Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review – Introduction
At a glance:
- 20.3MP Live MOS sensor
- 3in, 1.04-million-dot OLED touchscreen
- 4K video recording
- In-body image stabilisation
- 2.36-million-dot OLED EVF
- ISO 100-25,600 (extended)
- Price £1,000 (body only)
Panasonic was the first company to produce a compact system camera in the shape of the Lumix DMC-G1, back in 2008, and since then it has built up an impressive range of Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses. Indeed, it has gone further than any other camera maker in exploiting the possibilities of the mirrorless design, producing models in a wide range of form factors – large or small, SLR-like or rangefinder-style. Indeed, the current line-up offers an unmatched choice, ranging from the compact GF7 and EVF-equipped GM5, via the mid-range G7, through to the large, SLR-style GH4.
The GX8 drops into this range between the GH4 and G7, offering an impressive enthusiast-focused feature set in a rangefinder-style body with a corner-mounted tilting electronic viewfinder. The GX8 replaces the GX7, adding a whole array of updates and refinements, including weather-sealed construction, a fully articulated LCD, extensive physical controls and 4K video recording. With the video recording comes Panasonic’s 4K Photo mode, which enables 30fps burst shooting at 8MP resolution, with a range of tools to help you capture the right moment and choose the perfect frame. This is in addition to full-resolution continuous shooting at 8fps.
While this makes the GX8 a hugely capable camera on paper, it’s also a rather large one. It has been beefed up considerably relative to the GX7, and is now closer in size to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 or the Fujifilm X-Pro1 than to the GX7 or the Sony Alpha 6000. In many ways this is a good thing: the chunky handgrip makes it comfortable to hold, and the large body has plenty of space for controls. However, the flipside is that it sacrifices some of the potential portability advantage of mirrorless systems.
The GX8 comes in a choice of finishes, either all black or silver/black. Four kit options are available, with street prices of around £1,000 body only; £1,100 with the compact 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS zoom; £1,399 with the 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS superzoom; and £1,700 with the premium 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS zoom.