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GX8 Now Shipping: A 4K brother to the GH4

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I have been a user of the GH4 for many months now, and i love the little fella. Really my primary gripe with it is the sub par low light/high iso performance. Here comes the GX8, technically a lower line for panasonic, but packing newer features and a new sensor that from the looks of it may edge out the GH4 in the iso department.  Here's a look at some key features:

GX8 Spec hilights:

  • 3" articulating OLED Touch Screen
  • 20-megapixel CMOS Sensor
  • 100mbit 4k codec
  • ISO 200-25600
  • Pop-out, tilt up EVF
  • Sensor-based Image stabilization
  • 4K 3840 x 2160 at 30p/24p
  • 49 point Autofocus 
  • Viewfinder coverage 100%
  • Continuous Shooting Speed 12.0 fps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, NFC, Micro-USB, Microphone input, mini HDMI, SD card
  • Weathersealed
  • No headphone jack
  • 2.5mm mic input
  • Dimensions of 133 x 78 x 63 mm
  • Weight of 487g

Compared to the GH4, it's even thinner and lighter(the GH4 is already a great size), and has a new sensor with 4 million extra pixels. Extra pixels on the same sensor size sometimes means worse iso performance, but in this case it's a much newer sensor, and likely the opposite will be true. 

It packs the same 4k 24/30p recording modes and codecs as the GH4, but does not match the GH4's 10bit 4k hdmi output, nor does it have a headphone jack to monitor audio. It also does not do DCI 4k (4096x2160). While it does have a mic input, it's the odd 2.5mm size. These may be the biggest considerations for those looking for this as primarily a video camera. However...

Sensor based image stabilization
Yes! Finally panasonic has made a shifty sensor! If you're not hip to the m43 market of lenses, basically you have two main choices: panasonic, or olympus. The issue for many is that olympus has always built IS into the sensor, thus leaving their great lenses without stabilizers. So when using them on a panasonic m43 camera like the GH4, you're IS outta luck. Now they have doubled down: use any non IS lens, get sensor stabilization, use a panasonic lens with IS, you get both stabilizer actions for incredible smoothness. Very tempting indeed, but note that the functionality of how lenses and the sensor stabilizer vary depending on what lens is used and whether in photo or video mode.

Pop-out tilt up EVF
Here's a nifty feature i can appreciate: the EVF hides inside the camera body giving a nice slim package when not in use, but pops out and even tilts up 90 degrees. That's really versatile, and will be a great help in bright conditions where you want a low angle shot.

Here, Daniel Berehulak gives a nice overview with sample shots.

Pricing is $1199, just a few hundred less than the GH4 ($1499). Which one should you get? Question for the ages. Some folks may even just prefer the chunkier GH4 body, over the slimmer, more point and shoot style of the GX8. performance wise they are both excellent, but the GX8 may edge the GH4 out overall in the image department due to the new sensor (i certainly hope so)

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Added on 2015-08-24 by
Darren Levine

Darren Levine

Stimulus Video

DP/Videographer, Video/Film Editor
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