Full Compatibility with Almost All M Lenses
The Leica M8.2 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 M8.2 adds to the M8 by providing an innovative Snapshot Mode "S:" for fully automated functioning, and improves durability with a unique sapphire crystal coverglass over the LCD display and a robust "vulcanite" finish over the camera body. It also includes a more compact and faster charger for easier travel.
The Leica M8.2 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.
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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
Supprts 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 with far richer detail than analog films can deliver, and the thickness of the cover glass has been reduced to just 0.5 mm to prevent unwanted refraction - resulting in an image that 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 the 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
The Leica M8.2 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 to provide effective protection from dust and moisture. The high resolution 2.5" LCD display is also impressively durable with an ultra scratch-resistant sapphire crystal coverglass that is so hard that it can only be worked with special diamond tools. The camera also sports an easy-grip and robust "vulcanite" finish
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
Snapshot Mode "S"
The snapshot mode "S" turns the Leica M8.2 into a simple to use fully automatic camera, and is particularly usefull in situations where time is not available for the user to fiddle with camera settings, such as on a vacation or taking pictures of an event. In the "S" setting, the camera controls all the key features automatically, such as automatic exposure (aperture priority), automatic ISO speed setting and automatic white balance
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 Adobe digital negative format (DNG) is processed to yield optimum quality. Leica worked in conjunction with Phase One to create the sophisticated camera profiling and 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
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 to quickly check and adjust the crucial settings. 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 how your pictures appear on the display. An additional monochrome LCD display on the left-hand side of the top plate constantly shows the remaining capacity of the SD card and the lithium-ion battery so this elementary photographic information is 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-code lenses - automatically using the rule of thumb 1/focal length in seconds
Sensor Cleaning Function
The LEICA M8.2 has a special function for manually cleaning the sensor. When you select the Sensor Cleaning option in the menu and press the shutter release, the shutter remains open. The low depth of the M camera makes the sensor more easily accessible than on digital reflex cameras.
Tonal Value Histogram
As a professional digital camera, the LEICA M8.2 provides an RGB tonal value histogram that 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. 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
Compact and Fast Charger
The compact charger is designed to take up a minimum of space in the photograper's bag and has a quick-charge function that can charge the battery to 80% capacity in less than two hours - sufficient for about 400 exposures
Leica M8.2 Rangefinder Digital Camera Body
Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery
Battery Charger with Car Adapter and Plug Adapters (Euro & USA)
Carrying Strap with Anti-slip Guard
Camera Cover for M Bayonet
Capture One LE Software CD-ROM
Leica Digital Capture Software CD-ROM
1-Year Manufacturers Limited Warranty
The last digital camera you'll ever need, September 20, 2009
By Dustin Perry (Sagamihara, Japan)
As much as the title of my review seems like hyperbole, I assure you it is not. After two weeks of using this camera in just about every environment and condition imaginable -- indoors, outdoors, low-light, still, action, tripod -- I can attest that it is the best I have ever used in my 10 years as a photographer.
This camera is extremely user-friendly and anyone from novice to expert will have no trouble becoming familiar with its wide variety of features. The photo quality is crisp, clean and out-of-this-world sharp. My work camera is a Nikon D3, and on more than a few assignments I have left it in the office in lieu of using my Leica M8.2.
If Leica are able to improve upon this camera in any way with their future releases, I'll be extremely surprised. Their reputation for creating high-quality photography equipment is more than upheld in regard to the M8.2, and it's as if all of their know-how was poured into creating this fine, fine camera. I cannot recommend this highly enough.