Leica reveals new D-Lux 8 compact camera

Leica has announced a new compact digital camera, the Leica D-Lux 8. It’s an update to the D-Lux 7, which launched back in 2018.

22 MP CMOS sensor

The Leica D-Lux 8 has a 22-megapixel 4/3-inch CMOS sensor. However, the camera’s lens doesn’t cover the full area of the sensor. As a result, the highest resolution you can get from the sensor is only 17 megapixels. It also appears that the sensor in the D-Lux 8 is the same as the one used in the D-Lux 7 from six years ago. In addition, the D-Lux 7 was based on Panasonic’s LUMIX LX100 II. This is because Leica has had a collaboration agreement with Panasonic for over twenty years.  

10.9-34 mm lens

The D-Lux 8 also features the same Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9-34mm ASPH. lens as the D-Lux 7. This focal length range is equivalent to 24-75 mm for a full-frame camera. The lens has a maximum aperture which varies from f/1.7 to f/2.8 depending upon the focal length. This isn’t ideal for video, as it means that your exposure will alter as you zoom in or out.

New features

Leica D-Lux 8 back shot
Image courtesy: Leica

With the new camera, Leica has updated the design of the D-Lux 7 so that the D-Lux 8 looks more like a smaller version of the company’s flagship Q3 camera. The D-Lux 8 has a 1.84 million dot rear screen which is an improvement on the 1.24 million dot screen on the D-Lux 7. The menu system on the D-Lux 8 has also been updated to be more like that of the Q3. In addition, the D-Lux 8 can now shoot DNG Raw images. This is a first for the D-Lux series.

EVF resolution

At first glance, the resolution of the electronic viewfinder (EVF) has been reduced to 2.36 million pixels, down from the 2.76 million pixels of the D-lux 7. However, the older model achieved that high resolution by using a field-sequential EVF. This technology displays separate red, blue and green images in quick succession to create an effectively higher resolution image. The D-Lux 8 has a standard OLED screen that won’t suffer from the imaging issues that can arise with a field-sequential EVF.

Other features

Leica D-Lux 8 top view
Image courtesy: Leica

The D-Lux 8 comes with an external compact flash unit for still photography. It also has a USB-C socket for charging. In addition, Leica is releasing a new range of accessories including a hand grip, carrying straps, wrist straps and leather protectors available in multiple colors. Leica hasn’t released details of the D-Lux 8’s video capabilities yet. However, the D-Lux 7 can record 4K UHD video at up to 30p and 1080 HD video at up to 60p. Videos are recorded in the MP4 file format.

What we think

The D-Lux 8 is a bit of an enigma. Leica says that it “brings the quintessential Leica experience into a more compact and accessible form.” The company also says, “the controls have been simplified and ergonomically repositioned, while the user interface, inspired by the popular Leica Q-Cameras, has become even more user friendly.” However, the D-Lux 8 is still using the same sensor and lens combination as the six year old D-Lux 7 model. No doubt it will be popular with people who want to own a flagship Leica Q3 but can’t afford one. For many users though, Panasonic’s new LUMIX S9 delivers much more for around the same price.

Pricing and availability

The Leica D-Lux 8 will be available from July 2, 2024, and the US retail price will be $1,595.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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