Panasonic launches 4K, GX8 camera

Compact system cameras

 Panasonic's GX8
4K update: Panasonic’s GX8 has 4K video and 4K photo modes. Image: Panasonic

Panasonic has announced the Lumix GX8, its latest rangefinder-style Micro Four Thirds camera and the first in the GX line to offer 4K video recording.

The new compact system camera means Panasonic now has a 4K camera across its Micro Four Thirds line-up: the fixed lens, compact, LX100, the semi-pro G7, the pro-spec GH4 and now the GX8.

The DMC-GX8 offers a number of advantages over the HD-only GX7. Although a physically similar, rangefinder style design with a rear screen and an EVF, the GX8 makes use of a higher resolution sensor than previous Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras, delivering 20.33 effective megapixels.

The camera has a dual image stablisation system, with sensor-shift stabilisation built in, potentially allowing steadier shots with non-Panasonic lenses.

The new camera also records both 4K video – up to UHD, 3840×2160 pixels at 100mbps – and 4K photo “bursts” of up to 29m59s. In PAL mode, 25 and 24fps are selectable and in HD mode, up to 50p. Movies are in MP4 mode with AAC audio, although AVCHD is an option for HD recording.

For 4K photos, the burst mode supports up to 30 frames a second in 4K, and there is a 2-second pre-burst. The GX8 has a loop recording mode similar to the GH4 and also offers selectable aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and even 1:1. Video can be recorded in Cinelike D and Cinelike V, and the ISO ranges from a native 200ASA (100ASA extended) to 25,600ASA in stills mode and 6,400ASA in video mode.

The GX8 has a micro HDMI socket and an internal stereo mic, and unlike earlier GX series cameras, a mic input. The input is a 2.5mm rather than 3.5mm stereo jack, but its inclusion removes one of the main limitations of the GX series for video journalism. The camera also supports WiFi and near-field communications (NFC).

The launch kit for the GX8 will include Panasonic’s well-regarded 12-35mm f2.8 zoom lens.