Two months after introducing the mirrorless Panasonic DMC-G7, the Panasonic corporation has decided it is time to expand its line-up once again and announced two new models - Panasonic DMC-GX8 and Panasonic DMC-FZ300.
The Panasonic DMC-GX8 arrives in a sealed, magnesium-alloy housing, which makes it dustproof and resistant to poor weather conditions, and it brings some innovations for the Micro Four Thirds format. It is the first Micro Four Thirds camera whose Live MOS sensor exceeds the 20MP limit - it features 20.3MP, in relation to 16MP of its predecessor Panasonic DMC-GX7. In combination with the Venus Engine processor, which has also been updated, this sensor brings exceptional performances, a high level of noise reduction (NR), the maximum ISO 25,600, continuous shooting at 8 fps (AF-S) / 6 fps (AF-C), and what is particularly important - 4K video.
Like all Lumix G models, the GX8, too, boasts 4K video (3840 x 2160) at 30 fps. As in the case of the new mirrorless Panasonic G7, there is also an option of extracting 8MP photos out of 4K videos in the so-called 4K Photo Mode. Moreover, the 4K Photo Mode brings three new, absolutely amazing functions, which will make 4K photography even easier - 4K Burst Shooting, 4K Burst Start/Stop (S/S), and 4K Pre-burst. The 4K Burst Shooting provides 30 fps continuous shooting as long as your finger is on the shutter button. The 4K Burst Start/Stop delivers the same 30 fps continuous shooting, yet the shooting starts by pressing the shutter button once, and continues until you press it once again; this option is more convenient for the shooting opportunities requiring longer waiting time. As for the 4K Pre-burst, it automatically records a total of 60 images right before/after the shutter has been released.
Further advancements on the MILC Panasonic GX8 have to do with its stabilization system, as well as autofocus. For the first time in the Lumix G series, there is a camera featuring the Dual IS (Image Stabilizer), which consists of sensor-shift and lens-shift IS. Both of these stabilizations (Body IS and Lens IS) function simultaneously and allow for more powerful vibration correction, not only when shooting wide angles, but also in telephoto shooting. As for video recording, vibration correction is carried out by means of the 5-axis Hybrid OIS+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus), yet it is unavailable for 4K videos.
Significant improvement in relation to the previous generation took place at the level of the AF system. The Panasonic GX8's contrast AF system features the DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, which brings great speed and accuracy - the exchange of the digital signal between the camera and the lens takes place at the maximum 240 fps, which enables autofocus for only 0.07 seconds! The number of AF points has been increased to 49, in relation to 23 in the case of the GX7. In addition, focus can be set on subjects in very low light, even at -4EV, which is equal to moonlight, even without the AF assist lamp.
The Panasonic DMC-GX8 also boasts a tilting 3" 1,040,000-dot LCD touch screen, a 2,360,000 OLED electronic viewfinder with 1.54x magnification, which is also fully articulated, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC, while on the top panel, next to the front and the rear, there is a dedicated exposure compensation dial, which lets users set -5EV to +5EV. There is no built-in flash, while external flash is optional, via hot shoe.
As far as the new Panasonic DMC-FZ300 is concerned, this is a superzoom camera equipped with an equivalent 25-600mm f/2.8 lens (the same like its predecessor Panasonic DMC-FZ200), which brings superb 24x optical zoom. The FZ300 also kept the same sensor - 12.1MP Live MOS - with ISO 100-6400, while the Venus Engine processor has been updated, yet delivers the same burst speed - 12 fps in the AF-S mode (6 fps in the AF-C).
What is new with the FZ300 in relation to the previous generation is mostly the same as in the case of the new GX8. The FZ300 sports 4K video (3840 x 2160) at 30 fps, with the 4K Photo Mode for extracting 8MP photos from 4K videos (4K Burst Shooting, 4K Burst Start/Stop (S/S), and 4K Pre-burst). The AF system also uses the advanced DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, but the speed is one iota lower in comparison to the GX8 and it now totals 0.09 seconds - approximately 350% faster in relation to the FZ200! As for the image stabilization, the new DMC-FZ300 features a 2-axis Hybrid OIS system for shooting stills and a 5-axis Hybrid OIS+ for video recording (however, this is not available in 4K).
Panasonic fitted this new camera into a sealed housing, too, which makes it dustproof and resistant to poor weather conditions. The rear side is dominated by a tilting 3" 1,040,000-dot LCD touch screen, while framing photos and videos can also be performed by means of a 1,440,000-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.7x magnification. On top of everything else, the FZ300 superzoom boasts the RAW format support, as well as built-in Wi-Fi.
The Panasonic DMC-GX8 will come up for sale in August, in all-black or black-and-silver variants, and its price will be $1199.99; as for the Panasonic DMC-FZ300, it will arrive on the world market in October, in black, and it will be priced at $599.99.