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Unveiled: Panasonic Mirrorless GX8 + Long Zoom FZ300 with 4K Photo + 4K Video

4K is becoming a more and more desirable feature in compact cameras, and Panasonic is definitely listening, as demonstrated by the release of the Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera and the Lumix DMC-FZ300 Digital Camera, both with advanced 4K Photo and UHD 4K Video capabilities. A long-awaited update to the company’s flat-type mirrorless camera line, the GX8 brings with it a higher-resolution, 20.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor and a Dual I.S. shake-compensation system that leverages both in-body and lens stabilizers simultaneously. In the compact world, the FZ300 brings a ruggedized body with splash and dust resistance, as well as improved AF speed and burst shooting.

Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera

Of course, the highlight feature of Panasonic’s DMC-GX8 is the implementation of UHD 4K Video and 4K Photo modes in an increasingly compact Micro Four Thirds camera body. This is possible thanks to the use of the latest Venus Engine image processor and a newly developed 20.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor, which also enable the capture of highly detailed stills at sensitivities up to ISO 25600. Another development for Panasonic we can find in the GX8 is Dual I.S. with the ability to simultaneously combine in-body and in-lens stabilization systems to greatly minimize camera shake.

Delving deeper into the details of 4K reveal this camera’s ability to capture images at a UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 at up to 30 fps at 100 Mbps. This means users will be able to shoot high-resolution videos, as well as pull 8-megapixel stills from the image sensor while shooting, ensuring you won’t miss the decisive moment. There are a lot of different settings for this, including a 4K Burst for continuous capture, 4K Burst Start/Stop for extracting images later, and 4K Pre-Burst, which records one second before and after the shutter is pressed.

Body design has always been a huge part of the GX-line with a flat, rangefinder-like construction. This model uses a die-cast, magnesium-alloy frame with seals that provide splash- and dust proofing for use in less-than-ideal weather. It has a tilting 2,360k-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with a 0.77x magnification for composing, along with a 1,040k-dot rear OLED monitor that tilts and swivels. The front, of course, features a Micro Four Thirds mount for compatibility with a vast range of lenses.

Speed has been improved in many regards, with a High-Speed AF system with Depth-From-Defocus (DFD) technology. This allows for lock-on speeds as fast as 0.07 seconds and a burst shooting speed of 6 fps with continuous AF. Low-light shooting is now possible at -4 EV with a Star Light AF mode, which is optimized for shooting the night sky. Also, the mechanical shutter is capable of speeds up to 1/8000-second while the electronic shutter can reach a maximum of 1/16000-second.

Other features implemented on this camera to improve video recording include a built-in stereo mic, a 2.5mm mic jack, Cinelike D and Cinelike V gamma profiles, and flicker reduction. Also, the GX8 has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for working with a smartphone or tablet and it will accept SD cards. In-camera RAW development is available, as well, for tweaking images without needing a computer. The camera will be available in black or silver.


 
   

Lumix DMC-FZ300 Digital Camera

Updating the long-zoom point-and-shoot line, the DMC-FZ300 shares many of the improvements found in the GX8, including 4K Photo and UHD 4K Video modes. This camera, though, offers a fixed zoom lens with a far reaching 25-600mm equivalent zoom range and an impressive constant f/2.8 aperture. Benefitting this zoom is a 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S.+, which reduces blur from camera shake at slower shutter speeds and longer focal lengths. Also, a Level Shot Function will detect the horizon line and maintain it when the camera is tilted.

The FZ300 enjoys faster autofocusing using Panasonic’s Depth-From-Defocus (DFD) technology. This system calculates the distance between foreground and background to bring the subject into focus in a single quick movement. This is possible through the use of the latest Venus Engine image processor in combination with the 12.1-megapixel 1/2.3" MOS sensor, which also works to create images with low noise at up to ISO 6400.

Body design has been improved with splash- and dust resistance while it utilizes both a 3.0" 1,040k-dot free-angle touchscreen rear LCD and 1,440k-dot 0.7x OLED viewfinder for image composition. Multiple dials are available on the sturdy handgrip for ease of operation, and a side lever on the lens barrel helps improve lens control. Additionally, it has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for use with the Panasonic Image app and a 3.5mm mic jack.

  Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera  Lumix DMC-GX7 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera 
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds Micro Four Thirds
Image Sensor Live MOS Live MOS
Effective Pixels 20.3MP 16.0MP
Total Pixels 21.77MP 16.84MP
Maximum Resolution 5184 x 3888 4592 x 3448
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
Still Image File Format RAW, JPEG, MPO RAW, JPEG, MPO
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC
Card Slot 1 x SD 1 x SD
Viewfinder Type 2,360k-dot 90° tilting OLED Live Viewfinder 2,764k-dot 90° tilting OLED Live Viewfinder
Frame Coverage 100% 100%
Magnification 0.77x (35mm equivalent) 0.70x (35mm equivalent)
Eyepoint 21mm from eyepiece lens 17.5mm from eyepiece lens
Diopter Adjustment -4.0 to +3.0 -4.0 to +3.0
Shutter Type Focal-plane shutter Focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed Still Images: 1/8000-60 seconds, 30 minutes (Bulb)
Motion Picture: 1/16000-1/25 second
Electronic Shutter: 1/16000-1 second
Still Images: 1/8000-60 seconds, 2 minutes (Bulb)
Motion Picture: 1/16000-1/25 second
Flash Sync Speed 1/250 second 1/320 second
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 10 fps at full resolution 5 fps at full resolution
Self-Timer 10, 2 sec. 10, 2 sec.
Exposure Metering System 1728-zone multi-pattern sensing system 1728-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Metering Method Multi, Center-Weighted, Spot Multi, Center-Weighted, Spot
Metering Range 0 to 18 EV 0 to 18 EV
Exposure Modes Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in 1/3 EV steps ±5 EV in 1/3 EV steps
Exposure Bracketing 3, 5, 7 frames in 1/3, 2/3, or 1 EV step, Max ±3 EV, single/burst 3, 5, 7 frames in 1/3, 2/3, or 1 EV step, Max ±3 EV, single/burst
ISO Sensitivity Auto, ISO 200-25600 (Extended: ISO 100-25600) Auto, ISO 200-25600 (Extended: ISO 125-25600)
Autofocus System Contrast AF Contrast AF
Number of Focus Points 49 23
Focus Modes Quick AF, Continuous AF, AF+MF, Eye Sensor AF, Touch AF/AE Function, Touch Pad AF, Touch Shutter, MF Assist, Touch MF Assist, One Shot AF Quick AF, Continuous AF, AF+MF, Eye Sensor AF, Touch AF/AE Function, Touch Pad AF, Touch Shutter, MF Assist, Touch MF Assist, One Shot AF
Autofocus Sensitivity -4 to 18 EV -4 to 18 EV
Built-In Flash No Yes, Guide Number: 16.4' / 5 m at ISO 100
Flash Control TTL TTL
Flash Modes Auto, Auto/Red-Eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Slow Sync/Red-Eye Reduction, Forced Off Auto, Auto/Red-Eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Slow Sync/Red-Eye Reduction, Forced Off
Flash Compensation ±3 EV in 1/3 EV steps ±3 EV in 1/3 EV steps
Flash Synchronization 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain
External Flash Interface Hot shoe Hot shoe
White Balance Modes Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Flash, White Set 1, 2, Color Temperature Setting Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Flash, White Set 1, 2, Color Temperature Setting
White Balance Bracketing 3 exposures 3 exposures
Movie Recording 3840 x 2160: 30p, 24p (100 Mbps)
1920 x 1080: 60p (28 Mbps), 30p (24, 20 Mbps), 60i (17 Mbps), 24p (24 Mbps)
1280 x 720: 30p (10 Mbps)
640 x 480: 30p (4 Mbps)
1920 x 1080: 60p (28 Mbps), 30p (24, 20 Mbps), 60i (17 Mbps), 24p (24 Mbps)
1280 x 720: 60p (17 Mbps), 30p (10 Mbps)
640 x 480: 30p (4 Mbps)
File Format AVCHD, MP4 AVCHD, MP4
Audio Recording Yes, built-in stereo mic Yes, built-in stereo mic
Audio File Format AVCHD: Dolby Digital 2 ch
MP4: AAC 2 ch
AVCHD: Dolby Digital 2 ch
MP4: AAC 2 ch
External Microphone Input 2.5mm N/A
Headphone Jack N/A N/A
Maximum Recording Time 29 min. 59 sec. 29 min. 59 sec.
Monitor 3.0" 1,040k-dot tilting touchscreen LCD 3.0" 1,040k-dot tilting touchscreen LCD
Interface USB 2.0 Multi
miniHDMI (Type C)
USB 2.0 Multi
miniHDMI (Type C)
Wi-Fi Yes Yes
GPS N/A N/A
Power Source 1 x Li-ion battery pack 1 x Li-ion battery pack
Battery Life Rear Monitor: 330-340 images
LVF: 310-320 images
320-350 images
Operating Environment Temperature: 32-104°F / 0-40°C
Humidity: 10-80% relative
Temperature: 32-104°F / 0-40°C
Humidity: 10-80% relative
Dimensions 5.2 x 3.1 x 2.5" / 133.2 x 77.9 x 63.1mm 4.8 x 2.8 x 2.2" / 122.6 x 70.7 x 54.6mm
Weight 1.1 lb / 487 g with SD card and battery 0.9 lb / 402 g with SD card and battery

Discussion 19

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Can the lens on the FZ 300 be zoomed manually or is it motor driven via a switch?

It is motor driven via the larger switch on the left side of the lens marked "T/W". 

does the GX 8 have a flash

Hi Murr -

The above chart is correct.  There is no built-in flash, but the flash capability is available,  with an external and optional flash unit.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

This looks and has the specs of the Panasonic FZ 150 from about 5 years ago...a great camera by the way, back then..

but this is the same camera except with the 4k video,,,,,, both have 25-600 Leica lens, very sharp,... and the 12 mb cmos

Is there any time limit for 4K video shooting (such as 30 min) with GX8 or FZ300? 

Thanks!

Yes, both cap at 29mins 59 seconds.

What  Kind of Microphone or What is the recomended to use for the "External Microphone Input"  In The Lumix DMC-GX8 ?

The GX8 features a 2.5mm microphone input that also doubles as a remote input.  You can use any of the Panasonic-brand microphone options or use a 3.5mm to 2.5mm jack adapter to use any other brand mics. 

I see a hot shoe in each of these cameras' images yet their specifications indicate no external flash interface?  Really?

The FZ300 does show external flash option and hot shoe in the specifications. Also I see external flash option listed for accessories on the BH site.

How does this camera stack up against the GH4 if I want a 4K camera to fly on a 6 prop drone ?

Overall the majority of the general features/specifications are the same. The only notable difference to conisder is that the GX8 weighs slightly less which likely is good for your drone work, and the battery life is not rated as great as the GH4. While they do not list the run time for the battery in video mode for the GX8 yet, it is rated to shoot a 330 still images per battery charge vs 500 in the GH4.  That may or may not affect your use of it. 

I have a FZ150 which has been a great camera and served me well but am now thinking of an upgrade what advantages does the FZ300 have over the FZ150 particularly for photo shooting.

f,2.8 all the way from 25 to 600 mm for a starter-- no losing aperture (and therefore shutter speed) as you zoom. No more being afraid to  zoom in low light because the exposure will be too low. Also, the electronic viewfinder has much higher definition than the 150. A lot closer to an optical SLR. These were the 2 advantages of the FZ200 that are carried forward to the 300. 

As the Panasonic DMC-FZ300 has just recently been announced and is not yet available for testing or reviews, we only have the information in the press release and specifications to compare the two cameras.  That being said, while I see there are improvements to the camera's design, I do not see a ton that would specifically address photo needs. The new camera is weather-sealed, so it can now be used in inclement weather, it has a larger electronic viewfinder with higher magnification and better shielding from external lighting, and both the EVF and the LCD screen has been greatly improved in regards to image quality and resolution, and the screen is now a touch screen.  It has improved the maximum light sensitivity in regards to its ISO settings, and has 24p video for a real film feel to the image.  It also has their 4K Photo mode, and has three 4K burst modes, and allows you to pull 8MP still images directly from a 4K video.  Other differences is more customization and some button movement.  The optics are the same and still have the constant f/2.8 throughout the zoom range.  The FZ150 does have better battery life and is slightly smaller in size.  The FZ300 is expected to be a nice improvement over the FZ150, but I can't state at this moment that there will be a noticable difference in image quality.  The main differences you will notice is in the camera's handling, build quality, and the aforementioned better viewfinder/LCD screen.

The above table needs a correction in that the EVF for the GX7 is an LCD panel (not OLED like the GX8 is).

Important decision: How does the FZ300 compare with the FZ1000 in low light situations, still and video? I'm very disappointed with the limitations in available light (owing to sensor size, of course?) with my 'antiquated' FZ100, so is the sensor size the same in the FZ300?  Also, any idea of the price of the FZ300? Thanks, people.

Just to aliviate any potential confusion, I am addressing 3 cameras here, the new FZ300, the current FZ1000, and your previous (now discontinued) FZ100 camera. 

Sensor size has less to do with a camera's low light capabiltiy than other factors do.  The main factor being the ISO range of the camera, and second to that is the pixel ***** and pixel arrangement and types used by the manufacturers.  In the case of the FZ300 vs the FZ1000, the sensor size is smaller (1 2//3 vs a 1" sensor in the FZ1000).  You're FZ100 has the same size sensor as the new FZ300, but the FZ300 dropped its pixel ***** which tends to cause less noise.    The ISO range on the FZ1000 is much broader and will perform better than the FZ300 (the FZ300's top ISO is 6400 while the FZ1000 goes up to 25,600).

The FZ300 has not yet been released, so we do not have any feedback from users to comment on its real-world image quality and performance.  Below is a link to the FZ300 camera on our website where you may view the current price/accessories and other details.

http://bhpho.to/1J0fVWv