Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8

20MP Four Thirds Live MOS sensor | Tilting EVF | 4K video capture | Dual IS

What we like:

  • Very good photo and 4K video quality
  • Excellent autofocus system
  • Tilting electronic viewfinder

What we don't:

  • Subject to shutter-induced image blur
  • Bulky for a Micro Four Thirds camera
  • Desaturated colors in JPEGs; skin tones can have a greenish tint

Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX8 is the company's enthusiast-targeted Micro Four Thirds model. It takes features from the both its predecessor (the GX7) and more modern siblings and puts them into a much more substantial body. The most significant additions include the use of an all-new 20MP sensor, an upgraded autofocus system, 'Dual IS' and 4K video capture.

The GX8's magnesium-alloy, weather-sealed body offers a substantial grip and extensive direct controls, many of which are customizable. The high-res electronic viewfinder is tiltable, and there's an articulated rear touchscreen, as well. The LCD can be used to select an AF point when your eye is to the viewfinder, which is more responsive than reaching for physical buttons.

On the whole, camera performance was excellent, with burst shooting as high as 10 fps, a snappy interface and good (but not class-leading) battery life.

"The Panasonic GX8 is a very appealing enthusiast-grade mirrorless camera that offers solid image and video quality"

The Lumix DMC-GX8's autofocus system is very impressive. It can shoot at 6 fps while tracking a moving subject, and does quite a good job at it. Face/eye tracking is also very good. A helpful feature known as Post Focus, which shoots a 4K video while moving focus allow users to 'tap'the area of from which to extract an 8MP still. The GX8's in-body stabilization is very good and performance improves further when used with own-brand IS lenses.

Image quality is very good, though there is room for improvement. The GX8 is capable of capturing a lot of detail, though JPEGs are on the soft side and noise reduction can be destructive at times. Noise levels are competitive with other Micro Four Thirds models, though not as low as on cameras with APS-C-size sensors. The same thing goes for Raw dynamic range - you can 'push' shadows pretty far, though not too much. Three issues of note include shutter-induced blur at certain shutter speeds, which can be resolved by using the electronic shutter (albeit with the risk of rolling shutter). We also noticed that yellows have a greenish cast, which can produce awkward-colored skin tones, and that overall color in JPEGs is quite muted.

One of the GX8's biggest selling points is its 4K video capability. Quality is excellent, even at high sensitivities, and image stabilization systems (4-axis for 4K and 5-axis hybrid for Full HD) work well. The camera offers a full set of video capture tools including focus peaking and zebra pattern, and also sports an external mic input. Having a touchscreen makes rack focusing very easy.

The Panasonic GX8 is a very appealing enthusiast-grade mirrorless camera that offers solid image and video quality, a rugged, weather-sealed body and a host of useful features. It is, however, on the bulky side, and JPEG image quality could be better. Despite that, the GX8 is one of the best Micro Four Thirds cameras yet and rivals - and, in some cases, exceeds - larger APS-C cameras.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

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