Excerpt: 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.
Conclusion: Roger Richards is the editor and publisher of The Digital Filmmaker, and a Multimedia Editor/Producer at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. Richards' main focus now is producing video essays combining his still photographs with digital video, as well as non-fiction digital short films for the Web. His photojournalism career began in 1979, and his work included the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Conclusion: About Bruno Stevens: After working for more than 20 years as a music engineer, Bruno Stevens (born 1959) decided in 1998 to become a photojournalist. He has worked in Mexico, Haiti, ex-Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, India, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Darfur, Libya, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Uganda, Pakistan, Kenya, Somalia, Angola, Lebanon and Cambodia.
Excerpt: Leica fanatics have been arguing over this camera for years...even though it didn't exist until now. Battles raged over which features a digital M-series Leica should sport -- or whether these elegantly simple and decidedly Germanic manual-focus rangefinders should be translated into digital at all.
Excerpt: Camera Test: Leica M84022243107021LeicaM8Leica camera owners are a special breed that casual photographers can't understand. For the uninitiated, the idea that anyone would shoot with a 35mm rangefinder camera that lacks motor drive, autofocus, or even a decent zoom lens -- yet costs thousands of dollars -- is absurd.
Excerpt: Ever since the advent of digital photography, I've been told over and over that Leica rangefinders are for playing, or for wearing as jewelry at meetings with important editors. I held out on switching from film as long as I could, traveling to Afghanistan, Kosovo, and then Iraq shooting exclusively with my Leica M6 and Leica M4-P.
Conclusion: * Many of these 'pros and cons' are listed for those unfamiliar with rangefinders, many M8 buyers will already be aware of these and won't see them as significant disadvantages When I first got my hands on the M8 I have to admit it was my first experience of a rangefinder camera, I was also skeptical that there was still a place for such a significantly manually controlled camera in such an automatic world where every new camera removes one more layer of control from the...
Pros: Hand-built body speaks for itself, superb quality and finish, the best in the business, Totally new body built from the ground up to be a digital rangefinder, Years of heritage brought into the digital age without compromising Leica core values, Range of excellent (if amazingly expensive, and of course manual focus) lenses, Weighty body and fewer moving parts means slower hand-held shutter speeds *, Quiet and compact compared to a DSLR, smaller lenses (for equivalent ...
Cons: Infrared / Ultraviolet sensitivity means screw-on filters are required for all lenses in order to avoid the magenta color cast on man-made fabrics, Disappointing in-camera JPEG engine delivers sub-par results (jagged artifacts, moire, lower resolution) especially when you see what's available from RAW, Really need to shoot RAW to realize the potential of the camera, Rangefinder disadvantages: you don't look through the lens, no depth of field preview, framelines indic...
Summary: After reading some comments on the
net we thought the noise would be more an issue with this camera.
Overall the M8 can produce very sharp and detailed images. The
noise levels are not like a Canon 5D but still very reasonable
in our opinion. This is the first camera for many years that we
really have to learn to use. Actually we only have get used to
the rangefinder aspect of the M8. Over the next 2 weeks we will
use the M8 as one of our main cameras.
Conclusion: Should you buy the Leica M8? That all depends on who you are, what you are trying to shoot, and how much money you have in your pocket. For the person who has $10,000 in Leica lenses at home, doesn't see the price of an M8 as an obstacle, and just wants to have a digital camera to use them on, the M8 is the best of your two choices (the other being to buy a used Epson R-D1) and your only choice if you want a new factory-warranty camera.