is the first digital camera
in the rangefinder
M series introduced by Leica Camera AG
on 14 September 2006
. It uses a 10.3-megapixel Kodak KAF-10500 CCD image sensor
The M8 body is slightly thicker than the classic MP and M7. It is an all-metal body made of a high-strength magnesium alloy. The top and base plates are cut from solid brass blocks, then given a black or silver chrome finish.
The M8 supports all existing Leica M-mount lenses. All lenses are multiplied by a 1.33x crop factor, hence a 28mm lens will act approximately like a 35mm when mounted to the M8. Because the sensor lacks an infrared filter, an IR-cut filter in front of the lens is recommended.
The M8 uses modern metal-blade focal-plane shutter. It can fire flash synchronization at 1/250 second X-sync and a top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec. The flash system used in the M8 is M-TTL.
The camera uses a 6-bit coding system that identifies the lens in use to the electronics built into M8 body. The code is included on all current Leica lenses. To prevent excessive vignetting due to closer lens mount than in a DSLR and thus higher light rays angle on the sensor periphery, offset micro-lenses are used on the CCD. The 6-bit code on lenses gives information about optic vignetting characteristics, permitting software adjustment.. The M8 uses Adobe DNG as its raw data format and the raw converter Capture One LE (included with the camera).
The Leica M8 suffered from some controversy on its release due to image quality problems reported by some users, especially an extremely high sensitivity to infrared
light, which made black colors appear purple. Leica has since released a statement saying that it will send two special screw-on photographic filters
to all future M8 purchasers. Users experiencing other image quality problems can apply to return their M8 for repair.
Leica announced a perpetual upgrade program on 31 January 2008
. To keep a user's M8 up to date with newer releases, owners can send their M8's to Leica for upgrades. The first upgrade offered under this program is an improved shutter designed for quieter operation, at the cost of a slower maximum shutter speed of 1/4000sec.