November 4, 2004 � If you still can�t decide between analog and digital, there�s a camera that won�t make you decide. The Leica R8 and R9 film cameras combine with the Leica Digital Module-R to create the world�s first 35mm digital and analog SLR camera. With this system, all Leica lenses can be used. These hybrid cameras use 35mm film, but also have 10-megapixel CCDs that record to SD cards.
�This hybrid product links the decades of investment of our customers in lenses and cameras for film-based photography to the progress made in digital technology,� said Hanns-Peter Cohn, CEO of Leica Camera AG. �The Leica Digital Module-R is the logical sequence of Leica�s product philosophy, which is based on decades of system compatibility and retention of value.�
The image sensor of the Leica Digital Module-R was created by Eastman Kodak Company especially for the Leica camera. The 26.4 x 17.6mm sensor is protected by a thin layer of glass and has 3872 x 2576 pixels. The Leica camera can record images in two JPEG modes, TIFF and RAW.
The 1.8-inch color LCD monitor on the module displays menus and replays photos with histograms. If photographers prefer to keep eyes to the viewfinder, there is an audio histogram option so photographers know if the exposure is correct without immediately checking the LCD. With 130,388 pixels, the LCD monitor�s brightness can be adjusted.
The Leica Digital Module can shoot 2 frames per second for ten consecutive images. It can shoot at several resolution sizes: 3872 x 2576, 2576 x 1712, 1936 x 1280 and 1280 x 848. This camera has an ISO range from 100-1600 and lots of white balance options: automatic, manual, 6 presets and color temperature steps.
The Leica Digital Module weighs about a pound and a half with the power unit and battery. Attached to the Leica R9, it weighs about three pounds. The Leica Digital Module will be available in December 2004.