Panasonic GX8

2 Dec 2015 1:23PM
I have a Canon 5D MKii. I want a take anywhere camera without lense changes. I have invested in several CSC cameras before and not taken to them. Prob the nearest was Fuji xt-1 but even this seemed a touch slow and involved lens changing. I am now thinking of a bridge camera but before I go along that route I would like opinions on a Panasonic GX8 with 14-140 lens. I feel this would cover a good zoom range taking into account the crop factor but has anyone got this combination, are you happy with image quality and also do you have any better ideas. Not sure if I'm just expecting too much after the Canon..I really would appreciate feedback on this and any sample images. I've wasted a lot of money in the past so want to get it right this time. Many thanks...Keith
srh 16 54 1 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2015 1:42PM
Hi Keith,

I have a GX8 (although not the 14-140mm lens) and am absolutely chuffed to bits with it, particularly the IQ and functionality. Here's an album of images on my Flickr taken with it.

Hope this helps.

ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2015 2:39PM
Hi Keith. I have the GX8, I have a 14-140 and I am a past 5dII user. I still have my 5DII and I also specc'ed one of those for work about four years ago.

I now occasionally use the 5dII at work [because it's there], but I can't remember the last time I used my own 5dII [I've been shooting with MFT cameras for a while].

Firstly the GX8 - for stills I think it's probably the best MFT camera produced thus far [although the EM1 is also very good]. It's near as damn it the same resolution as the Canon [20mp vs 21mp] and I also think low ISO performance is about on a par [that's subjective, but I don't think there's a lot in it in spite of the Canon's much larger sensor area - but of course we are talking about a camera that's several generations newer]. What you have to bear in mind however is the amount of fine DoF control a larger sensor will give you - that's just physics and it doesn't depend on model or age a lens that's giving the angle of view of 50mm equivalent [ie 50mm lens on the larger format, 25mm lens on MFT] will act like it's going on for two stops slower in terms of limiting depth of field. Therefore f2.8 would give you the same scope as f5.6 for subject isolation.

That brings us to the lens - at f3.5 at its fastest, the focus range wide open at 14mm is massive - there's no getting around that. If you're using the long end of the range for whole subjects, obviously you can still effectively isolate - but you have to be a long way off! Super-zooms you have to realise are compromise optics - you can't expect the performance of a fast, limited range zoom, let alone a prime out of them. Usually they barrel horribly at the short end and tend to pincushion long with lots of chromatic aberration... that is except for the Panny 14-140. It may be that these flaws are fixed up in software, but it is easily the best performing super-zoom I've ever used and the range is of course very useful and it is very compact. There are no performance hits I can see over Panasonic's own standard kit lenses - in fact at the longer end of the kit optic, the superzoom will be significantly faster at the same range.

So my advice would be that you should tailor your expectations - if you're expecting equivalent performance to Canon L glass, you're bound to be disappointed [but that wouldn't be a fair comparison]. If you are wanting to easily limit DoF at short ranges you're going to be out of luck. If those things don't matter too much to you, you will be delighted. You'll also get very good remote control via WiFi, 4k video and 4k burst shooting, now with the option of 'post focus' burst shooting [which fires a sequence of shots where focus is ranged at up to 30fps].

For general photography, the GX8 with the 14-140 is a great [and relatively light] combination.
ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2015 2:42PM

Quote:Hi Keith,

I have a GX8 (although not the 14-140mm lens) and am absolutely chuffed to bits with it, particularly the IQ and functionality. Here's an album of images on my Flickr taken with it.

Hope this helps.


Nice shots, Simon - I have the 25/f1.4 too and it's one of my favourites for the subject isolation.
SlowSong Plus
12 9.3k 30 England
2 Dec 2015 3:48PM
Grrrr........... I have the 14-140 which I use on a G5 and I love it. I've been talking myself out of the GX8 for months but then topics like this come along and I want one all over again. Smile I've not heard anything bad about either the lens or the camera.
2 Dec 2015 5:36PM
Thank you for all the replies. I'm going to Cuba at end Feb and also a cruise in Sept to New England and Canada with a stay in New York so although I want a small travel camera I want quality images too. I had thought of the Panasonic bridge camera but thought the GX8 may be better on size and has the option to buy different lenses should I want them in the future 😉
Carabosse 17 41.5k 270 England
3 Dec 2015 2:47AM
The GX8 is by no means a small travel camera, I'm afraid. It has much the same bulk as an entry-level DSLR but without the hump! Wink

My small travel camera is the Panasonic LF1 which has a slightly larger than normal sensor, compared with most compacts, and it shoots RAW. I have taken it abroad and been happy with the results.
petebfrance 8 2.9k United Kingdom
3 Dec 2015 12:25PM
The Panasonic (again) GM5 is very small and I believe there are a couple of smaller lenses designed to go with it. I was really tempted, but there's no way I could get my hands on one to try other than ordering one and then sending it back if it wasn't suitable so I've no experience of using it. May be worth a look, checking reviews (has anybody here got one?) - possibly depends on size of hands and so on whether or not you could get along with it, and there are restrictions such as low flash sync speed which could be annoying 1/50th I believe, but IQ appears to be pretty good.
ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2015 3:18PM
I have a GM1 and in terms of IQ it's on a par with the GX7/most other recent MFT cameras - which is exceptional, considering its size. The drawbacks with that camera [no EVF and limited manual control] have been in some way addressed by the GM5, which has a decent EVF and [I believe] one of those excellent Panasonic push dials which alternate between the exposure parameters [A/S] in manual and aperture/exp comp, shutter/exp comp in those modes. I did get somewhat used to flipping around the limited controls on the GM1 to get some manual control, but there's no denying they're small and fiddly - even with my [relatively] small hands.

But I didn't buy the GM1 as a travel camera - I don't need to travel that light [although it's useful as a second body and carrying it along is a negligible extra, even in hand luggage]. I bought it as a stealth camera. It gives the impression of a point and shoot which will get it past door staff as well as being unintimidating to casual onlookers.

If you want manual controls the GX8 is bristling with them and although it is one of the biggest MFT bodies out there [only the GH models are bigger], it still benefits from any of the compact optics available for the system. With the Swiss-army knife lens 14-140, it's a do-it-all system that's still far more compact than any 35mm DSLR with any lens [NB - sony's A7s don't count as they aren't DSLRs]. When I go abroad I usually take one of the old camcorder style bags [many airlines allow a small 'handbag' in addition to hand luggage]. That bag allows me to take the GX8, a couple of fast zooms [the Oly 12-40 and Panny 35-100 in my case], the 20mm f1.7, Samyang 8mm fisheye, a small gorilla pod, the little Metz 26AF flash and an iPad mini]. I stick the GM1 and the tiny 12-35 collapsible zoom [and sometimes my 25/1.4 and/or 14-140] in my hand baggage.

That's a lot of kit and a lot of options taking up a small amount of space and not a lot of weight. The DSLR alternative meant cabin baggage was an essential even for shorter trips...
thebill 5 3 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2015 8:11PM
The Lumix range in general is excellent including the gx8, Can't compare with the 5D 2 as have never used one

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