We bracket the weekend with another Panasonic camera, the LUMIX DMC-GX8, which raises the bar quite significantly for the Micro Four Thirds format.
It’s a bit difficult to know where to start with the $1199 body-only GX8, as the company has packed rather a lot into it.
It's the first Micro Four Thirds camera to break the all-important 20MP barrier; its the first Lumix unit to employ Dual Image Stabilisation that uses both camera-body and lens IS together; it has bumped up the sensor from the GX7’s 16MP to 20.3MP and added 1/3 stop wider dynamic range as it goes; focus acquisition is down to 0.07secs; its tiltable Live View Finder boasts the highest ever magnification ratio (approx.1.54x / 0.77x 35mm camera equiv.) in the history of LUMIX G digital cameras along with a 2360K-dot high resolution and 100% field of view; and WiFi and NFC are both built in.
But, of course, it will be the 4K capabilities that grab the RedShark headlines.
The GX8 records 4K UHD at 3840 x 2160 at 25fps, 100Mbit/s, while users can also take advantage of the 4K Photo feature, allowing them to extract an 8MP equivalent still image out of a 4K 30fps sequence on the camera. 4K Burst Shooting allows almost unlimited shooting at 30fps, which can be used just like regular photo burst shooting; 4K Burst S/S (Start/Stop) mode starts consecutive shooting with a single press of a shutter button and stops it with the second press; and 4K Pre-burst automatically records a total of 60 images right before/after the shutter release. Photos shot with 4K Photo mode also have EXIF information attached and can be handled just as the images shot normally.
As we said, there’s a lot to it. Read the full press release after the break (which Panasonic modestly starts by saying ‘The Ultimate Flagship of DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) Cameras…’) and it’s also worth checking out the other press release the company issued at the same time Award-Winning Photographer Daniel Berenhulak Takes the DMC-GX8 on an Adventure in Cuba from which the below image and many more excellent shots come.
Availability is August.
The Ultimate Flagship of DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) Cameras New 20.3-Megapixel LUMIX DMC-GX8 with Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) Featuring Unprecedented Picture Quality and 4 K Video/Photo Capabilities
NEWARK, NJ 07/16/2015
Panasonic is proud to introduce the new DMC-GX8 (GX8) Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera featuring a host of advanced functions packed in a splash/dust-proof rugged design. The LUMIX GX8 will be available at panasonic.com and photo retailers.
The DMC-GX8 integrates Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) for the first time in the LUMIX G series to gain powerful vibration correction. The Body I.S. and Lens I.S. can be switched in the LUMIX GX7 but both 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. Almost any type of vibration can be effectively suppressed with this innovative image stabilization system featuring max.3.5x (wide) / 1.5x (tele) wider correction angle. As a result, you can get a clear handheld shots in low-lit situations.
The new 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor excels both in response, sensitivity and dynamic range. The Venus Engine image processor dramatically boosts 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) helping users not to miss critical photo opportunities.
4K is the advanced definition of video imagery that boasts stunning detail. The LUMIX GX8 is capable of recording smooth, high-resolution QFHD 4K video in 3840x2160 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. It is easy to get 4K photos with 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.
Thanks to the connectivity of Wi-Fi® with NFC (Near Field Communication), users can connect the camera to their smartphone and/or tablet to expand the flexibility in shooting/storing/sharing images.
Last but not least, 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. The LUMIX GX8 includes the best possible technologies that will allow both the advanced amateur and the professional shooter to capture their subject perfectly every time.
1. The Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer)
The LUMIX GX8 integrates Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) for the first time in LUMIX G series allowing for more powerful vibration correction. Conventional image stabilization in the camera (Body I.S.) and the interchangeable lens (Lens I.S.) can be switched. However, with the new Dual I.S., both Body I.S. and Lens I.S. work at the same time to take advantage of both stabilizers not only in wide angle shooting but also in telephoto. With max.3.5x (wide) / 1.5x (tele) wider correction angle, you can get clear handheld images even in low-lit situations where the shutter speed tends to be slower. Panasonic LUMIX G DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) Cameras offer a wide variety of digital interchangeable lenses and most of them are able to conform with Dual I.S.
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.
2. Unprecedentedly High Picture Quality in the History of LUMIX Cameras
The LUMIX GX8 integrates the newly developed Digital Live MOS Sensor that helps achieve the highest image quality of LUMIX G digital cameras. By increasing the resolution from 16.0-megapixel (GX7) to 20.3-megapixel, higher descriptiveness is achieved and the faster digital signal readout enables higher speed burst shooting. Moreover the LUMIX GX8 features 1/3 stop wider dynamic range than the LUMIX GX7 which suppresses washout even in high contrast situations. 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.
The Venus Engine image processor with quad-core CPU enables high speed signal processing. Optimizing the combination design of the sensor, the imaging engine and the low-pass filter enhances the resolution by approx. 15% in comparison with the LUMIX GX7. The aperture filter is capable of controlling a wider frequency range. It adjusts the amount of sharpness according to the frequency level, resulting in faithful stereoscopic effect. The advanced Multi-process NR (Noise Reduction) applies effective noise reduction and detail processing according to each component frequency. Plus, the newly added Random Filter granulates chromatic noise to be blended into the image more naturally. As a result, the max. ISO 25,600 is achieved. The Venus Engine also improves color reproduction with accurate evaluation of each color even if it is similar not only in color phase but also in saturation and luminosity. In addition, the Venus Engine in the GX8 excels in diffraction compensation to make the resulting image crisp and clear even when photographed with a small aperture.
3. 4K Capability Bringing the Evolution in Videography/Photography – 4K Video and 4K Photo
All LUMIX G cameras, especially the LUMIX GH4, are renowned for their capability of high quality video recording. The LUMIX GX8 records stunningly smooth, high-resolution QFHD 4K video in 3840x2160 at 30p (60Hz) or 24p in MP4 unlimited in addition to the full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p (60 Hz) videos in AVCHD Progressive or MP4 (MPEG-4 / H.264) format with practical full-time AF.
Taking advantage of 4K video recording performance, users can enjoy “4K Photo” with the LUMIX GX8. With 4K Photo, users can capture fleeting photo opportunities at 30 fps in 8-megapixel equivalent resolution by grabbing a frame out of the 4K burst file to save as a photo. Three exclusive functions are integrated to make the 4K photography even easier; 4K Burst Shooting, 4K Burst S/S (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst. The 4K Burst Shooting allows almost unlimited shooting at 30 fps, which can be used just like regular photo burst shooting. The 4K Burst S/S (Start/Stop) mode starts consecutive shooting with a single press of a shutter button and stops it with the second press, which is more suitable for the shooting opportunities that require a longer waiting time. The 4K Pre-burst automatically records a total of 60 images right before/after the shutter release.
All these functions in 4K Photo allow users to save images in 8-megapixel equivalent high resolution; 3840x2160 (16:9), 3328x2496 (4:3), 3504x2336 (3:2), 2880x2880 (1:1) without missing the shot. Notably photos shot with 4K Photo mode have EXIF information and can be handled just as the images shot normally.
• MP4 Motion pictures with their file size set to [FHD], [HD] or [VGA]: Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 29 minutes and 59 seconds or the file size exceeds 4GB.
◦ Since the file size becomes larger with [FHD], recording with [FHD]will stop before 29 minutes 59 seconds.
• MP4 Motion pictures with their file size set to [4K]: Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 29 minutes and 59 seconds.
◦ You can continue recording without interruption even if the file exceeds 4GB, but the motion picture will be recorded/played back separately.
4. Stunning Mobility Supported by Mechanical Advancements
The LUMIX GX8 boasts a large, tiltable LVF that boasts highest ever magnification ratio of approx.1.54x / 0.77x (35mm camera equiv.) in the history of LUMIX G 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 for LVF (Live View Finder) and rear monitor. It also features an eye point of approximately 21 mm, offering high visibility and comfort for users wearing glasses. The tiltable LVF offers extraordinary angle of view with unique shooting style – looking down into the viewfinder to level the camera straight on the subject. Thanks to the newly designed large eyecup, the visibility of LVF is dramatically improved. Adoption of OLED for the LVF and rear monitor achieves high speed response with a minimum time lag of less than 0.01 sec as well as 10,000:1 high contrast which allows users to check white washout or black shadows more precisely.
Adopting a static-type touch control system, the free-angle 3-inch rear monitor with 1040K-dot high resolution features approx.100% field of view. It rotates approx.180-degree and tilts up by approx.250-degree, making it easy to shoot from a high or low angle even in vertical composition.
To be tough enough to withstand even heavy field use, the LUMIX GX8 adopted a rugged design with the main structure composed of magnesium alloy full die cast front/rear frame. It also features splash / dustproof construction thanks to the sealing on every joint, dial, and button.
To further enhance the controllability, the LUMIX GX8 comes with an exposure compensation dial in addition to the front/rear dials, which lets users set -5EV to +5EV. Users can change settings such as aperture and shutter speed with the front/rear dials and can also customize the assignment of functions even on Fn buttons. Furthermore, it is also possible to make a temporary shift of dial functions with Dial Operation Switch. For example, users can adjust white balance with a front dial and set ISO with a rear dial while choosing the shutter speed or seeing the noise effect, which is helpful in the complex lighting situations. Either AFS/AFC/MF can be switched with the dedicated focus lever.
5. The Top Level of AF Performance among Conventional DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras
The Contrast AF in the LUMIX GX8 achieves higher speed and precision focusing with digital signal communication at max. 240 fps. Furthermore, the DFD (Depth Defocus) technology calculates the distance to the subject by evaluating 2 images with different sharpness level while consulting the data of optical characteristics of the current lens. As a result, the LUMIX GX8 achieves ultra-high speed AF of approx.0.07 sec . This improvement will be noticed more as focal length increases. The speed of burst shooting is dramatically faster than the predecessor LUMIX GX7, boasting high speed burst shooting at 8 fps (AFS) / 6 fps (AFC) to capture fast moving subject perfectly in-focus. The Low Light AF makes it possible to set focus on the subject more precisely even without AF assist lamp in extremely low-lit situations to -4EV, which is as dark as a moonlit night. Plus, the LUMIX GX8 integrates Starlight AF which allows users to shoot a star in the sky at night with auto focus. This can be achieved with accurate calculation of contrast values in a smaller AF zone. The focus detect area is increased from 23 (LUMIX GX7) to 49 points for more flexible composition and together with Custom Multi AF mode users can freely select the blocks to focus out of the 49 in the focusing area. In addition to conventional Face Recognition AF, the LUMIX GX8 newly incorporates Face / Eye Detection AF which automatically sets focus right on the eye of human face. With the Pinpoint AF, users can even magnify the target area to set precise focus. With the new algorithm of AF Tracking, not only the color but also the size and motion vector of the target are recognized, enabling the camera to lock on the subject even more securely. The result is the AF tracking performance of approx.200% or greater which refrains the camera from losing the subject .
6. Other Features
• Max.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.
• Max.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 LUMIX GX8 will available at Panasonic.com and photo retailers mid-August in two versions: all black and silver top with a black bottom. The price will be $1199.99 and will be body only.
• The "AVCHD" is a high definition (HD) digital video recording / playback format jointly established by Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
• “AVCHD Progressive”, “AVCHD”, the “AVCHD Progressive” Logo and the “AVCHD” Logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
• Android and Google Play are trademarks or registered trademarks of Google Inc.
• IOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.
• All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.
• Some accessories are not available in some countries.
• The use of recorded or printed materials that are protected by copyright for any purpose other than personal enjoyment is prohibited, as it would infringe upon the rights of the copyright holder.
• Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.