Advice Wanted GX8?

fredlong

Just this guy
I've been thinking it's time to upgrade from my Olympus E-M1. I haven't really been paying attention to newer releases or what features come with them. I've been mainly focused on the Olympus E-M1mk2 and the Panasonic G9. They have the capabilities that I want and the current prices are nice.

I just noticed the Panasonic GX8. It has the resolution upgrade of the others and a tilting EVF which is very appealing to me. Can anyone share how it compares to the E-M1mk2 and G9?

I'll do some research but it would be great to hear from anyone that's used one. Especially if you've used one of the others as well.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on the subject.
 
While not the exact same I have the EM1.2 and a GX85. Basically the GX8 without the tilting EVF.

The EM1.2 would have the edge in AF and if you have larger lenses, the integrated grip still there as in your EM1.1.

If you had to choose between the 2, I’d probably stick with the devil you know and go with Olympus.

However, if you do not have large lenses, want something a bit smaller the GX8 should be fine. It took me a minute to get used to the interface and menus.

The IBIS in the GX8/85 seems good, but the Olympus is better, IMHO.

I do appreciate the monochrome mode in the Panasonic over the EM1.
 
I've been thinking it's time to upgrade from my Olympus E-M1. I haven't really been paying attention to newer releases or what features come with them. I've been mainly focused on the Olympus E-M1mk2 and the Panasonic G9. They have the capabilities that I want and the current prices are nice.

I just noticed the Panasonic GX8. It has the resolution upgrade of the others and a tilting EVF which is very appealing to me. Can anyone share how it compares to the E-M1mk2 and G9?

I'll do some research but it would be great to hear from anyone that's used one. Especially if you've used one of the others as well.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on the subject.

Having owned both an E-M1 and a GX9 - and having truly loved and appreciated both cameras, I have a few thoughts, Fred. The first of which is that both of them are superb cameras. But they handle and feel quite differently. Panasonic menus are truly different than Olympus ones, there's a bit of a learning curve if you're going from one to the other. I personally vastly prefer the Panasonic ones, but like Olympuses so much I've forced myself to adapt to their quirks and complexity.

The GX9 is somewhat larger than the E-M1, and feels very solid in hand. (Though, honestly, so does the E-M1!) It feels different shooting with a rangefinger-styled body. My favorite part of the GX8 is its large EVF/viewfinder, which is immense, immersive, and a true pleasure to use. It's just a fun camera to shoot with, period. Andrew mentioned the Panasonic monochrome modes. The GX8's is very very good - but, ironically, I sold mine to buy a newer generation of Lumix, the GX9 - which has the best monochrome mode ever made, in my opinon-- "l.monochrome.d". Sadly, the GX9 didn't have it (and was never upgraded to have it). The G9 however does have it - which in some ways, if you're really into doing monochrome photography, makes it a better choice than the GX8.

In my non-scientific point of view, Olympuses tend to have better, faster and more accurate IBIS than Lumixes. (Supposedly that's finally changed with the G9ii.) Especially for faster autofocusing on things like quick moving birds etc. Almost all of the newer Olympuses (the ones which came after your E-M1) continued to significantly improve their already excellent IBIS and AF capabilities. After reluctantly selling my E-M1 (mainly because I wanted an Olympus with significantly improved AF capabilities), I replaced it with an E-M5iii, which was a significant upgrade in many ways - and which, after I added a grip, had almost the same (small) body size as the E-M1. The newer E-Mii and iii obviously are capable of quite a bit more - but the size of a camera, and how it feels in your hands, are things which are hard to quantify... but really important in my opinion.

Hope some of this helps.
 
Andrew, Miguel,
Thank you both for your thoughts. I've used Panasonic before. My first u4/3 body was the G2. It's my all time favorite body and the menu system made more sense than Olympus. I gave up IBIS to switch to u4/3 because Olympus didn't have a body with a viewfinder. Well, not without extra expense and the need to give up the ability to use a flash.

I was happy with the IBIS in the E-M10 so all of these should be fine. I guess features, in order of importance are viewfinder, grip, control layout, IBIS and finally the stuff inside. I'll have to try get a GX8 in my hands because the tilting viewfinder is a really nice feature that's lodged in my head now.
 
Of the cameras you mentioned I currently own a GX8 and a G9.

The GX8 is a great camera to use, its viewfinder is still excellent by today standards, the fact that it tilts is remarkable, this is a feature that I use a lot. I remember that when I first saw the world through that viewfinder back in 2018-19 it was a real surprise, everything was super crisp and vivid.

The body is weather sealed, it feels robust and premium enough, however it lacks a lot of the modern Micro 4/3s features that make the system very appealing. Possibly my biggest complain would be the IBIS, it is not even close to the G9 or any of my Olympus cameras. When paired with a lens supporting DUAL IS 2 it improves a lot, but you are still limited by your lens selection in that regard.

The 20 MP sensor, which by the way was the first in the Micro 4/3s world still delivers. I have said it before and I will say it again, modern software definitely can compensate for that when shooting at high ISO values.

The G9 is completely a different camera, not only in shape and form, but it has way many modern features and capabilities that put it on different league than the GX8. In my opinion the G9 even today in 2024 feels current whereas the GX8 not entirely, but lets not forget that the GX8 was released in 2015 and the G9 in late 2017.

If Panasonic was to produce a modern GX8 with all the bells and whistles of the modern Micro 4/3s world it would easily be a purchase for me.

Having said all that, the GX8 is the only camera that I own, that I once sold only to purchase it again a few years later. Why? Despite the fact that it lacks a lot, it is an unique product in the system, it offers things that no other cameras offer and I appreciate that.

The GX8 was a misunderstood camera back in the day, the GX9 made things even more complicated. The only way everything makes sense on the Panasonic line of cameras is the following Japanese name convention:
-Lumix GX7
-Lumix GX8
-Lumix GX85 (Called GX7 Mk II in Japan)
-Lumix GX9 (Called GX7 Mk III in Japan)

As you can see the GX8 was an attempt by Panasonic to make a different beast altogether, but its weird name conventions and lack of some features made it a commercial failure.
 
The GX-8 is perfect for form/size imo. It's a camera that has "soul" in my experience. The sensor is very good, the EVF is brilliant. It feels great to use. It's IBIS is not as good as current, but still very nice. Some users, at some shutter speeds, have reported shutter shock - and it's a real thing - , but i've never noticed it.

Buy this camera, add the PL 15mm and a wrist strap and get out there and shoot. It's a very very good outfit and it makes you feel good using it.
 
Ok , you've inspired me to get the Gx8 out.

I was shooting bees with the Om-1 , so I put the 100-400 on the Gx8. Focusing is slower and I was losing the light , but this is a jpeg at iso4000 .

I think it stands up to any current MFT sensor pretty damn well.


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Technically, the G9 / OM1 etc are better cameras in terms of features and fancy abilities, but the Gx-8 has a form factor that i love. I will never sell mine.
 
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We are all very different but amusingly, [to some], my new favourite camera is a mint,perfectly functional, EM1i [$300 AUD]which I feel is destined to supplant my Em1ii in a lot of situations by way of it's tilting rear screen and modest size and weight.
I had a GX8. Obviously a very nice EVF. However I found I rarely used the tilting function even though it was one of the things that attracted me to the camera in the first place.
I have seen the IBIS rated as one [1] stop.
One thing about the GX8 that drove me bananas was the placement of the display button just below the thumb grip. I found I was pressing it constantly when shooting and then I had to scroll through all the screen options to find my prefered.
So for me....EM1i to GX8?...nuh ah.
I'd say the EM1ii is a better alternative.
 
I had and shot the GX8 exclusively between early 2016 and the summer of 2019, when I bought the G9 after a trip to an airshow with the GX8. The GX8 was sold off in spring of 21 for a GX9, after shooting the models back to back.

The GX8 is a very nice camera, but at that day and age it felt a bit dated, when compared to the GX9 and G9. I think I would rate it to be on par with the OG EM1, that you have technically, but with 20MPs instead of 16. It also was the second Lumix body to sport IBIS, but got a full 5 axis one, not the 3 Axsis of the GX7.

I shot mine quite a lot with the Oly 40-150 f:2.8 Pro and it worked decently with that biggun. It does have a flip screen, though, not a tiltable one.

I plan to get another copy in due time, but would at this day and age go for either the G9, the G90 or the EM1-MkII most likely one of the latter. The G9 is a proper beast to lug around.
 
In the last month I have bought two GX8. I already owned a G80 and a GX80. I love the GX80 but it is not weatherproof and the EVF is a little small if you wear glasses. The G80 is great, it's weatherproof, it's essentially flawless except the GX8 has a bigger, brighter EVF. So I bought a GX8. Loved it. But it was faulty and could not produce a sharp image. Got a refund. Bought another GX8. This one works. Compared to the GX80: it is better balanced. It just feels right. It feels lighter in the hand despite being heavier, because it fits better. It has many more function buttons but is slightly less prone to having those button activated unexpectedly in use. The resolution difference of 16 vs 20 MP? It does not even matter. Forget it. The newer GX80 and G80 16MP sensors without a low pass filter are capable of better resolution than the 20MP sensors with a low pass filter. But that difference is very small. The 5 axis IBIS of the newer 16MP sensors definitely and visibly outperforms the GX8's 4 axis IBIS. But it's not that often you'll discover this. Shutter shock: GX8: it's crap. Use the electronic shutter. Even with newest firmware in body and lens the camera will still use mechanical shutter at speeds where softness from shutter shock is evident. The GX80 and G80 give perfectly sharp results with mechanical shutter and extremely good 5 axis IBIS combined with lens IS with most Lumix lenses. With the GX8 you need to pay more attention to shutter speeds and keeping the body steady.

GX8 does not have the very beautiful L.Monochrome JPEG output of the newer 16MP sensors of the G80 and GX80.

The GX8 is pretty good for people with large hands. I love my GX80 but it is fiddly as hell and sometimes this is an obstacle. The GX8 is a much easier to use for me. I am a litle over 5' 10 , so about 1.78 metres.

The GX8 has an EVF which is perfect and beautiful, with great dioptre adjustment. It's better than every film SLR and DSLR I ever tried (I wear glasses, am 58 and familiar with top of the range Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Pentax, Olympus SLRs of the 70s, 80s and 90s ). For glasses wearers it's better than the best 35mm film SLRs and probably massively better than any other camera you ever tried.

If you do not require weatherproofing and are happy with quite small interfaces, buttons and EVF then the GX80 is better than the GX8. The 16MP Panasonic sensors without OLPF are fabulous. But if you need an excellent EVF get the GX8.
 
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