Saturday, September 26, 2015

Lumix DMC-GX8 - Last Words...

This is to wrap up my review of the marvellous Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8, I have it for too long and it is time to send it back to Panasonic NZ  ;)

I had lots of fun the last three weeks I was having the camera, I wish I had more time to explore the many features this cutting edge MFT mirrorless provided. The weather doesn't help, the nagging rain and more rain driving me up the wall.

Monday being my off day, I decided to try out my 50 mm F1.4 Nikon prime lens on the GX8...

The 35 year old Nikon 50/1.4 was mounted on the GX8 with a Voigtlander F Adapter, the Nikon being a 50mm lens for my old Nikon film cameras; behave like a 100mm on the MFT camera.

The EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) on the GX8 is very friendly with manual focussing lenses, it is a joy to be able to manual focus very quickly, just like in the good old days of using SLR. With the GX8, I am able to  turn on the "Peaking" function for extra accuracy while manual focussing.

The top picture of the orchid was shot with the Lumix 12-35/2.8 and the bottom one, with Nikon 50/1.4. Both were exposed at F4. For all intend and purposes, they look similar, the Nikon glass might be 35 years old but still deliver top result!

This is where a very large aperture lens scores in beautiful BOKEH! No prize for telling which one was shot with the F1.4!

The vintage Nikon 50mm F1.4 "Normal" lens is not only good in close up, it is also (still) very good in landscape, take a look at the picture below!

What about the 4K ability of the GX8?

What is 4K anyway?  Take a look at the diagram below...

If you only shoot video to post on You Tube, SD resolution is all you need.

For me, I prefer the Full HD format of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

4K is FOUR TIMES as large and since you are creating a huge amount of data, you will need the fastest SD card you can buy, I found that out by accident!

That will teach me not to read the operating manual ;)

Last week end I was filming Le General's line dancing party, 3 seconds into my filming, the GX8 stopped and declared the SD card was NOT FAST ENOUGH! Darn!

Furiously searching for another card in my bag, I found a 16GB Class 10 HC1 card which was fast enough, but I missed filming the first dance!

Le Gen was NOT PLEASED!  ;)

Second horror...

During the filming of the 4th dance, the camera warned the 16GB card WAS FULL!

What? !@#$%^&amp!!

I discovered later that my usual 1080 video of a 3 minutes line dance usually took up 400MB card space, but a similar clip in 4K resolution will cost you 3 GB card space!!

I will leave the 4K to serious film makers! Ha ha ha..

Mind you, when I view the 4K video back home, I was amazed with the extra detail captured by this format!  Oh... I did have a chance to do a short 4K BURST after I photographed the orchids and relaxing over a cup of flat white.

The photo of the greedy house sparrow was captured with the GX8 on my table, with the 12-35 F2.8 zoom, in 4K MP4 burst mode. The camera fired in complete silence and a short MP4 clip was created.

The top picture was EXTRACTED from the 4K clip and the bottom is a 100% crop of the top.

Is that SHARP enough for you?

I was very impressed!!

Another setting on the GX8 I had a brief play with is the Panorama Shot Mode.

When set to this mode, consecutive photos taken while the camera is moved are combined (stitched) to form a panorama. It is magical and I love it!!

The panorama was shot at California Garden Centre in Miramar, the larger bottom photo is a crop from the panorama to show you how perfect the real time "stitching" is!

I wish I have this mode on my little GM1!  :(

Famous Last Words

My friend want to know if I would recommend buying the GX8...


It is NOT cheap, many will even say it is too expensive; but taking into account how well built it is, the WEATHER SEALED body AND the lens, if you opt for the bright 12-35 F2.8 zoom, that, to me, is the PERFECT KIT.

Good thing do not come cheap.

And the GX8 have the BEST EVF I laid my eye on, that alone is worth the extra $$$.

What I DON'T like?

Strange but true, when I am using the EVF (and I use that a lot), my nose can touch the rear screen and that shift and change my focus point!

I know I can and I do, turn the touch screen OFF, but when I want it on, I need to go into the menu to switch it on again! It is a pain :(

Panasonic should have a button on the body to deactivate the touch screen whenever I needed to!

I will finish my rant with a video I shot with the GX8 in 1080 format and thanks to Panasonic NZ for letting me trying out their latest camera.


mityvisionz said...

This article is beautifully written in a layman's term and awesome pictures to compliment it. If you are extremely happy with the features and performance of this DMC-GX8 i am pretty sure it will suffice to my lesser demands on both front of skills and creativity . Let me talk to my bank manager for a loan ;)

cy.leow said...

Han Chung via Face Book -
Looking at those photos, I totally agree with Mike about the articles. And if not because of I knew cy is a sei ngan Chai, I might assume his eyesight is still 20 20 to obtain perfect focus manually.

VisualUniverse said...

Nice review. Thanks. I am debating between GX8 and GX85.

Anonymous said...


Some can set a switch function "Display to EVF" to nearly all function buttons. Should solve your "nose problem"! ;)