News & New Prod­ucts

ProPhoto - - CONTENTS -

Mak­ing news in this is­sue are Canon’s plans for a 120 MP D-SLR and an 8K video cam­era, Pana­sonic’s Lu­mix GX8, Olym­pus’s up­graded en­try-level OM-D cam­era, a swag of lenses from Nikon, and much more. As usual, we also pub­lish a cal­en­dar of the im­por­tant imag­ing events hap­pen­ing lo­cally and over­seas over the com­ing months. For the latest news from the imag­ing in­dus­try visit www.avhub.com.au

Pana­sonic con­tin­ues to demon­strate it’s in tune with what pho­tog­ra­phers want in a mir­ror­less cam­era. Fol­low­ing the SLR-style Lu­mix G7 launched a cou­ple of months ago comes the Lu­mix GX8, the com­pany’s latest rangefinder-style model.

The GX8 re­places the highly pop­u­lar GX7 and re­tains that model’s novel tilt­ing viewfinder ar­range­ment, but has an all-new sen­sor, the ad­vanced ‘4K Photo’ modes in­tro­duced with the G7, an ad­justable-an­gle mon­i­tor screen, faster con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing speeds and an up­graded aut­o­fo­cus­ing sys­tem.

The EVF tilts through 90 de­grees and em­ploys an OLED-type panel with a res­o­lu­tion of 2.36 mil­lion dots. The mag­ni­fi­ca­tion is in­creased to 0.77x (35mm for­mat equiv­a­lent) and the scene cov­er­age is 100 per­cent. A larger eye­cup ad­dresses the is­sue of ‘light leak­age’ which was prob­lem­atic on the GX7. The 7.62 cm mon­i­tor screen is also an OLED panel and ad­justable for both tilt and swing, with a res­o­lu­tion of 1.037 mil­lion dots. It also pro­vides touch­screen con­trols.

The GX8’s ‘Live MOS’ type sen­sor boasts the high­est res­o­lu­tion yet seen in a Lu­mix G Se­ries cam­era with 21.77 mil­lion pix­els (20.3 MP ef­fec­tive). The ISO range is equiv­a­lent to 200 to 25,600 with a one-stop ‘pull’ to ISO 100. The new sen­sor is matched with the same ‘Venus En­gine’ pro­ces­sor as is used in the flag­ship GH4 giv­ing a max­i­mum con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing speed of 8.0 fps with the AF/AE locked to the first frame, 6.0 fps with con­tin­u­ous AF/AE ad­just­ment. As is be­com­ing stan­dard on Pana­sonic Lu­mix G Se­ries cam­eras, the GX8 can record Ul­tra HD 4K video at 3840x2160 pix­els and 25fps, giv­ing a bit rate of 100 Mbps. It can also record Full HD video in ei­ther the MP4 or AVCHD for­mats. Other video fea­tures in­clude the ‘Cine­like’ D and V pro­files, a ze­bra pat­tern gen­er­a­tor, fo­cus-peak­ing dis­play, stereo au­dio in­put and an un­com­pressed (8-bit, 4:2:2) video out­put at up to 4K from the HDMI ter­mi­nal.

A first for the Lu­mix G range is sen­sor-based im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion which can be com­bined with the op­ti­cal cor­rec­tion pro­vided in the sys­tem’s lenses. With both body-based and lens IS work­ing to­gether, Pana­sonic claims sta­bil­i­sa­tion is 3.5x more ef­fec­tive at wide-an­gle fo­cal lengths and 1.5x at tele­photo fo­cal lengths. The body­based sta­biliser pro­vides cor­rec­tion over four axis and, par­tic­u­larly use­ful, is avail­able when us­ing non-sta­bilised ‘legacy’ lenses.

As on the G7, there’s a choice of ‘4K Photo’ which lever­age the 8.3 MP res­o­lu­tion of a still frame ex­tracted from 4K video footage. The ‘4K Pre-Burst’ mode cap­tures 60 im­ages in two sec­onds (i.e. at 30 fps); 30 prior to shut­ter re­lease and 30 af­ter, the idea be­ing that you’ll never miss that ‘decisive mo­ment’. In ‘4K Burst’ mode, the cam­era shoots at 30 fps for as long as the shut­ter but­ton is held down for up to 29 min­utes and 59 sec­onds. The third op­tion – called ‘4K Burst S/S’ – does the same ex­cept that it works like a ‘T’ set­ting so one press of the shut­ter but­ton starts the record­ing and a sec­ond press stops it (S/S is short for Start/Stop). These ‘4K Photo’ modes can be used with any ex­po­sure con­trol mode and, with the lat­ter two, there’s a choice of as­pect ra­tios, namely 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1.

Also in­her­ited from the G7 is the ‘DFD’ (Depth From De­fo­cus) con­trast-de­tec­tion aut­o­fo­cus­ing sys­tem – which en­ables a re­sponse time of just 0.07 sec­onds – and em­ploys a new con­trol al­go­rithm which uses the tar­get’s size and mo­tion vec­tor as well as its colour. Also new is a ‘Starlight AF’ mode which em­ploys much smaller mea­sur­ing points – so it can work with pin­points like stars – and in­creased low-light sen­si­tiv­ity down to -4.0 EV.

The pro­vi­sion of a sen­sor-based shut­ter al­lows for a top speed of 1/16,000 sec­ond (and con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing at 10 fps) plus GX8 has a built-in WiFi mod­ule (with NFC con­nec­tiv­ity), 22 ‘Cre­ative Con­trol’ ef­fects set­tings, an in­ter­val­ome­ter for time-lapse pho­tog­ra­phy, and a silent shoot­ing mode. The mag­ne­sium al­loy bodyshell is now fully sealed against the in­tru­sion of dust or mois­ture, fea­tures an up­dated con­trol lay­out which now in­cludes a dial for set­ting ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion (up to +/-5.0 EV), front and rear in­put wheels and eight pro­gram­mable ‘Fn’ but­tons (plus five ac­cessed via the mon­i­tor screen).

Avail­able in ei­ther black or sil­ver, the Lu­mix GX8 is priced at $1399 for the cam­era body or $1499 pack­aged with the G Vario 14-42mm f3.55.6 ASPH Mega OIS zoom. A sec­ond kit op­tion pro­vides the G X Vario 14-140mm f3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS su­per­zoom (equiv­a­lent to 28-280mm) and is priced at $1999. The third kit op­tion has the G X Vario 12-35mm f2.8 ASPH Power OIS Pro zoom and is priced at $2399.

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