Leica Unveils M8.2

Leica Sep 14, 2008

Evolution of the LEICA M8 digital rangefinder cameraLeica M8.2 Black

* New metal blade focal plane shutter
* Ultra scratch-resistant sapphire crystal as coverglass
* New snapshot mode
* Quick override setting
* Leica dot and accessory also in black
* Robust “vulcanite“ finish
* New compact charger

The new LEICA M8.2 is a significant development of Leica Camera AG’s German-made digital rangefinder camera for professionals. While important LEICA M8 attributes such as discretion, intuitive work and robustness have been further improved, the new model retains the key characteristics of the Leica reportage camera such as the compact shape, the exceptional image quality in connection with Leica M lenses and the unique picture composition with the Leica rangefinder that show it to be a genuine M camera. The LEICA M8.2 complements the M8, and many elements of the M8.2 can be integrated into the M8 if desired. With this parallel marketing, Leica Camera AG is underlining yet again the full system compatibility and high value retention of its M series.

The LEICA M8.2 integrates a new extra-quiet, low-vibration metal blade focal plane shutter which allows the photographer to determine the right moment for cocking. This brings the digital LEICA M8.2 extremely close to the ideal of the famous rubber cloth focal plane shutter of its analog sisters. Responding to the request of many professional photographers, the new black model has been given an even more inconspicuous design: the Leica dot and the accessory shoe now blend in with the color of the camera. The black version of the camera boasts a new extra durable high-quality deep black finish.

The new snapshot mode will appeal to all those who want good results right away without knowing a lot about photography. If the shutter speed dial is turned to the new “S“ setting, the camera controls all the key features automatically, such as automatic exposure (aperture priority), automatic ISO speed setting and automatic white balance. For the three most commonly used subject modes, the LEICA M8.2 gives hints on aperture and focus settings, which are displayed when the “INFO” button on the camera monitor is pressed. The photographer can obtain further information from the new brief waterproof instructions which can be folded to the size of a credit card.

The automatic ISO setting can be selected in all operation modes of the LEICA M8.2. Another new feature is a quick override setting: When the shutter release button is sustained as far as the first pressure point, a correction of +/- 3 stops in 1/3 steps can be made with the dial on the back of the camera. The setting is shown in the viewfinder. Further modifications include a more pronounced detent mechanism of the main switch of the camera to prevent inadvertent activation of the self-timer, and redesign of the bright line frames in the viewfinder to allow more precise determination of the picture frame for longer distances.

The new LEICA M8.2 is the very first professional digital camera to use an ultra scratch- resistant sapphire crystal as coverglass for the camera monitor. It is so hard that it can be exclusively worked with special diamond tools and is permanently resistant to all mechanical or abrasive stress. The camera also sports a new easy-grip and specially robust “vulcanite“ finish.

The new compact charger unit is designed to take up a minimum of space in the photograper’s bag, and charges the lithium ion battery to 80% in only an hour and a half. This is already sufficient for about 400 exposures, so if the full capacity of about 500 exposures is not required, the camera can always be recharged in a very short time.

The new LEICA M8.2 has inherited the superlative image quality of the LEICA M8, resulting from the combination of the legendary M lenses with a CCD image sensor specially designed for the requirements of the Leica M system and high-performance image processing. The new Capture One 4 raw data converter of the Danish manufacturer Phase One ensures the best possible picture quality in the camera’s DNG mode. Unlike any other digital camera, the LEICA M8.2 is able to use almost all Leica M system lenses produced since 1954 due to their high standard of performance.

Like its predecessors, the new LEICA M8.2 continues in the tradition of easy operation, concentration on the essential, few controls and logical, easy-to-follow menus.

The LEICA M8 launched in the fall of 2006 is still available as an alternative to the new LEICA M8.2. Following a tradition of the Leica company that is unique in the world of digital photography, many elements of the new LEICA M8.2 can even be integrated into the LEICA M8: the shutter, the sapphire coverglass or the new viewfinder frames can be retrofitted by Customer Service.

The LEICA M8.2 is available now at Leica stockists.