Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lumix DMC-GX8 - Performance

Wellington weather was crappy the week I receive the review cameras from Panasonic New Zealand.

It was good of them to include both "kit lens" that came with the GX8 kits, I also asked and got a GX7 body for comparison.  Much appreciated Panasonic NZ :)

 In New Zealand the new GX8 are offered in two kits,  NZ$ 2,895.00 with a 12-35 f2.8 X lens (left) and 

NZ$ 2,548.00 with a 14-140 f3.5/5.6 zoom lens.

The Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH / Power OIS is a weather sealed ultra high performance zoom lens, with bright F2.8 over the entire 24-70 (35mm equivalent) zoom range.

The slightly cheaper  Lumix G Vario 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH / Power OIS is not weather sealed, however it's 28-280 (35mm equiv.) zoom range can "pull in" your subject 3 times closer compare to the X lens.

I usually have reservation on "KIT LENS", especially those that possess super telephoto ability, at NZ$ 998.00 (lens only) the 14-140 can't be very good at 200mm (equiv.) and above; right?

The nagging rain decided to ease off for a few minutes, I grabbed a few shots, the houses was shot with the 14-140 kit lens at F5.6 and maximum zoom of 140mm. The lower picture is a 100% cut.

I was stunned with the accurate colour and good sharpness!

Kit lens has come a long way!

What about the NZ$1,199.00  12-35 F2.8?

Take a look!

You can't beat Wellington on a good day! Finally I was given a chance to test the 12-35 F2.8 and WOW!  What a great lens!

My favourite Oriental Bay vista was shot at F5.6 and 35 (70mm equiv.) zoom.

Same aperture of F5.6 and same 35mm zoom setting, on a good day the NZ$200.00 cheaper 14-140 kit lens also deliver a top class image!

A sneak shot (with the 14-140 at 140mm) of some NZ sparrows enjoying some left over rice, the three birds were crop (180%) from the top snap.

Eat your heart out, those who think their mobile phone can do the same... please don't kid yourself ;)

The New 20.3 MP Sensor

As you all know, cameras under the Micro Four Third ( M4/3 ) family all use a 16 MP sensor, until now the GX8 introduces a new 20.3 MP sensor which makes it the highest resolution M4/3 camera in the market.

"The Lumix GX8 features 1/3 stop wider dynamic range than the Lumix GX7 which suppresses washout even in high contrast situations," Panasonic says.

"The combination of the Digital Live MOS Sensor and the Venus Engine achieves clear image rendering with minimum noise even in low-lit situations and stunning picture quality in a natural way."

Hmmm... lets see if I can confirm those claims!

This is my simple set up to compare the dynamic range of the GX7 and the GX8. You might think that this is not very scientific, but I never claim to be a scientist ;)

The test results, below; it tell a good story...

Both pictures were shot under the same lighting condition, ISO 400 and same lens and aperture settings.

Notice the colour saturation differences!

The GX7 (top) is BRIGHTER, MORE SATURATED (too much?), some might like that kind of result.

Compare to the GX7, the GX8 is more PASTLE like, COOLER but VERY ACCURATE.

Test shots at ISO 800, 1,600, 3,200, 6,400 and 25,600 were also done.

These will give a good indication of the "noise" and "grain" at high ISO.

These were exposed at a WHOPPING  ISO 25,600 !! Lets do a 100% cut and see....

100% cut from the GX7 (top) and GX8 (bottom) ISO 25,600 shots.

The differences are subtle, to me the GX8 result is a little better, it can render the black BETTER than the GX7 and the white is SPOT ON.  Even at this ultra high ISO, grain is minimal; both pictures are easily printable for publications.

Mind Boggles!!

Dynamic Range...

Just happened that it was Father's Day last Sunday and we were treated to a Mediterranean dinner at Osteria del Toro .

Very nice restaurant and great food BUT a very dark place to shoot available light pictures of your yummy meal!

CAPRETTO... ISO 1,600 F2.8 and 1/8 sec hand held. No post processing, about a stop under expose.

My FATIMA'S LAMB TAGINE... way TOO DARK!  Even at ISO 1,600 F2.8 and 1/10 sec, it was about FOUR stops under exposed!

This is where a digital sensor with wide dynamic range having the edge, the very under exposed image can be tweak and NOT loose much colour fidelity.

  The same dark and "burned" tagine after a whirl in Adobe Photoshop, look yummy to enjoy now!

I really like the new 20.3 MP sensor in the GX8, for its accurate colour and the huge dynamic range!

More Photos...

During the same week end, I had a chance to watch a group of "Young Ambassadors" from Taiwan performing some dances to promote their beautiful country...

Sign of the time, iPad, iPhone and compact blocking my view!
A "grab" during a video session, I am glad I can do that!
A ISO 3,200 snap with the long end of the 14-140 kit zoom.
The very fast auto focus really impress me, remember to turn off the rear screen preview when you are shooting burst!
We want to be your friends ;) Two member of the Taiwan troupe with lap top showing flags of Taiwan and New Zealand.
This is a 100% cut from the shot above, ISO 3,200 no less!
It has been a very interesting week end testing the Lumix GX8, I totally enjoy it... I will look at the 4K video mode and Dual Image Stabilization system!


Lumix GX8 - Dual I.S.

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