GX8 checking in, once again, for my annual "touch bases"

DHart

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After about 5 1/2 years of non-stop m4/3 body purchases (beginning with my first, in late 2009), it was July of 2015 when the GX8 was announced. I was smitten with what I saw!

I bought my GX8 shortly thereafter and my whirlwind escapade of buying new & improved m4/3 bodies (from both Panasonic & Olympus) came to a screeching halt!

Here we are almost 4 1/2 years since the GX8 was released, and there hasn't been another new m4/3 body announced since then that moves me to purchase!

That's an amazing thing in the world of mirrorless cameras. For a number of years, I was buying a new m4/3 body about every 9 months! But the field met true maturity, for me anyway, with the GX8.

Sure, more recent bodies have had some incremental upgrades in various features, here and there, but nothing that materially makes a significant difference to me and how I shoot.

The GX8's ample but still compact rangefinder form-factor, grip/handling, 20mp sensor size, large tilting EVF, fully-articulating LCD screen, top mounted Exposure Compensation dial, IBIS, speed, auto focus... all of it fully meets my needs beautifully... STILL!

Yes, the GX9 is a step forward in a few small areas, but also a big step backward in ergonomics and other areas. Regrettably, Panasonic dumbed-down the GX8 in making the GX9.

The G9 has some nice features, as well, but it's a good bit larger and I MUCH prefer the rangefinder form factor of the GX8. For typical photographic image-making, the GX8 still feels and performs absolutely wonderfully. I remain fully content with it. And my pocketbook is thrilled to not be buying additional bodies (or lenses).

If there were a newer camera body that fully meets the glory of the GX8 and includes some new, useful features... I WOULD BUY IT! But nothing touches the GX8 since. :confused:

I do have several other -mostly unused- Pany and Oly bodies. (Pen-F, EP-5/VF4, GX7,GM5, and LX100). And, I have about sixteen wonderful m4/3 lenses to use with them, though the Leica 12-60 f/2.8-4 lens serves so many purposes so well that it rarely leaves the GX8 body, and I rarely touch the other bodies.

What an amazing lens that 12-60 f/2.8-4 is! With image stitching, I don't touch my wider lenses. And, I don't seem to find much need for longer than 60mm (120mm equivalent.)

Life is great... and for me, the m4/3 system/GX8 continues to serve my needs quite splendidly. With 20mp, I have all the pixels that I need.
 
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MiguelATF

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I have to agree with you, Don. After purchasing a GX8 a few years back, somehow or other, none of the other micro four thirds cameras which I had shot with and used - and enjoyed to a certain degree - and gotten some fine images with - could, in my estimation, hold a metaphorical candle to the GX8.

Most of it weirdly for me is about little details, ergonomics, and the shooting experience. Starting with the outrageously wonderful EVF - and the crazy way it tilts when you need it to - the sensor which I think went underrated until Mike Johnson of TOP (The Online Photographer) began singing its praises, and the overall form factor - modern semi-rangefinder style body. Curiously, the size of the camera at the time seemed large-ish to me - compared to my previously favorite Lumix, a GX7, but once I started using it, it didn't feel 'too large' at all --- and compared to some late and to my mind relatively enormous (not to say bloated) camera bodies (the G9 immediately comes to mind), the GX8 almost feels svelte.

There are too many other tiny little details that I've come to appreciate to mention - but on the whole, once again, I have to concur the everything you said about the GX8 - for me, it really hit the 'sweet spot' of what mu43 cameras could, can and possibly should be and do - and it's still right there, atop my small list of 1 :)
 

DHart

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I have to agree with you, Don. After purchasing a GX8 a few years back, somehow or other, none of the other micro four thirds cameras which I had shot with and used - and enjoyed to a certain degree - and gotten some fine images with - could, in my estimation, hold a metaphorical candle to the GX8.

Most of it weirdly for me is about little details, ergonomics, and the shooting experience. Starting with the outrageously wonderful EVF - and the crazy way it tilts when you need it to - the sensor which I think went underrated until Mike Johnson of TOP (The Online Photographer) began singing its praises, and the overall form factor - modern semi-rangefinder style body. Curiously, the size of the camera at the time seemed large-ish to me - compared to my previously favorite Lumix, a GX7, but once I started using it, it didn't feel 'too large' at all --- and compared to some late and to my mind relatively enormous (not to say bloated) camera bodies (the G9 immediately comes to mind), the GX8 almost feels svelte.

There are too many other tiny little details that I've come to appreciate to mention - but on the whole, once again, I have to concur the everything you said about the GX8 - for me, it really hit the 'sweet spot' of what mu43 cameras could, can and possibly should be and do - and it's still right there, atop my small list of 1 :)
Miguel, I too loved the GX7 and still do! It's a fantastic little camera. But once I became accustomed to the GX8... my beloved GX7 has been enjoying an early retirement, luxuriously relaxing in my camera case. I can't bear to sell it, though, as it's just such a wonderful little camera.

Though the GX8 is larger... it doesn't feel at all large to me. It feels just right - not too small, not too large. And the sleek rangefinder form factor is just so cool as can be! Without giving up ANY functionality over the seemingly antiquated DSLR shape that so many bodies continue to assume. And the 20mp sensor? Fantastic!!!

You're right... all the little details on the GX8 add up to a camera than Panasonic hit well out-of-the-park. They haven't bettered it, nor even matched that since.

And Olympus hasn't even come close with ANY of their offerings. I did my time with the OM-D, and have no desire to repeat that. The Pen-F is a very nice try, though - but misses on some important ergonomic details that make the GX8 such a champ.

What Panasonic designers were thinking with changes brought by the GX9 I cannot understand. Yes, a few new features were nice advancements, but the overall package went backwards. Crazy... but they didn't ask me for my opinion on it.
 
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DHart

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I see that you can still buy new GX8 bodies! Wow. Perhaps I should buy a second one to carry me for another 5 years? :laugh:

BUT, I'm still holding out hope-against-hope that Panasonic or Olympus will create another "totally-killer" rangefinder body, with every new feature that has been developed since the GX8 - and without going backwards from the magnificence of the GX8.

I have stopped holding my breath for it, though. :whistling:
 
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DHart

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I guess I need to put a GX8 image in this thread, just for goodness sake. Most recent image I've made - this week.

Guitars next to my music desk. GX8 & Leica 12-60 f/2.8-4 lens.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

saladin

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Preaching to the converted here, Don.

If I could have only one m43 camera and one lens, it'd be the Gx8 and the 15PL. Technically, it's not the best. But It's just a tactile delight to use. For me.
 

Bob T

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I would have said the same a year ago...GX1, GX7, both great, and both still used occasionally...
But the GX8 was the best I've had...The GX9 was not a suitable replacement.

Then I fell into a good deal last winter, my old GH2, for an almost new GX85.
I gotta tell ya, the GX85 is giving the GX8 a solid run....Not perfect, but I tend to pick it up first.

Agree about the PL15....Love it.
 

CyVan

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Yes, the GX9 is a step forward in a few small areas, but also a big step backward in ergonomics and other areas. Regrettably, Panasonic dumbed-down the GX8 in making the GX9.

The G9 has some nice features, as well, but it's a good bit larger and I MUCH prefer the rangefinder form factor of the GX8. For typical photographic image-making, the GX8 still feels and performs absolutely wonderfully. I remain fully content with it. And my pocketbook is thrilled to not be buying additional bodies (or lenses).
I have the GX8, G85, G9 and until just recently the GX9.

I really wouldn't get too caught up on the idea of the GX9 being the sequel to the GX8, Panasonic gave it the correct name in the Japanese market. It's a GX7 mark III. I guess they decided to "re-use" the model line's name when they decided to make a G the new photo flagship instead of a GX.

The GX8 was my 2nd MFT and mine is equipped with the leather half-case and eyecup. It's been a faithful companion since 2016. With the half-case attached the GX8 is almost the same width and height as the G9 but with a softer touch because of the leather and less dense. So there's not that much of a size difference to me.

I love the features that my G9 and G85 have over my GX8 and if I only need 2 bodies the GX8 stays home. I treat it as an elder statesman, if I bring it along it only gets the DUAL IS lenses , usually the 12-35, so that the stabilization gets a little closer to the G bodies.

My G9 feels like the experienced do everything hotshot, the G85 is the young whippersnapper with new tech but it still can't match some of the features of the old but steady elder statesman ( sync speed, cropability, max mechanical shutterspeed).

Thinking back , my GX8 and I have been thru hell and back and it just WORKS. Even when I went to a overnight beach party and somehow got rum cream and sand under some of the dials and levers , I got everything back to normal with a healthy dose of lens cleaning fluid and thread.

When it came time to sell one of my bodies ( I really don't need 4), It just felt wrong to sell it and it wasn't just nostalgia. The clincher for me was that the excellent viewfinder on the GX8 got me into the habit of living in the EVF and that ruined me for the GX9's paltry offering, so the GX9 had to go.

I don't use it as much nowadays but I know that if a job needs to get done the GX8 will definitely get it done w/o any pomp and circumstance and no questions asked.
 
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D7k1

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I can say that the Gx8 is a camera I love. I tend to use it with the 12-35 for the dual IS. That being said the three cameras I know have all make me want to image. The G9 is a technical marvel with it's high res option and the ability to shoot 10 minute 6K video. It's as big as I will every go, and it spends most of its time with my PL100-400 for birding or the 12-35 for high res work. My "little" Gx85 is my travel camera with a Oly 9-18/75-300II and Canon 500D closeup filter. I only use this camera a couple of times a year but I shoot about 1 to 2K of images each time. For the price, especially used, it might be the best bargain in the Pany lineup. The key for me, is that Panasonic's, especially the Gx8 seem to be built for photographers, not pretty but tools that let you be your best each time you use them. I loved my EP5 and think I'd like a PenF, but I do a lot of video and I just like Pany's video better.

I was out with my meetup group yesterday and out of 15 folks there were 4 M43 users, 2 Pany, 2 Oly. People can say what they want about M43 but I feel so lucky to have "stumbled" into M43.
 
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For all of my pro work, I have 2 G9 and 2 GH5 cameras. But for my personal work on the street the GX8 is still the best. I had had two that I used on assignment for a few years until the GH5 came out, so I sold them both to finance the new cameras.

I found I liked and missed the tilting viewfinder and wound up with a GX9 and also a GX85 as a tiny carry everywhere camera. However, the viewfinders made me feel as if I was shooting blind most of the time, barely being able to compose properly.

I wound up selling both the GX9 and GX85 cameras for two new GX8 bodies, one new and one barely used. Got them for the same price I sold the others for a few years ago too! I'll keep the GX8's until they don't work anymore.

Here's a shot from a recent trip to Atlantic City...

...I removed the bathing beauty so as not to offend anyone, but if you'd like to see her again, she's linked here: https://www.mikepeters-photography.com/Personal-Work-sets/090819-Atlantic-City/i-Jv8pzrw
 
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gwydionjhr

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I too love this camera so much I bought a 2nd one. I would be perfectly happy to purchase a Mark II version with updated sensor/processor/EVF with everything else left untouched. (maybe a little better quality dial under the shutter button).

Plenty of threads singing the praises of the GX8 in this forum and others. With Oly apparently killing off the Pen-F, here's hoping the marketing dept at Panasonic seizes the opportunity and brings us a GX10 that is a worthy successor to the GX8.
 

timg

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Another GX8 lover here... I recently killed the rear screen on my original one (falling off a tripod onto a concrete floor) and ended up just getting a second GX8 instead of upgrading to G9 or GX9, for all the reasons listed above. It's just the right combination of size, price, features and durability.

It was second-hand but only had around 1,500 actuations, so looked like new. I've kept my old GX8 as a second body as it still all works through the viewfinder.

I'm in the group that's hoping for a true successor even though deep down I think it's unlikely... let's see what the next round of Panasonic updates bring us.
 

saladin

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This is pure speculation/gut feel, but I think if we were ever to see another Gx8 type camera from Pana, it'll be in the L Mount series. I look at the new Sigma FP with the 45/2.8 and it makes me think of the Gx8 with the 15PL. A full frame "SX-1" would be lovely (though probably too big for my taste). But I just can't see them revisiting the GX-# line for us. The 8 apparently didn't sell well enough, and I suspect the 9 fell well below expectations.

The interesting thing for me is that so far the Gx9 doesn't seem to have captured the passion of it's owners like the 8 has caught ours. If you like the 8, you tend to love it. The 9 seems more like "just" another camera, albeit it a pretty good one.

If they'd simply put the G9 running gear in a Gx8 chassis, I'd have 100% bought a couple. Without question. If they'd then produced a couple of small weathersealed primes with aperture rings, it would have been my perfect daily system. And I could stop pondering an X-pro , lol.
 
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The interesting thing for me is that so far the Gx9 doesn't seem to have captured the passion of it's owners like the 8 has caught ours. If you like the 8, you tend to love it. The 9 seems more like "just" another camera, albeit it a pretty good one.

If they'd simply put the G9 running gear in a Gx8 chassis, I'd have 100% bought a couple. Without question. If they'd then produced a couple of small weathersealed primes with aperture rings, it would have been my perfect daily system. And I could stop pondering an X-pro , lol.
GX9 seems an update of GX85 to me rather than that of GX8 considering grip size has been reduced to GX85 levels and removal of weather sealing (baflfing to say). Panasonic naming convention is to be blamed?
 

saladin

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GX9 seems an update of GX85 to me rather than that of GX8 considering grip size has been reduced to GX85 levels and removal of weather sealing (baflfing to say). Panasonic naming convention is to be blamed?
Agreed. As someone noted above, in some markets it is called Gx7ii. That's it's true lineage.

And it's actually a good camera. Anything with the G9 sensor can take beaut images. But it's omission of some physical features killed it as an option for me.
 

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