Ed Overstreet: The new Auto feature for the electronic shutter, added in the firmware update which gives the Post-Focus feature, is now also available in the G7 in a firmware update -- as well as Post-Focus for that camera. The G7 uses the same batteries as the GX8, so they compliment each other nicely.
The review completely misses the point (IMO) of Post-Focus. Post Focus really shines if you want to do focus stacking in a situation where the subject(s) in the frame aren't moving around. With Post Focus it is now possible to do hand-held capture for focus stacking quickly, silently and easily. In about two seconds of 4K MP4 burst you can record the scene at all focus points in the frame with an f:1.4 - f:2.8 lens in low light at much faster shutter speeds and/or much lower ISOs than you'd need at f:16 or f:22, and yet get the same effective depth of field in your focus stack and without the loss of sharpness from the diffraction you'll get at f:16 or f:22 on most MFT lenses.
On the subject of in-camera focus-stacking: I wouldn't trust an automatic focus-stacking feature, given my experience with third-party software that does that, I much prefer to cherry-pick the frames/focus points I want to use (especially if I don't want full depth of field but want to redefine the depth of field for a specific range in a specific scene). And I'd much rather do the cherry-picking later at home on my computer (or on the camera back) than on the fly when I'm shooting, especially when travelling, and don't want to spend time squinting at fine details on the LCD screen.
I'm not bothered by using JPGs even for macro work. In my tests with the GX8 and multiple lenses, on real subjects and not pixel-peeping on a resolving power chart, I have trouble seeing a meaningful (for me) difference between 8mp JPG and even 20mp RAW as long as I'm not blowing up the image a lot or cropping in a lot. But different folks have different needs and uses
The new Auto feature for the electronic shutter, added in the firmware update which gives the Post-Focus feature, is now also available in the G7 in a firmware update -- as well as Post-Focus for that camera. The G7 uses the same batteries as the GX8, so they compliment each other nicely.
Exciting though 8K video is in theory, I hope that by 2018 if not sooner Panasonic will first (or at the same time at least) fix their problem with poorer continuous AF and AF tracking in their current 4K implementation -- something which Panasonic admits to and warns about in the G7 user manual, which I've noticed repeatedly in 4K video with that camera, and which I find very annoying at times especially when panning during recording of video.
I'd also like to see them figure out how to implement their in-camera image stabilization during 4K video, which currently is greyed out in the 4K setting on the GX8. In fact all their 4K video cameras that have in-camera stabilization (e.g. the FZ300) the manual warns you won't get IS in 4K though you do get it in 1080 or 720. In-lens stabilization does work in 4K in my experience, but it isn't as effective in video since it's I think two-axis instead of three or five axis for in-camera depending on who you believe.
Ed Overstreet: I tested both my new G7 and my GX7 with three lenses, using an Edmund Scientific Company Lens Resolving Power chart. Cameras set for shutter priority, on a tripod (OIS turned off) cycled through all shutter speeds at 1/3 increments 1/25 through 1/250, fired using 2-second self-timer.
Consistently I get maybe a one-step improvement in line pairs per mm resolved, often a bit less, or roughly a 5-10% improvement in resolution, using electronic rather than mechanical shutter. BUT — this is pixel-peeping. I have to magnify image 200% to see this, toggle back and forth between electronic/mechanical and squint with eyes close to the 23” monitor. The difference is within the range of differences on one zoom lens tested at different focal lengths on the same camera, and less than what you often see between center and corner sharpness on most zoom lenses. IMO this “issue” is a tempest in a small teapot. Except perhaps for devotees of pixel-peeping, don’t lose sleep over this. I won’t.
I'll add to this (ran out of characters) that the difference is NOT like camera shake, which shows as a blurring of high-contrast edges. In my tests comparing electronic vs mechanical shutter, there is NO blurring -- just a roughly one-step (on that chart) difference in LPPM resolved. Across the board, no blurring. As I said, well within the range of differences I see among the lenses I own, or within the zoom range of any of my zoom lenses when tested.
Lenses used in my tests reported above were the newer Lumix 14-140 zoom, the kit zoom from the G7, and the Olympus 45mm f:1.8. Same results, all three lenses (tested at about 45mm focal length in all three cases). Ditto on the GX7.
BTW the kit lens is, in my tests, not great. Corners often sharper than centre, but had very soft and poor centre results wide-open at 25mm. Even my 14-140, never mind my wonderful Lumix 12-35mm f:2.8, can outperform the kit lens. Buy the camera body only, unless you don't have other 14-42 options.
I tested both my new G7 and my GX7 with three lenses, using an Edmund Scientific Company Lens Resolving Power chart. Cameras set for shutter priority, on a tripod (OIS turned off) cycled through all shutter speeds at 1/3 increments 1/25 through 1/250, fired using 2-second self-timer.
... separate post due to character limitation:
I 100% agree with reviewer's favourable comment on the grip and how the camera fits in the hand. I held a G7 in the store and was immediately struck by how much more comfortably it fit in my hand compared with my GX7, G6, and G5 and as far as I can remember my previous Lumixes (GF1, GH1, GH2). I'm really looking forward to the arrival of my G7 order and putting it through its paces on my own series of technical and field tests.
Not everyone's hands are the same, but FWIW to anyone else, the grip is perfect for me.
Very helpful review. One comment, on the Auto ISO implementation. All six previous Lumix ILCs I've owned have the same implementation. Doesn't bother me at all. I'm awaiting delivery of my G7 order, but on my previous Lumixes Auto ISO seems AFAICT to limit the shutter automatically to roughly the reciprocal of the full-frame-equivalent focal length in use, so e.g. with the kit lens at 42mm (84mm full-frame-equivalent) I'd expect to see shutter limits of either 1/80 or 1/100 on the metadata when the Auto ISO has kicked in (subject to the limits of the lens aperture and maximum ISO available). That seems to hold true whether or not the lens OIS is turned on (or on my GX7 whether in-body IS is turned on for a non-OIS lens) so this is a safe implementation IMO though overly conservative when OIS or IS is switched on. Better safe than sorry IMO so I'm happy with this, and it's one less setting to fiddle with when you change lenses. So AFAIC if G7 Auto ISO is the same, it's a plus IMO
Ed Overstreet: As someone who owns an GX7 (excellent camera IMO) and is about to buy a new G7, I'm a bit surprised (and disappointed) that the GX8 appears to have fewer customization options than either of the other two cameras. I can only see two programmable Fn buttons on the camera body (possibly a third sitting on one of the top-right dials), and I suspect from both the other cameras the "virtual button" set on the touch screen will only accommodate five more for a total of maybe 8. I find important uses for all the buttons (9 on the GX7 and 11 on the G7) as well as the Custom dial settings (five for the GX7 and three for the G7, not at all clear from the photos what is available on the GX8).
At the moment, once I have my G7 I doubt this GX8 is going to tempt me to upgrade from my GX7 (which I love and which will be a great backup/complement to my G7). The extra 4 megapixels isn't enough of an increase to interest me, and all the other features mentioned are available already in the GX7 or G7
... that's "any one else" not "atone else" fumble finger problem on the keyboard ...
@HowaboutRaw Yes in fact I have handled a G7, in the store before I ordered one. In my hands the G7 actually feels more comfortable than any previous Lumix I've owned and used extensively (GF1, GH1, GH2, G5, G6 and GX7). I appreciate that not everyone has the same hands, but since you asked, yes I've handled it and yes I prefer it to all the others. FWIW to atone else.
As someone who owns an GX7 (excellent camera IMO) and is about to buy a new G7, I'm a bit surprised (and disappointed) that the GX8 appears to have fewer customization options than either of the other two cameras. I can only see two programmable Fn buttons on the camera body (possibly a third sitting on one of the top-right dials), and I suspect from both the other cameras the "virtual button" set on the touch screen will only accommodate five more for a total of maybe 8. I find important uses for all the buttons (9 on the GX7 and 11 on the G7) as well as the Custom dial settings (five for the GX7 and three for the G7, not at all clear from the photos what is available on the GX8).
Joe Huckleberry: The waist strap doesn't look that good.
A tip for Kata and some other users:I have and love one of your other bags, which also has a laptop slot in the back. I've also used a few Lowepro bags with that feature.I almost never travel with a laptop (I use a Hyperdrive for storing photos until I get home; the way I work, I prefer to do my computing and home and do other things when I'm travelling and not photographing).
I always carry the bag with me on the aircraft, and in the laptop slot I insert one of those nifty Keyes packing aids that lets you fold and pack (relatively wrinkle-free) several shirts and maybe a pair of slacks. That way I have in my carry-on bag not only my photo gear but (with underwear and socks as padding in a few slots here and there) one or two complete changes of clothing with me. Having had certain airlines delay my checked luggage by up to three days on some overseas trips, I find it really good to have extra clothes with me on the aircraft.