Leica M8

Leica M8

Leica M8 rangefinder

As a camera company, Leica built its reputation on the back of its rangefinder cameras. From the Leica II, introduced in 1932, through the M7 still available today, Leica rangefinders have endured, in no small part thanks to a reputation for top-notch craftsmanship. On September 14 of this year, Leica officially announced the company's first digital rangefinder, called the M8. It packs a Kodak-made 10.3-megapixel CCD sensor and a 2.5-inch LCD screen into a classic rangefinder body design that's just a touch larger than the M7.

For those of you unfamiliar with rangefinders, the cameras offer certain advantages over SLRs. Foremost is the lack of a mirror. Since they use a rangefinder instead of a mirror and prism, you never lose sight of your subject as you do when an SLR's mirror flips up to capture an image. You also don't get the internal vibrations that go along with the mirror slapping up inside the camera, which can rob your images of an extra--though admittedly very minor--level of sharpness capable with a rangefinder. Plus, since rangefinders are smaller than SLRs, in this case 5.46x3.16x1.45 inches (body only), it's easier to bring them with you wherever you go.

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