Panasonic is flexing some new technology muscle with the announcement of the DMC-Gx8 interchangeable lens mirrorless camera. Perhaps most notable of the camera’s features is what Panasonic is calling Dual Image Stabilizer. The body I.S. and lens I.S. work at the same time to take maximum advantage of both stabilizers not only in wide angle but also with telephoto. Panasonic is saying that with this tech, almost any type of vibration can be effectively suppressed. For video recording, 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus) which has been available in Panasonic’s professional video camera development, corrects complex movement for more stable imagery.
From what I am getting out of this, it appears that the dual I.S. can’t be used in video mode, and the 5 axis HYbRID O.I.S. can’t be used in 4K mode, one of the predominant reasons I want to shoot with a Panasonic. So, it’s a great start, but it doesn’t fully encompass everything we might want out of a camera for stabilization. But maybe by the time this tech gets into the future GH5, we’ll see something really neat. For now, it feels like it falls a bit short.
Additionally, Panasonic is touting the new 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor to excel in response, sensitivity and dynamic range. Panasonic’s Venus Engine image processor should dramatically boost its performance with a quad-core CPU that performs high speed signal processing. Integrating superior noise reduction systems, the LUMIX GX8 enables shooting at max. ISO of 25,600. Sensitivity, gradation performance, resolution and color reproduction are dramatically improved to achieve even higher picture quality. It is also capable of high speed burst shooting at 8 fps (AFS) / 6 fps (AFC).
The LUMIX GX8 is capable of recording high-resolution QFHD 4K video in 3840×2160 at 30p(60Hz) or 24p in MP4. Taking advantage of 4K video recording performance, users can capture the photo opportunities at 30 fps in 8-megapixel equivalent resolution to save it as a 4K Photo in three 4K Photo modes; 4K Burst Shooting, 4K Burst S/S (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst.
The LUMIX GX8 has a large, tilt-able LVF that boasts the highest ever magnification ratio of approx.1.54x / 0.77x (35mm camera equiv.) in the LUMIX G family of digital cameras. It also features 2,360K-dot high resolution and 100% field of view. High-precision, high-speed dual OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) displays are adopted for both LVF and rear monitor, achieving high speed response with minimum time lag of less than 0.01 sec as well as 10,000:1 high contrast. The free-angle 3-inch 1,040K-dot rear monitor supports comfortable shooting even at a vertical angle. For quick, intuitive operation, a range of functions are allocated to the dials and buttons in the most suitable way.
The Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and excels in both speed and accuracy by exchanging the digital signal between the camera and the lens at max. 240 fps, resulting in ultra-fast auto focus of approx. 0.07 sec. A variety of extensive AF functions including Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF enhance usability for a variety of shooting situations.
Finally, the LUMIX GX8 has a highly durable, rugged design of a magnesium alloy die cast frame and sleek, sophisticated exterior with a grip and finely machined dials.
Some sweet other features:
- 1/8,000 Sec High Shutter Speed (Mechanical Shutter): The LUMIX GX8 offers highest mechanical shutter speed at max. 1/8,000 sec not only to capture spur-of-the-moment action and fast moving subjects but also to allow users to use high-speed lens with an open aperture in outdoors to give impressive defocus.
- 1/16,000 sec High Shutter Speed (Electronic Shutter) : The LUMIX GX8 offers highest electronic shutter speed at max. 1/16,000 sec (electronic) not only to capture spur-of-the-moment activity and fast moving subjects but also to use high-speed lens with open aperture even in the outdoors, to give impressive defocus.
- Easy Wireless Connectivity via Wi-Fi® with Smartphones ADVANCED: The LUMIX GX8 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to offer a more flexible shooting experience and easy instant image sharing. Once the camera and smartphone/tablet are connected by installing Panasonic’s dedicated application software Panasonic Image App for iOS / Android, users can shoot, browse and share images remotely.
- RAW data development in Camera: The LUMIX GX8 is capable of processing the RAW image in camera. In addition to the color space setting (sRGB / AdobeRGB), the parameter of white balance, exposure compensation, contrast, highlight/shadow, saturation, noise reduction or sharpness can be flexibly adjusted while LUMIX’s Photo Style, Intelligent D-range Control, Intelligent Resolution can also be applied.
- Creative Control in P/A/S/M Mode: The LUMIX GX8 integrates a variety of artistic functions that adds fun to digital photography. The popular Creative Control mode features a total of 22 filter options. Effect parameter of each mode is also adjustable. Now it is possible to apply one of these filters even in P/A/S/M mode. Users can combine favorable settings and filter to make very creative images. Also, LUMIX GX8 is capable of taking pictures “with” and “without” filter effect simultaneously, so that users can compare them to choose later.
- Creative Panorama (ultra wide) ADVANCED: The Panorama Shot function allows shooting horizontal/vertical ultra-wide panoramic image by shooting sequential pictures easily. Combining with the Creative Control, users can get a dynamic, artistic image.
- Optional Accessories: The LUMIX GX8 offers a variety of optional accessories to expand the shooting experience. The Eye Cup DMW-EC3 is available making it even more comfortable to see the LVF. The External Flash DMW-FL360L (GN36), DMW-FL580L(GN58) are sold separately which can also be used as LED light in video recording. The external flash can be synchronized with max.1/250 second shutter speed.
- Focus Peaking
- Silent Mode
- Time Lapse Shot / Stop Motion Animation
The Panasonic LUMIX GX8 is set to be available mid-August in two versions: all black and silver top with a black bottom. The price will be $1199.99 for the body only (it doesn’t appear that Panasonic will be bundling this body with a lens at this time).