If you look at Leica history, you will find that they introduced their first M series camera that used a photographic film and also an interchangeable lens with bayonet mount in 1954. In 2006 they switched to the digital age with their M series of cameras and the digital Leica M8 was born. It is not an improved version of the M7. It is a completely new camera. Though it retains the shape of M7 it is a range finder digital camera. Since Leica M8 is a range finder camera, it doesn?t have that mirror box SLR cameras have. Due to this reason, the lens is located close to the focal plane shutter. As a result the camera faces an exposure problem when wide angle lenses are being used. However, Leica has solved this problem. There are also additional advantages offered by M7 due to its being a range finder camera. Range finder cameras are generally quieter than the SLR cameras no matter whether they are digital cameras or ones that use films. Due to its being a range finder camera Leica M7 has become smaller. Also it has shorter shutter lag. Lenses are also smaller. However, one downside is that range finder cameras are not suitable for taking action shots for the simple reason that they don?t have the auto focus feature. This is a problem with M7. Another problem faced by this camera is that it cannot virtually use any bigger telephoto lens than a 135mm one. When it comes to the features added into M8 you will find that it has got a metal blade shutter in place of the cloth shutter the earlier models had and it is able to provide shutter speeds of up to 1/8000 second. Since the shutter is electronically controlled, it is precise in its operation. Due to the availability of interchangeable lens facility, the camera is equipped with electronics to identify the lens attached to it. All the lenses used with this camera also are provided with the code. Leica is so concerned about the users of their cameras that they offer to upgrade Leica M8 cameras. This will enable users of old cameras to upgrade them to stand up against the newer models. Therefore, anyone has the opportunity to have his camera upgraded in the factory itself. This means your Leica M8 is going to be an up to date one all the time. This makes M8 one of the best Leica cameras.