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Leica’s fresh D-Lux 8 makes it to the trendy point-and-shoot party

Leica has a new $1,595 compact digital camera called D-Lux 8 — a follow-up to the discontinued D-Lux 7 launched way back in 2018 for $1,195. There are a lot of similarities between the two despite that price increase: they both house a non-detachable Leica 24-75mm zoom lens, contain a 21-megapixel four-thirds CMOS sensor, and have a similar design. But now, there’s new software under the hood and changes in controls — more on that later.

Many of Leica’s flagship products come at premium prices (exhibit A: the SL3 for $7,000). But with the D-Lux 8, the company is continuing its line of “budget-friendly” point and shoots. The new model comes at a time when classy, easy-to-use cameras with film-style image quality, like the Fujifilm X100VI and Ricoh GR III, are increasing in popularity.

Right now, products like the new Panasonic Lumix S9 are taking straight aim at Fujifilm’s $1,599 X100VI camera, and the new D-Lux 8 seems to be joining the brawl now that it’s just as expensive. With its fixed prime lens and desirable film simulations, the X100V has become a TikTok sensation that has garnered lots of attention from novice and hobbyist camera users who might also want cool vintage-looking shooters.

At first glance, the D-Lux 8 looks just like the 7, but with an all-black finish and the leathery wrap of Leica’s pricey full-frame Q line of cameras. Leica is also selling new accessories in multiple colors for the D-Lux 8, including a hand grip, carrying straps, wrist straps, and leather protectors. It comes with a flash attachment in the box, like its predecessor. It also seems to have the same three-inch screen and Panasonic-sourced image sensor and likely supports the same 4K / 30p video recording.

Leica says the D-Lux 8 now has a software interface that’s “inspired” by the more expensive Q line. Plus, there’s now support for the DNG format (a RAW file) — a first for the D-Lux line. But along with the software change comes fewer buttons, many of them now unlabeled, and a plain dial compared to the 7. The mechanical on / off switch is gone, too.

Camera companies are seeing value in building cheaper cameras that are easier to use, and it looks like D-Lux 8 is Leica’s move on that budget trend (as long as your budget is over $1,000). You can get the D-Lux 8 at Leica stores, Leica’s website, and authorized dealers starting on July 2nd, and you can also register to be notified of availability.

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