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M8 vs Digi2. Do I need both?


chrispatel
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I recently purchased a digilux 2 and love the size and pics that come straight out of the camera. I was wondering what your opinions are of the M8 and whether or not I will I will see much diffence in picture quality and advantages in overall use. I wish the D2 had a little more latitiude for higher ISO's.

 

Any opinions are welcomed.

 

Thanks in Advance.

 

Chris

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Hi Chris,

 

Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of Leica. Yes, you will see a difference between the Digilux 2 and the M8. The Digilux 2 is a fantastic camera, probably the best that ever came out of the Leica/Panasonic joint venture. However, the Digilux 2 is a small sensor camera, whereas the M8 has a larger than APS-C sensor.

 

These two camera's are in different leagues, not to mention price classes. Do you need both? If you can afford it yes. The D2 has autofocus and a stunning zoom lens, and can thus work quicker than the M8. The M8 has manual focus and either "foot zoom", or you have to change lenses. Both camera's have their applications and both are capable of giving fantastic results.

 

Andreas

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I recently purchased a digilux 2 and love the size and pics that come straight out of the camera.

 

Chris--I cut my Leica teeth with a Digilux 2 putting about 20K shots through it in a little over a year (taking shots every day). The Digilux 2 is a great camera and, I'd say, if you're pulling good, satisfying shots through it--and you're not looking to print anything huge for your walls--you don't need an M8.

 

The bounce flash, ability to take movies, option to use auto exposure and auto focus, and silent shutter are all great features the M8 does not have. (And, sometimes, I miss not having some or all of these--but the M8 demands a different way of working.)

 

* Low-light photography is *not* the Digilux 2's strong suit. (ISO 400 is pretty noisy and manual focusing in dim/dark conditions with the Digilux's EVF was always a challenge for me.)

 

* Pulling very deep out-of-focus areas was hard with the Digilux 2.

 

I do not know your background as a photographer, but I would recommend you *not* seriously consider an M8 until you've *really, really* hit the wall of all of the Digilux 2's capabilities--e.g., the photographs you're trying to get (and know you might be able to get) are just not *possible* to get with the Digilux 2. The lens on the Digilux 2 is awesome, frankly. And the price for a used Digilux 2 is about 1/12th to 1/15th of the cost the M8 + range of lenses you need to replicate the barrel-marked focal lengths on the 2. :D

 

Again, don't know your photography background, but if you want to play "make my Digilux 2 an M8" (I did this for a while to prepare myself), set all the controls to manual, turn off the back screen, set the focal length on the barrel to 35 (and keep it there--or at 50--e.g., pick one focal length at all times) to simulate having a fixed focal length lens, manually pick your apertures and your speed combos, shoot RAW, and use the EVF all the time to manually focus. . . . It's not the same feel as an M8 (the Digilux 2 doesn't have the Rangefinder window/patch focusing, really) but the workflow is really similar otherwise. All manual. All of the time. The M8 is going to demand that kind of work (other photographic concerns--subject, composition, lighting, etc.--aside) if you want to get really good shots out of it.

 

Hope that helps!

Will

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If you are primarily going to be posting photos at a web gallery or emailing to family and friends, you won't need more than the Digilux 2. In fact you might be happier with it than with the M8. On the other hand, if your intention is to become serious about your photography and perhaps make large prints, you'll be much happier with the quality of the M8 images. The two cameras are really in different leagues. Be forwarned, the M8 can become a very expensive proposition when you start acquiring lenses.

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Welcome and don't mind the warnings about prices of M8 and [all] the lenses. They may sound concerned, but they're all happy about having this problem of so much Leica to be gotten ;-)

 

The Digilux 2 is great for silent work and out-of-the-box great JPG's. And it's light and comfortable to have over the shoulder any day.

 

M8 would be more artistic camera that will open up new doors. DOF (depth of field) for one thing, another type of resolution (not sharpness, but the amount or depth of data contained in the picture files). You would shoot RAW files with an M8 and use Capture One, Aperture or Lightroom to 'develop' them. On one side that will give you a learning curve so steep it will take you a few weeks to accomplish as great work from the M8 as from the D2. But you will also be able to adjust white balance, exposure, etc. in developing RAW files.

 

There's one great test to find out if you need an M8 or M8.2: Go to a Leica dealer and ask to hold the camera for a few minutes with a 35mm or Noctilux or 21mm or 75mm.

 

Then go home and sleep on it. If the first thing you think of (with a smile) is that camera and you can still feel it in your hands, there's no turning back. But if you doubt, then wait as it would probably complicate your life and photography to introduce another camera at this stage.

 

Buy with your heart. You can't reason your way to M8 or even between M8 and M8.2.

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Chris, welcome to Leica-land and a great forum.

 

I share all of the above views which present most of the pros and cons of the choice in your mind. It does seem a shame that you are rushing to make a change so soon after acquiring your Digilux 2. You have scarcely had time to explore fully its great potential.

 

I now have both cameras but would never part with my D2. Why? Well it is the most suitable for all my personal and family pictures. However I do require the greater resolution afforded by the M8 for certain of my work. Hence my recent decision. My D2 lives ever ready for day-to-day photography whereas my M8 is for deliberate assignments or projects where bigger quality files are needed. I hope this helps you. I urge you not to rush into an M8 until you have rigorously worked through everything the D2 can do for you. Ask in the Digital Forum for help with the D2 if you need it.

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i would keep the digilux 2, it's silent, the picture quality is superb. Traded mine for a digilux 3, wich I kind of regret. The D3 is much more heavy. One month after buying the d3 i sold it on ebay, together with a couple of r-lenses and my analog canon lenses a film scanner and got myself a m8 (first thougt about getting a full frame canon 5d mark II, i'm happy now i didn't).

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If you are primarily going to be posting photos at a web gallery or emailing to family and friends, you won't need more than the Digilux 2. In fact you might be happier with it than with the M8. On the other hand, if your intention is to become serious about your photography and perhaps make large prints, you'll be much happier with the quality of the M8 images. The two cameras are really in different leagues. Be forwarned, the M8 can become a very expensive proposition when you start acquiring lenses.

the only disagreement with this post is the part about "large prints" I have had several 24" x 36" prints made from my former D2 (mostly of flowers in the macro range - wide open @ISO80) and they look spectacular- could a M8 do better? maybe we will never know...

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Hi Chris,

These two camera's are in different leagues, not to mention price classes. Do you need both? If you can afford it yes. The D2 has autofocus and a stunning zoom lens, and can thus work quicker than the M8. The M8 has manual focus and either "foot zoom", or you have to change lenses. Both camera's have their applications and both are capable of giving fantastic results.

 

Andreas

 

Hi Chris welcome to the Forum. I agree with Andreas. I cut my teeth on the Digilux2, it delivered some amazing results for me. I find I use it less and less now that I've got the M8. The M8 allows you more latitude or should I say control over the images you take. It really depends on the type of photography you do, and your appetite for spending a whole pile of cash on lenses for the M8, once you start you never stop. I would play around with the Digilux a little longer before finally deciding.

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