Panasonic GX8 vs GX7 vs G7

July 26, 2015

Panasonic Lumix GX8 camera

In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between the new Panasonic Lumix GX8, GX7, and G7. All three of them are Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras, aimed to satisfy the demands of enthusiast photographers. If you planned on getting a Panasonic MFT, the GX8 unquestionably look like an excellent choice. However, the GX7 and G7 might a more affordable alternative. To make a smart buying decision, you should thoroughly understand that differences between those three. This is exactly what we are going to do here in this article. By the time you finish reading this comparison, you’ll have better idea that camera is the right one for your particular needs.

Before we go comparing the three cameras side by side, let’s first take a look a closer look at the GX8.

Panasonic Lumix GX8

Announced on July 16, 2015, the GX8. The new GX8 now features 20.3MP resolution. It has been a while since we’ve seen Panasonic passing the 16MP mark. The new sensor is said to offer 1/3 stop improvement in dynamic range and provide better high ISO performance. The first thing you notice when you compare the GX8 versus the Panasonic GX7 is that the GX8 is marginally larger than its predecessor.  A few of the reasons for that is due to a fully articulated display (vs tilting), a larger tilting viewfinder (1.54x vs 1.29x) and the Dual IS.

Panasonic Lumix GX8 micro four thirds camera

Panasonic Lumix GX8 micro four thirds camera

The GX8 is the first Panasonic MFT camera that uses the Dual Image Stabilization feature.  This is the first time that a camera can utilize both the lens IS and the body IS at the same time to maximize the stabilization power. It most cameras with a built-in IS, you need to choose which one gets the priority, the lens or the body. The allows you to capture amazingly detailed images under low-light conditions. Keep in mind that not all lenses supported the Dual IS feature and for some lenses will need a firmware update to support this new feature. For example, the 14-45mm f/3.5-56 ASPH, 45-200mm f/4-5.6, and 100-300mm f/4-5.6 lenses aren’t supported. Panasonic plans to gradually release firmware updates in the upcoming months to make all the others lenses support this new Dual IS feature. So keep an eye on Panasonic website to see when those firmware updates are released for your lenses.

In photo mode, the GX8 uses the 4-axis sensor shift IS alongside the 2-axis lens-shift stabilization. In video mode, however, the GX8 doesn’t employ the sensor-shift IS. It uses 3-axis electronic image stabilization with 2-axis lens stabilization. The GX8 was much more limited and only offered 2-axis lens-shift stabilization in video mode and both 2-axis lens shift and sensor-shift in photo mode.

Many of you will be excited to hear that the Lumix GX8 has a full magnesium alloy chassis, and it has splash and dust proof weather-sealing.

The Panasonic GX8 uses contrast-detection AF, but the GX8 uses Panasonic’s Depth from Defocus technology that allows much more rapid performance accompanied with Panasonic MFT lenses. The GX7 utilizes the regular contrast-detect AF. Furthermore, the GX8 has new AF tracking algorithms that use the subject dimensions and motion information to accurately track it. According to Panasonic. This will provide 200% faster autofocus performance compared to the GX7. Many photographers give the AF performance a very high weight, and it’s great to see Panasonic giving so much weight to this feature and improving the AF system on this new camera. Both the Panasonic GX7 and the GX8 have the same AF effective range (EV -4 – 18 / ISO equivalent).

Among its other features are 4K video recording, 4K photo with 4K pre-burst, 4K burst, and 4K burst (start & stop). To be more precise, the GX8 can now shoot in an 8-megapixel image (4K) at 30 frames per second and up to 4GB in total. In the 4K burst S/S the camera start capturing image in burst and stops when you push the shutter button the second time, so you don’t need to hold the button down while the camera captures the shots. In the last pre-burst mode, the camera is set to automatically capture 30 frames before and after you press the shutter button. There is also a faster 12 fps burst (vs 5fps – GX7), 1/8000 sec mechanical shutter and 1/16,000 sec electronic shutter maximum shutter speed, Wi-Fi and NFC, focus peaking, in-camera RAW processing and Star Light AF mode among others.

No doubt that Panasonic GX8 takes a significant step forward toward offering enthusiast photographers with a complete package. Panasonic improved upon the features that enthusiasts want to see improved. The better AF, the larger viewfinder, the weather-sealing, the built-in IS, ergonomics — all are imperative features, and Panasonic seemed to address all of those in the GX8. It is certainly an enormous upgrade over the GX7.

So how much it cost you? — well, as of the time of writing, the GX8 body sells for around $1200 on amazon.com, whether the GX7 sells for around $600. So as you can see, you pay almost twice the price of the GX7 to get the GX8. It also seems that the GX8 isn’t there to replace the GX7, but place itself above it.

GX8 vs GX7 vs G7

Now that you are more familiar with the GX8 key features, it’s time to see how it compares to the GX7 and the G7 directly. We’ve already seen that the GX8 is a very capable stills and video camera. It includes a set of features that are hard to beat, but you need to pay a premium price to enjoy those features. Not every one of you will take advantage of all those features. You might find out that the either the GX7 or the G7 might be a better deal and offer significantly better value. also keep in mind that as of January 2015, the GX7 has been officially marked as discontinued at B&H and I also couldn’t find a price for a new model on amazon.com. I haven’t find any information on the official Panasonic website that mentioned that the GX7 has been discontinued though. But something that I think you should be aware of. It might has been discontinued on various markets, I didn’t investigate it further though.

Let’s also not forget that if you are just starting out, you’ll also need to buy a lens or two. If you are on a tight budget, you might won’t be able to afford buying a second lens for the GX8. You might be better investing less money on the body and buy a second lens that will extend your creative options — something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

OK, now let’s take a closer look at the differences between the GX9, GX7 and the G7. This will give you a better overview of the key differences between those three cameras.

Panasonic GX8Panasonic GX7Panasonic G7
AnnouncedJuly 16, 2015August 1, 2013May 18, 2015
Build Quality Full magnesium alloy bodyFull magnesium alloy bodyPolycarbonate
SensorLive MOS sensor
20.30 MP (effective)

Supersonic wave filter

Micro Four Thirds
Live MOS sensor
16.00 MP (effective)

Supersonic wave filter

Micro Four Thirds
Live MOS sensor
16.00 MP (effective)

Supersonic wave filter

Micro Four Thirds
Weather SealingYes, splash and dust proofNoNo
A few things to not here. First of all the GX8 is uses a new-generation sensor with a higher resolution. Second, the GX8 is the only camera among the three that is weather-sealed, great photographer who need that extra protection and durability when shooting outdoors.

Also note that according to Panasonic, the new GX8 sensor feature 1/3 stop wider dynamic range as well.
ISO200 - 25600

Boost: ISO 100
160 - 25600160-25600
Image StabilizationDual IS (with selected lenses)

Photo:
body 4-axis sensor-shift and 2-axis lens-shift (utilizes both)

Video: 3-axis electronic IS and 2-axis lens-shift
Selective, either lens or body

Photo: 2-axis lens-shift -or- 2-axis sensor-shift

Video: 2-axis lens-shift
2-axis Lens-shift
The GX8 is the only camera among the three and the first MFT camera to use Panasonic's innovative Dual IS technology. This allow photographers to to take sharper pictures under low-light conditions. It utilizes both the lens-shift IS of the lens and the built-in stabilization It also offers better stabilization for video recording with its 3-axis E.I.S.

This will certainly makes the GX8 a better choice for low-light captures, as you can shoot at slower shutter speeds and get a well exposed and sharp image. I certainly want to know how the Dual IS compares to Olympus' 5-axis image stabilization system.

G7 is the least impressive here as you can see.
AF SystemContrast-detection
49-point AF

EV -4 - 18 detection range

- DFD technology
- Starlight AF
- New AF tracking algorithm

Contrast-detection
23-point AF

EV -4 - 18 detection range
Contrast-detection
49-point AF

EV -4 - 18 detection range

- DFD technology
- Starlight AF
Both the GX8 and G7 as relatively new cameras, utilize Panasonic's new DFD technology which significantly improved focus acquisition time.The GX8 uses updated AF tracking algorithms that improves its AF performance by 200% according to Panasonic. The GX7 trails behind these two, by having less AF points and lacking DFD technology. The GX7 also lacks the Starlight AF function.
LCD3.0-inch
1040K-dots
OLED touch screen
Fully articulted
3.0-inch
1040K-dots
LCD touchscreen
Tilting
3.0-inch
1040K-dots
LCD touchscreen
Full articulated
The GX8 leads the pack, featuring both and OLED fully-articulated display. The articulated display makes it easier to shoot in different angles, which especially useful in video recording mode.
Viewfinder0.77x magnification (35mm equiv.)
OLED
2360K-dots
100% FOV

Tilting mechanism
0.7x magnification (35mm equiv.)
LCD
2764.8K-dots
100% FOV

Tilting mechanism

0.7x magnification (35mm equiv.)
OLED
2360k-dots
100% FOV

Fixed
The GX8 features the larger viewfinder among the three, with tilting mechanism. Photographers always happy to have a larger viewfinder, as it gives them a better magnification of the scene and better immersion taking pictures with the camera. It's also makes it easier to focus on smaller objects. the G7 is the only camera among the three that lacks the tilting mechanism, which is useful if you want to use the viewfinder to take low-angle shorts while standing instead of crouching. Also useful when you mount the camera to a tripod in a lower position and want to comfortably position yourself above the camera to compose the shot.
Video Recording
*NTSC
2160p / 30fps, 24fps
1080p /50 fps, 30fps
720p / 60fps, 30fps
480p / 30fps

Stereo sound

- mic input
1080p / 60fps, 30fps, 24fps
1080i / 60fps,
720p / 60fps, 30fps
480p / 30fps

Stereo sound
2160p / 30fps, 24fps
1080p / 60fps, 30fps
720p / 60fps, 30fps
580p / 30fps

Stereo sound

- mic input
The G7X lacks 4K video recording and a built-in mic, which makes it less attractive to videographers. The added E.I.S. and IS stabilization on the GX8 should make it better for capturing footage in low-light conditions, including better subject tracking performance which is also useful for video recording. Add the fully-articulated display to the mix, and you can see that the GX8 is an easy choice for video recording.
Burst12 fps

+ 4K photo mode with Burst S/S (Start/Stop) and 4K pre-burst
5 fps7 fps

+ 4K photo mode with Burst S/S (Start/Stop), 4K burst and 4K pre-burst
The GX8 offers the fastest and most versatile burst shooting options. It's shoot significantly faster than the other two The GX8 also shared with the G7 a selection of three different 4K burst shooting modes. The first one is 4K burst which works like a regular burst buy captures in 4K resolution. The second is 4K Pre-burst which the camera scans in 4K and when you press the shutter button the camera captures a total of 60 frames, 30 before you pressed the shutter and 30 after you pressed the shutter. The last on is 4K Start/Stop burst which start capturing photos in burst when you click the shutter and stop after you click the shutter the second time.
Pop-up FlashNoYes (7m)Yes (9.3m)
External Flashvia hot-shoevia hot-shoevia hot-shoe
Flash X Sync Speed1/250 sec1/320 sec1/160 sec
Exposure Compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WirelessWi-Fi / NFCWi-Fi / NFCWi-Fi

No NFC
Battery Life
(CIPA)
330 shots350 shots350 shots
Dimensions133 x 78 x 63 mm (5.24 x 3.07 x 2.48″)123 x 71 x 55 mm (4.83 x 2.78 x 2.15″)125 x 86 x 77 mm (4.92 x 3.39 x 3.03″)
Weight487 g (1.07 lb / 17.18 oz)402 g (0.89 lb / 14.18 oz)410 g (0.90 lb / 14.46 oz)
Built-in GPSNoNoNo
Light Metering System1728-zone multi-pattern sensing system1728-zone multi-pattern sensing system1728-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Shutter Speed60 - 1/16000 sec60 - 1/8000sec60 - 1/16000 sec
Bulbmax 30 minutesmax 2 minutesmax 2 minutes
The GX8 offers the most flexible shutter speed range, starting at 30 minute bulb up to 1/16000 sec using the electronic shutter.
Time-lapse ShotYesNoYes
Level GaugeYesYesYes

 Conclusion

No doubt that the Panasonic Lumix GX8 is one of the most impressive cameras Panasonic has released to date. It improves on areas that many photographers want their next camera to be improved, including better AF performance, a larger viewfinder, improved ergonomic design, weather sealing, better low-light capabilities, 4K video recording, fully articulated display and faster burst. In that aspect, the GX8 is certainly a stellar performer. That being said, there is a high price tag for all those goodies. The GX7 and G7 still remain very good alterantives, and you can get them in a much lower price.  Comparing the G7 vs the GX7, the GX7 is less expensive, has tilt-wsivel screen, can shoot 4K, has an external mic, faster burst and faster shutter speed.However, it lacks the DFD AF technology, has a tiltiing display, doesn’t have 4K videos nor a mi input, it has a slower burst and slower shutter speed. The GX7 is significantly smaller the the G7, but in those sizes it really doesn’t matter that match – it’s not like you are going to put it in your pocket.

In my opinion, the GX8 easily takes the first position, it’s really a fully-features advanced MFT camera. If it’s out of your budget, I would probably consider getting the G7 over the GX7. The GX7 is, as of the time of writing, about two years old. This is why you can get it for much a very affordable price. If you care about style, the GX7 does, in my opinion, look more stylish and it’s more compact, but I wouldn’t give a lot of weight to that. It really depends what features you care about most.  Go over the comparison table above and focus on the feature that are the most important to you.

If you have the budget, by all means, get the GX8, it’s an amazing modern MFT camera. It offers more flexibility for both stills and video recording to satisfy the demands of most photographers. The higher dynamic range, weather-sealing, larger viewfinder and improve AF performance are features that can help you enjoy your camera better and put less restrictions on the type of results you want to achieve. That being said, not everyone needs such stelalr performance. Some of you might not notice the difference on casual use. you might want to think about buying a cheaper body and spend the rest on a higher quality lens. This can help you get the results that you need, which without that speific lens (or lenses) you wouldn’t able to achieve.

If you have any questions and have something to add, please share your opinions and questions in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and see you on the next comparison. Also don’t forget to LIKE our Facebook page and be updated when we publish our next comparison article.

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