Leica M8.2 Review

September 11, 2009 | Kevin Carter | |

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#1 John R. Spurr

I am not empressed in the least, if these samples are accurate of what this Leica provides. High speed shots are very grainy lookind with color noise as well. Nothing seemed sharp, even the close-up of the Fiat, which should have been dead on sharp. Recently I have seen even compact digital models provide better output.

Plus no one likes to talk about noise, anymore. The noise that I am talking about is Sound Level Noise. I hope that you will include this test in all future reviews. Thy shooting a golf tournament of a video shoot, with a “noisy” camera and you will be shown the short-cut to the street.

Sorry for being so blunt but I felt that a $6,000.00 should be a bunch better than it did.

9:02 pm - Friday, September 11, 2009

#2 Ian Lang

Anyone heard the story of the King’s New Clothes? In short, if you tell people enough times that something is good then they will believe it. The samples tell the real story. The 6th example speaks volumes - I can get better IQ than that off a old Canon S2, which is well past its use-by date. If you have that kind of money and you are not an utter fashion victim you could get yourselves some really decent kit and probably even take some acceptable photos.
Thanks, John Spurr, for being blunt - it’s high time some other people had the courage of their convictions and spoke about what they see in an image not what they hear about it.

9:16 pm - Friday, September 11, 2009

#3 MarK

$5999 ??? what? it’s not a joke? I’m not very impressed by the sample images.

For $649.00 I’ll get Sigma DP2. outstanding quality!

11:30 am - Saturday, September 12, 2009

#4 Jacek

Leica is Leica. Definately aimed for a specific group of users. If you already have invested in another system it would not probably make sense to buy one at least definately not 8.2 since 9 is out.

2:35 pm - Saturday, September 12, 2009

#5 danny griffin

its worth considering as well that this is not a current review, the 8.2 was released a good while ago, certainly before the m9 was on the horizon.

as for the image quality issue, whilst it does struggle against noise in comparison to the likes of the d3, it’s not designed to be competing with it. im sure the target market for this camera are photographers who have already invested heavily in teh m system and are wanted to move to digital, rather than slr photographers who are tempted to move.

that said, it is rather shocking that leica didnt sort out the IR filter issue before release. to have to correct an optical issue on a £4000 camera with a screw on filter is a joke.

4:40 pm - Saturday, September 12, 2009

#6 jason Grubb

Insane… and amazing. Can’t wait to purchase.

12:55 am - Sunday, September 13, 2009

#7 Dainius

idiotism… You can spend your money on the other thing that u realy need. This camera cannot cost so much, it`s wrong

2:17 am - Sunday, September 13, 2009

#8 John

you are paying for the name leica and a quility camera. who would buy a digital leica anyway? might as well buy the real thing if you have that much money to blow. better of giving the money you save from not buying this trendy camera to a needy family. you could sponser/feed 300+ familys in africa for a year with that amount of money. spend $900 on a sexy dslr not this thing.

5:53 am - Friday, September 18, 2009

#9 Daniel

Just came across this review want wanted to provide feedback from someone who actually owns and uses this camera.  I sold off my D-200 and a bunch of lenses to buy a M8.2. What I have discovered is the joy of taking photographs again. The leica reminds me of my OM2… From the 1970’s ... Light and easy to take anywhere. The Nikon was a great camera, but after lugging it around for 3 years, I found myself often leaving it at home in favor of a 10mp Sony compact.  The Leica makes me want to take it everywhere ... And the lenses are nothing short of amazing.

As the nay-Sayers above point out, you pay a hefty price ... But it’s for near perfection ... And that costs a bit more than mass production cameras.  And I’ll bet NONE of the critics above have ever shot one photo with a M8.2.  In response to the image quality… No, none, nada 10mp point and shoot ( or DSLR) is going to afford you the clarity or sharpness in an I age this camera will.

If you want a ‘sexy’ DSLR, do as John suggest and buy one… But if you want to learn about photography as art, treat yourself to the best and buy a Leica ... You will not regret it.

3:21 am - Tuesday, July 13, 2010

#10 lazyarrow

To the sample pictures of this review, maybe it needs a Leica photographer to bring Leica pictures?
This sample pictures do not by any means represent the potential of the Leica M.
You can browse the gallery of lazyarroe on deviantart dot com to see what I mean about pictures and potential.
The M reduces the photography to the very core of its meaning, a huge DSLR just provides an immense overkill of features you have to carry around, which you actually seldom use.
the quality of an M lens is top of the world, no question. But You have to have the skill to bring it to screen/paper. It does not provide you nice apps to do so. If You are happy with Sigma/Cosina/Sony, play with it, and be happy.
To mention jpeg with high quality definition is absurd, who wants to use jpeg in a professional enviroment ? It makes no sense.


10:09 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#11 Jill gocher

As a former leica user all I can say is that the test pix are barely a fair rendition. Any camera can take these kind of things but it barely explores leica,s special attributes. It’s quietness, it’s low key appearance that makes if so special and so good for portraits and photojournalism.and the way that a leica picture is different to others.

11:43 pm - Friday, June 1, 2012

#12 Andrew

Just bought an M8.2 (yes, its now quite ancient) for a still lofty $2300 and like others I came here from a big DSLR (Sony A850).

All I can say is that taking pictures is once again a pleasure.  I do mostly travel photography and no longer does the photography dominate the travel.  With the M8.2 I can carry a small bag (not even a camera bag) with two additional lenses (all very small and light) and get image quality far better than the 24 MP Sony, at least when everything is right.

Its far less versatile, but far more pleasant, and when the subject matches the capabilities there is nothing better.

I shoot process and print mostly black and white (for which the M8.2 is outstanding), but I do shoot in RAW and the color is also very impressive (I use the filters occasionally, by subject).  Lenses are Summarit 35 (used for like 70%), Summicron 50 (20%) and Tele-Elmarit (thin) 90 (10%).

4:20 pm - Thursday, August 1, 2013

#13 Manzar

Leica or no-Leica. Well, all watches give accurate time. Some prefer to buy Patek Phillip. Leica is not all about ‘image superiority, it’s the ownership of and being able to use the best photographic machine ever made.
One of the very few cameras who have kept the traditional handling at the heart of its design. Simple, robust, precise. The closest to that would be Fuji.

10:04 pm - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

#14 lazyarrow


You didn’t really get the meaning of a Leica.

The flair of a picture taken through a Leica lens is unique, based on terms of contrast, sharpness, bokeh, color, etc.

I can see the differences between Leica, Zeiss, Canon and Nikon lenses. Especially Fuji and Mamya Lenses are the most boring ones I ever saw in results of prints. When You develop Prints of customers for 20 years you learn the differences.

I would say the Leica lens is the most vivid in its expression. Leica is very sharp as well, Zeiss has too much contrast sharpness in comparison, making skin all to ugly in portraits.

Japanese lenses are most sterol in their pictures.


9:22 am - Sunday, February 23, 2014

#15 Adrian Boliston

Looks like this camera is now more affordable in 2014 so am thinking of getting one - I like the idea of a camera where I can set everything manually using dials rather than menus.

6:09 pm - Saturday, December 20, 2014

Entry Tags

10 megapixel, leica, rangefinder, m8, m 8, m 8.2, APS-H, Leica M8.2 Review

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