Purchase the Leica M8 Interchangeable Lens Rangefinder Digital Camera with a Leica Summarit-M 35mm f/2.5 Lens Manual Focus Lens for the assurance of complete system compatibility (Both support 6-Bit coding) and to obtain superior quality images for all of your photographic applications thanks to Leica's superior optical design.
M8 Rangefinder Digital Camera Body (Silver)
The Leica M8 Interchangeable Lens Rangefinder Digital Camera not only looks like an M model, it faithfully embodies all the advantages of the analog Leica M system to provide sophisticated and creative digital photography. It is the only professional digital camera to use the beneficial rangefinder system, which is discreet, quiet, fast and accurate, and the uncompromising quality criteria of the M system have been applied.
The Leica M8 provides full compatibility with almost all M lenses, and the low-noise CCD image sensor with a resolution of 10.3 million pixels has been specially integrated into the compact lens design, ensuring optimum picture quality. The operation and functionality of the digital M concentrate on what is essential, while useful additional functions provided by digital technology complement the proven M concept. The Leica M8 is a timeless digital camera that is excitingly new and yet comfortingly familiar.
Uses all Leica M Lenses
The Leica M lenses are recognized as the best in the world and demonstrate their full capabilities on the Leica M8. The extremely high resolution of all M system lenses since 1954 make them perfect for digital photography. The M8 quite deliberately has no resolution reducing moire filter in front of the sensor to maintain the full performance of the lens.
Supports M Lenses with 6 Bit-coding
The Leica M8 uses an optical scanner on the camera's bayonet to identify the 6 bit-coding of the current Leica M lenses. This allows the slight vignetting caused by the system to be compensated, further improving the familiar high image quality. The lens type identified is saved in the EXIF data for the image file and the reflector position on modern flash units is adjusted to the image angle depending on the focal length. Existing M lenses can be retroactively 6 bit-coded by the Leica Customer Service department.
Modified High Quality Image Sensor
The Kodak CCD technology used in the Leica M8 provides a high basic speed of ISO 160 extending to a maximum speed setting of ISO 2500, and produces pictures that rival the image quality of film-based Leica M cameras. A moire filter, which optically filters out fine image details, was deliberately omitted to utilize the full resolution of the Leica M lenses. Instead, any moire patterns are eliminated by the camera's signal processor. Because the light towards the edges impinges on the sensor obliquely with Leica M lenses, the thickness of the cover glass has been reduced to just 0.5 mm to prevent unwanted refraction. As a result, the image has uniform brightness right to the edge. To increase the light sensitivity of the CCD sensor, micro lenses are positioned in front of the pixels, and uses a special micro lens structure that is perfectly tailored to the characteristics of the Leica M lenses.
10.3 Megapixel Resolution
The low-noise CCD image sensor has been optimized for the special features of the M lens system and provides an excellent resolution of 10.3 million pixels.
Full Light Efficiency
The highest film speed settings of up to ISO 2500 allow much more detailed pictures to be taken than was ever possible with analog films. As a result, the M8 opens up a new chapter in the history of available light photography.
The Leica M8 is designed to deliver professional results over many years. The enclosed all-metal body is made of a high-strength magnesium alloy while the top and base plates are cut from solid brass blocks and then given a black or silver chrome finish. The battery and the SD card slot are located under the base plate and provides effective protection from dust and moisture.
Supports Creative Photography
The electronically controlled metal blade focal-plane shutter enables shutter speeds of up to 1/8000 second to be achieved. Even in very bright surroundings, the photographer still has total creative freedom thanks to the selective focus feature with open aperture. The high flash synchronization speed of 1/250 second now allows daylight flash photographs to be taken with selective focus.
Quiet and Discreet
To make cocking the shutter as close to silent as possible, a rubberized silent friction wheel has been placed in the first winding gear stage. A cam disk is used to transfer the force at a constant torque over the entire path of the cocking arm. As a result, the electric motor cocks the shutter almost soundlessly.
Optimum RAW Data Conversion
The professional Capture One LE RAW data converter ensures that the raw data supplied by the CCD sensor and saved in the future-proof Adobe digital negative format (DNG) is processed to yield optimum quality. Leica worked in conjunction with the Danish manufacturer Phase One to create the sophisticated camera profiling and the necessary software modifications. The results of this are quality-optimized algorithms for digital color processing, allowing exceptionally low-noise photography with incredible resolution. The development of even ultra fine tonal value nuances from the 16 bit-image supplied by the CCD sensor is comparable with the image quality provided by film professionally developed in a photographic laboratory. The logical functions for adjusting the quality and the well-structured user interface mean that Capture One LE can be used to achieve outstanding results with consummate ease and speed.
Simple, Intuitive Operation
Operation of the digital functions centers on the combined direction pad and dial, which can be used for fast navigation. Pressing the Set key opens the exposure parameter menu on the 2.5" monitor. Here, you can quickly check and adjust the crucial settings (Sensitivity, Exposure compensation, White balance, Data compression and Resolution). There are three blank slots in the memory for profiles, allowing you to retrieve frequently used combinations for specific applications. Pressing the Menu key takes you to the clearly structured system menu, where you can change some of the basic settings that are permanently applied, for example the ECI RGB, Adobe RGB and sRGB color space options. You can also specify whether you want your pictures to appear on the large display immediately to review them, how long they will be displayed for and whether a tonal value histogram appears. A display on the left-hand side of the top plate constantly shows the remaining capacity of the SD card and the lithium-ion battery. This elementary photographic information is thus available at a glance at all times.
Innovative M-TTL Flash Technology
The unique feature of the Leica M-TTL flash technology is that a pre-flash for flash metering is fired immediately before the actual exposure. TTL measurement of the light reflected by the surfaces of the subject determines the exact power required from the main flash. The seamless addition of the flash intensity to the available light results in flash photographs that retain the natural lighting mood. The auto slow sync function allows you to use aperture priority mode in conjunction with the flash technology. It ensures that the image background is balanced even if the intensity of the ambient light should change. An appropriate metered amount of fill-in flash is emitted to provide correct exposure. Depending on the photographer's experience or the intended effect, various maximum exposure times can be set for aperture priority. This can be done manually or - when using 6 bit-coded lenses - automatically using the rule of thumb 1/focal length in seconds.
Sensor Cleaning Function
The LEICA M8 has a special function for manually cleaning the sensor. When you select the corresponding option in the menu and press the shutter release, the shutter remains open while cleaning is in progress. The low depth of the M camera makes the sensor more easily accessible than on digital reflex cameras, for example.
Tonal Value Histogram
As a professional digital camera, the LeicaM8 provides an RGB tonal value histogram. This can be called up at any time to check the exposure of saved pictures and can also be combined with the automatic review function. Another useful feature is the additional marking of overexposed sections of an image - known as the clipping warning. The particular advantage of this is that these two control tools are constantly updated constantly updated when zooming in on the LCD display, allowing the quality of even the finest image details to be assessed. Pressing the Info function key displays all of the photographic settings from the quick menu and additional meta-information saved with the image file - this enables you to completely evaluate a picture as soon as you have taken it.
The LEICA M8 is supplied with special software that allows the camera to be controlled remotely for scientific work or in a photographic studio. With Leica Digital Capture the camera can be operated from a computer via a USB connection and the image data can be saved directly onto hard disk. The software can send all settings in the exposure parameter menu, e. g. sensitivity and resolution, to the camera. The camera also has a traditional threaded release button for the use of a cable release.
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
35mm f/2.5 Summarit-M Manual Focus Lens (Black)
The Leica 35mm f/2.5 Summarit-M Lens is the wide angle lens in the Summarit-M class of rangefinder lenses. These Summarit-M lenses are designed to offer traditional Leica optical and mechanical excellence, while positioned at a price level below the current M ASPH lenses. With a maximum aperture of f/2.5, and by applying classical and proven spherical lens designs, these lenses provide excellent quality. These features also result in a very compact design.
This lens has been updated with the "6-bit" coding, which allows the digital M camera to read this information optically and to identify which lens is being used. The camera can then (optionally) apply a "final stage" software based vignetting correction (for RAW images the lens used is simply recorded, no change is made).
Filter Size 39mm f/Stop Range 2.5-16 Minimum Focus Distance 2.6' (0.8 m) Angle of View 64° Groups/Elements 4/6 Length 1.3" (34mm) Maximum Diameter 2" (51mm) Weight 7.8 oz (220 g)
Warranty (Leica M8 and Lens)