Leica M8

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Leica M8

Maker: Leica

Dates: 2006-

Variants: silver-black or black

Camera Type: 35mm rangefinder system

Focusing: manual

Viewfinder: Reverse Galilean (×0.68)
with automatic or manual selection of parallax corrected framelines
additional color LCD display: 2.5", 230,000 pixels

Rangefinder: coupled, combined (ERB = 47.1mm)

Lens mount: Leica M

Shutter: focal plane
metal curtains, vertical travel
from 1/8000 to 8s

Exposure meter: TTL

Exposure modes: manual, aperture priority auto exposure

ASA/ISO range: 160 to 2500 ISO

Shoe: fixed hot shoe

Synchronized: X

X sync speed: 1/250

TTL Flash: Yes

Motor drive: Built in

Battery: Lithium Ion

Dimensions: 139×80×37mm

Weight: 545g without battery

Number produced: unknown

The Leica M8, the first digital camera in the Leica M series of rangefinder cameras, was introduced by Leica Camera AG on 14 September 2006.[1] It uses a Kodak KAF-10500 CCD sensor. The sensor has 10.3 million 6.8 μm pixels and is 18×27 mm inducing a 1.33 crop factor, with a ISO 160–2500 sensitivity range. An electronically controlled metal focal plane shutter replaces the cloth shutter of all previous Leica rangefinder cameras, permitting 1/8000s exposures and 1/250s X-sync. The viewfinder magnification is x0.68 making for an effective rangefinder base of 47.1 mm. The combined viewfinder has frameline pairings of 24/35mm, 28/90mm, 50/75mm (actual focal lengths) or 32/48mm, 36/120mm, 67/100mm (full frame 35mm field of view equivalents).


The shutter was based on the R9 reflex camera's shutter and photographers complained that it was noticeably noisier. The shutter was later modified with reduced maximum speed and quieter operation.

Infra-red problems

All digital sensors are sensitive to invisible infra-red light and so are normally fitted with a filter to suppress unwanted effects. Space in the M camera shell is very limited, especially behind the shutter, and Leica took the decision to eliminate the filter.

Very quickly photographers noticed unwanted colour fringing, especially with flash, and controversy erupted. Eventually Leica responded by supplying filters to be fitted on the lens free of charge to all M8 owners.

Later M digital cameras incorporate a filter on the sensor.


  1. A camera legend goes digital, press release by Leica Camera AG, published at dpreview.com.


In French: