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The New Leica D-Lux 8 Is Great, But Also Oddly Disappointing

Leica’s new D-Lux 8 compact digital camera is part of a long, popular lineage of predecessors and it brings robust abilities to the table.

Leica Camera announced the original D-Lux a whopping 21 years ago and since then has produced 8 generations of these cameras with this newest model included.

At least as far as having time to get these models just right goes, the iconic brand has had no shortage of it.

What this also means is that the D-Lux 8 is pretty much guaranteed to be a solidly-performing workhorse of a compact camera even if you wanted more from it. I don’t think it’s missing anything reasonable, but it could have used a couple of improvements.

Overall, this latest version is a stylish, comfortable and sleek general-use shooter that offers lots but mainly as part of what the D-Lux series has already offered.

It doesn’t break truly new territory for this camera line, but that’s okay too, because it performs well.

The key part of the D-Lux 8 is its 17-megapixel Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor with a 21MP size, but of which only 17MP is usable for photos.

This comes with a DC Vario-Summilux 10.9-34mm f/1.7-2.8 ASPH lens that’s 24-75mm with a 35mm-equivalent focal length.


I’d argue that at least for these two key parts of the new camera, Leica could have changed things a bit.

The D-Lux 7 offered the same sensor size and the same lens, but it seems that the company is foregoing a forward leap for now.

However, the D-Lux 7 was a step up from the D-Lux 6, so maybe the brand is waiting until it releases the D-Lux 9 to really surprise its customers.

In any case, what you get with this 8th edition may not be excitingly new, but it performs well in this compact camera.

Furthermore, considering how much the popularity of compact cameras has exploded, finding many other models such as the D-Lux 7 and similar cameras such as the Fujifilm X100VI has become harder.

This opens a good place for the D-Lux 8 and makes its release an overall good thing for the market. Basically, the D-Lux 8 is a solid alternative to many currently sold-out cameras of its kind.

Also, while key aspects of the D-Lux line have stayed the same with the 8, it does have some great new additions and changes going for it.

For starters, Leica has given the D-Lux 8 a bunch of new accessories. These include a new attachable handgrip, a real leather camera case, carrying straps, leather half cases and wrist straps. All of these will come in several color options and are sold separately.

The camera also has external accessory design differences from its predecessor. Among these are a new lens cap, a new soft-shutter release and some additional bag options. In other words, the D-Lux 8 won’t lack for style.

Cosmetic design changes on the 8 include a simplified directional pad and only four rear buttons instead of the 8 on the D-Lux 7.

Also, the 4K button on the 7th version is now a power button on the 8th while the exposure compensation dial in the 7 is now a customizable control dial.

One good thing about these changes to the physical controls is that they simplify the functionality of the D-Lux 8, making it more easily and quickly usable during street photography or any other fast-paced situation.

Rear view of a Leica camera showing its screen, control buttons, and viewfinder. The words "Leica Camera Weitzlar Germany" are printed above the screen.Leica has also given the D-Lux 8 excellent compatibility with the Leica Fotos app, letting photographers easily send newly taken photos to their phone for social media sharing.

We covered something similar for Panasonic’s Lumix S9, which was released at nearly the same time as the D-Lux 8.

For video, Leica hasn’t yet been open about the specific specs of this little camera, but it shoots 4K at to least 30fps.

The camera also has a 2.76-million-dot EVF and a maximum continuous shooting speed of 11fps, which isn’t half bad. Its ISO range goes from 200 to 25,600, though you’re unlikely to need anything close to that upper-end ISO.

Leica will start making its D-Lux 8 available as of July 2 through its stores and authorized online and in-store retail outlets for a pretty reasonable price of $1,595.

Overall, this new Leica compact camera model comes with generally strong features and specs even if it doesn’t change much from its predecessor.

The only major complaint you’re likely to have about it is its surprisingly modest resolution and lens type.

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