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4 weeks ago

Leica Unveils Refreshed Compact Camera: the Leica D-Lux 8

The new release concentrates the performance and world-class design of Leica into a small form factor.

By Toby Louch

Each release from Leica — the esteemed German camera manufacturer — marks a significant step in the lineage of photography. Across its wide lineup, Leica produces a camera that excels in each category; the M11 is seen as the definitive rangefinder; the SL3 is an exemplary, interchangeable-lens full-frame mirrorless camera; and the Q3 is a much beloved full-frame fixed lens compact. Now, the Leica D-Lux 8 represents the continuation of Leica’s commitment to the premium digital compact sector.

First introduced in 2003, during a time before smartphone cameras effectively eradicated the digital compact camera, the Leica D-Lux represented a premium solution to a problem. Positioned as the camera you can take anywhere, slip into a pocket or bag and snap photos on the go, the D-Lux quickly gained a cult following. Now, eight generations later and six years after the release of the D-Lux 7, Leica has just revealed the all-new D-Lux 8, which is set to launch on July 2.

Leica D-Lux 8
The top of the Leica D-Lux 8 features a shutter speed dial, a control dial and the shutter button itself / ©Leica

The purpose of the D-Lux 8 is to concentrate the essence of Leica into both an accessible and compact take-anywhere form. Visually, this new model takes big cues from Leica’s history, particularly the immensely popular Q3, which is essentially its bigger brother.

On this new model, the controls have been simplified and repositioned to improve ergonomics. The top of the camera features a shutter speed dial, a control dial and the shutter button itself. While the back remains just as toned down featuring a screen, play and menu button in addition to a control pad and electronic viewfinder. The user interface has also taken an upgrade, following the example set by the Q3 and is now easier to use.

The new Leica D-Lux 8 now uses a 4/3” CMOS sensor capable of producing 21 MP with a fast Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9-34 f/1.7-2.8 ASPH lens. Highly regarded for the quality of its glass, it’s partly this lens that will position this compact camera as a cut above the rest.

[See also: Leica Camera Opens Flagship Store in New York City]

Leica D-Lux 8
The rear is just as simple, featuring the electronic viewfinder, several buttons and a control pad / ©Leica

Like all other Leica’s released over recent years, the D-Lux 8 will work seamlessly with the Leica FOTOS app, allowing users to quickly download images directly from the camera to their phone for uploading to social media.

The Leica D-Lux 8 will be released with a range of new accessories, from hand grips to carrying straps and leather protectors, these accessories will allow owners to put their own spin on the device and give it a unique look.

So who is the Leica D-Lux 8 for?  Where compact cameras used to be essential for everyone wishing to capture moments during their daily lives, the smartphone has taken on that role for most people. The D-Lux 8 is designed for those looking for much better performance than a smartphone camera, but still retaining its compact form. It’s designed for users who appreciate Leica’s quality in both build and design and want a device they can take anywhere. For that group, the D-Lux 8 looks to be a particularly interesting option.

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The Leica D-Lux 8 will be available from July 2nd and priced at $1595

leica-camera.com

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