Leica M8

Leica M8 front
  • 10MP - APS-H Sensor
  • 2.5" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 160 - 2500
  • No Anti-Alias Filter
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • No Video
  • Leica M Mount
  • 591g - 139 x 80 x 37mm
  • Revealed July 2007
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Leica M8 overview

Leica M8 is Leica's Pro Mirrorless digital camera initially launched on July of 2007. The camera comes with a 10MP, CCD APS-H sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 3936 x 2630.

The M8 is positioned #70 out of 70 in Pro Mirrorless cameras & all around #632 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. Remember to check out our Smart camera search to get camera rankings based on your personal factors.

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Below is a diagram of specific criteria used in the scoring system.

Leica M8 Pros and Cons

Below is a list of pluses and minuses of the Leica M8 based on features that are normally viewed as useful in a digital camera.

better than average battery (550 per charge)
high shutter speed (1/8,000s)
manual focus
no anti aliasing filter
saves RAW formats
sensor size is good (APS-H)
swap lenses (Leica M mount)
doesn't posses selfie friendly screen
does not have external mic support
does not have HDMI out
does not have headphone support
does not have Time Lapse mode
lack of image stabilization
lack of phase detect auto focus
low resolution screen (230 k dots)
MP count low (10MP)
no articulating screen
no liveview feature
no shutter priority mode
no video shooting
screen is somewhat small (2.5")
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Leica M8 Sensor info

The specification of the sensor on the Leica M8 is 27mm x 18mm (APS-H). The 486 mm² sensor can resolve 3936 x 2630 pixels at aspect ratios of 3:2.

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The CCD sensor has 10MP and gives a standard ISO range of 160 to 2500. RAW photos are supported so you have wider room to maneuver in post.

Leica decided to skip the anti aliasing filter inside the Leica M8. This can result in more sharper photos but can cause moire under certain situations.

The picture below shows the M8's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The M8 sensor has a crop factor of 1.3 and is presented in green.

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To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Leica M8 dimensions

Leica M8 weighs 1.30 lb (591g or 20.85 ounces) & has exterior proportions of 139mm x 80mm x 37mm (5.5" x 3.1" x 1.5"). The weight of normal Pro Mirrorless camera is 722g and the Leica M8 is lighter compared with various competitors.

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Below is a visual of the Leica M8 with a soft drink to help you to get a feel for its scale.

Leica M8 dimensions scale

The top view directly below will provide the button arrangement on the M8.

Leica M8 topview buttons dials

Leica M8 Lens info

The M8 uses the Leica M mount and has 62 lenses available. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our database which will work with the M8.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Voigtlander-50mm-F1.1-Nokton-Leica-M lensVoigtlander 50mm F1.1 Nokton50mmf/1.1 428g
Carl-Zeiss-Tele-Tessar-T4-85-ZM-Leica-M lensCarl Zeiss Tele-Tessar T 485 ZM85mmf/4.0 310g
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Leica-Summicron-M-28mm-f2-ASPH lensLeica Summicron-M 28mm f2 ASPH28mmf/2.0 270g
Leica-Elmarit-M-24mm-f2.8-ASPH lensLeica Elmarit-M 24mm f2.8 ASPH24mmf/2.8 290g
Leica-Summarit-M-50mm-f2.5 lensLeica Summarit-M 50mm f2.550mmf/2.5 230g
Leica-Super-Elmar-M-21mm-f3.4-ASPH lensLeica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f3.4 ASPH21mmf/3.4 279g
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Carl-Zeiss-Biogon-T2.8-25-ZM-Leica-M lensCarl Zeiss Biogon T 2,825 ZM25mmf/2.8 260g
Photography Glossary

Leica M8 Connectivity

The M8 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Cameras that consist of NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility can be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to send files and usually change camera settings without connecting directly to the camera.

Several applications even allow a Liveview and click the shutter when you aren't close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI port, it can be attached to an external monitor. Nearly all cameras will allow you to charge the battery with the USB port.

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Leica M8 Video info

Leica M8 doesn't capture video. If you are looking for a digital camera to take only photos, this might not be an issue.

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Leica M8 Weather Sealing

Leica M8 doesn't include weather proofing so wet conditions could damage the camera.

Leica M8 Screen and Viewfinder

The Leica M8 comes with a 2.5" fixed display screen boasting a resolution of 230k dots.

Please be aware that the display has no touch support.

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The ViewFinder specifications for Leica M8 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Optical (rangefinder)

For bright outdoor conditions which make the camera screens washed out and tough to see, viewfinders are particularly helpful.

Leica M8 Shutter info

The highest shutter speed is 1/8000 seconds.

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Leica M8 Flash and Hot shoe info

Leica M8 features external flash ability but with missing integrated flash. The max flash sync speed is 1/250 seconds.

Leica M8 Autofocusing info

Leica M8 lacks Auto focusing. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot faster and precise compared with Contrast Based autofocusing.

Leica M8 includes manual focusing if needed during low light scenarios or you want to have more accurate control on focusing.

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Leica M8 Battery life

The battery for the Leica M8 is designed to last for 550 shots based on the CIPA specifications making it above the usual for its category. The general Pro Mirrorless camera battery life is 460. Olympus E-M1X offers the highest possible (870) battery life within this class of cameras.

Following is a number of Pro Mirrorless cameras which have the best battery life:

Leica M8 for varying types of photography

The following graph shows a analysis of the Leica M8 for varying types of photography. To read more, scroll to the specific paragraph below.

Leica M8 Portrait photography details

The Leica M8 receives a points total of 54 which is modest, meaning that it is fairly suitable for portrait photography. Taking portraits leans heavily to sensor dimension, RAW support & potential to work with external flash.

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has manual focus
sensor size is good (APS-H)
exports RAW files
does not have liveview
resolution not great (10 megapixels)

Street photography with Leica M8

Coming in at a nice score of 62, the Leica M8 is a very decent choice to use in street photography. A good street photography camera provides a good balance of image quality and portability.

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decent sensor size (APS-H)
exports RAW files
screen does not articulate
lack of image stabilization

Sports photography with Leica M8

A horrible sports photography score of 43 suggests the Leica M8 is just not good for photographing sports. A camera really should have good tracking plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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great max shutter speed (1/8,000s)
decent sensor size (APS-H)
good battery life (550 per charge)
no liveview
no shutter priority
does not have image stabilization
resolution not great (10 megapixels)
does not have phase detect autofocus

Leica M8 Travel photography highlights

Size is really crucial in picking a camera for travel. In general, the Leica M8 gets a modest 51 for a travelling camera which makes it somewhat adequate for your travels.

Photography Glossary
better than average battery life (550 CIPA)
lack of Timelapse mode
low MP (10 megapixels)
display is not selfie friendly

Landscape photography with Leica M8

When you're looking to buy a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most critical factor is going to be image quality. The Leica M8 and it's average score of 55 for a landscape camera is reasonably suited among its rivals.

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has manual focus
change lenses (Leica M mount)
sensor size is decent (APS-H)
does not have anti-alias filter
supports RAW files
better than average battery pack (550 per charge)
small screen (2.5 inch)
no liveview
no image stabilization
low MP (10 megapixels)
does not have Time Lapse function

Leica M8 Vlogging factors

A camera for vlogging really should have a articulating display, microphone port and ideally image stabilization. Considering all things, the Leica M8 is just not good for vlogging as it receives a horrible score of 9.

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no video

Leica M8 Alternatives

If you want alternatives to the M8, here is a number of the highest placed cameras that fall into the category of Pro Mirrorless.

The line graph down below offers you a summary of the M8 versus it's top scored rivals mentioned earlier.

There are a bunch of cameras you may look into as alternate options. To browse through a full comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Leica M8
Pro Mirrorless
Physical type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
27 x 18mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
Full resolution
3936 x 2630
RAW pictures
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Touch to focus
AF continuous
AF single
AF tracking
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Lens support
Leica M
Number of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen size
Screen resolution
230k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (rangefinder)
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Slowest shutter speed
8 secs
Maximum shutter speed
1/8000 secs
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash options
Front Curtain, Rear Curtain, Slow sync
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Maximum flash synchronize
1/250 secs
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Max video resolution
Mic support
Headphone support
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
591g (1.30 pounds)
139 x 80 x 37mm (5.5" x 3.1" x 1.5")
Battery life
550 shots
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
SD/SDHC card
Card slots
Launch pricing