Pros Solid metal finish, bright viewfinder, small compact size. Huge range of awesome lens available.
Cons Ir filter required for each lens
ISO 640 and above is absolutely terrible
long exposure requires mandatory noise reduction
On/off switch can easily be bumped
Repairs sent to Solmes, Germany for repairs (6-8 weeks)
very expensive & weak batteries
Summary The m8 doesn't live up to its price tag thats for sure. but it can take some nice images at lowest ISO. Ir filters can be very expensive especially if you have a large collection of lens. On/off button can be a real pain in the neck, and a real problem when you accidently switch the camera on without your knowledge and drain the already terrible batteries.
The m9 should have fixed a lot of these problems but they didn't. Way to expensive and if you wanted full frame sensor, then thats even further out of reach with the M9
"The only problem you are going to have is deciding if you want the silver or black model."on by buynshoot
Pros Quality from start to finish
Cons A little high in price
Summary Mention the name Leica to a photographer and you are sure to get a reaction. Leica is synonymous with cameras and lenses of uncompromising quality. The Leica M8 is the latest member of Leica’s M-series range finder cameras, taking the M-series from film to digital photography. With the same classic, minimalist styling of the Leica’s M7 film camera, the M8 is not only a well thought out digital camera, but a design icon.
Even the packaging of the Leica M8 is beautifully understated. Open the box and you will find the camera manual, warranty and CD-ROMs containing the Leica digital capture and Phase One Capture One LE software. The camera body is found within a display box, protected by high-density foam rubber. You will also find the camera’s Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, a battery charger, USB cable and a neck strap in the box.
The front of the camera gives no hint that the M8 is a digital camera. Just like the Leica M7, the front of the M8 contains the lens mount, viewfinder, rangefinder and frame selector lever.
On the top of the camera is a hot shoe that will accept most flash units, with additional contacts for Leica’s M-TTL compatible strobes. On the right is the shutter speed dial and integrated main switch and shutter release. The main switch has four positions: Off, S (single), C (series) and self-timer. Holding true to tradition, the shutter release is metal with a cable release thread in the centre. Finally, on the left hand corner of the camera is a small LCD that indicates battery level in five stages and the estimated shots remaining before the memory card is full.
The rear of the camera has a 2.5-inch, 230,000 pixel LCD display. To the left of the display are the play, delete, protect, info and set buttons. On the right are a menu button and ring and direction buttons for menu navigation and image playback. These buttons are well laid out and easy to use.
Similar to the M7 film camera, the bottom of the M8 has a removable cover. Under this cover is the SD memory card slot and battery compartment. The M8 can accept memory cards up to 4 GB. Leica has a list of compatible SD cards on their website.
The camera can be connected directly to a computer using the supplied USB cable. The cable connection can be used to download images to the computer or, in combination with the Leica digital capture software to control the camera. The USB connector on the camera is on the right-hand edge and is protected by a tight fitting plastic cap.
At 27x18mm the 10.3 mega pixel sensor is smaller than a 35mm film frame. The result is a crop factor of 1.33. Image data can be recorded as either JPEG images or RAW images saved in the Digital Negative (DNG) format. JPEG files can be saved in 10, 6, 2.5 or 1 mega pixel resolutions, using either Fine or Basic quality. The DNG files are uncompressed, and so always take up 10 megabytes on the SD card. The camera can be set to capture both JPEG and DNG images at the same time.
Available ISO sensitivities are 160, 320, 640, 1250 and 2500. As would be expected, image noise increases with increasing ISO. In the test shots taken with the review camera, there was visible noise at 1250 and 2500 ISOs.
The M8’s shutter speeds can be manually selected from 1/8000 to 4 seconds, with flash synchronisation at 1/250 second. Additionally, there is a bulb setting to allow for longer exposures. When using the bulb setting, the cameras shutter remains open until the shutter button is released. However, if the camera is set to self-timer, pressing and releasing the shutter button leaves the shutter open. A second press of the shutter release closes the shutter.
In aperture priority mode, the camera can set shutter speeds as long as 32 seconds. To ensure correct exposure, exposure compensation can be set from –3 to +3 EV, in 1/3 EV steps.
The M-series lenses are manual focus. Each lens contains rings focusing and aperture selection. The M8 can be used with most M-series lenses, although the user manual lists a few exceptions. The review camera was provided with the stunning Leica summarit-m 75mm f/2.5 and Leica summarit-m 35mm f/2.5 lenses. Also provided was a Leica e39 UV/IR filter to fit the 35mm lens. According to Leica’s FAQ, the M8 has a raised sensitivity to long-wave infrared light, which results in black synthetic material recording as purple or dark-red under incandescent lights. The e39 filter is used to overcome this problem.
Leica has started marking M-series lenses with a 6-bit code on the lens mount. The M8 can read this code and identify the mounted lens. When coded lenses are used, the focal length is recorded in the image EXIF data. Additionally, the camera can apply lens specific image processing. This includes correcting vignetting and the colour cast found at the corner of images when the e39 UV/IR filter is used with focal lengths of 16-35mm. Leica can add the 6-bit code to existing lenses.
The menus are well set out and easy to use. White balance can be set to automatic, one of six presets, manual (by shooting a neutral target) or a Kelvin value. On the review camera, automatic white balance did well outdoors, but didn’t cope well with fluorescent light. Setting the white balance manually provided the best results. The colour space can be set to sRGB, Adobe RGB or ECI (European Color Initiative) RGB.
In use, the quality of the camera shines. Lenses mount smoothly onto the body, and lock with a positive click. The start-up time is quick, and shutter lag appears to be non-existent. Half pressing the shutter button activates metering. If the camera is set to aperture priority, the selected shutter speed is displayed in the viewfinder, otherwise under and over exposure is indicated by red triangles in the viewfinder. If the main switch is set to C (series) the camera can take up to ten frames, at a maximum rate of two frames per second. The self-timer can be set to have either a 2 or 12 seconds duration.
During image playback, a histogram can access exposure. The histogram can either display overall brightness or the RGB channels. Also, over-exposed areas can be identified with a red mask.
The Leica M8 is a precision photographic tool that provides professional results. SLR shooters may take a little while getting accustom to shooting with a range finder. However, the Leica M-series camera is very easy to use. Experienced photographers will have no problem getting the most from the M8. In fact the only problem you are going to have is deciding if you want the silver or black model.
Pros outstanding image quality with great sensor, part of the Leica M family
Cons prone to dust, expensive, LCD could be better
Summary This is the first digital M. as such , people had great expectations on this product. The image quality is there. You will find reviews here and elsewhere on the net to go over the different flaws. personally I don't mind the magenta cast of the sensor since I find it more pleasing on some shots. I also shoot mostly in B&W and the magenta cast helps in that case.
I cannot understand how leica could have introduced this camera without a direct access to the ISO button
The LCD angle of view is also not very impressive
I would hope in the M9 a double card slot with one for CF cards
"I am happy!"on by rocres
Pros wonderfull images!
Cons Too expensive!
Summary You make your own photos like in old times. You need your lenses again and your photos belong to you: no complete automatic system.