bottom of this digital viewfinder system camera are made from solid brass and are coated in silver or black chromium. The Leica M8, with a resolution of 10.3 mega pixels, can be used with all the lenses manufactured as a part of the Leica M system. This is a major advantage, considering that the superior mechanical and optical precision of the Leica is ideal for digital applications. It also supports 6 bit-coding on the bayonet ring, allowing the camera to recognize the type of lens that is being used. The advantage of this feature is that it facilitates the user to improve picture quality. This detection system can also be disabled (Askey, B & H, Leica M8).
More features are the sensor cleaning function, which allows the image sensor to be easily cleaned manually, and the intuitive operation of the M8, which makes sure that the user’s concentration is focused on the picture, not the operation of the camera. When the “Set” button is pressed, the picture parameters menu appears onto the 2.5″ bright LCD display. Here, the user can chose the required settings for white balance and picture resolution etc (Askey, B & H, Leica M8).
Leica has now begun to offer upgrades for the M8, which includes a scratch-resistant sapphire glass LCD screen cover and a quieter shutter (M8 Upgrade Service).
The Leica M8 comes with a 2 year factory warranty, but one can additionally purchase up to 3 more years for $ 499.99. This warranty is valid as long as the product has been purchased from an authorized dealer (Luminous Landscape). It should be noted that this warranty does not cover sensor cleaning, and that is a chargeable service (Leica M8: Instructions, p. 128). But if the merchandise must be returned for some reason, one must hold on the warranty card and original receipt. If the camera is upgraded, the warranty is extended by one year (M8 Upgrade Service)
The Leica M8 Camera Body, along with a 28mm f/2.0 Aspherical M Manual Focus Lens (6-Bit) is priced at $ 9,090.00 (B & H). However, the camera body is also sold separately for prices ranging from $5,399.00 – $5,495.00 (Cnet). These prices are quite reasonable compared to other Leicas, and since they have been termed as the “quintessential marque of cameras” (Birkey) the price seems rational. Additional items such as camera strap, lenses and battery pack can be bought as a package along with the camera from various sources. “exclusive sets” are also available till june 30, 2008 which includes the Leica M8 plus Leica Summicron-M f/2 28 mm asph or Leica APO Summicron-m f/2 75 mm asph (The Leica M System “Exclusive Sets”).
Askey, P.: Leica M8 Review. July 2007. Retrieved June 18, 2008
B & H Foto & Electronics Corp.: Leica M8 Rangefinder Digital Camera (Black) with Leica 28mm f/2.0 Summicron M Lens. Retrieved June 19, 2008
Birkey, D.: Duane’s Leica M Series Page. Retrieved June 18, 2008
Cnet: Where to buy Leica M8 (silver). Retrieved June 19, 2008
Leica M8, Exclusive Preview. Retrieved June 19, 2008
Luminous Landscape. Leica M8: A Hands-on Field Review. Retrieved June 19, 2008
Leica M8: Instructions. Retrieved June 19, 2008
The Leica M System “Exclusive Sets”. Retrieved June 19, 2008
M8 Upgrade Service. Retrieved June 19, 2008