Leica M8: A Camera for Life

Leica fanatics are different than regular people, so it's no surprise Leica's taking an entirely different—but brilliant—approach with its M8: It's everlasting. Instead of dropping an M9 or M10, Leica is offering substantial upgrades to the M8 itself—mechanical and digital components, so it'll slowly evolve into a new camera. The first package is a sapphire LCD screen, which can only be scratched by a diamond, plus a new, quieter, less shaky shutter, at a cost of around $1,800.

Here's how it works: You reserve an update spot at leica-camera.com, and then they'll tell you when you can send in your camera. They'll pick it up, ship it to Germany and install the updates and the latest firmware, then send it back to you. In a nice move, participation in the upgrade automatically extends your warranty by another two years. This first sapphire update package will be available in March, and they'll offer up fresh ones as they develop them, including, from the way it sounds, even a new sensor at some point. [Leica]