Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF8

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF8

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF8 Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF8 is the latest addition to Panasonic’s G-series of mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, replacing the DMC-GF7 at the entry-level. They are more likely to appeal to female buyers, particularly those who take ‘selfies’.

Essentially, these additions are a logical complement to the GF7’s Silky Skin Scene pre-set and the Defocus Control setting in the two auto modes, which carry over into the new camera. Like these settings, they are only applied to JPEGs, although the GF8 is also able to record RW2.RAW files.

Adjustments are made in Playback mode by selecting the Beauty Retouch sub-menu. Pressing the Menu/Set button activates a face-detection tool that scans the frame, looking for an editable face.

We found the camera had problems detecting older women’s faces, faces in profile or semi-profile and faces wearing glasses. According to the user manual it can also fail when shots were taken in a very dark place or when bright light was reflected from a flash or the sun. Black and white shots were also unsuitable for retouching since most of the adjustments rely on colour.

The tools worked best when the face was full-on to the camera and dominated the frame. Perhaps surprisingly, the face didn’t have to be female; we found the Beauty Retouch functions could be used on men’s faces, provided they met the other criteria.

The Beauty Retouch tools are grouped into four sections: Aesthetic Retouch, Foundation, Make Up Retouch and Smile. There are five ‘sub-items’ in the Aesthetic Retouch palette, three in Make Up Retouch and only one each in Foundation and Smile. The illustrations below show the user interfaces for each tool set.

When the Beauty Retouch function works, it is quite effective. The adjustments are relatively subtle and the strength of most adjustments is controllable, enabling users to apply as much or as little adjustment as they wish.

Nevertheless, these adjustments should appeal to the main target market for this camera: people who shoot ‘selfies’. For those users who are active on social media, the Beauty Retouch functions will provide a quick and easy way to ‘touch up’ portraits before posting them.

An example of a failure of the Clear Retouch function. The battery and memory card share a compartment in the base of the camera, a situation typical of entry-level models. The battery is CIPA rated for approximately 230 shots/charge with the supplied H-FS12032 lens.

 

Imatest showed JPEG files showed higher resolution than the GF7 files we reported on and were easily able to meet expectations for a 16-megapixel camera with optimal lens and ISO settings.  However, as expected, converted RW2. Resolution held up very well with both file types across the camera’s sensitivity range, as shown in the graph of our Imatest results below.

 

The auto white balance setting delivered similar results to the GM5’s. The incandescent pre-set introduced a faint purple cast, while the flash preset remained colour neutral. No preset is provided for fluorescent lighting.

No significant slowing was evident when shooting stills in low light levels or while panning.

Metering was as accurate as we’ve found with previous G-series cameras. Video clips sometimes contained over-exposed highlights in contrasty conditions.  Shot-to-shot times averaged 0.55 seconds without flash and 3.4 seconds with.

On average, high-resolution JPEGs took approximately 0.45 seconds to process, while RW2.RAW files were processed in 0.8 seconds and RAW+JPEG pairs in 1.3 seconds.

Recording times and buffer capacities for the four continuous shooting modes available matched Panasonic’s specifications.

The Super high-speed mode can record at 40 frames/second for one second but is JPEG-only. Processing this burst of shots took 10.2 seconds.  The High-speed mode captures records JPEG and raw frames at 5.8 frames/second. The review camera recorded 29 frames in 5 seconds before pausing, which equates to approximately 5.9 frames/second.

With RW2.  It took 6.3 seconds to process this burst.  However, it took 8.6 seconds to process this burst.

The middle and low speed settings record at four and two frames/second respectively with live view supported during capture. Both settings are available for bursts of RW2.RAW files and the buffer limit is seven frames.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF8

Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
Max resolution 4592 x 3448
Other resolutions 4:3 , 3:2 , , 1:1
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 17 megapixels
Sensor size Four Thirds
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Venus Engine
Image
ISO Auto, 200-25600
Boosted ISO (minimum) 100
White balance presets 5
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, standard
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (2x-4x)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 23
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier 2×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,040,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/500 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic) 1/16000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 5.60 m (at ISO 200)
External flash No
Flash modes Auto, auto w/redeye reduction, flash on, flash on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction, flash off
Continuous drive 5.8 fps
Self-timer Yes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5
AE Bracketing ±3
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 , 1280 x 720 , 640 x 480
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Videography notes 24p only available with AVCHD
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC card
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0
HDMI Yes
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote control Yes
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 230
Weight (inc. batteries) 266 g
Dimensions 107 x 65 x 33 mm
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS None
Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
Max resolution 4592 x 3448
Other resolutions 4:3 , 3:2 , , 1:1
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 17 megapixels
Sensor size Four Thirds
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Venus Engine
Image
ISO Auto, 200-25600
Boosted ISO (minimum) 100
White balance presets 5
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, standard
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (2x-4x)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 23
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier 2×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,040,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/500 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic) 1/16000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 5.60 m (at ISO 200)
External flash No
Flash modes Auto, auto w/redeye reduction, flash on, flash on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction, flash off
Continuous drive 5.8 fps
Self-timer Yes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5
AE Bracketing ±3
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 , 1280 x 720 , 640 x 480
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Videography notes 24p only available with AVCHD
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC card
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0
HDMI Yes
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote control Yes
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 230
Weight (inc. batteries) 266 g
Dimensions 107 x 65 x 33 mm
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS None
Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
Max resolution 4592 x 3448
Other resolutions 4:3 , 3:2 , , 1:1
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 17 megapixels
Sensor size Four Thirds
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Venus Engine
Image
ISO Auto, 200-25600
Boosted ISO (minimum) 100
White balance presets 5
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, standard
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (2x-4x)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 23
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier 2×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,040,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/500 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic) 1/16000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 5.60 m
External flash No
Flash modes Auto, auto w/redeye reduction, flash on, flash on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction, flash off
Continuous drive 5.8 fps
Self-timer Yes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5
AE Bracketing ±3
WB Bracketing Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 , 1280 x 720 , 640 x 480
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Videography notes 24p only available with AVCHD
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC card
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0
HDMI Yes
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote control Yes
Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 230
Weight (inc. batteries) 266 g
Dimensions 107 x 65 x 33 mm
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS None

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