Panasonic LUMIX GX8 launched - hands on preview

Panasonic have raised the bar in the Micro 4/3 world by launching the new Panasonic LUMIX GX8.

The new 20.3MP Live MOS imaging sensor boasts a highest ISO rating of 25,600 and is coupled to a new Venus engine image processor.

The camera is constructed from magnesium alloy and is dust and splash proof - matching up with Panasonic f/2.8 lenses and the Olympus Pro series.

The GX8 can shoot at up to 8 frames per second or 6fps with continuous AF and uses the high-speed DFD system sensitive down to an amazing -4EV!

There are mechanical and (silent) electronic shutter options - 1/8000 top speed mechanical or 1/16000 top speed electronic plus a bulb mode capable of up to 30 minute exposures (up from 2 minutes in the GX-7) and, as you would probably expect Wi-Fi and NFC are both built in.

Handling of the camera is something Panasonic have really taken care to get right. A slightly larger body size than say the Olympus OM-D E-M1 allows for a large front handgrip and rear gripping area.
The mode dial is top plate mounted and surrounded by the exposure compensation dial. Both front and rear command dials are also present as well as a fully articulated rear monitor screen (1.04m dots OLED) with touch sensitivity.

Panasonic have included 4K video and three 4K photo modes in the GX8 as well as a multi-panorama mode.

Handling the camera, I was struck by the excellent and super-sharp electronic viewfinder (with 1.54x magnification / 0.77x in full frame terms)- I tried a Voigtlander 42.5mm f/0.95 on the camera and focussing was easy wide open even without engaging the excellent focus peaking function.

The new stabilisation system seems to be extremely effective and shots taken down to 1/8th of a second using the same lens were sharp and you could probably go lower.

The body design and finish are excellent and I think the camera is just the right size for easy handling without getting too bulky.

So Panasonic have produced what looks to be an excellent new model with each feature at the top of the specification tree. With a superb viewfinder, improved imaging sensor, super-fast AF and effective stabilisation the GX8 deserves consideration from anyone looking to add a Micro 4/3 camera to their kit.

Here at Park Cameras, we’re expecting the GX8 to arrive in stock in Mid-August 2015, and will be available as body only, or with the 14-42, 14-140 or 12-35 f/2.8 lenses. You can also save up to £300 when you trade in your old DSLR or CSC against the GX8.

However, if you want to try the camera out for yourself before then, visit our Burgess Hill or London stores on Saturday 1st August from 10:00am. Professional photographers / videographers Casey Gutteridge (London) and Nick Driftwood (Burgess Hill) will also be on-hand to show you through the cameras and their benefits in ‘real-world’ situations. For full details, visit parkcameras.com/events.

Park Cameras

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