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GX8 Likes and Dislikes

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Sootchucker, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. Sootchucker

    Sootchucker Mu-43 Regular

    111
    Aug 9, 2012
    Hi all, I recently purchased myself a new GX8 to accompany my Olympus OMD-EM1, for our holiday to Croatia. I only took two lenses – the Panasonic 14-140 F3.5-5.6 OIS II, and the Olympus 9-18 F4-5.6.

    Having shot the GX8 almost exclusively for the two weeks and many hundreds of shots, here is my take on it.

    The good

    Surprisingly unlike most comments I really like the size and bulk. Gives me something to hold onto and feels really comfortable in the hand. Love the grip which fits my hands really well (but then I also like my EM1 size and grip as well).

    The EVF is stunning and I thought the one on the EM1 was excellent – and it is, but the GX8 takes things to a whole new level.

    Image quality – it’s what we buy a camera for after all. Well on that score I’m not disappointed. I’ve just printed some 16”x12” images from the holiday (straight out of camera Jpegs) and they look stunning. Really good fine detail (the small increase from 16-20mp does actually help over the EM1), and areas of blue sky at ISO200 are commendably free of noise (my EM1 and produce slightly noisy skies but not too bad). I honestly don’t think that my Nikon DSLR’s would have produced better images at these low ISO’s (OK so maybe a little more DR, but in that respect both the EM1 and GX8 aren’t bad).

    Video – not really used the 4K yet, but shot some clips using 1080p 60 fps and they look brilliant on my 52” TV. Shame the GX8 doesn’t have the slow motion modes that it’s bigger brother the GH4 has, but I guess that accounts for the price separation.

    The not so good

    OK, these are minor really and still don’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that it’s a bad camera, more annoyances.

    The AE lock button on the right hump – I don’t tend to use AE lock that much and it seems most of the buttons are configurable except that one. I would certainly like to set it up at least in payback mode similar to my EM1 (which has a button in an almost exact same place), as auto zoom. Rather than hitting payback then turning the scroll dial to zoom into 8x view or double clicking the screen then pinching in (for a 100% view), it would be nice if this could be programmed to zoom in and out to a predefined magnification during playback.

    Exposure compensation. Seen a few comments on this and to be honest I don’t like the button’s position for my smallish hands as it’s a bit of a stretch. Would much rather have the EC mode mapped to one of the control dials (like the EM1 and my GX7 before), so that EC is just a matter of tuning the rear dial (with the front one for aperture in Aperture Priority mode) for instance.

    The function button on the front of the camera is really hard to find as it’s flush with the camera body and I can never locate it without actually looking (which sort of defeats the purpose). Don’t know why Panasonic made this button flush but IMO, it’s an ergonomic disaster.

    Whilst not a deal breaker, it would have been nice if the GX8 gave up the swiveling EVF (which I don’t tend to use) in favor of a small built in flash. My EM1 has to use an external flash as well, and it would have been nice to have one of the cameras have a built in unit for fill flash etc. rather than having to mount a small flash (that isn’t even included in the box ! - at least the EM1 came with a flash !).

    Overall.

    Overall I really like the GX8, and coupled with my Panasonic 14-140 F3.5-5.6 II lens, it makes a killer travel combo. Smaller and lighter than my DSLR’s but packing brilliant image quality and decent files sizes to boot. This and my EM1 for me at least, make an ideal pair.

    Thanks for reading.

    A few samples form the holiday

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    28325559336_c36aa35feb_b.

    27925310333_a26c57f6c2_b.

    28280526151_cbea0f7bce_b.

    28250065020_bf694041d7_b.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Veteran

    319
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
    I've had mine since late February and I agree with nearly everything u've said here. That front button is a pain. You're always pressing it when you don't need it but can never find it when you do. I've assigned it to 'power zoom' and forgotten about it.

    I've handled my friend's GX85 and though I like how small that camera is I still love the heft of the GX8. Ergonomically it still doesn't match the sheer pleasure of holding my previous G7 but its still nice.

    Unlike you however I absolutely ADORE the tilting EVF and almost never have it snapped into place. I'm a left eye shooter so having it tilted up slightly helps me avoid touching the LCD with my nose and allows a slightly more comfortable shooting position. Its also great for odd angled shooting or shooting down low. I highly recommend that you get the accessory eye cup for it Panasonic DMW-EC3 Eyecup for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 DMW-EC3 , it makes a great EVF even better especially outside.

    I too wish it had a Flash but I bought a Olympus FL-LM3 Flash V326150BW000 B&H Photo Video to go with mine which is a surprisingly small , powerful and versatile little flash which is way better than any of the built-ins I've seen so far.

    Those samples look great. I have that same lens and love it. I'm glad to hear about the print quality since I'm about to print a few of my photos as well. :)
     
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  3. panamike

    panamike Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Jul 5, 2016
    Lincolnshire UK
    Interesting comments i have had mine for about 3 months and would agree about most of the observations,i shoot wildlife and the EVF and its refresh/bird in flight tracking mode has well exceeded my expectations,i tracked two geese flying past purely out of interest for 22 sharp shots and only stopped at that point as i felt it had passed my test.
    My biggest problem at the moment is lens based,ime waiting for a 100-400 and having to use the 45-175 now its a nice lens but i feel the 100-400 will unleash the cameras full potential,a shot from today that shows the cameras ability but also the lack of ability of the lens in this situation.
    The one major drawback though is no exposure compensation in manual with auto iso,now Panasonic bill this camera as part of there pro range and its a major omission IMO.

    P1040051.
     
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  4. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Veteran

    319
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
    NICE! What focus settings did you use for that? eg AFS/AFC , 49-point , single etc
     
  5. panamike

    panamike Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Jul 5, 2016
    Lincolnshire UK
    Thanks.

    I took my settings from here and played with them a bit,the main things are image review off,AFC,continues med shutter (i dont think it works on high),manual with auto ISO capped at 3200,1000th of a second,aperture as wide as you can,1-area focus.
    Ime not good sorting these things and i have them in CI for normal bird shooting and in C2 but with image stabilizing off for the BIF,if you try it and it doesn't work come back to me as i may have forgotten something.

    Birds in Flight Settings for Lumix Cameras
     
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  6. absolutic

    absolutic Mu-43 Veteran

    416
    Jan 21, 2011




    I am looking to add at either GX8 to add to my EM1 and GX7 or waiting to see the EM1 Mark 2 revealed. I want a larger sturdier body (but not too large) with acceptable grip for my 42.5/1.2 75/1.8 and 100-300. I also want the latest sensor and want 20MP (I would have loved 24MP but looked like I am not going to get it). Between my EM1 and GX7 I use GX7 more as in my opinion it has superior AF and superior Face Detection to EM1, as I have an always running 4 year old. What I love about Face Detection on GX7 it is fool proof, the face can be sideways, back ways, upside down, and it instantly finds it. I also love EV-4 low light ability of GX7, it is clearly better than EM1, as I tested the two side by side recently by lowering the light in my room til pitch dark, and GX7 with same lens could focus in lower light than EM1.

    With that in mind though, I do want a larger sensor, and GX7 is kind of smallish for large lenses. So I was looking at GX8 and Pen F at first, but reading about AF issues with Pen F, and it's small frame, it is not going to work for me. GX8 on other hand, reviews state AF is even faster than GX7, and also that CAF actually works.

    I read what you state about the Olympus accessory flash for EM5 M2 that it would work with GX8. That's great news. Do you or anyone know if that flash would work with EM1? DO I need to look for the fourth pin on my EM1 hot shoe to find out?
     
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I discovered a problem on a recent photo safari. I was using the camera on a monopod with an Acratech GPS ball head. The game drive vehicle bumps around so much that I had to set the ball friction higher than usual. Frequently when gripping the camera to move it, the fleshy part/base of my right thumb would push some random control button. It was bad enough that I had to make sure that the menu system was set to some harmless function because at one point the camera was unintentionially switched from single-shot to burst mode.

    Minor microcode change: Give me the option of assigning a function button to turn on and off all the other buttons. Even in more normal use, they are too easy to bump.
     
  8. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Before buying my GX8, I wasn't sure about the somewhat larger size (I was used to using the GX7). Now that I've used the GX8 for a number of months, I find that I really like the size, which is ideal for use with many of the larger m4/3 lenses; the 12-35/2.8, 7-14, 14-140, 100-300, etc.

    I agree that as a travel camera, the GX8 with 14-140 is a great choice. I would have preferred the GX8 with the new 12-60 lens (I use the 12mm focal length extensively all the time), however it seems that the IQ of that lens is not quite what most of us would have hoped for.

    My ideal travel set-up, when I want to be ready and able to quickly and easily go from ultra-wide to longer lengths is to carry two bodies, one with 9-18 or 7-14, and the other with 12-35 or 14-140. No lens juggling, something I really don't like to do when being a tourist out on a travel junket.

    I think a great two body kit would be a GX85 with the 9-18 or 7-14 and GX8 with the 12-35 or 14-140. This could also be nicely done with two GX85 bodies or two GX8 bodies. I prefer the additional physical controls of the GX8, myself.
     
  9. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi, the E-M1 doesn't have the extra pin so it won't work.
     
  10. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Agreed ... almost. I think the ideal is a 14-140 on one body and either the 9-18 or a long zoom (100-300, 100-400) on the other depending on circumstances. Preferably both bodies identical, though I shot a GX7 and a GX8 together the last few weeks in Africa. For a visit to a Masai village I had the 9-18 as my second body/lens. Everywhere else it was a 100-400.
     
  11. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Veteran

    319
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
    There already is, I think in the default factory settings FN5 was set to 'Cursor Button Lock' but in that firmware there was no indication when it was active so when I bounced it accidentally I panicked when my brand new camera seemed to stop responding to the cursor keys. Luckily a net search revealed the problem. Nowadays a red message pops up when its active :)

    You can set it by going into Custom -> Fn Button Set (pg 7) ->REC mode -> Pick your FN button -> Cursor Button Lock (pg 4)

    That'll lock all 5 buttons of the cursor (iso, wb, af, drive mode, menu/set)
     
  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Thanks. I hadn't found that. I'd really like to lock everything but this is a good start. My thumb occasionally presses the DISP button by accident too. :-(
     
  13. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Veteran

    319
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
    That happens to EVERYBODY...
     
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  14. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Yes. So then we should have a "Lock All" button. Are you listening, Panny? This is a trivial microcode change.
     
  15. absolutic

    absolutic Mu-43 Veteran

    416
    Jan 21, 2011
    thank u. So sounds like this flash will work only with EM5 M2, EM10 M2, GX8 and GX85?
     
  16. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Veteran

    319
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
  17. absolutic

    absolutic Mu-43 Veteran

    416
    Jan 21, 2011
    Thank you!!!!!!! Now that I think about it I remember I have FL300R Oly flash that I have not used in a while. That should work on all m43 bodies, so if I get GX8 perhaps I could use that instead
     
  18. panamike

    panamike Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Jul 5, 2016
    Lincolnshire UK
    I have noticed my ability to catch buttons on the camera.at the moment this is worse using the 100-400,it has a fairly stiff zoom and the size of the GX8 makes it easy to try to get a more solid grip and catch a button,not complaining too loud though as i am loving the outfit.:biggrin:
     
  19. Matix

    Matix New to Mu-43

    1
    Apr 22, 2013
    Brisbane, Qld Australia
    Ah, thanks for that tip, the front button by the lens is now set to that option... it was driving me crazy when using gloves...
    Phil
     
  20. gfspencer

    gfspencer Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Aug 24, 2011
    North Carolina
    I like the size!