Leica Rangefinder Goes Digital

The Leica M8 marks the digitization of the famous Leica M line of rangefinder cameras. The 10+ MP sensor, designed specifically for this camera, has a "native" speed of 160, with a maximum ISO setting of 2500. Available later this year, the M8 retains the classic Leica rangefinder look and feel, even down to the baseplate cover removal for insertion of the memory card. Standard M lenses made since 1954 will fit the mount, with a 1.33 focal length multiplication factor. A new lens, the Tri-Elmar 16-21mm, has been introduced with the camera as well. This, and all lenses made by Leica from July 1, 2006 onwards will have special 6-bit coding on the bayonet ring, allowing lens data and special processing instructions to be transferred to the image processor. Lenses made prior to that date can be retrofitted with the coding, but can be used without it as well.

Shutter speed range tops out at 1/8000 sec, with sync speed at 1/250 sec. The Raw format is Adobe DNG, with supplied Raw converter being Capture One LE, although Adobe's Camera Raw will work as well.