End of the Line for the M8?

Back in August of 2012 we mentioned the Storm Brewing Over M8 LCD Issue should you damage it, or it develops the "coffee stain" problem. At that time already, Leica ran out of replacement rear LCDs. Now it seems that they've also run out of sensors according to some unconfirmed reports. Not entirely surprising, as the camera was discontinued in 2009 - almost five years ago now... Which is about the standard timeframe one can expect most manufacturers to carry replacement parts for a discontinued product. Perhaps we're spoiled because of the film cameras.

Should your M8 develop issues with either of these (major) components, you do have some options at least. Depending on your dealer, service center or importer - you will likely be offered a credit towards a current model Leica camera (namely the M Monochrom, M-E or M). In some cases, and if one is available, a (refurbished) M9 may also be offered.

This same fate will eventually befall the M9, the M-E and even the M Monochrom... As these cameras all share many common parts - including the rear LCD and sensor (though the M Monochrom sensor is unique in the sense it lacks the bayer filter). At least there's some comfort in the fact that two of these three cameras are still current production models.

Update (3/26/14): We have word from the Leica repair center in New Jersey that there is no shortage at this time after all, at least in the USA:

Good Afternoon,

Yes, we have sensor to replace for the M8’s camera. If you are having an issue please ship the camera into us for service / repair.

Please send it to: Leica Camera, Inc., 1 Pearl Court, Unit A, Allendale, NJ 07401

We recommend shipping via UPS or Federal Express or whatever is most convenient for you. Include a note with your name, address and daytime phone number and a brief description of what you would like to have repaired.

If it is a recently purchased item, please include a copy of your sales receipt. An estimate or a warranty repair notice will be mailed to you in approximately 2 to 3 days after we receive the equipment. Please allow a few more days for the mail to reach you. Make a note of the serial number for your records.

If you need more info you can contact Roxana or Carmen in Repair Customer Service.