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Friday, 10 June 2016


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I have to say Mike, whenever I hear that you plan to "review" something I smile and prepare (as much as anyone can) for something completely unexpected. For example, I would have thought you'd wax prosaic about the GX8's wonderful dual IS. Instead, you wrote an apology for not writing about IS. You also show so few of your photographs on TOP that I assume it's because you never take any. Lo and behold, you lay two (but only two) great images on us. So yes, as a "camera reviewer" you are completely worthless, but as someone who writes about cameras from time to time, you always keep me guessing and most definitely entertained.

Great review (or non-review) as usual. I had a GX8 for a short time and I really liked it. But then came along the M 4/3 Olympus Pen F. Oh my, love at first sight! Please get your hands on one and check it out. I would really enjoy your review of it. Ernie

Mike, isn't this camera the one that has the newest m43 sensor and as of now, the only one? Do you find it appreciably better in any way than the last generation of m43 sensors?

How is the data-clutter in the viewfinder? A fly in the ointment for this OM-D owner is the inability to move all indicators out of the part of the VF that displays the scene. The X-T1 is much better in this regard.

I have a GX8 and generally love it. Agree with all you say. Just one problem, With the 100-300mm lens at full stretch it often has trouble focusing on small objects - a boat on calm water, an airplane in flight etc. For those subjects I often can't focus manually fast enough. Any ideas?

Thanks for this, Mike. Interesting to look over someone else's shoulder. I'm happy with my Fuji XPro-2. I can hardly keep my hands off it. And as for you taking the weekend away from this beloved blog: well, I suppose that's OK. After all we don't want to mess with the goose that lays the golden eggs.

I tried it, I didn't like it.... Well l liked it, but didn't love it.
I had it for 6 months but personally found it a little large, no IBIS while filming 4K (so didn't suit my Olympus lenses), I didn't use the tilting viewfinder, and don't like the flippy screens.
To balance my mini review, the IQ is great, the 4K is great, it did fall nicely to hand, and the EVF and touchscreen are all fine.
I'm hoping the GX80, when my pre-order arrives, will prove to be more personally agreeable. I need to love a camera for it to get a lot of use, and I'm hoping the GX80 is the kind of LX3 big brother I've been waiting for.
But that's the thing about systems isn't it - somethings for everyone. I can certainly understand how the GX8 will be loved by many.

This amazes me that in 2016 Panasonic seem incapable of making a shutter that won't effect the image. Have not others been making shock free shutters since adam was a lad, for goodness sake I even had a speed graphic from the 1940's that went off like a bear trap, but all the 'shutter shock' was after the exposure.
If they can't make a shutter properly, buy one in, like everyone used to use Copal shutters in slr's back in the day. It's hardly rocket science for goodness sake.
Mind you now DPReview reckon certain lenses with VR suffer this malady on the D810, yet After about 50,000 exposures on my D810, not one problem (apart from the operator).Sometimes it's better just to ignore the net and go out and take photos.

Good read and just what I was looking for. I finally let go of the NEX-7 and donated it to a local arts agency. It is time for me to upgrade to something newer in the mirrorless market and I do not want another Sony. I have a Fujifilm X-Pro2 due here on Monday from lensrentals(dot)com. If that doesn't work out, I may rent the GX8 next. Thank you for the non-review and photos.

Almost forgot ... I will of course link from your site whenever B&H or Amazon get my camera and lens order!

I divested all of my m43 system gear last year, with the exception of a Panny LX100, which I never could quite get comfy with. So I've replaced it with the GX8's little brother, the GX85. I've only had it for a few days but wow, what an excellent casual camera! As much as you like the GX8 I suspect you might like the GX85 even more. It's a very sophisticated little camera and a very good, compact (collapsible) 12-32 kit lens.

No, I've no intentions of getting back into m43 as a system. But this GX85 fills the bill as a much better smallish camera than the LX100.

I had thought you tested the panasonic 42.5mm f1.7 lens with this camera? Or did you call it the bokeh master just based on other people's images?
I entered micro 43rds from 43rds just recently with a fire sale GM5. I love that it is so small it fits in my pocket, but hate its smallness when trying to change settings. I always seem to hit the ISO button. So I am keeping an eye on future cameras, but probably waiting for a global shutter.

Funny, I was just about to send you a non-review of the Panasonic GX85, till I realized it was so non that there was no point. It's a little smaller and lighter than the GX8, the grip isn't as good, but it's got a flip-up screen, which like you I'll take any day over the flip-out kind.

And apart from that, it just does what it says on the tin. Fast, responsive, and really nice image quality. I'm beginning to wonder how much we really need camera reviews any more.

I completely agree with you and feel the same. Every time I use the GX8 I realise how much I like this camera. Just two additions: for me the fully articulated screen is very important because I much prefer having the screen "closed" while photographing with the viewfinder. Besides this, personally I also much prefer the looks of the GX8 over almost any other camera; especially those that look as if they had an optical viewfinder even though they don't or as if they were really old, which they usually aren't.

This post is causing me some serious GAS.

Although I am very much a Fuji fan, I often recommend Panasonic to friends and family looking for good, easy to use all-rounders.

In the main, Panasonics have a good control interface, nice grip, good VF and AF, and excellent video. Lens range is also excellent, and they also seem relatively trouble free.

They deserve to do better really.

So then, GX8 or XT2...M4/3 or Fuji....?


There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the shutter shock issue.

The best demonstrations show the "shutter shock" problem is an interaction between the impulse from the shutter when it's fired (remember it has to close, then open and close again for the shot) on portions of some lenses that are free to move move.

It's particularly associated (almost exclusively?) with lenses that have image stabilization. I suspect that a sequence of thumps (close, open, close) at the "right" rate stimulate resonances in motion for some lens IS components (with a possible interaction with the active IS system itself). The result is often a "double image" blurring.

If you're shooting "ye olde lenses" on adaptors or modern primes that have no small moving components (IS) then you'll never have a problem.

If your lens does have IS then test it at a range of slow and medium shutter speeds to see if that lens/camera combo show the problem. This is not measurebating this is understanding the limitations of your camera!

If you are shooting with a Sony sensor (like the Olympus EM5 II) they provide an "electronic first curtain" features (i.e. reset all the photodiodes "at the same time") which means the mechanical shutter only needs to close at the end of a shot (so the close/open/close is reduced to close). Olympus calls this their anti-shock mode. There are limitations on the fastest shutter speed in this mode because they can't really reset all the photodiodes at the same time but they can reset them line by line very rapidly i.e. enough to be useful up to about 1/320s.

There are significant limitations of shooting with an electronic (rolling) shutter as no consumer still camera ships with a global shutter, yet. The readout takes time (around 1/20s in Panasonic sensors for still readout of the whole frame) and this can lead to odd image effects á la Lartigue.

Imagine using an film SLR camera with a 1/20s sync speed. The electronic rolling shutter is the same issue. If you're shooting static objects in daylight it won't be an issue but moving objects across the frame will skew and objects in changing illumination (e.g. AC powered non-incandescent lighting) will show banding as the varying illumination is faithfully recorded across the image.

Another issue is "readout noise" often increases when an electronic shutter is used on Panasonic sensors. In fact the Panasonic G5 (the first with an electronic shutter) limited maximum ISO in electronic shutter mode. It seems Panasonic speeds up the readout rate for the electronic shutter by reducing the bit depth read from the sensor from 12 bit to 10 bit. So the noise doesn't really increase but you loose the last two bits of data. Again verify with your typical scenes if this is a problem for you. This issue would only appear in the shadows near black.

This is a decent write up on the limitations of using an electronic shutter with examples for the Panasonic cameras for those who like illustrations with their hand waving!


Another vote for the fully articulated screen. As a portrait and people photographer (and longtime Panasonic user) I do a lot of verticals. Full screen movement makes high and low angles a lot easier.

And while I'm not into "selfies" I do sometimes have to stand in for my own lighting tests. The flippy screen and wifi remote save me a ton of time and steps.

So far with Panasonic I have used mostly G and GH series, but I expect there will be a GX8 in my future as soon as the budget permits. Maybe sooner, if I keep looking at your review.

Love the fully articulated screen on the G6 but have fallen for the GX7 and am willing to put up with the flip screen, which does have advantages.

My walk around outfit is the GX7+12-32 lens -- a remarkable performer, it has given me some lovely iamges.

Now -- the 12-32 lens (originally designed for the GM1/5 with an entirely different shutter) is seriously subject to Shutter Shock -- I know, I have tested it carefully with both he G6 and GX7 after being horrified by some images I got when I switched it from the GM1 to the G6.

But time and again I go out with it and get "knock your eyes out" images when I think I should get SS. Maybe I am just getting good at avoiding the danger zone -- 1/60-1/320 -- or getting into eShutter unconsciously.

I put the 12-35 on for pro work -- clients judge books by their covers and at 74 I must look "real" -- if your outfit is too ordinary looking, they think they can do as well (or better) with their P&S or phone (and sometimes they can, dammit!!! but I don't want to encourage them to try! :)).

I do use the eShutter some of the time, but I can never remember when specifically so when I look at my results, I can't reliably differentiate between eShutter and mechanical shutter shots, except when testing, of course.

The 12-32 is the only lens I have SS problems with. I haven't seen any with the Oly 9-18 or 45, or the Panny 12-35, 45-150, or 100-300.

Pity about the report of another person commenting here of SS with the Panny 14-42 (the II v ersion I presume) -- I just the other day noticed a review of it on ephotozine. Talk about an off-the-charts stellar performer!

Mike, you speak of continuity of features.

The thing that stopped me going GX8 was the lack of a built-in flash I could use as the trigger for (fairly close) remote flashes. The GX7 and G6 both have one and I do good things with them, albeit within tight limitations.

Hilariously, the GX80/85 has a built-in flash, but it is NOT RC trigger enabled although the accessory shoe next to it is for an appropriate accessory flash!

Talk about someone t Panasonic having a serious short circuit between the ears! You can almost hear the crackle from where I sit! LOL.

Mike - Your Dawn and Dusk photos are beautifull.
Cheers, Yoram

I'm now working with two GX8 cameras and am delighted with them, and two minor modifications have made them even better. The Display button falls beneath one's thumb and can easily alter the viewfinder display while shooting, which is very distracting.A small rubber washer superglued around this button has resolved this issue. I still have use of the Display button but only when I want it.
The second issue, for me at least, is the electronic viewfinder. In most situations it's superb, but it does struggle in really bright sunshine, admittedly a rare event here in England. I've solved this problem with the optional rubber eyecup which is much larger than the original unit and is so well shaped that it completely prevents stray light reaching the eye.
Regarding the dreaded shutter shock issue, I was sufficiently perturbed to conduct thorough tests on two GX8s belonging to friends before purchasing my own cameras. I have since tested these too and and have seen no sign of this phenomena. The fact that Panasonic felt inclined to issue a firmware upgrade to tackle the problem would suggest that it does exist with some cameras, perhaps an early batch. Still, my tests on 4 recent bodies show no sign of it and I feel confident to use either the mechanical or electronic shutter as the situation demands.
By the way, I came to the GX8s after shooting for two years with Olympus EM1s. Reasons to change? Well, picture quality was great but an increase in pixels is always welcome. Also, having a menu that doesn't require a degree in higher mathematics is a relief and I no longer need a full time plumber on standby to supply the various size washers to control the EM1's many badly place buttons. Why camera manufacturers don't get working photographers to get out on the street and really use their products is beyond me.

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