July 16, 2015

Panasonic Gives the GH4 Two More Affordable 4K Video Siblings: GX8 & FZ300

Panasonic GX8 Front

Adding to their already impressive lineup of mirrorless 4K video-shooting cameras, Panasonic has announced two brand new cameras that can shoot UHD video up to 30fps: the Lumix DMC-GX8 which will retail for $1,200 and the $600 DMC-FZ300. While the FZ300 features an impressive built-in zoom, the real showstopper between these two cameras is the sensor stabilization on the GX8. By working in conjunction with optical image stabilization, this camera is capable of some amazingly steady handheld shots. 

The splash and dust-proof GX8 has also received an addition that hopefully finds its way into higher-end Panasonic cameras: an EVF that extends and rotates up to allow you to keep the camera lower than eye level just like you would with a rotatable LCD screen. 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8

Panasonic GX8 Back

With its brand new 20MP sensor, the GX8 seems to be a step up from the GH4 in certain respects, so it will be interesting to see if we find this sensor in a future GH5, or if Panasonic will keep the megapixel count lower for their more video-centric camera.

And some footage:

Here are the main specs of the GX8:

  • 20.3 MP, 5184 x 3888 Micro 4/3 Digital Live MOS Sensor
  • Venus Engine Image Processor
  • MP4 Recording resolutions:
    • 3840 x 2160p / 30 fps, 24fps (100mbps)
    • 1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28 Mbps)
    • 1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (20 Mbps)
    • 1280 x 720p / 30 fps (10 Mbps)
    • 640 x 480p / 30 fps (4 Mbps)
  • ​AVCHD Recording Resolutions
    • 1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28 Mbps)
    • 1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (24 Mbps)
    • 1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (24 Mbps)
    • 1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (17 Mbps)
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • Tilting 2.36m-Dot 0.77x OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • 10 fps Shooting with AF-S
  • DFD AF System, 4K Photo Modes
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization, Dual I.S.
  • Weight: 1.07 lb with Battery and Memory Card
  • Availability: August 2015
  • Price: $1,200 Body Only

Panasonic GX8 Top

Nick Driftwood also took a look at the camera. Here's his overview and some footage:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300

Panasonic FZ300

Intro video:

And the main specs of the FZ300:

  • 12.1 MP, 4000 x 3000 1/2.3" MOS Sensor
  • Venus Engine Image Processor
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmarit f/2.8 Lens
  • 25-600mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 3840 x 2160p: 30 fps, 24 fps
  • 1920 x 1080p: 60 fps, 30 fps
  • 1280 x 720p: 120 fps, 30 fps
  • 640 x 480p: 240 fps, 30 fps
  • 1.44m-Dot 0.7x OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Free Angle Touchscreen
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • ISO 100-6400
  • 12 fps Shooting, 4K Photo Mode
  • 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+, DFD AF System
  • Availability: September 2015
  • Price: $600 with Built-in Lens

Panasonic FZ300 Back

Panasonic Post Focus

Here's a little bit from the company on this function (which will be coming to cameras like the GX8 and the FZ300 in future firmware updates:

With the Post Focus function, the best image can be selected from the 4K burst images shot with different focus areas. Once the composition is fixed, you are free from the job of serious focusing. In addition, this function can be used for creative photography such as landscapes or portraits. Users can pull different impressions out of one picture by changing the subject to enhance it with focus. The operation of the Post Focus function is quite easy – just touch the point where you want to set focus while playing back the image, no matter where the original focus area is, and the image with different in-focus area will be produced as a separate photo.

I would imagine you'll see many more of these modes, especially as cameras shoot and focus faster all the time. For those who aren't as skilled, or for situations where you're firing off photos very fast, this looks like it will be a welcome addition. For those shooting video, your focus pullers are safe for now (even with improvements in video AF), as this is a stills-only function. 

Check out the links for more and to pre-order.      

Your Comment

21 Comments

I am curious to find out if the GX8 has a shooting time limit ?

I don't always shoot long format, but it's nice to know that I can.

July 16, 2015 at 11:09AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32648

Yes, not on specs above but there is a 30 minute limit.

July 16, 2015 at 11:26AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

That image looks great. And what a low price!! But the 30 minute limit excludes it for my use. :-(

July 18, 2015 at 4:28PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
664

Anybody know how the GX8 stabilization will work with an adapted lens? The video mentions "dual stabilization" with the sensor and lens in combination, but I assume that will only work with a Panasonic lens. Will you still get favorable stabilization with a canon lens and a metabones adaptor for example?

July 16, 2015 at 11:10AM

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Rafael Moses
Director
96

My guess is that the IS from the lens and sensor work separately. So the sensor should work with anything that introduces light. In theory, metabones EF should work. Unless that technology have something weird we haven't heard about.

July 16, 2015 at 11:37AM

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Edgar More
All
1215

"Dual I.S. requires the use of compatible Lumix lenses featuring O.I.S."

July 16, 2015 at 12:27PM

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Sentry
107

Excellent move. Panasonic don't play around.

July 16, 2015 at 11:29AM, Edited July 16, 11:29AM

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Edgar More
All
1215

Awesome. Looks like Panasonic's response to the Samsung NX1 / NX500. On the Panasonic side, the tiltable EVF and fully rotatable screen seem better. On the Samsung side, you have 1080p120, 28 MP images, and AF for video. I'd love to see a comparison between the IS systems. I can attest to the Samsung IS being really impressive. Either way, the tools we have to work with are just getting better and better. This is what I love about competing brands :)

July 16, 2015 at 12:19PM, Edited July 16, 12:19PM

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Micah Dudash
Independent Filmmaker
169

I would love to see Panasonic join forces w/ the likes of Canon one day. Because their hardware evolutions far exceed those of the bigger companies bar none.

That said, I've never been all too fond of Panasonic's skin tones from their sensors. I'm unsure if it's the color science of the sensors ALONE (as I've seen examples from a variety of cameras and lens generations), or the the lens playing a strong part in the soup. Their skin tones always seem to resemble a broken Luma curve of some sort, combined with an overabundance of pink'ish tonalities and mid-muddy orange blotches on Caucasian skin.

Not all too attractive.

July 16, 2015 at 5:22PM

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2.5mm microphone jack? Great - none of the microphones I use in my GH4 will fit. This is a larger camera than the GX7, so I thought that if though Panasonic were going to support external microphones in the latest model, they'd use a standard size

July 16, 2015 at 5:28PM

12
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GH2 has that port too. Get an adapter.
On the plus side, there is a third party cable to reduce the gain from a line signal and run it into the mic port.

July 16, 2015 at 5:55PM

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Charlie K
1298

Panasonic is selling a 25-600mm/2.8 lens (equivalent) for $600? Nice.
Wait. And throwing in a free camera, with five axis optical stabilization and 24P AVCHD UHD capture?

July 16, 2015 at 5:53PM

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Charlie K
1298

The GX8 looks super cool, especially the one with the silver top. But why is it $500 cheaper for the GX8 body than the GH4 body? What advantages does the GH4 have? Seems like GX8 has everything you need to shoot killer video.

July 16, 2015 at 6:03PM, Edited July 16, 6:03PM

13
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Just from a quick glance at the GX8 specs it looks like the GH4 has more/better data rate, bit rate and color space (when using the HDMI out) options. Plus there's the variable frame rate and some other stuff I'm sure.

July 16, 2015 at 7:35PM

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John Morse
Producer + Director
2265

You'd think after a year the double posting bug would be fixed....

July 16, 2015 at 7:35PM, Edited July 16, 7:36PM

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John Morse
Producer + Director
2265

The GH4 has no record time limit. Unfortunately both of these new cameras have that awful 30 minute limit.

July 18, 2015 at 4:30PM

6
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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
664

Ugh, when will manufacturers learn not to automatically reduce the bitrate along with resolution or frame rate?

Really tiresome. This thing can do 100 Mbps, but if you want to do HD (for slow motion, for example), you only get 28 Mbps. WTF?

July 16, 2015 at 11:14PM

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David Gurney
DP
1264

From the pictures it looks like there's an HDMI out. Couldn't find any info on the spec sheet, but does anyone know about the quality of signal the GX8 spits out of that HDMI port?

July 17, 2015 at 12:47AM, Edited July 17, 12:47AM

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Ty
Cinematographer, Editor, Director
523

Very nice 4K video for $600.00. If I could get the ear of Panasonic I would ask them to stop having the 30 minute limit. I cannot have a limit. I would like to use their cameras. They are kicking butt with what they've done with 4K camera pricing. I want to use their cameras just because of that.

July 18, 2015 at 4:27PM, Edited July 18, 4:27PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
664

Incredible innovation!!! Panasonic continues to show love to the consumer with these new high quality, yet affordable, 4K cameras. The $600 price for the DZ300 sets a new bench mark and puts a decent 4K Video Cam within a consumer's reach. This is where in years past 3D dropped the ball and was never widely embraced by consumers, and where other 4K competitors still miss the mark.

Thank you Panasonic, you have managed this while still holding the cutting edge of the technology and amazingly, while other competitors add features and raise their prices each year, you continue to lower the doorknob to your new products and have now put the price of the DZ300 at a level that makes choosing between the new DZ300 and a GoPro Hero4 Black as easy as choosing between a dollar and a dime.

Exciting times in the 4K Video realm and it all begs the question when will Panasonic packages their new Dual I.S. into an action camera? When they do, it may sweep the drone aerial cinematography market off its feet; especially if it's a sports cam with 4K at 60 fps. (affordable SSD memory is the next frontier).

July 19, 2015 at 4:09PM

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Can't wait to see when Panasonic debuts a 4K spherical VR Camera that can be split mounted over and under a drone so there is no field of view loss.

July 19, 2015 at 4:17PM

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Interesting move. If you want decent stabilization, you are limited to Panasonic lenses. I call that a Trojan Horse.

August 13, 2016 at 12:33AM, Edited August 13, 12:33AM

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