Leica will showcase four new digital still cameras and a lens at the coming Photokina trade show, which opens on 26 September.


September 15, 2006: Leica will showcase four new digital still cameras and a lens at the coming Photokina trade show, which opens on 26 September.
Top of the range is the Leica M8, which combines the functionality of the analog Leica M system with an 18 x 27 mm, 10.3-megapixel, low-noise CCD imager that has been specially matched to the compact lens design. All the main settings are made in clearly structured menus on the bright 2.5-inch LCD monitor, which offers RGB histogram and clipping warnings that can be used on even the finest details of the subject. The modern metal-blade slotted shutter enables fast flash synchronisation times down to 1/250 second and M-TTL flash technology ensures natural flash illumination through the activation of a metering pre-flash. The auto slow sync. function now allows available light exposures without camera shake in aperture priority mode combined with a natural fill-in flash.
Image files can be recorded in DNG raw or JPEG format (two compression levels provided) and stored on SD memory cards. The camera is supplied with Capture One LE raw file converter. Shutter speeds range from 32 seconds to 1/8000 second and a Bulb settign is provided for long exposures. ISO sensitivity can be set from 160 to 2500. White balance controls include an auto setting, six pre-sets, manual white balance and colour temperature adjustment from 2000 K to 13,100 K. Adobe RGB and sRGB coloru spaces are provided.
The M8 supports auto and manual exposure controls and provides in-camera adjustments for User profile, Sensor sensitivity, Manual exposure compensation, White balance, data format and picture resolution. Continuous shooting at two frames/second for 10 shots is provided, along with two and ten second self-timer options. The camera body measures approximately 139 x 80 x 37 mm and weighs 545 grams (without battery).
Leica’s Digilux 3 is the company’s first DSLR model and derives much of its technology from the Panasonic DMC-L1. It boasts the same 17.3 x 13.0 mm, 7.5 megapixel LiveMos sensor and Four Thirds mount image-stabilised lens. It also offers a RealtimePreview of the subject on the 2.5-inch LCD. The Digilux 3 also includes the same CCD-shift dust reduction system and offers shutter speeds of 60 to 1.4000 seconds plus bulb exposures up to eight minutes. ISO settings from 100 to 1600 are provided, along with a full range of auto and manual shooting controls.
The built-in flash has a GN of 10 (ISO 100/m) and offers off, auto and daylight fill-in flash modes plus slow synch with or without red-eye reduction. Flash exposure compensation of +/-2 EV in 1⁄3 EV stages is provided. Image files are stored on SD cards and photographers can choose between raw and JPEG file formats. The Digilux 3 measures 145.8 x 86.9 x 80 mm and weighs approximately 530 grams (without lens, battery and card).
The Leica V-Lux 1 derives much of its technology from the Panasonic FZ50. Equipped with a 12x optical zoom lens and the optical image stabilisation, it boasts a 10-megapixel imager and swivelling 2.0-inch LCD. Users can choose from three apsect ratios: 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9, the latter corresponding to HDTV standard. A ful lrange of shooting modes is offered and users can select between 9-area ot 3-area AF or use a central AF point. Shutter speeds range from 60 to 1/2000 seconds. Image files are stored on an SD card and the camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The V-Lux 1 measures 141 x 85 x 142 mm and weighs 668 grams (without battery and memory card).
Available in silver or black, Leica’s slimline D-Lux 3 resembles the Panasonic LX2 model and sports a 10-megapixel imager with a 16:9 aspect ratio plus a 4x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 28 to 112mm in 35mm format). Weighing only 220 grams with rechargeable battery, lens cap and memory card, it measures 105.7 x 58.3 x 25.6 mm and offers manual and auto focusing, P, A, S and M exposure modes and shutter speeds from 60 to 1/2000 second. Seventeen scene pre-sets are provided, including two “baby” modes that let parents store birth dates and automatically tag shots with a child’s age. The camera is supplied with a 64MB SD card and software package containing Adobe Photoshop Elements and Quicktime Movie Player.
Leica’s Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH lens is a compact, wide-angle lens that delivers outstanding detail and superb contrast even at full aperture. With its ultra-wide imaging angle of 92 °, it is ideally suited to landscape photography. Distortion is minimal. Because an extremely large depth-of-field is already achieved with a slightly stopped-down aperture, sharp dramatic pictures can be made during live reportage photography. Weighing only 300 grams, it is 46mm long with a diameter of 58mm.



The Tri-Elmar-M 16-18-21mm f/4 ASPH lens boasts impressive angle of view of 107 degrees at its widest setting and, used on the digital M8 covers a range equivalent to a 21-28mm lens. Two aspherical elements plsu internal focusing are featrues of this new design, which also uses a floating element to achieve close focusing. An optional Universal Wide-angle Viewfinder M is available for use with this lens.

Leica cameras and lenses are distributed in Australia by Adeal. For more information, phone (03) 8369 4444 or visit www.adeal.com.au.