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Leica M8 Specs and Scores

Storage & Battery
Leica M8
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
September 14, 2006
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Leica M8 receives a score of 35/100 in our evaluation. Announced on September 14, 2006, and released the same year, this mirrorless camera comes with a hefty launch price of $5495. Measuring 139 x 80 x 37mm and weighing 591g or 1.30lbs, the M8’s specifications may not seem outstanding in today’s market, especially considering its age. However, it’s essential to delve into the camera’s optics to fully understand its capabilities and value.

Leica M8 Overview and Optics

The Leica M8 scores 43/100 in the optics category. Its 10.3-megapixel CCD sensor and Maestro II processor provide decent image quality. However, with a shooting speed of only 2 frames per second, it lags behind contemporary cameras. The camera’s DXOMARK sensor score of 59 reveals its limitations in today’s market.

The APS-H sensor size and Leica M lens mount offer compatibility with a wide range of lenses. However, the absence of image stabilization makes it less versatile in challenging shooting conditions. The 3:2 aspect ratio is a standard feature in most cameras, providing no unique advantage for the Leica M8.

The Leica M8’s optics are sufficient for casual photography, but they do not excel in the competitive camera market. Its specifications fall short when compared to modern cameras, making it less appealing to demanding photographers.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
10.3 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
3936 x 2630 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
18 x 27 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
2 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Leica M
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Maestro II
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
8 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (rangefinder)

Leica M8 Video Performance

The Leica M8 lacks video capabilities. This camera focuses on photography and does not offer any video functions.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.

Leica M8 Features and Benefits

The Leica M8 receives a feature score of 17/100. This score reflects the camera’s limited capabilities when compared to modern cameras. The M8 has a 2.5-inch screen with a resolution of 230,000 dots. It lacks a touchscreen, flip screen, GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth connectivity.

In today’s market, these specifications seem outdated. Many contemporary cameras offer larger screens with higher resolutions, touch capabilities, and various connectivity options. The absence of these features in the Leica M8 places it at a disadvantage for users seeking enhanced functionality and convenience.

Despite its lower feature score, the Leica M8 remains a classic camera for those who appreciate its distinct design and focus on manual controls. However, for users seeking advanced features and connectivity, there are more suitable options available.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
230,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Leica M8 Storage and Battery

The Leica M8 scores 29/100 in storage and battery. It has one memory card slot accepting SD and SDHC cards. The battery life lasts for 550 shots, using a BP-SCL1 battery type. Unfortunately, it does not support USB charging.

Compared to current market standards, the Leica M8 falls short in battery performance and storage options. Contemporary cameras often provide multiple memory card slots and support for higher-capacity cards. Additionally, USB charging has become a standard feature in many models.

The Leica M8’s storage and battery specifications reveal its limitations in these areas. With advancements in technology, modern cameras offer superior performance in these aspects.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
550 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
21.1 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
11.3 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'
User Scores
B&H photo video

Leica M8 Alternatives

Do you want to know how the Leica M8 compares to its competitors? Have a look at the most popular comparisons for this camera below:

Leica M8 photographed on a colored background

Leica M8 FAQ

Does the Leica M8 Have Built-in Image Stabilization?

The Leica M8 does not have built-in image stabilization. Users will need to rely on their shooting technique and potentially use a tripod for stable shots.

Does the Leica M8 Support 4K Video Recording?

The Leica M8 does not support 4K video recording as it lacks any video functionality. It is primarily designed for still photography.

What Size Sensor Does The Leica M8 Have?

The Leica M8 is equipped with an APS-H sized sensor, which is slightly larger than APS-C but smaller than full-frame sensors.

Does the Leica M8 Have a Dual Memory Card Slot?

The Leica M8 does not have a dual memory card slot. It only features a single SD card slot for storage.

Does the Leica M8 Have a Touch Screen?

The Leica M8 does not have a touch screen. Navigation and settings adjustments are done through physical buttons and dials on the camera body.

Does the Leica M8 Have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth?

The Leica M8 does not have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. Transferring images requires the use of an SD card reader or connecting the camera via USB.

Does the Leica M8 Have GPS?

The Leica M8 does not have built-in GPS functionality. Geotagging images would require the use of an external GPS device and post-processing software.

Is the Leica M8 Weather Sealed?

The Leica M8 is not weather sealed, so extra care should be taken when using it in adverse weather conditions or environments with dust and moisture.

Does the Leica M8 Have a Built-in Flash?

The Leica M8 does not have a built-in flash. Users will need to use an external flash or other light sources for low light photography.

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